In the biggest design challenge in House Rules history, teams were asked to all work together on the same house from the very beginning, after House Rules purchased a house in Sydney’s Rosebery for them to completely transform - then auction for the competition prize money.
The teams rose to the challenge with stunning design and decoration, hitting the House Rules one after the other. Some faired better than others with the judges and following glowing feedback, WA's Chiara and David ended on top of the leaderboard with a whopping 24/30 points for their transformation of the bathroom and the backyard.
The judges loved the bathroom transformation, with Wendy saying “People will buy this house because of the bathroom!” We love the use of the monochromatic tiles, taken from the floor right up to the ceiling behind the freestanding bathtub. Organic slim-line tiles in all white covered the remaining walls, with a colourful choice of artwork on the facing wall praised for having just the right amount of colour.
In the backyard Chiara and David answered the rule to “play with spaces” on the deck and in the carport. Laurence was impressed, saying of the deck, “This feels like an extension of the living space, and you’re invited to come and play. When a deck space works, that’s exactly how it should be.” Drew loved the dining table in the carport and the use of space. “I think they’ve had a lot of fun with it. If this team is going to continue doing strange things like this, eventually they’re going to have some huge successes.”
The open plan living spaces worked beautifully together downstairs, with the teams managing to meet the rule to “create contemporary luxury in a “café cool” home”.
Team SA Jess and Jared finished second on the leaderboard, kicking goals in the dining room and first floor hallway – working with clever finishes to demarcate the dining zone – a stunning marble-topped elliptical dining table fit the space perfectly and, together with curved upholstered dining chairs impressed Wendy, with LLB loving the “kinky, vintage, metro” light fitting overhead.
All of the judges were impressed with Jess and Jarod's design and efficient use of space in the laundry.
At the top of the stairs they cleverly fit an office nook, which impressed the judges, Wendy saying that “This shows a real skill and an eye for colour and styling”.
NSW's Kim and Michelle tied for second place with their full wall of Florence Broadhurst wallpaper in the ensuite answering the House Rule and wowing the judges. “Genius…” said LLB. “This is so what I was hoping to see, Florence Broadhurst, colour, but used in a really clever way.”
In the loungeroom the judges were more impressed by the use of space than the styling, with Drew saying “I do really like the space. I think it’s really quite good, and I like the plan of the space”.
Team NSW Toad and Mandy, now in fourth place impressed with their "café cool" kitchen choices, “I’m a little bit in love with Toad and Mandy,” said LLB. “I like it a lot…This is adding zeros to the house.”
In the master bedroom however, Wendy was underwhelmed the the plain Florence Broadhurst wallpaper chosen for the ceiling and was looking for more colour. “This is a design icon who’s known for luxurious rich colour, but they’ve gone with this boring grey…I just think that’s a huge missed opportunity.”
Whilst Wendy loved the versatility of VIC's Leigh and Christie's nursery, Drew disagreed with the furniture choices, preferring instead the use of Aussie timbers. “I’m absolutely sick of seeing these pine pots and nursery bedding things…,” he stated. “Can’t we just be a bit more adventurous and start making things out of some Australian hardwoods rather than all this Nordic stuff?”
Outside they impressed with judges with Leigh’s carpentry skills on the front exterior, with LLB saying that now “It’s got huge curb appeal.”
After a disastrous start gluing concrete slabs to the wall the wrong way around, QLD's Josh and Brandon’s carpentry skills prevailed with theiQLDr stunning staircase. Drew was very impressed, saying “It’s using the raw materials, that’s the key to using these great Australian hardwoods. They’ve obviously got carpentry skills.”
Featuring timber treads and a slatted balustrade climbing upwards to the ceiling, the staircase provided for safety and great design in the shared space. “These fabulous beams just open the whole house up,” said Wendy.
The judges were less impressed with Josh and Brandon's bedroom however, “This is a bit hosh posh for me," tutted LLB. "I’m not loving it…This is a very old-looking cushion, seriously a granny died on that.”
Finally, QLD's Mel and Dave finished at the bottom of the leaderboard despite the success of their raised garden, which created an “oasis in the city,” according to Wendy. In their bedroom however, Wendy said the QLD couple missed an opportunity for storage under the bed.