A work from home space is almost obligatory now when designing a house so it has been interesting to see how The Block 2022 contestants have approached the design this week. Essentially, each home had an overflow space and it was up to each pair to decide how they wanted to use the space. I feel that some of these spaces worked reasonably well but the main issue I see this week is that without a specific brief, the contestants were trying to make the space all things to all people.
I was left thoroughly underwhelmed by every single space this week and I am sorry to say that The Block 2022 work from home space reveal left me completely cold. This was reflected in the scores with 26 points winning the week for Tom and Sarah Jane. I agree that they did deserve first place with their two storey addition that housed an additional rumpus room space, ideal for teenagers, and a large work from home space.
Guest judges Alisa and Lysandra joined Darren Palmer this week on the judging panel. Their comments, the images from each space and my comments are all below.
The Block 2022 Work from home space
First place: Tom and Sarah Jane 26 POINTS
Built around a walk-in Vintec wine cellar, House one’s television room built into the Stratco garage space is the perfect getaway, the judges agreed, ideal for teenagers or anyone wanting a break from the rest of the home. Past the powder room and upstairs however was where their addition really shone. The only home with a second level thanks to early engineering planning, this is a complete office that could easily be converted to a guest apartment, with eight eye-level Velux skylights, two separate work stations and kitchenette. A potential office? Definitely, the judges agreed, a nanny (or granny) flat? Why not! Either way, all agreed it’s a definite value add to the home.
Tom and Sarah Jane
My thoughts on Tom & Sarah-Jane's work from home space
- I have a big problem with one room being divided into a wine tasting zone (on carpet) and a rumpus style TV room where the sofa is facing a large TV. This space should either be a convivial wine tasting/entertaining zone or a TV room. Combining the two doesn't work.
- You could still have a TV in this space, but with a smaller lounge and some occasional chairs to bring in the wine tasting zone.
- The upstairs space works perfectly as a work from home area, but it is a pretty soulless room.
- The entire area is all pretty bland which makes the wine fridge and the large TV the main attractions. I am sure that buyers can see past this and work out what they can do with this room, but it speaks volumes that this under-styled and bland area takes out first place.
Second Place: Rachel and Ryan 24.5 POINTS
If a home has a winery, Rachel and Ryan thought, why not add a wine room to enjoy the end results? Down the landing steps into a cosy space featuring a full-wall Grafico mural and spectacular view over the vines to Mount Macedon beyond, this is a separate entertaining space perfect for showcasing the micro-winery House 2 boasts. With a benchtop area for preparing the drinks, huge couch in front of a wide television and an woodfired stove to give country ambiance, this space is less about work and more for play, the judges agreed… but is that enough? A work space would have added value, the judges agreed and adding a desk in here may not work.
My thoughts on Rachel and Ryan's work from home space
- This is another space that doesn't know what it is. If it is a wine tasting area, then why fill the space with an enormous sofa in front of a TV. Most clients that I meet say that they dislike the TV being the focal point in a room, hence why mirror TVs have become popular.
- I feel this space would have worked better with some comfortable chairs, a desk and a wine tasting area, all around a cosy fire.
- There is a huge space for storage and wine, but then with only 2 bar stools and a fairly cramped ‘tasting' zone.
- The rich tan leather suits the space, but the bar looks too much like a kitchenette, which unfortunately doesn't have a sink. This isn't a space that would entice me to spend time in.
Third Place: Omar and Oz 24 POINTS
A textbook example of a room that was just too much for this mammoth Block challenge, Omar and Oz’s huge home office space was nowhere near ready, the victim of build problems way out of the boys’ hands. What was theirs however, still left the judges underwhelmed, with artwork choices too big for the space, a desk way too big for just one person but too small for two and a nautical feel that’s out of place in a country setting. Once it’s finished, the judges hoped, the room could be a showcase for living and working out of the city, with more than enough scope to do both.
My thoughts on Omar and Oz's work from home space
- This is another zone that is fulfilling a lot of jobs. Bizarrely, the desk also appears to be an island bench and the cabinetry could be confused for kitchen storage.
- At least, the bar zone can accommodate more than two people and is zoned with a gorgeous rug.
- Again, the TV seems to be a focal point. It will be good to see this room complete – it certainly is a nice large area with great ceiling height that has good potential.
Fourth place: Dylan and Jenny 22.5 POINTS
In a year when home cinemas had been downplayed, Dylan and Jenny’s 100-inch monster television took the judges breath away and helped give the new space a double use – as office or screening room. The lack of fireplace lost points from Alisa and Lysandra, as did the “dead space” in the room’s centre, something that could be remedied with the addition of a dining table perhaps, or a larger version of the bar area. Once again the Caesarstone desktop, felt cold to the judges, but a few styling touches – and a repair to a cracked ceiling – could have pushed them higher up the scores.
My thoughts on Dylan and Jenny's work from home space
- There is a large area of vacant space in the middle of the room which is out of proportion with the small built in wine cabinet.
- Again, I feel that the TV is the focal point and is far too large for the room.
- I do love the colour palette, and the sofa looks very comfortable, but I feel the room is out of balance with wasted space.
Last Place: Ankur and Sharon 19.5 POINTS
As a work from home space, Darren said when he took in House three’s shed addition, “this is a killer”. But the layout left him wondering. With a television in a corner as opposed to on one of the two available walls, a huge Caesarstone desk dominating and a cocktails area to one side, the orientation seemed confused, they felt, and didn’t make the best use of the fireplace at the other end. Extra power points were needed, they all agreed if this was to be a functional workspace, a week one mistake they didn’t expect to see this far into the competition.
My thoughts on Ankur and Sharon's work from home space
- I don't think that the Caesarstone bench is appropriate. It isn't attractive and looks like a kitchen rather than a desk that would be practical to work at. The finishes are too hard and too cold to be an enticing work area.
- The fireplace hearth looks out of proportion and is a tripping point in the middle of the room and the TV in the corner looks temporary. The fireplace also blocks the view.
- The layout of this room is wrong and the finishes are not up to scratch. I do love the fire, the sofa is very appropriate for the space, the rug is lovely and I really like their choice of artworks. As always, I like a lot of what Ankur and Sharon do but it didn't all come together this week.
Photography: David Cook Photography
More background information can be found at The Block Channel 9
Many of the gorgeous items seen on The Block 2022 bedroom and re-do room reveal can be found at The Block Shop.
One of the hardest things is starting a renovation and defining your style. It needs to be something that you love but also is appropriate for the style of house you are building or renovating. Ensure you do this before you start and not as you progress through the project as the end result will not be as cohesive as it could be if there is a change in direction. Read my post on How to define your decorating style for more inspiration.
Did you know that I have a Free Resource Library? Whether you are building a new dream home or just undertaking a weekend redecorating project, there will be something there to help and inspire you. Included in my library is a guide on how to put together a mood board. You can download the free checklists and e-books here.