This is it. The Block backyard and pool reveal is the final piece of the puzzle for The Block 2020. This week has seen Sarah and George go from strength to strength and take out the final win, which I must say in my view, was absolutely deserved. Their attention to detail, use of the space, design and styling were all pretty much spot on. These contestants really have finished on a very high note.
I must admit at this point that I haven't been a huge fan of The Block in the past. However, as a designer, I have been heartened by the way that the contestants have grown during the past twelve weeks. Each week sees the couples attaining new heights and working very hard to get the look that they want to achieve, often with severe budget constraints. I have seen some beautiful ideas, and some less successful ones, but overall the houses have come together very well. I am already looking forward to The Block 2021 and to reviewing the reveals each week. I'm going to miss this!
With the exception of Jimmy and Tam, who have recreated a retro 1950s home, the contestants have not paid much detail in the past weeks to the brief of decorating to an era. It will be interesting to see at the Auctions whether or not this has paid off for the couples. See which outdoor spaces you like and what you think of Jimmy and Tam's reveal which has been faithful to the brief from the beginning.
The Block Backyard and Pool Reveal
I have the judges' run down and my own comments on each space below. I would love to hear your feedback and whether you agreed with the judges this week.
Sarah and George | Backyard and Pool 30/30
The Judges' views
Where do we start with this amazing effort by Sarah and George? The lovely Japanese Maple tree in the courtyard immediately caught the eyes of the judges, as did the black timber fence. In the backyard the outdoor table was a perfect addition, as was the pizza oven. The pool area could easily be a magazine shoot or Instagram post, with a beautiful tile choice. Sarah and George ended up winning the Ford Puma, which is perfect as they were on the hunt for a new car once The Block was over. Talk about a strong finish to the build.
Everywhere you look in this backyard and pool area, there is a wow factor. I particularly like the mix of flooring, which all works well together and designates individual zones well. The built-in outdoor kitchen with pizza oven is an entertainers dream and sits nicely next to the feature bricks from the front of the house and I love the outdoor table and chairs. The built in seating around a gorgeous Maple tree is divine and I love the olive tree and Mediterranean plantings surrounding it.
The pool area is refined and elegant and the only thing that I don't like is the Mural, but I suspect this will be easy to change. In a garden and entertaining space that is so elegant, I feel this is quite incongruous. I think though that this is the only element that I can find fault with. The contestants have even paid attention to the side of the house which is often a neglected space. It really is an outdoor area that I would be extremely happy with. Well done to Sarah and George with a very well deserved win.
Luke and Jasmin | Backyard and Pool 29 ½ /30
This loss by half a point really hurt the Perth married couple as they threw literally everything into the last week on The Block.. The daybed in the courtyard was very well received, perfect to lay on with a book and glass of wine. The judges thought the execution across the board this week was of a gold standard. The pizza party pit, amazing. Jasmin’s styling choices in the pool area were spot on. So while they didn’t win yet again, there was a lot to be proud of this week for Luke and Jasmin. They started slow on The Block, but finished very well.
Another beautiful reveal from Luke and Jasmin. I love the dining table and chairs, the pool area, the hard landscaping, firepit and their styling as usual, is lovely. However, I really do not like the curved day bed. It looks extremely uncomfortable and just doesn't suit either this backyard and pool area or the entire theme of the house. It is simply too contemporary and is at odds with the beautiful soft coastal, Hamptons style feel of the rest of the house. I know the judges liked it, but really, I don't agree. I also think that the bbq should be built in to an outdoor kitchen area but otherwise I am just nit-picking because it really is lovely. The curves are a design masterstroke and the plantings are very nice. A good finish for Luke and Jasmin.
Jimmy and Tam | Backyard and Pool 27 ½ /30
The judges' views
The coral painted breeze block wowed the judges in the courtyard, setting the scene for another positive week for Jimmy and Tam. Their choices of plants, cactus and bamboo, was a hit. Shaynna loved the simplicity of the backyard. The pool had a couple of daybeds that would be perfect to lay on, on a hot Melbourne summer day. The judges did feel the space next to the pool was not right, but Jimmy and Tam maintain it is all about storage. So another strong week for Jimmy and Tam in what has been a very strong few months on The Block with their 1950s, unique house.
When does a swimming pool become a paddling pool? I have to say that all the engineering involved with this was a complete waste of time as it is just too small. I can see where Jimmy and Tam are coming from with the enclosed space next to the swimming pool, but it was all at the expense of a pool area that would actually work. For me, this was a major error in the overall design. The dining table and chairs look lost and lonely on a large deck that has no other styling and it really doesn't look welcoming at all. I am a fan of less is more, but really, this is taking it to the extreme. The breeze blocks in themselves are a nod to the retro era of the 1950s and didn't need to be painted and I would tire very quickly of the mosaic feature at the end of the swimming pool.
I really like the effort that Jimmy and Tam have made inside the house to maintain a retro feel and to meet the design brief. However, I haven't liked their outdoor areas, either the front facade and garden or the backyard and pool.
Daniel and Jade | Backyard and Pool 24/30
The judges' views
How about that stunning magpie themed artwork in the courtyard? The judges loved it. They did feel that the space could have been more comfortable and better laid out. Walking into the backyard they loved the sculpture and the effect of the Velux skylights. The outdoor shower was a great idea, but it lacked a bit of functionality because of where it was positioned right above the dirt in the garden. While the pool was lovely, the judges felt Daniel and Jade could have done more with sprucing it up a bit.
The feature magpie is a lovely, quirky touch and I like the way that the flooring has been laid to delineate the outdoor living arrangement. The sofas, chairs and table just need to be larger as they don't fill the space adequately. The plantings in the garden around the sculpture work very well and the built in BBQ looks great, if not terribly practical. I like the curved lawn and connection that the garden has to the indoor living space and I absolutely love the stunning feature pots.
The swimming pool works well but it is lacking somewhat and looks unfinished. The painted wall is dark and gloomy without anything on it too. I love dark painted walls in gardens but unless they are a feature in their own right, they really only look amazing with greenery against them. This is certainly not an awful outdoor space, by any means, but it doesn't come close to Sarah and George's beautiful reveal.
Harry and Tash | Backyard and Pool 22 ½ /30
The judges views
The huge oak tree is the real hero in the backyard of Harry and Tash in House No.1. It was a paired back effort this week as they had to change some original plans because of budget issues. The pool tiles were a perfect choice for the space but it was obvious to the judges that Harry and Tash ran out of money because of their lack of styling. Harry and Tash installed a wall between the front and back gardens, which the judges thought was the wrong decision but they are sticking with it. Tash believes privacy from the front of New Street is more important. So after some ups, and some downs, the build is done for the Melbourne father and daughter.
The gorgeous Oak tree is the salvation of this backyard and pool area. There is nothing wrong with the overall look of the space. I love the choice of tiles that are simple and elegant and the plantings and pots work well. Clearly Harry and Tash were low on funds, which is evident from the simplicity of the space. It doesn't have the wow factor but it is certainly a very nicely landscaped area. Just nowhere close to being a winner. I do have one point to make about the swimming pool as it doesn't look very wide. I would be interested to see if anyone could in fact do the breast stroke in this pool. I was sad to see this father and daughter ending on a last position. The space wasn't a winner but I don't think they deserved the wooden spoon this week either.
Did you know that you can buy many of the lovely things on The Block at The Block Shop? You can find out more information about The Block 2020, the Backyard and Pool reveals and the contestants at Nine Now.
I have all the reveals of The Block 2020 on my blog. If you haven't seen them, you can start at Week one here.