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Inside the House Rules 2018 Auction Home Reveal

We’ve officially reached my fave time of year; reno show reality TV season. The time of year where we all sit around and judge the work of other people, insist we can do a thousand times better, but never ever audition! I love it.

This week, things kicked off as the judges walked through the House Rules 2018 auction home reveal. And as you’d have noticed, it was obviously sponsored by the team at Gillie and Marc. Because in every room, there was Gillie and Marc.

That’s not to say we shouldn’t call out the other shows sponsor, Florence Broadhurst. Because Florry (I call her Florry) was also sprawled across every inch of the home. This is all allegedly of course. But it’s quite clear the teams were given specific instructions; if a room does not feature Gillie, Marc, or Florry… you will be forced into a tent for the week.

Now that we’ve workshopped my issues with brands being so overtly shoved in our faces, let’s chat the season’s first reveal. Because save for a few spaces in the auction home, there was a lot to be desired.

house rules 2018 auction house entryway | TLC Interiors house rules 2018 auction house ensuite with florence broadhurst wallpaper | TLC Interiors

house rules 2018 auction house living room | TLC Interiors

Kim & Michelle’s Entry, Ensuite and Loungeroom

I’m gonna give the girls some props for the entryway, because I do like what was going on here. The wall was quite divine, the sideboard was equally outstanding, and I didn’t mind the styling on top of it either.

The Gillie and Marc artwork set the tone for the home; it suggested we’d be seeing it in almost every room. But apart from that, I was on board with this space.

Things didn’t get better from there for the pair. When it came to the ensuite, I have to disagree with LLB, who claimed the wallpaper was used in a really clever way. It wasn’t. It looked terrible in the space and the bathroom could have retained a nice sense of light and airiness without it. In a room like this it made no sense. Without the wallpaper, I would have been OK with the bathroom. It’s not mind-blowing, but it’s a lovely room.

The living room is where things went haywire. I don’t even know where to start. Every room needs one focal point that draws your eye, but this room had many. And it resulted in a space that felt quite chaotic.

There were way too many conflicting patterns and colours here. None of them made sense together stylistically. There are also way too many sharp lines. The room needs more calm and fluidity.

The feature wall behind the TV I have no words for. Actually, sorry, I do: innapropriate.

house rules 2018 auction house bedroom with fauc fur cushions | TLC Interiors

Josh & Brandon’s Bedroom

Josh and Brandon’s bedroom is an area we can learn a lot from. As with the living room, there are too many focal points in this space, and your eye doesn’t know where to land first.

The major issue here is what’s going on with the walls. You have three walls, all with major moments happening on them. There’s just not enough negative space (or visual lows) for your eye to rest on. I would have taken away the Gillie and Marc artwork and spent the week in the tent as punishment. The artworks behind the head of the bed were far better and they made more of a moment of the ensemble bed.

I don’t think the wallpaper on the opposite wall was necessary. If they were intent on using wallpaper (which I’m all for), they could have put this behind the bed and chose some simple black and white artworks to go over it.

LLB had a moment over the bed styling, but I think the ‘granny’ cushion is the least of the worries here. As with all of the beds I see on this show, they’re just not full enough. They need more pillows, thicker quilts, better throws. It all just feels a bit flat. This is how you style a bed!

house rules 2018 auction house kitchen | TLC Interiors house rules 2018 auction house master bedroom | TLC Interiors

Toad & Mandy’s Kitchen & Master Bedroom

Despite Toad not being Toadfish from neighbours (I would have really appreciated that), I do have to bow down to him and Mandy for pulling off the home’s second-best space: the kitchen.

I know Drew and LLB disagreed about this space, but I gotta side with LLB on this one; it’s divine. I get the impression Drew wants all the spaces to have some sort of old-world, rustic Australiana charm, but I’m not down with that in a kitchen and I think this space feels cool and contemporary. I’m obsessed with the splashback tiles, I love the black pendants, I like the shelving on the wall.

Toad and Mandy deserved a win for this space alone.

But then there was the master bedroom, which is when I lost all respect for a man whose name is Toad. Things were really quite out of sorts here, weren’t they? And once again with all contestants on this show, they tried to pack in too many ideas.

Size and scale are the things Toad & Mandy needed help with here. Those artworks are too large for the space either side of the bedroom window. The lamps were not large enough for the bedside tables, and the rug was too big for the room.

I’m also confused as to why one pendant was installed near the window, rather than having two gorgeous pendants over the bedsides. This is a master bedroom, but it doesn’t feel like one.

house rules 2018 auction house dining room | TLC Interiors house rules 2018 auction house laundry | TLC Interiors

Jess & Jared’s Dining Room and Laundry

Jess and Jared’s dining room had great furniture in it. It’s a shame it was ruined by such bad styling. The dining table is a dream come true. I even love the chairs. The pendant light is a nice glam moment too. Though it doesn’t fit in with the rest of the house, which featured no glamour at all.

It’s a shame when spaces are independently OK, but they don’t gel with the rooms right beside them. This was the case here for J&J, because the hectic living room really dragged their dining room down. I feel like they tried to style the dining room to tie in with the living room and it was a major mistake. You don’t need throws on a dining chair. And the table setting was appropriate for a kids playroom but not an adult space.

I did quite like the wallpaper and mirror though. I think J&J will show promise in this competition because they have the fundamentals right (great concept, the scale is good, the colours are on-point), but the finishing touches have let them down. Once they learn to edit more and leave things be, they’ll shine.

Now, onto the home’s most amazing room: the laundry! I’m awarding this area my own private medal. The tiles alone are giving me severe heart palpitations, but when paired with the cabinetry and handles, the whole room is a winner.

I mean, sure, the clothes hangers are completely inappropriate where they are, but you can easily take them away. A little shelf built in here for some towels would have been nicer.

house rules 2018 auction house guest bedroom

Mel & Dave’s Bedroom

As I’m not a landscape gardener, I’m not going to judge the backyard that Mel and Dave created (it was nice). But I would like to talk through some things we can learn from the bedroom.

There were a few missed opportunities here. The room is a really small one, first and foremost, and I don’t think they made it feel any larger. I actually think they made it feel even more cramped.

An ensemble bed would have taken up less visual space here. That’s the first thing I’d change. Then, I’d place a round side table next to the bed. The one they installed above is so dangerous. And it makes the room feel cramped.

The colour palette is also a little frantic. That’s not to say you can’t do colour in a small space, but they should have stuck to one colour and explored different shades of it. A white backdrop with blue moments would have been more soothing here.

The mirror is an unfortunate afterthought and looks very out of place. The large artwork is also a miss.

house rules 2018 auction house bathroom with black bath | TLC Interiors house rules 2018 auction house bathroom bird artwork | TLC Interiors

Chiara & David’s Bathroom

The bathroom is rightfully a wow space, so I can see why the judges were gushing over it. The finishes were quite lovely. I do like the dramatic tiles on the floor. And I believe they did a great job with the choice of wall tiles as well.

But there’s something about it I’m not sold on. The scale of the room seems off to me. There is a tonne of space dedicated to a bath, but such a small area dedicated to the vanity. I would have appreciated them taking the vanity all the wall across to the wall of the shower and having a toilet recess built into it. That way, you’d have a lot more vanity space to play with. And they could have extended the mirror all the way across too.

The bird artwork is too large for that wall and completely impractical, especially considering it’s placed where a towel rail should be. I’d also appreciate a round timber stool or table beside the bath to tie this zone into the timber top on the vanity.

house rules 2018 auction house nursery | TLC Interiors

Leigh & Christie’s Nursery

I don’t even have kids and I long to decorate a nursery. There is just so much you can do with a room like this to make it feel charming, playful, inviting and whimsical. Sadly, Leigh and Christie did none of that.

There’s not a whole lot to say about it, really, apart from the fact that it’s disappointing. There’s no love or life going on here. No heart or soul. They plonked a big piece of furniture in the room, hung a pendant that doesn’t fit the scheme and called it a day.

Given that there’s so much light flooding into this room, it would have been such a nice idea to roll with that etherial vibe. This is a great example or a kids nursery, and they should have gone with a scheme like that.

house rules 2018 week one leaderboard

What did you think about the House Rules 2018 Auction Home Reveal?

I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below. What did you make of the House Rules 2018 auction home reveal?


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Chris Carroll

Outside of writing this blog, Chris is an interior designer, presenter and author. He’s also spent time on TV, on Channel 10’s Changing Rooms, as well presenting segments on Channel 7’s Sunrise and The Morning Show. If you’d like to book a design consult with Chris, you can find out more here

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2 Responses

  1. They should be hiring you right now!!! Everything you said is just so spot on apart from a few personel style preferences I agree with pretty much every thing you said.

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I’m interior designer Chris Carroll, and at TLC Interiors we’re all about helping you create an amazing home without breaking the bank. It’s affordable designer style at its best, and we make the whole process easy and fun for clients & readers alike!

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