In the final challenge of the competition, both teams faced the enormous challenge of renovating the front yard exterior of each other’s homes in just four days. The judges alone scored the renovations to declare a winner.
Toad and Mandy’s dairy farm property is situated on the New South Wales south coast, where their home was simply perched atop a hillside, bucolic though it was - without any fencing or landscaping at all.
In Hope Island in Queensland Mel and Dave admitted theirs was the worst house in the best street and Toad and Mandy had their work cut out for them to transform a dated brick veneer bungalow into a Hamptons dream.
A gigantic job for both teams to undertake and, despite this being their 11th renovation over the course of the competition it still came right down to the wire in terms of time.
Toad & Mandy’s rules
1. Restore our charming country verandah
2. Create spaces to relax and enjoy the farm
3. Be clever with flowers to add colour
4. Stay together at all times
5. You have 4 days
Toad & Mandy’s verandah was in bad shape so Mel and Dave needed to replace the decking and extend the verandah to hit the ‘charming country’ rule and satisfy the judges. They were determined to bring the grand homestead back to life.
"We are in this comp to win but we really want for the homeowners to be happy."Mel
On arrival in Candelo Wendy’s first impression was that it’s so romantic, “Oh this is lovely, like an idyllic romantic dream,” she said. Drew liked the ‘playful’ detail in the swings. “I think they’ve nailed it,” he said.
"We are here in the grand final because we work hard and we work together well and we have the whole competition."Dave
For LLB the choices in the planting were a plus, “The more we’re in the garden the more the horticulture of these camellias is beginning to be very, very seductive,” he enthused.
Whilst Wendy and Drew liked the exposed timber, with Drew saying, “I’m very happy they’ve been brave enough to do that,” feeling it made the garden contemporary, LLB would have preferred them to be painted.
Wendy liked the hanging chair but LLB felt, “There are so many different design statements,” that he didn’t think were talking to each other.
They all enjoy the garden and the amount of work Mel and Dave have been able to complete in just four days. Wendy said “They have created such a beautiful home and there’s so many things here that I love.”
Mel and Dave wanted to hit the character rule and create a ‘sunset bar’ on the verandah from which Toad and Mandy can look out across the front yard. Wendy was impressed. “The concept to be able to sit here, drink a glass of red and watch the beautiful sunset is just such a thoughtful thing to do,” she said.
Drew said architecturally it’s fantastic. “All the entries have been sorted out, there’s multiple spaces to enjoy the view.”
Wendy said, “I think that Mel and Dave have really given them a run for their money.”
Mel and Dave received a total score of 23/30 from the judges.
‘This competition has done more than just renovate the house," said Mel. "Honestly, it has changed my life. Personally, emotionally and… it will change our future."
“It’s the Grand Final,” said Toad on returning home. “You’ve got to put everything on the table and I think Mel & Dave have done that.”
“At the end of the day we’ve got a brand new house and, you know, it’s the small things in life that count I reckon.”
“Welcome home babe. Welcome home. This’ll do us!”
It wont have to do however, because Toad and Mandy's transformation of Mel and Dave's Hope Island home was judged by LLB, Drew and Wendy as the winner, with a total score of 24/30 putting them ahead of Mel and Dave and declaring them the winners of House Rules 2018.
Mel & Dave’s rules
1. Turn 80’s brown brick into a Hamptons dream
2. Celebrate the water views
3. Use blues, greens and greys
4. Stay together at all times
5. You have 4 days
On Hope Island, both the judges and homeowners arrived to “a dream come true”.
“I’m going to allow myself a ‘golly gosh’,” exclaimed LLB adding, “I feel as if I’ve got in touch with my inner Great Gatsby.”
"I'm very proud of us as a couple. We didn't leave anything on the table and we gave it our all."Toad
Toad & Mandy decided to replace Mel & Dave’s fence to create a ‘wow’ factor and hit the Hamptons rule. Wendy loved the white picket fence saying, “That is the dream,” and said it was a great idea to connect the entrance around to the dining room. “This was an effort well worth it.”
LLB felt that the entrance certainly had a wow factor, “It’s such a motif of New England architecture,” he said adding that, “Having this big punctuation point saying this is where you come in, I think is really very clever and very nicely done as well.”
Drew enjoyed the commanding view from the deck and the upgraded fire pit area saying, “The clever thing they’ve done is actually use up some of the grass to have a bit of depth so that this can turn into a forest.” The water feature out by the driveway was a hit but the judges felt the small cafe chairs and table at the front of the garden were a bit lost.
"From dairy farmers to designers, who would have thought?"Mandy
Mandy’s concerns that their efforts would not be enough for the judges fell to nothing, as the judges felt they nailed the house rules in terms of colour and styling, allowing that they were somewhat, “constrained by the understated style of the Hamptons in itself,” according to Wendy, who loved their choice of colours in the overall design.
Toad and Mandy’s effort to have completely rendered and painted their home in just four days had left the homeowners speechless. “It’s so Hamptons, just like modern Hamptons. The colour is insane. I can’t believe we have this house,” said Mel.
In congratulating Toad and Mandy on their win, host Johanna Griggs confirmed that there will be another season of House Rules in 2019.
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