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  • Writer's pictureJessica Taylor Yates

The Block Recap: First Challenge Bedroom Week

With lockdown despair never ending, let's sit and judge how other people design their homes from our second-hand couches.

It's watch this or cry into my pillow, so... Image: Nine.


Better late than never!


TV renovation juggernaut The Block is back, and what perfect timing, considering the gaping hole l̶o̶c̶k̶d̶o̶w̶n̶s ̶a̶n̶d̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶w̶i̶l̶l̶ ̶t̶o̶ ̶l̶i̶v̶e̶ the Olympics has left in prime-time viewing. If you missed last week cos you thought you would be out living your life and are now coming to the crushing realisation that it's not gonna happen and need to catch up, STAT, then WELCOME!


I'm back as your resident unskilled, unqualified WFH Judge to say what we are all REALLY thinking from our own Facebook Marketplace sofas, like, why are there reality stars on there, and what's wainscotting? So let's get right into it, Armchair Judges!

This year, the renovation series is focused on ‘Fans vs. Faves,’ featuring three new couples, and two c̶o̶u̶p̶l̶e̶s̶ ̶w̶h̶o̶ ̶c̶l̶e̶a̶r̶l̶y̶ ̶h̶a̶v̶e̶ ̶a̶n̶ ̶u̶n̶f̶a̶i̶r̶ ̶a̶d̶v̶a̶n̶t̶a̶g̶e̶ Block veteran couples. The five teams will compete as they build and style homes in Melbourne’s beachy w̶a̶n̶n̶a̶b̶e̶ ̶B̶r̶i̶g̶h̶t̶o̶n̶ Hampton area over the next few months. The houses are all fairly huge, only one is double storey, and they all have attics (serous q: why don't all homes have these? They're always on House Hunters and I get mad fomo for what I could do with the space, like if I want to start an underground break-dancing troupe or whatever). This welcome challenge will decide who gets which place.


In last Sunday’s premiere (it was a battle between this and the Olympics Closing Ceremony, but considering the Opening Ceremony, I went with the former and stand by it), we were introduced to our new teams and their first challenge. They were to build and style a bedroom over two days, with a budget of $5000. So, how did they do?


The Block Reveals – Challenge Bedroom Week


Josh and Luke, NSW

We came here to party, throw your hands up everybody! Image: Nine.


The twins from Love Island 'fame' (?) may not be designers by trade (is anyone on the show, at this point?), but that hasn’t stopped the 'BoiZ' g̶e̶t̶t̶i̶n̶g̶ ̶s̶h̶i̶r̶t̶l̶e̶s̶s̶ ̶a̶t̶ ̶a̶n̶y̶ ̶o̶p̶p̶o̶r̶t̶u̶n̶i̶t̶y̶ having a red-hot crack at winning a fortune on the world’s most prosperous competition. Look, to be fair, who wouldn't? But I was NOT digging the twins 'tude.


During the week (which I barely watch cos it's basically manufactured drama for entertainment and I can make that in my own relationship) the country singer chick (names will come, I guess) spotted them flagrantly cheating. They were getting their tradie to help with the painting, which as all Blockheads know, is a huge f*cking no-no. Like, I'm sure it was Rule #1 on your contract BoiZ, but they were prob too busy posting this for Insta:

I'm not saying I'm mad, I'm just saying it happened. Image: Luke Packham Instagram.


Anyway. Instead of being like 'Yeah sorry, we f*cked up,' they gaslit her into thinking she was being a nerd/tattle-tail/dibber-dobber/tantrum thrower. Um, there's like $300-400K up for grabs mate, fair enough that she's not keen on you pocketing it by cheating when she could be at the rodeo rn, cheers!

Anyway. My fuming feminst rant aside, you're not here for pics of shirtless twins (or maybe you are, no judgment) you're here for the room!

I do like a desk slash area to throw keys and Cherry Ripe wrappers on, and am partial to a Kmart print or 50. Dammit, they're fulfilling all my cheugy needs rn. Image: Nine.


The BoiZ made a r̶o̶o̶k̶ mistake by spending a large chunk of their 5K on a window with no curtains. (Haha classic mistake! We say and laugh at the TV, while our plastic blind cords stay as raveled as the day you got them with the place 20 years ago), meaning a lot of their styling became somewhat 'scaled back.' (Read: really weird mismatch of op-shop 'vintage nana chic' and 2003 BoiZ GameZ Room).


The judges – interior designers Neale Whittaker, Shayna Blaze and Darren Palmer – (note: wouldn't a real estate agent, a builder and a designer give more varied and helpful feedback along with me at home?) loved the window, but found the LED lighting around the bedroom a little ‘Love Island-esque.' To be fair, I am very partial to a party light, in fact I made my husband buy me one of those bedroom disco lights that said for ages 18 months + on the packaging for my 33rd birthday, but once they said it, fair point. Not a lot of shut eye happening in this joint - and that's not just the night terrors from the green backsplash.


Good: One aspect I"ll pay dues to is that the BoiZ managed to include an office/dressing space, a big trend brought on by Covid-19 and likely to stay b̶e̶c̶a̶u̶s̶e̶ ̶n̶o̶o̶n̶e̶ ̶c̶a̶n̶ ̶a̶f̶f̶o̶r̶d̶ ̶a̶ ̶s̶e̶p̶e̶r̶a̶t̶e̶ ̶o̶f̶f̶i̶c̶e̶ ̶s̶p̶a̶c̶e̶ for years to come.


WFH Judge: 6/10 for the wood work and the fact that you can take the BoiZ out of the Di$co...


Tanya and Vito, VIC

Just hand over the hair dye and your entire closet and noone gets hurt, new Style Queen! Image: Nine.


The loveable, colourful make-up artist Tanya and her partner, barber slash window furnisher and not the other way around Vito, decided to insert some of their personality in their room. This can sometimes be met with heinous consequences (the infamous Crime Scene Bedroom, anyone?) and they almost forgot a window (even though Vito’s profession is window furnishings, but I get it hun, no-one likes to bring their work home). That said, they came out strong, with a coral and lilac palette, wooden cladded bedhead (?), drop down lighting and handmade artwork, I was like, Yass Queen, best bedroom SORTED. FIN.

Unfortunately it was not boring enough for the In-Person Judges. Image: Nine.


Shockingly, my colleagues w̶e̶r̶e̶ ̶c̶o̶m̶p̶l̶e̶t̶e̶l̶y̶ ̶w̶r̶o̶n̶g̶,̶ ̶h̶o̶w̶ ̶e̶m̶b̶a̶r̶r̶a̶s̶s̶i̶n̶g̶ disagreed, stating that overall, the room lacked cohesion and was 'over styled'. AT LEAST IT HAD SOME STYLE FFS WE ARE SICK OF WHITE ROOMS THAT ONLY HAVE A THROW AND NOTHING ELSE!


Good: Everything! I thought this was a such a fresh palette of light and shade, quality craftsmanship (?) and originality. So bored of minimalism I could (almost) get up from the couch and tweet about it. Almost.


WFH Judge – 9.5/10. To my In-Person Judges: it's called taste sweetie, look it up.

Kirsty and Jesse, NSW

My little pocket rocket must be protected at all costs. Image: Nine.


The country singer and her partner the videographer were a bit full on for me at first, but I did a full 180 and became Team Country when the BoiZ were rude to the chick in the cowboy hat, and now I feel a need to protect her and her fringe coated-vests at any cost. Also, short ladies need to stick together, so that we can climb on each other's shoulder to reach the glass cupboard and top shelf liquor.


Our friends from Wangi Wangi (?) decided to come in with their own country flair, styling a room in hues of blue and white (note: no horse pics allowed). Whilst it may have given off ‘old country manor’ vibes to some (read: snooze), the In-Person Judges were impressed, enjoying the detail that was put into the wainscotting on the walls (*Googles wainscotting...*), a paneled feature wall and traditional colour palette.

I guess you would have no trouble getting to sleep… Image: Nine


Tbh, was a bit borza for mine, akin to room I would stay in at my aunt's abandoned country house in like, the town of Dargo in regional Vic. However, the divide between my colleagues and I was stepped up a notch when the In-Person Judges frothed, with Shayna adding that it would ‘sell off the charts,’ even if the paintwork was a bit shite, or as I like to call, 'to my standard.'


WFH Judge: Boring, but I get it – 7/10


Overall, the Country Manor won; so the country kids chose the only double storey place for the comp. I get this from the outset, cos in minds of everyone who grew up in the 90s, stairs = rich (for a list of what else = rich, we prepared this for you earlier). But also, seems like sooo much extra work. Run from that shit.


Our Blockheads have since been joined by o̶l̶d̶ ̶c̶o̶n̶t̶e̶s̶t̶a̶n̶t̶s̶ ̶w̶h̶o̶ ̶a̶r̶e̶ ̶h̶a̶p̶p̶y̶ ̶t̶o̶ ̶r̶u̶f̶f̶l̶e̶ ̶a̶ ̶f̶e̶w̶ ̶f̶e̶a̶t̶h̶e̶r̶s̶ fan favourites and professional renovators Mitch and Mark (of 2019 ‘Oslo’ Block fame) from NSW, and WA’s Ronnie and Georgia (from 2017’s Elsternwick season). It’s sure to throw a spanner in the works when fans vs. faves – who will come out on top? And more importantly, whose teeth will decay first from having McCafe every day?


Until next week, Armchair Judges!


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