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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.