The quiet country setting for Toad and Mandy’s 100-year-old farmhouse was rocked this week by House Rules contestants competing hard to keep their place in the competition.
With the final homeowners’ renovation of Toad and Mandy’s tired old countryside farmhouse, the House Rules teams were feeling the pressure to make the most of the last chance to get the best possible score from the judges.
With six renovations already under their belts, this is the final renovation to be completed before one team is eliminated from the competition – whoever finishes this week lowest on the leaderboard will go home.
We know by now that Toad has a heart of gold and it melted on the spot as he handed over the keys to his Bega property and left a complete renovation in the hands of all the teams to save it from dilapidation and disrepair with a transformation for he and Mandy to work and live on the family property with their 16-month-old twins, Layla and Lenny.
Toad & Mandy’s rules:
1. Turn our tired old lady into an elegant homestead
2. Colour with jewel tones
3. Get dark and moody in an Art Deco Master Suite
4. Make a big Blokey Butcher’s kitchen
5. Create a contemporary but classic, bathroom
Bonus Room: Sitting Room
Bonus Room Rule: Make the ceiling shine in a swish sitting room
SA Jess & Jared: (Entry & Laundry)
In the entry the judges were full of praise. They felt Jess and Jared had executed the perfect entry to Toad and Mandy’s home with the light paintwork, bold floral wallpaper above timber-line walls and the addition of fretwork capped off the sense of arrival beautifully. “This is such an incredibly strong part of Australian history,” said judge Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen. Drew thought the white on white brought a freshness to the entry and the furnishing of Jess’s statement bench seat hit the elegant House Rule. Wendy declared, “This feels right.”
In the laundry Jared was inspired to salvage the old concrete tub from the original laundry and this served to answer Mandy’s request to retain the original features of the historic homestead and impressed the judges enormously. The positioning of it beneath the window made the laundry take full advantage of the bucolic views. “This is a great laundry and it’s a beautiful laundry,” said Wendy. Their two gorgeous spaces earned Jess and Jared a total of 25/30 from the judges.
QLD Josh & Brandon: (Bathroom, boot room & hallway)
The chippie brothers had a big zone this week and started by dressing the hallway with an embossed heavily patterned wallpaper which LLB though was awful calling it “grandmother’s knickers” but Wendy and Drew believed the white brightened up a dark space.
In the boot room the judges were underwhelmed with the lack of design and decoration and Wendy felt Josh and Brandon had a “missed opportunity.”
The challenge of the family bathroom urged a call to the brothers’ grandmother for inspiration from her home to hit the “contemporary classic” rule. LLB thought the use of classic tapware and an elegant claw foot bath was lovely and “bang on for the house rules.” Wendy agreed and loved the wall of emerald green tiles, however Drew was not impressed.
The brothers received a total score of 16/30 from the judges.
WA Chiara & David: (Scullery & Lenny’s bedroom)
Chiara felt confident when given the scullery, which Wendy described as a “functionally fantastic space,” but felt that, “It just doesn’t look nice.” Drew agreed calling it “dull” and noted that the statement piece of a handmade timber sign was “a piece of really bad bush art”.
In little Lenny’s bedroom Chiara and David needed to work closely with Mel and Dave this week to share a creative vision across the two adjoining rooms. They chose a graphic geometric wallpaper for the dividing wall and picked up colours to use in bold and playful graphic paintwork on the rest of the walls. The judges were unanimous in their praise and agreed Wendy declared they had answered the house rules. Chiara and David scored 21/30 from the judges.
QLD Mel & Dave: (Dining room & Layla’s bedroom)
Mel and Dave’s zone included Layla’s bedroom and its decoration was an overwhelming success, with the judges applauding the reclaimed brick fireplace with built-in dolls house at the bottom, which Wendy delighted in and LLB called “a triumph”. The bold graphic walls were continued into Layla’s room and the bed matching Lenny’s worked to create a cohesive space – relieving the judges to see two teams working so well together.
Wendy loved the room; Drew called it “cheerful” and LLB thought the exposed brickwork dollhouse was “a triumph.”
In Mel and Dave’s dining room the judges were in love. “Wow!” Wendy declared on entering, saying it deserved a full page in Home Beautiful magazine and that it was, “Right up there with some of the best rooms I’ve ever seen.” The deep emerald wall, the artwork and the tableware all impressed the judges with the decorating confidence used. D Drew lavished high praise on the vaulted cathedral ceiling and Mel’s choice of a big, central country-kitchen-type dining table, while at Homebase LLB stated Mel and Dave “had moved Australian taste forward.” Their efforts scored an unprecedented trifecta of 10s from the judges, landing them a perfect score of 30/30 and put them at the top of the leaderboard.
NSW Kim & Michelle: (Kitchen, master bedroom & bonus room)
The generously sized kitchen and the choice of bold sapphire blue cabinetry was a hit with all of the judges - LLB declared the blue “genius” and Drew thought the stainless steel shelving and white butchers tiles hit the house rules. The choice of stainless steel island bench however disappointed the judges, who expected to see a much larger “character-filled” timber butchers block featured.
In the art deco Master bedroom the upholstered bed with matching blanket box impressed LLB, who believes Kim and Michelle do textiles well; Wendy loved the art deco wallpaper but “things fall apart after that.” The wardrobe was out of context in Drew’s eyes and he felt they needed more storage.
The bonus sitting room will ultimately make or break Kim and Michelle’s standing in the competition. The ceiling did shine as per the house rules, but LLB wanted to see the rich, inky blue of the kitchen on the walls. The judges loved the framed lino Kim and Michelle found under the flooring but that’s where the praise ended. Wendy said, “This, to me, feels like Kim and Michelle at their worst, in the room where they had to be at their best.” The judges total score was 17/30.
VIC Leigh & Kristie (Ensuite & loungeroom)
Leigh and Kristie continue to stand alone in the competition as they refuse yield in negotiations to help any of the other teams achieve their goals. They did win the statement piece this week however with their gold-flecked cow hide, which gave them the biggest advantage yet with two drivers and two handymen to assist them.
In the lounge room the judges agreed the picture window with built-in seat was a winner, as well as Leigh’s handmade timber desk but the love stopped there. LLB described the bold crimson feature wall as “the colour of murder,” and was shocked to see the pair of green mid-century style armchairs placed in the same vicinity. Wendy agreed saying, “It’s just not working for me.”
In the ensuite the judges felt there was way too much decorating going on. Whilst they loved the claw foot bath and choice of deep green scallop tiling in the shower and vanity, which hit the jewel tone house rule. The silver metallic panelling on the walls was just too much however, with Drew calling it “inappropriate,” in what should be a calming space.
Leigh and Kristie scored a total of 18/30 from the judges.
The teams now await Toad and Mandy’s feedback and scores, including the crucial five points to go either way for Kim and Michelle’s bonus sitting room. Ultimately the team who lands on the bottom of the leaderboard will go home.
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