The Block Living and Dining reveal has been interesting as we have seen how the contestants have completed their open plan spaces and how successfully they have incorporated the living and dining areas into their kitchens. If the contestants are being judged on their ability to meet the original brief of designing their rooms to an era, the most successful ones were Daniel and Jade. Their kitchen, living and dining room has come together beautifully and is a very good contemporary interpretation of the glamour of the 1930s Art Deco period.
A close second is Jimmy and Tam who have been the most consistent couple, endeavouring to meet the brief each week. Some people may blow this away and say it doesn't matter and that the rooms should be just decorated in a contemporary style, but the news is that there are no new styles. All trends rely on elements from past styles. They are certainly never the same and it may at first not be obvious which era they relate to, but styles we love and embrace now invariably can be connected to the past in some way. Of course, we add a contemporary twist and make the look fresh and new and this is where a good designer is worth their money.
A good designer too also listens to the client and works to achieve a look and style that the client will love. That is that they should always keep in mind the client's original brief. This is why judging and marking the rooms should pay attention to this element. This certainly hasn't been the case this week. Read further for the views of the judges and my own.
Harry and Tash Living and Dining Reveal 28 ½ /30
The Judges' views
A stunning result for the Melbourne father and daughter, as they take out their second room win after the Master Bedroom in Week 3 on The Block. All three judges were impressed with the sheer size of the living and dining space in the 1920s House No1, it’s the biggest on The Block. Shaynna loved the sofa from Freedom in the living room and the tables and the chairs. There was a lot of issues with the painting of the huge architectural void with Harry repeatedly clashing with Foreman Keith over it, but in the end the hard work paid off – the judges loved it. Harry and Tash are building confidence as The Block continues, but will it last?
This is a very nice living and dining area that is light and airy but with some nice tonal contrast. I didn't think it should be the winner though. There are no elements of 1920s Art Deco styling and although perfectly nice, I don't see this room as being anything amazing. I do like the generous sized fire and I love the floating stone hearth. The relationship between the kitchen and living area is nice with the grey and timber and I think the area comes together well. It's nice – just not the winner for me.
Daniel and Jade Living and Dining Reveal 28 / 30
The judges' views
The curved wall with its unique texture was something Daniel in particular was very proud of this week. He wanted to show the viewers at home just how easy it is to create such a stunning, individual feature. All throughout the series Daniel and Jade from South Australia have wanted to create a house perfect for the family, and their Living and Dining room was exactly that. The judges thought the two rooms mirrored their kitchen they delivered last week beautifully. Also that Christian Cole table, what a work of art! So once again Daniel and Jade came close to winning the week, but not close enough.
For me, Daniel and Jade's room was the winner. I agree with the judges that it worked beautifully with the kitchen and mirrored it perfectly. My only comment would be that the fire is too small and makes the television look out of place. However they tick so many other boxes in terms of meeting the brief that I feel that Daniel and Jade should have taken out first place this week. The 1920s was all about glamour and luxury. People were getting a taste of the good life. International travel was becoming very popular amongst the monied set and exotic pieces of furniture, rugs and animal skins were on-trend. Curves were also very popular – just seek out a classic 1920s house here in Australia with their gorgeous round walls.
So, the curves were right, there was a taste of luxury and opulence with accessories in animal prints. The whole space works together very well – I just wished the fire was bigger!
Sarah and George Living and Dining Reveal 25 / 30
The judges' views
The fireplace was a huge hit with the judges, but overall it was a mixed week for Sarah and George when it comes to the judging. The white washed bricks were a personal favourite of Sarah, but the judges had mixed feelings. The biggest issue Darren, Shaynna and Neale had was they didn’t feel Sarah and George had that all-important emotional connection. That was the only thing that was really lacking. Sarah in particular took the judges comments to heart, but in reality, they are delivering consistent rooms week after week. They just need to take that extra step and get a win. They certainly deserve it. George would dearly love for his wife to finally get a win as she is taking the judges feedback hard.
I'm not sure what the judges meant about an emotional connection. I thought the room was welcoming and the colour palette stunning. In fact, out of all the contestants, I felt that Sarah and George produced the most approachable and comfortable room. I really like the fireplace as I am a fan of painted white brick and I love the size of the fire and the curved edges of the hearth to tie in with the kitchen. The 1940s is the hardest era to decorate to as so much of it was during the war and at the tailend of the Art Deco period. Post war was a time of optimism in the world though and these gorgeous warm tones with a hint of khaki, fits the era perfectly. The dining table is a little tight but clearly the space in which to design is challenging and tight. Under normal circumstances you wouldn't want the table this close to the seating area.
Related: Painting bricks white
Luke and Jasmin | Week 7| Living and Dining Reveal 24 ½ /30
The judges' views
It was Jasmin’s birthday this week on The Block and all her friends helped her celebrate with a few drinks on site. However it wasn’t to be a week of celebration when it came to the judging. While the judges thought the colour palette was consistent with the rest of the house, they had one major issue – the location of the fireplace in the corner of the room. They did get some ticks for their furniture choice, including their stunning timber table and chairs. Jasmin believes the white on white colour palette will be a hit with the buyers on that all important auction day. Luke and Jasmin definitely have that beachy Hamptons kind of feel down pat as we get closer to the finish line of The Block.
I like Luke and Jasmin's style but they are straying more from the 1910s Art Nouveau / Arts and Crafts style and more into a classic coastal style home. Probably perfect for Brighton, but it doesn't meet the original brief. Overall this is a very pleasing room, but there are two major problems for me. It isn't that the fireplace is in the corner. I actually like this as I'm not a fan of TVs being placed over fires. I feel that the only people who benefit from this trend are the local chiropracters. My problem with the wall overall is that you have the fireplace at one level, the TV at another and then the artwork at another level again. If the fireplace and TV had been more in line with perhaps a larger rectangle artwork, you would avoid the stepped look. The other problem is the track lighting. I thought you only installed this if you were retro-fitting a house and couldn't put in downlights.
I do absolutely love the table and chairs and the gorgeous round pendant which is a nod to the organic curves of the Art Nouveau era. If only it wasn't competing with the black track lighting! I really like the light and airy feel with the timber on the fireplace mirroring the kitchen. Overall a very pleasing and lovely space.
Jimmy and Tam Living and Dining Reveal 21 ½ /30
The judges' views
They have done so well this year on The Block, so last place feels very unfamiliar for Jimmy and Tam from Brisbane. The biggest issue the judges had was that they had no dining room inside House No.5, a big mistake because buyers in Brighton would expect that of a luxury home. Jimmy and Tam did have the smallest space on The Block to work with, but the judges felt between the kitchen and the living and dining room there was still a bit of wasted space they should have utilised. Tam’s styling was on point again, but it wasn’t to be this week for the couple. It will be revealed in coming weeks if they listen to the judges and put in a dining table before auction day.
I agree with the judges that there should have been a dining table, even if it was a smaller round table which can be a good option for limited spaces. The second seating area makes no sense to me and doesn't work with the two rugs next to each other. The kitchen is worth an absolute fortune with the Gaggenau appliances and wine lover's dream storage, so it follows that whoever would live here would want to be able to dine properly – Brighton or not! I do particularly like the fireplace and the way that Jimmy and Tam have continued to decorate with the 1950s retro feel and I feel they should be commended for this. The armchair and floor lamps are exactly right for the period and I like the overall look of the entire space. I think a dining table would revolutionise the space, from both a practical and aesthetic point of view.
What are your thoughts about The Block Living and Dining reveal? Do you agree with me or the judges? I would love to hear your views. In the meantime, if you are building or renovating, I have some comprehensive checklists and free e-books in my Free Resource Library.