This week was a hectic race to the finish in Josh and Brandon’s Maryborough home, with some teams pushing it right to the wire.
Blowouts with tempers and time saw the House Rules contestants under enormous pressure to deliver Josh and Brandon’s “ultimate Aussie lads’ pad” on time and on task. In the rush to finish and dress their zones, many design dreams and details were dashed and, for the first time this season, one team didn’t even complete the work on one of their rooms.
The judges were firm that teams must stick to the rules when making decisions in the renovation and whilst some did so, the judges are beginning to ask for more daring choices with their designs.
As usual, there were hits and misses from teams, with the most surprising results in unexpected places and not without drama. “I feel as if I’m being hit by waves of testosterone,” said LLB as he entered the home with fellow judges Drew and Wendy.
Josh & Brandon’s rules:
1. Have fun with the ultimate Aussie lads' pad
2. Use blokey blues and oranges
3. Create cool stuff inspired by our hobbies
4. Give Josh a "rap video" master suite
5. Make Brandon's room "modern bushman”
Bonus room - Music room
Bonus Room Rule – Rock Out
Jess and Jared: (Entry and Dining Room)
The couple took a big risk in the entry, covering one wall in a Route 66 biker-themed mural, which Drew described as “manly” and, whilst it wasn’t hitting the “Aussie lad pad” rule, went down well with Wendy, who loved the perspective and feeling of freedom it brought to the space. Opposite in the entry was Jess and Jared’s clever secret door - hidden behind the wall panelling which the judges said was a really clever idea but poorly executed with a rough finish on the timber.
Hitting the house rule of “Have fun with the ultimate Aussie lads’ pad", Jess was inspired to source an electric guitar signed by rock band AC/DC to use as their statement piece. The couple mounted it on the wall in the dining room but that wasn’t enough to impress the judges after their great effort in the entry – suggesting a bigger impact would have been to paint the entire wall orange. Drew would have liked to see a dropped ceiling or similar feature to define the dining space within the large open plan zone.
Wendy liked the concept of the beer bucket cut-outs in the dining table and felt the pair are ready to challenge themselves now in the design department. Overall they scored 25/40 and are in 4th place on the leaderboard.
Toad and Mandy: (Bar and Study)
In the bar Toad and Mandy’s car grill shelf won the statement piece challenge this week and gave them professional painters to finish their entire zone.
The shelf informed the masculine decorating scheme for the entire bar of moody blues and weathered steel and took pride of place above the bar on the wall, getting the thumbs up from the judges.
Toad built the bar himself with a hardwood slab atop cabinetry covered in corrugated iron and underlit by LED strip lighting. A monochrome hexagonal mosaic tiled splashback completed the look.
The judges were impressed with everything, from the “Kinky bravura,” of the mock-croc wallpaper to Mandy’s quirky guitar light fitting, (though Drew would have preferred it hung a little lower).
“This is absolute genius!” said LLB of the space and Wendy and Drew agreed. “They have such a genius at texture,” said LLB. “I totally, totally love it!”
Behind the secret door in the hallway Toad and Mandy created a snug study with a built in a desk and hit the house rules with colour, painting one wall orange and the other a rich blue, with a third wall featuring a textured timber-effect wallpaper. Drew was disappointed in the layout, however, feeling they could have used the space better. With the timber-look wallpaper and wave board shelf LLB felt they hit the house rules with the “level of blokeyness” and went on to say that ”Toad and Mandy are evolving into a very confident design team.” They scored a total of 26/40 from the judges and Josh Brandon, leaving them in third place on the leaderboard.
Mel & Dave (Lounge Room, Pantry and Bonus Room)
Taking on the extra pressure of the Bonus Room took a toll on the QLD couple, however, with Mel saying she was feeling “Deflated, wrecked and absolutely smashed,” at the end of the week. With time getting the better of them they found themselves unable to complete the bonus “Rock Out” music room.
The judges were divided on the results in the lounge room - Wendy loved the “super comfortable, welcoming sofa that fits perfectly in the space,” and “the skirt of blue” panelling wrapping around the room. Neither Drew or LLB agreed, however, saying the layout didn’t make it a room, but “A corridor with furniture stuck on either side of the wall,” according to Drew.
"This room feels good the moment that you walk into it"Judge Wendy Moore
In the pantry, Mel and Dave decorated with a 1950s rock ‘n roll theme, complete with checkered black and white tiled splashback and the judges were on board – Drew counted the positives as, “Good planning, good storage, great lighting… everything seems to be where it should be.”
The unfinished bonus room fell way short of the judges’ expectations, with LLB saying, “This is not what I want to see from House Rules at this stage of the competition.” They scored 17/30 from the judges and 8 from Josh and Brandon, but didn't receive a pass on the bonus room, losing them five points. They're now at the bottom of the leaderboard and will spend this week in the tent.
Kim and Michelle: (Ensuite and Brandon’s Bedroom)
Michelle became a dab hand at hanging wallpaper this week, but the mother and daughter’s execution showed their lack of time. Having previously won statement piece painters to complete their zones on the last two renovations, they struggled with their paint finishes too and failed to complete their ensuite.
In Brandon’s bedroom, the “modern bushman” rule eluded Drew and he felt the room lacked bedside tables, effort and colour. LLB was excited by the space, however, due to Kim’s statement piece bushman trunk at the end of the bed, and their choice of bed linen and styling was a high for both him and Wendy. Notable too was the choice of black and white for the timber-look wallpaper, which hit the house rule in an understated way.
"This is Kim and Michelle doing what they do well."Wendy
In the ensuite, it was a different story however as Kim and Michelle left the room unfinished. Critical to the success of any bathroom renovation is the layout and the judges felt it was all wrong here. Drew was disappointed they didn’t have more fun with the high tech mirror TV by positioning it in front of the extravagant double spa bath.
Wendy was disappointed with the overall result, saying that whilst Kim and Michelle have continued to impress her with their elegant styling, this time, “They had a great idea and then absolutely no idea of how to execute it.”
Kim and Michelle scored 17/30 from the judges and seven from Josh and Brandon, putting them second last - just missing out on sleeping in the tent this week!
Leigh and Kristie: (Kitchen and Josh’s Bedroom)
“It feels really spacious,” said Wendy but whilst their layout was smart, their choice of a grey colour palette was too tame for the lad pad vibe and the judges felt they hadn’t pushed the boundaries of design, with LLB calling is a “Very, very, very unexciting kitchen.”
“It doesn’t actually answer the House Rules,” said Wendy.
The competitive couple needed to give the brothers a bedroom fit for a bling king with their own House Rule of, “Give Josh a "rap video" master suite”. Their coffered ceiling, oversized chandelier and witty touches of orange impressed the judges, as did the idea, rather than the execution of the luxurious upholstered wall.
Drew described the room as “Luxurious, opulent and silky.” They were scored 19/30 by the judges and eight from Josh and Brandon, putting them in second place.
Chiara and David: (Bathroom and Walk-in wardrobe)
After a tough week in the competition, the hot-headed couple waited nervously for the judges’ comments.
LLB called the walk-in wardrobe “The shrine of the modern dandy,” and was impressed with the couple borrowing the rapper theme from the adjoining mastersuite.
The dramas installing the mirrored panels on the front of the statement piece chest of drawers paid off however, as did the mirrored Perspex and statement light fitting in the raised ceiling. The results wowed the judges, both with the design and functionality of the space.
"I really like it when spaces like walk-in wardrobes or laundries - things that are about functionality - get hit with the design stick so successfully,"Laurence Lewellyn Bowen
David’s flash idea in the bathroom to feature GT racing stripes in the shower tiling and continue up across the ceiling in paint was a hit! It drew rave reviews from with the judges, who loved the symmetry and described their design as “Really exciting.”
“This is incredibly good decorating,” said LLB. “We’re dealing with a team here who are happy to break the mould.”
They received the top score from the judges and seven points from Josh and Brandon so are currently sitting at the top of the leaderboard with 30 points.