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Let’s Discuss the House Rules 2018 Grand Final Decider

house rules 2018 grand final decider reveal kitchen and dining room

I’m not crying. There’s something in my eye. 

OK, so this week’s House Rules 2018 grand final decider was packed with emotion. It contained more tears than my living room during this year’s Eurovision song contest when Jessica Mauboy was clearly robbed simply because Australia is not part of Europe.

You got me this time, House Rules, you got me. This cynical, raging bitch of an at-home judge got emotional. You win this round. But I’m about to win the next one as we discuss this week’s rooms reveals.

The fact that the gorgeous, strong, you-must-be-my-friend-please home owner, Chelsea, lost her husband recently meant that the stakes here were high. The poor woman has been through enough already; she deserved to be delivered some amazing spaces.

Sadly, we didn’t entirely get there. Which has turned my tears into anger. An anger that can only be subdued by… you guessed it… a Bex and a good lie down. But considering I have to write this recap, I’m going to settle for a glass of wine instead. I’ll keep it to one glass until this article is done, I promise.

(I can’t keep that promise).

Inside the House Rules 2018 Grand Final Decider

house rules 2018 give back home reveal hallway house rules 2018 grand final home entryway

Let’s Start with Mel and Dave’s Zones

I feel like Mel and Dave took on a lot this week. They took on more than me at the Sizzler buffet in my mid-teens. Seriously, I think I consumed more cheese toast than anyone should at Campbelltown Sizzler ever has. But that’s another story altogether and there’s no room for it here.

So Mel and Dave had a lot rooms to complete. And I’d like to think that the sheer bulk of work is what resulted in some poor style choices. That’s the slack I’m willing to cut them. I’m kind right?

The entryway is the most logical place to start, and it’s fair to say it didn’t make a good first impression. I don’t even want to say that the wallpaper is bad. In general, I think every piece of decor is a gift from the gods. Never met a piece of decor that I didn’t like (apart from those doll toilet roll holders). It’s always about how and where you use it. And this wallpaper is way too hectic a pattern for such a small space.

The other thing such a heavily-patterned wallpaper calls for is a large artwork that doesn’t pull focus away from it. A cluster of frames plonked on the wall with no sense of order (no matter how sweet the memory inside them is) is definitely not the right thing to do here.

I do love me a bench seat in an entryway (here’s a list of my fave places to get them). But what I did not enjoy was the old boxes underneath. Kinda reminded me of a horror flick.

house rules 2018 grand final home reveal girls room

The Girls Room was Cliched, but that’s not an Insult

I love me the gold Eden bed from Incy Interiors. I had the queen version in my master bedroom a few years back. I even specified this for a client’s little girl’s room just last week. But I knew when I was specifying it that this was absolutely a girly cliche. A gold bed against a pink wall with white bedding and netting around it is possibly the most cliched thing you can do in a girl’s room. That’s not even an insult, it’s just wise to point it out.

We can’t pretend that these room reveals are dropping revolutionary design ideas we haven’t already seen on The Block three years ago. That said, I didn’t mind it. It wasn’t delivering anything we haven’t seen before, but I think they did a decent job here. The wallpaper on the roof is what feels the most like a surprise from a design point of view, so I’ll give them props for that.

I have no doubt that most little girls across the country would adore a room with these base pieces of furniture in it. So from a home-owner point of view, Mel and Dave passed the test.

house rules 2018 grand final home laundry house rules 2018 grand final home reveal ensuite

Someone Explain the Vanity to me

OK, so I hate to be morbid here, but in the home of someone who just lost their partner, installing a vanity with one sink when it’s clearly made for two just seems horrific. Am I wrong? It seems horrible to even mention it, but it’s the first thing I saw. This zone is set up with two mirrors, a power point in the middle of them, and then… one sink.

Everything else in this room works for me from a style perspective, so it’s such a shame about the sink. Did they run out of time? I hope it wasn’t an intentional choice. The styling on such a large, one-basin vanity is absolutely under par, but I like the colours here and the style direction.

The only thing letting this space down majorly is the execution of those wall tiles. Who worked on these? It looks like quite a shoddy job. And the line where the painted wall meets the tiled wall is really disappointing. The pendant lights were gorgeous x 10 though, don’t you think? And I’m also pretty smitten with the floor tiles too.

house rules 2018 grand final home reveal dining room house rules 2018 grand final decider reveal backyard

Boho? More like Bo-NO!

Further up you’ll see a photo of the dining room, which was rather disappointing. Its emptiness and lack of style is what lets it down for the most part. But instead of focussing on that for too long, I do want to turn my attention the worst moment of the week in this home. That ghastly ‘boho’ deck. And I use the term boho rather loosely, because this is a bit of a crime against all things bohemian.

If you wanna see gorg boho done right, this post has you covered.

This is, at best, an ode to a rundown share house back deck. One that has, over the years, accumulated pieces at random without any thought, rhyme or reason. And again, similar to what I said about the entryway, it’s not the individual pieces that are the issue.

I love a boho look. I adore a rattan chair. I get chills over a leather ottoman. But when you throw all of these loud pieces together it just feels too overbearing. A room, like a good girl band, needs some loud and quiet moments. It would be like the Spice Girls having three Scary Spice’s and two Gingers. It wouldn’t work. You need some quieter Baby, Posh and Sporty Spice moments in a band, just as you do a good room.

And can we take a moment to appreciate how seamlessly I worked my favourite girl group of all time into a House Rules recap? You don’t get these insightful nuggets on the other blogs, do you?

This space was a dog’s brekkie at best. If I pulled away 5o pieces there would still be about 20 too many.

house rules 2018 grand final home living room

Toadfish and Mandy, I thought I knew you!

Toadfish and Mandy took on a variety of spaces this week but I’d like to focus on their internal zones. The living room is the first cab off the rank, and I have to say I’m not as keen as I want to be. As the one team that showed a little design potential, they let me down this week.

Can we take a step back for a moment, because I need to ask this: what style were the teams going for here? In the one home we have at least four looks: bohemian, mid-Century, coastal and luxe. That’s four at a bare minimum. Actually, no, wait. I’ve just looked again and we also have Moroccan and art deco. So that’s six interior design styles across the one home.

This home is suffering from Roseanne-level multiple personality disorder.

Now, I’m not saying that you can’t blend styles, but it takes skill. And I don’t need to point out the obvious, so we’ll just say it wasn’t successfully pulled off here.

The living room clearly went for a more mid-Century vibe, but the rug threw things off completely. It just doesn’t make sense here. Drew said it looked like a catalogue, which makes begs the question: which catalogues are you reading? LLB claimed there was clever decorating here, but I don’t think any of the elements work well together.

house rules grand final home master bathroom house rules 2018 grand final home bathroom

Toadfish and Mandy, turns out I do know you!

Alright guys; you got me! I’m going to assume your living room was a practical joke. Because while that wasn’t great, you totally tuned things around in the bathroom. And you turned them around big-time!

The wall tiles in here: crazy. The floor tiles: gimme gimme more. The gold tapware: I’m trying to squeeze in a third Britney Spears song, so how about…I’m a slave for you? I know, it’s a stretch. But I’d probably turn tricks for those sorts of fittings and fixtures, so it kinds works.

I think this room is the best one of the week. Sure, there are still a mix of interior style genres in here, but it’s not so jarring that it doesn’t work. They also have three different tile styles going on in this zone and yet they all work as well.

From a style point of view it’s sublime, but it totally ticks the boxes from a usability perspective as well.

I’m actually not even angry that they used both gold and stainless steel tapware in here. The idea sounds completely bonkers, but when I see it in person it’s actually so wacky that it works.

house rules 2018 give back home master bedroom house rules 2018 grand final decider reveal kitchen

Chiara and David: I think they got a Raw Deal

Now, I promise I’m still on one wine when I say this, but I think Chiara and David’s rooms were better than Mel and Dave’s this week.

When I look over the spaces from this House Rules 2018 grand final decider, I reckon Chiara and David should have been the ones who joined Toadfish and Mandy in the last round.

And sure, the rooms David and Chiara did weren’t amazing. But if we’re comparing, I think Mel and Dave made more style blunders.

Take a look at the kitchen above, for example. We can all agree that the styling here is busier than a Boxing Day sale. It’s kinda the best way to describe this entire season of House Rules, actually: overpacked, schizophrenic styling. But it’s not a terrible zone.

We have a good amount of bench space, we have a lot of room in the pantry. We have space for styling below the corner of the countertop. Of course the styling job here was terrible, but Chelsea will have fun making this kitchen her own. I’m also quite fond of the sink and the tap, and it looks like they have plenty of storage space. All in all, it’s a decent kitchen.

I’d personally replace the splashback for something less chaotic, but that’s just me.

Below, I know… the atrium isn’t getting an award from the Atrium Association of Australia (I just made that up), but you could make it really cute. And in this competition, that’s how we judge now: is it so bad you have to do a lot to fix it? And in this case, the answer is no.

What did you Make of the Grand Final Decider?

You know I need to hear what you thought about the House Rules 2018 grand final decider. I can’t be pulling it all apart on my own.

Drop me a comment below and share your thoughts. I’d love to know which rooms you loved and which you loathed.

Chris Sig

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  • Reply
    Ashleigh K
    24 July, 2018 at 10:00 pm

    I would’ve preferred Chiara and David in the final too. Kitchen splash back was nice but I don’t think it was the right fit for the rest of what they had selected in there.
    Don’t know if it was just how they edited it, but Koa’s bed styling was pretty much copy and paste from the shop Mel bought it from. Hated the deck, nothing else to say on that one.
    Toad n Mandy’s bathroom, LOVE! Bedroom feature wall and lounge, eh.

    • Reply
      Chris Carroll
      25 July, 2018 at 8:03 am

      Yeah, the bathroom was the one moment this week where I thought… GORGEOUS! The other rooms were a bit of a hot mess. Agree about the kitchen splashback. Didn’t work in this space but could see it working in another style of home.

  • Reply
    Kathryn
    24 July, 2018 at 10:43 pm

    I really wish they’d just built the extension, handed the poor girl a big wad of cash, and let her just go for her life. I’m afraid they ruined that beautiful light, bright and relaxed cottage.

    • Reply
      Chris Carroll
      25 July, 2018 at 8:02 am

      So true. A cottage conjures up such lovely imagery to me, yet none of the rooms were truly realised from a design perspective. She’d have to throw so much of the stuff out to make it right.

  • Reply
    Kerry
    25 July, 2018 at 5:58 am

    Even without the mad styling of the Bozo deck, the fact that it was all INSIDE furniture drove me nuts! The judges glossed over the impracticality of this fact but for me it was an absolute fail for that reason alone! All those rugs, leather ottomans, cushions would need to be put inside to protect from the elements. It was clearly a conspiracy by the producers!

    • Reply
      Chris Carroll
      25 July, 2018 at 8:01 am

      Yeah it seemed very odd that the impracticality wasn’t pointed out – or the fact that they were all indoor items.

  • Reply
    Dorian
    25 July, 2018 at 6:57 am

    I actually just snorted at the “you don’t get these insightful nuggets on the other blogs”!

    The kitchen and dining felt cramped to me when I saw it from other angles whilst watching. But I suppose the extension was pre-planned and there wasn’t much to be done about it. If I were Chelsea, I’d even think about adding a larger laundry that leads outside and using that space to open up the kitchen – if she has the financial means later, of course.

    Soooo much shite to bring in if it rains on that boho deck. My daughter cracks up at me when I go screaming hysterically into the rain to rescue the myriad of scarves and sheets she uses to make her outdoor cubby “more bewful”. I’d be cursing the titbags who stuffed my outdoor area full of indoor furniture and textiles like that. There was even a large Freedom leather ottoman Chelsea would have to try and save from rain.

    • Reply
      Chris Carroll
      25 July, 2018 at 8:01 am

      Oh I know – the ottoman! Lovely of course, but could you imagine trying to bring it in yourself. It’s also a shame to think that these suppliers give products to be used on the show that will, in fact, just be thrown away. There’s no way Chelsea will keep all of those pieces outdoors. And there didn’t look to be much room inside for it all. I guess she could sell it on Gumtree?

  • Reply
    Sharon Stanaway
    25 July, 2018 at 8:26 am

    Love love love your critique. Could wait to read it this morning and I think you were bang on. … especially that boho deck. It should have been a huge FAIL. and Mel and Dave gone. Toad and Mandy are strides ahead of the others. Bring on next week… and your next thoughts
    I’m goi g to miss your updates

    • Reply
      Chris Carroll
      25 July, 2018 at 8:33 am

      Oh Sharon you’re too kind. But there’s no need to miss the updates – I’ll be critiquing The Block too, which is only weeks away 😉

  • Reply
    Mel
    25 July, 2018 at 2:39 pm

    I was waiting for someone to comment on the no roof situation on the back deck stuffed knee high with indoor stuff that can’t get wet…..wtf. Talk about giving the poor girl more shite to deal with. Loved the split level addition tho and thought Toad and Mandy killed it in the main bathroom. Where was the door to get out from the laundry to the clothesline, so not practical. Oh and last but not least what was with that kitchen splashback omg, get the tiler back asap!

    • Reply
      Chris Carroll
      25 July, 2018 at 3:09 pm

      haha you make so many good points here Mel. There were a lot of design crimes going on here, but I gotta say – that master bedroom was pretty lush!

  • Reply
    Sharna
    25 July, 2018 at 3:25 pm

    I have never seen this show before, first episode I ever watched. Every single room was painful for look at. So amateur and such a let down. Ouch, this tea is hot.

    • Reply
      Chris Carroll
      26 July, 2018 at 7:48 am

      hahaha this tea burns!!! 😉 Yes, there were some truly diabolical rooms. You should go back and read my other recap posts from earlier reveals. It gets worse!!!

  • Reply
    Shelley
    25 July, 2018 at 8:15 pm

    Way too much going on for me in most of the rooms, small spaces over styled, the guest room felt messy, like grandma had already dropped her stuff off and fled the scene!! Boho blah on the deck, and so unpractical, what happens if it rains out there? That’s a lot of coloured blankets to pick up! I love Toad and Mandy, loved their bathroom wasn’t a big fan of the rest. The lounge didn’t feel cosy for me and the glass table top with a little one – they have twins the same age – what were they thinking!!!! Can they sit at the dining table and the bench at the same time!!? Not possible! Should have put cupboards here for storage instead of an overhang bench given the dining space was so small. Chelsea is an absolute star and I’d love to see what she does with the space now, I bet she has excellent style!

    • Reply
      Chris Carroll
      26 July, 2018 at 7:47 am

      Oh I know. I bet Chelsea has already thrown out or sold everything on the deck and has restyled the rooms completely. She’d have so much work ahead of her, the poor thing. The deck was the biggest moment of criminal design activity for me. So impractical – and it didn’t even look nice. Double whammy!

  • Reply
    Alyssa
    25 July, 2018 at 9:01 pm

    Why did none of the judges comment on how packed that guest bedroom was?? That black chair and footrest didn’t need to be there and neither did the green trunk. Space would have been better used with a closet. I feel like a lot was missed by the judges critc which the owners usually pick up on but Chelsea was so overwhelmed by it all. Think she will have different things to say once she’s lived in the house for a few weeks.

    • Reply
      Chris Carroll
      26 July, 2018 at 7:45 am

      Oh exactly. That’s kinda the flaw in this show. You have someone whose been through so much, and has an admittedly bad home in dire need to begin with, so the end result almost feels like something they can’t complain about. But there were so many impractical moments.

  • Reply
    Rose
    26 July, 2018 at 4:41 pm

    Great summation TLC Interiors.
    What happened to the less is more motto? In my humble opinion I believe they have butchered this beautiful cottage. It is like a great big jumble sale. Chelsea’s style was minimalist and complementary. Great shame that the original pedestal sink was not incorporated back into the reno. There are elements that have been done well however far too shambolic overall. First thing one notices is the entrance, they should have put the fly screen back and also sanded back the putty on the side of the front door. The powers that be behind the scenes should have reeled them all in. This is a classic example of what not to do in renovating a classic home.

    • Reply
      Chris Carroll
      27 July, 2018 at 7:44 am

      I couldn’t agree more Rose. That’s the biggest issue for me too; the (at least) six different interior design styles together in the one home. It’s all very chaotic and messy and Chelsea has a lot of work ahead of her to make it nice.

  • Reply
    Sue Robinson
    27 July, 2018 at 2:09 pm

    I agree with your summation and opinion that Chiara and David’s area was superior to Mel and Dave’s. I thought the judges comments were strategically focused to give the gong to Mel and Dave and my prediction is that the overall win will go them too. The judging on this show is disappointing at best and deliberately targeted at worst.

  • Reply
    Kirrilie
    27 July, 2018 at 7:51 pm

    Loved this blog and the way it’s written with such humour and insight. I agree with you. My first thought about the deck – what happens if it rains?And yes it just looked like everything had been just chucked together. What more can one say?
    I think the best room was Toad and Mandy’s bathroom. Mel and Dave’s really should’ve had two basins. In fact I don’t know why in such big bathrooms there weren’t two basins in both from a functionality point of view and keeping the future in mind.
    Having said all that, It must be difficult making design choices in such a short timeframe.
    It was sad that Chiara and Davud didn’t make it through. They’d come a long way.

  • Reply
    Agent 86
    30 July, 2018 at 4:16 pm

    I’m very pleased to read that you’ll be recapping The Block – that will save me the torture of watching the series!

    Hopefully one of the recaps will present you with the opportunity to tell us more about over-eating cheese toast at Campbelltown Sizzler.

    I do have to disagree with you on the bathroom, but I never understand bathrooms on these home renovation reality TV shows. Why is the toilet never separate? Who really wants to be brushing their teeth, taking a bath or hopping in the shower while someone is occupying the loo? If the spaces were smaller, I’d understand. But, these are large areas which could easily accommodate a separate toilet.

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