Another great reveal on The Block 2021 living and dining room week. There were some stunning rooms, but there were also some that I didn't like, together with some very poor planning decisions regarding the use of space. More ups than downs though and some very different styles, which was great to see.
The big issue for me this week was the large barn-like open plan spaces. Zoning and decorating these areas takes quite a bit of skill and while some of the contestants got this right, some didn't and it feels like you are in a space that is more like a village hall than a comfortable and inviting home. Sound would most definitely be an issue in these spaces.
The Block 2021 Living and Dining Room
Tanya and Vito came first this week but they had to share the limelight with Ronnie and Georgia, who again used their gnome to make it to first position. I have all the rooms to show you here, together with my comments on each. Do you agree with the judges, or do you agree with me? Do you have a completely different view? I would love to hear what you thought.
First Place (joint): Tanya & Vito || Score: 29.5 / 30 || Spent: $49,618
My thoughts on Tanya & Vito's Living and Dining Room
- Tanya and Vito have again pushed the envelope with their use of colour and design this week. I am usually a big fan of their style, but it didn't all work for me this week.
- I didn't like the sunken lounge. I know the judges loved it, but a design decision like this means that you are locked into only using this space in one way. I have never been in a house with one of these where the new owners like it. I also didn't like the blue carpet. I feel that Tanya and Vito have really embraced the style of the house and should be commended for this. Which they were with an almost perfect score and first place. However, I think that this could be alienating on Auction day.
- What I did like about it though was the way that it zoned the room and made it obvious where the hallway is. There is also no doubt that it is a very comfortable and inviting area.
- The open plan living and dining area was under-furnished. The dining table needed a large rug to break up the timber on timber and zone this area and there should have at least been a console table underneath the artworks.
- The cosy fireplace nook was nice but overall I felt the room was just too vast and the noise levels with the high ceilings and lack of rugs would be extraordinary.
First Place with gnome: Ronnie & Georgia || Score: 29.5 / 30 || Spent: $47,001
My thoughts on Ronnie and Georgia's Living and Dining Room
- This living and dining room is far more successful. I'm not sure if it is smaller or just better filled with furniture. Regardless, you must always decorate for the space you have and rather than leave vast open floor space, you should consider how to use it the best.
- Ronnie and Georgia certainly used this space exceptionally well and I believe deserved an outright first place.
- The fireplace is an excellent design. I am not a fan of the TV placed above the fireplace as it leaves it too high, so placing it next to the fireplace here is perfect. I love the way they have styled the room with an artwork rather than a TV – how refreshing to walk into a room without one.
- Their choice of sofa and chairs works well as they are comfortable and suit the style of the room. With lots of different layers of texture and a gorgeous, generously sized rug, these guys understand how to do a neutral room. The living area doesn't have much colour at all, but the heavily textured fabrics, make up for this.
- The dining room is an absolute success. The table and chairs are gorgeous. The rug is nicely textured and the perfect size to suit the table and the room. The colour palette is divine. I am a big fan of green and I love the way that they have explored the use of colour here to make this a more intimate space.
- Fabulous artwork to complete the palette and a nicely arranged bar nook. This could have been a touch smaller though to accommodate the curtain, but this is a minor point.
- Finally, I love the black steel door and can't wait to look through this further. A very successful space for the leaders in sophisticated neutral schemes.
Third Place: Kirsty and Jesse || Score || 29 / 30 || Spent: $47,864
My thoughts on Kirsty and Jesse's Living and Dining Room
- I was blown away last week with the standard of Kirsty and Jesse's kitchen and I am so pleased to see this week that they have integrated the style and colour palette of the living and dining room perfectly.
- I like the clever placement of the fireplace which means that the TV can be placed at a decent height and this way the warmth spreads out to the dining zone and the rest of the space.
- I really like the regency stripe wallpaper and occasional chairs which makes a good use of this space and adds a rich dose of colour to balance the blue kitchen. It brings the kitchen into the space and it all just works so well together.
- The raked ceilings over the generous dining table are a great design treatment. However the artworks in the dining zone are too high. They should be at eye level and look odd here.
- The living room sofa looks inviting and comfortable and I love the layers of cushions, soft rug and throws.
- If I had one point to pick on, it would be the placement of the arched doorway. I'm not sure if it had to be here, but if it could have been moved slightly to the right, this would have provided a more generous living zone. This may not have been possible though.
- I am glad to say that this living and dining room reveal didn't disappoint, overall I think it has been well executed and I would have preferred to see these guys in second place.
Fourth Place: Mark and Mitch || Score: 24.5 / 30 || Spent: $37,691
My thoughts on Mark and Mitch's Living and Dining Room
- Busy, busy, busy sums up this space. I'm not sure where to look first. Between the herringbone floor, the different styles of furniture and the sugary colour palette, this is not a space to relax in.
- I can see what the guys were trying to do with the round hall table, but without anything else to designate this as a hallway, it looks like a table has just been placed in the middle of a ballroom. Is this for canapes and drinks? I have to admit this is a tricky layout to work with, but as it currently is the dining zone is cramped, right next to the living area with a void left between this and the island bench.
- I do love the generous dining table, which has been beautifully styled and the green artwork, but there is just too much happening, cramped into a small space.
Last Place: Josh and Luke || Score: 22.5 / 30 || Spent: $37,367
My thoughts on Josh and Luke's Living and Dining Room
- Neale thought the space was too big but I think the space is fine, the furniture was just too small.
- I love the round Christian Cole dining table but it needed to be a rectangle. Round dining tables belong in either a nook or a room/space that it fills properly. Left in the middle of this vast area, the table and chairs look lost. This is a shame as both the table and the chairs are divine. Placing a much larger rectangle table in this room, with more space between the chairs and an over-sized rug beneath, would have zoned this area and achieved a much better look.
- The cabinet is also too small and out of proportion with the gorgeous artwork placed above.
- The judges thought that the living area and dining room should have been swapped, but you couldn't walk this distance from the kitchen. The answer really is just in more generous sized furniture and rugs. Vast open plan areas absolutely must have rugs.
- The sofa is gorgeous – what a stunning colour. But the dark blue wall is crying out for a large statement artwork and without one it looks odd. I'm not a fan of feature coloured walls for the sake of it. I can see that the guys wanted to link the blue from the dining room, which works, but a feature coloured wall must also have a statement artwork/s.
- I think that Josh and Luke didn't deserve such a low score this week as they did nail the colour palette – there are just a few tweaks needed.
Related: How to select the right rug
My favourite pieces this week
This week I loved all the cushions that Kirsty and Jesse used. As you know, I loved everything about their room. I also really liked the artwork that Josh and Luke used in their dining room – the colours and the design were lovely.
Green is a favourite colour of mine, so of course I was drawn very much to Ronnie & Georgia's dining room. I love the chairs, the extension table, the artwork and the bar. All fabulous.
Photography by David Cook Photography
I would love to hear your comments in the space below. Which room was your favourite this week?
Do you prefer an open plan space or individual rooms? I have a post dedicated to this question here.
I have another post where Neale Whittaker talks about the move away from open plan. Read it here.
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