The House Rules competition reached fever pitch last night as the final three teams battled for a place in the grand final – competing in the complete transformation of a tiny cottage into a forever home for recently bereaved Chelsea and her daughter Koa.
NSW couple and childhood sweethearts Chelsea and her husband Wayde had applied as contestants in this season of House Rules – dreaming of transforming their tiny cottage in Wollongong into their forever home.
With the sudden and tragic loss of Wayde in a fishing accident shortly after submitting their House Rules application, Chelsea’s hopes were dashed and life took a very different turn.
Enter the House Rules teams, with a mission to realise the dreams Chelsea and Wayde shared for the renovation of their home, by doubling it in size and splitting the renovation between the three remaining teams: Toad and Mandy, Mel and Dave and Chiara and David – all contending for a place in the Grand Final next week.
1. Combine coastal cottage with mid-century modern
2. Use tans, teals and mustards
3. Create thoughtful space for Koa
4. Include memories of Wayde
5. Finesse with warm metallics
Bonus room: Outdoor deck
Bonus room rule: Be creative with a colourful boho haven
Mel & Dave: (Entry, ensuite, Koa’s bedroom, dining room, laundry and bonus room)
In the entrance hallway Wendy loved the niche and said the wallpaper answered the house rules with its clever incorporation of warm metallics in the pattern. LLB said the mix of styles “is where it goes a bit wrong for me,” and would have preferred to see the walls painted in a similar warm grey to work more closely with the wallpaper.
In Mel and Dave’s laundry Wendy and LLB were both in love – Wendy admired the tiles in the splashback and all agreed the space worked well, however Drew would have preferred more accessible linen storage.
The ensuite got mixed reviews from the judges, with praise from LLB for “stepping outside their comfort zone,” with wide windows in the top and bottom of the shower recess and the choice of white subway tiles with dark grouting.
Whilst the dining room used the space well with the built-in bench seating and mid-century dining table, the judges felt Mel and Dave had slipped up a little in realizing the full potential of the comfort factor, particularly in upholstery.
In completing the bonus room deck Mel and Dave completed the biggest zone ever achieved in house rules and whilst the judges felt they hit the boho decorating rule, which LLB called “exciting and invigorating,” with layers of colourful textured rugs and plenty of cushions on a comfy outdoor lounge setting, Wendy and Drew felt the layout could have been improved.
Mel and Dave scored a total of 24/30 from the judges, plus a pass for the Bonus room which left them at the top of the table and with a place in the Grand Final.
NSW Toad & Mandy (Front exterior, master bedroom, bathroom and loungeroom)
In their tasteful makeover of the homes front exterior, Toad and Mandy impressed the judges, who admired the subtle changes to the colour scheme, the addition of the little window awning and the pair of armchairs placed on the verandah for quiet contemplation. “This is why we love Toad & Mandy” said LLB.
The loungeroom formed part of the new section of Chelsea’s home and Toad and Mandy had done some “Clever decorating” according to LLB, with mid-century style furnishing and plenty of colour in wallpaper, rugs and layered soft furnishings.
The bathroom was a triumph. Drew said, “It’s perfect,” and all of the judges were impressed with Toad’s handmade timber screen which hit the mid-century rule and curtained the view of the toilet from the entrance. The tiled feature wall behind the freestanding bathtub was “stunning,” according to Wendy.
In the master bedroom LLB praised the “colour confidence” and the way they curated the memories of Wayde in a “respectful and tactful way.” Mandy’s idea of the gold linear wall feature behind the bed didn’t work for Drew.
Toad and Mandy scored a total of 24/30 from the judges which saw them go straight into the grand final.
WA Chiara & David: (Hallway, guest bedroom, kitchen, and atrium)
In the hallway Chiara’s last-minute pendant lighting won praise from Wendy but the judges were nonplussed by the rest of the decorating.
In the guest bedroom Chiara and David certainly hit the boho rule with lots of colour and decoration but the judges felt they had overdone the styling, with Wendy suggesting “take a step back.”
The vertical garden and plants in the atrium were admired by the judges who felt there was a missed opportunity to realise more of a play area for Koa, as Chelsea would have a direct line of sight to the space from the kitchen and inside.
Chiara’s beloved kitchen was a hit with all of the judges - LLB and Wendy loved the “strong blue” cabinetry and the rose gold tapware. Drew praised the “good plan” of the compact kitchen. It felt “generous, welcoming and loving” for LLB.
Chiara and David scored a total of 20/30 from the judges, which unfortunately left them at the bottom of the leaderboard and without a place in the grand final. After a teary farewell the couple left the competition.
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