1. Home
  2. Blog
  3. News + Media
  4. The House Rules 2018 Mel and Dave Reveal: Hamptons Horror
house rules 2018 mel and dave reveal entryway with hamptons wallpaper

The House Rules 2018 Mel and Dave Reveal: Hamptons Horror

The House Rules 2018 Mel and Dave reveal certainly revealed a few things, didn’t it?

Not only were rooms revealed, but the teams’ inability to understand what a Hamptons scheme is was also uncovered. I shouldn’t say all of the teams, actually, because some did deliver. The rooms really were at opposite ends of the spectrum though, weren’t they? For the most part you either got an amazing space or an absolutely diabolical one. There wasn’t a lot of middle ground.

It’s interesting timing for this reveal considering I just wrote a post this week on how to pull together a modern coastal look (the images are breathtaking). It seems like that’s what the teams tried to do in Mel and Dave’s home, but so many spaces fell short.

I’ve also posted before on how to ditch all those Hamptons cliches and give yourself a contemporary Hamptons space. So do check that post out if you love a Hamptons look and want to rock it correctly at your place. But if you’re here solely for room reveal truth bombs, you’re in luck – because I got loads for you! Let’s dive right into the House Rules 2018 Mel and Dave reveal episode.

house rules 2018 mel and dave entryway in hamptons style house rules 2018 mel and dave ensuite with white tiles and black tapware house rules 2018 mel and dave reveal sitting room

Josh and Brandon’s Hallway, Ensuite and Sitting Room

It’s fair to say that Josh and Brandon’s entryway is the best room we’ve seen on House Rules 2018 thus far. I know, that’s a big call, but it had so many things going for it.

I’m so impressed with it I feel I need to list out its best bits:

  • The wallpaper is a Hamptons dream come true and you should get some
  • The wall sconces scream modern Hamptons and I need all of them
  • You can’t tell me you’re not gushing over the wainscoting here!
  • The artwork brings a modernity to the room which was much-needed
  • The flooring is giving me life and I’m dying over it at the same time

Things in the ensuite were also impressive. It’s a wonderful room. Is it Hamptons? Not really. But I’m grateful they didn’t take it in a cliched direction. The black tapware against the crisp white backdrop provided a nice contrast. It reminds me a lot of this stunning bathroom I posted about recently. So awe-inspiring!

Now, the sitting room is where things went horribly, horribly wrong. Grandma called from 1960 and she wants her great grandmother’s furniture back. Now, don’t come at me; old furniture styles can be glorious and I’m actually all for them. But this scene is not Hamptons. It looks like a salvage store.

LLB summed the sitting room up perfectly and I think he might be my spirit animal.

“It’s like a downward spiral,” he said. “It’s like a vortex into total, and utter, dull hideousness. It looks as if it’s the corner of a little old peoples’ home where little old people come to die”.

house rules 2018 mel and dave reveal hamptons kitchen house rules 2018 mel and dave kids bedroom with beach mural

house rules 2018 mel and dave reveal bonus room outdoor area with hamptons table and chairs

Toadfish and Mandy’s Kitchen, Kids Bedroom and Bonus Room

Yes, I’m still calling him Toadfish and I have no intentions of stopping. I need a Channel 7 and Network 10 crossover where the real Toadfish comes to visit the set and lends a hand.

Just like the Paula Abdul song, it was a case of one step forward, two steps back this week for Toadfish and Mandy. They delivered a Hamptons style kitchen first up, which ticked loads of boxes for me, so let’s start with that.

Admittedly, the kitchen was a little too cliched-Hamptons for my taste, but it was still a light and bright space with a lot of nice design moments. I loved the cabinetry and its handles. I loved the stools, I loved the pendant light. I’ll even give them props and say that their styling was great. For once, a team on House Rules 2018 did not over-stuff a room! Cheers to that.

What I would have changed about the kitchen is this:

  • The splashback tiles were a little expected and too cliched
  • I’d replace them with a tinted mirror splashback – so chic!
  • The tapware was a letdown here. They needed something like aged brass
  • Sorry LLB, I’m not keen on the bright blue bench. It’s too juvenile.

While the kitchen was rather impressive overall, Toadfish and Mandy clearly ran out of creative juices, because the kids bedroom was ugly.com/scrapitandstartagain! It’s just ghastly and proves that people, for the most part, have no idea how to style kids rooms so that they speak to the child but still feel designed.

The outdoor area had little-to-no thought put into it either. It feel like they Googled “Hamptons outdoor setting” and ordered the first thing that popped up. Job done.

house rules 2018 mel and dave reveal powder room with blue and white wallpaper house rules 2018 mel and dave living room hamptons style

Jess and Jared’s Powder Room and Lounge Room

All of the judges loved the powder room that Jess and Jared delivered for Mel and Dave. Me… I’m not so keen on it. Such a small space like this one can have a wow moment with wallpaper, but they chose the wrong style.

If they had of gone for a smaller, more intricate wallpaper pattern, it would have been more successful. As it is, it feels like you walk in to go to the toilet, get swallowed up by the wallpaper, and never make it out alive.

And as if that wasn’t overpowering enough, they plonked a great honking clock on the wall to remind you that time is precious so you had better poo quickly. Sorry guys, I’m not loving it.

Now, things did get better in the living room. I have to give Jess and Jared some props for delivering a classic Hamptons scenario. Is the living room contemporary? No. Is it offering anything new? No. It does feel a little dated. It’s a little Hamptons-by-the-book. But if you love that sense of tradition, as I’m sure Mel and Dave do, you’ll be all for it.

My main concern in this room is the wallpaper behind the TV. Can the teams please stop drawing attention to TV’s by sprawling hectic wallpaper behind them!? Here are some ways to conceal a TV on a wall (and wallpaper is not one of them).

house rules 2018 mel and dave master bathroom in hamptons style house rules 2018 mel and dave kids bedroom with dinosaur wallpaper

Leigh and Kristie’s Main Bathroom and Kid’s Bedroom

I’m not mad at you Leigh and Kristie, but I am disappointed.

You had a phenomenal bathroom going on here. You had a stunning colour palette. You chose amazing wall tiles. You gave Mel and Dave a floating vanity and threw in a round mirror. You even chucked in Hamptons-style wall sconces and pops of black to keep the whole space feeling contemporary.

And then… you put a bathtub in the shower. What the actual?

From a practical point of view this is a fail. The bath isn’t close enough to the shower head for you to successfully wash yourself. Nor is there a shower curtain to at least make it feel enclosed and purposeful.

I really don’t understand what the thinking was here. I’m sad for the home owners. I’m Kylie Minogue circa 1980s Tears On My Pillow. This needs to be remedied.

The kids room. Now, to pull one of my fave quotes from Berger in Sex and the City: I’m sorry, I can’t, don’t hate me. Honestly, what possessed them to apply that dinosaur wallpaper? It is hurting my retinas. Not only is it ugly, but the dinosaur itself looks terrifying. You better have a therapist on speed dial because that kid is going to have night terrors.

house rules 2018 mel and dave mud room

house rules 2018 mel and dave master bedroom with hamptons furniture house rules 2018 mel and dave master bedroom

Kim and Michelle’s Mudroom and Master Bedroom

Of Kim and Michelle’s mud room, LLB commented that the ladies “made it all the things that make the Hamptons so desirable”. And once again, I agree with the crazy-haired man!

This mud room had the wainscoting, it had the timber panelling and it had gorgeous window treatments. It even had storage solutions, great cabinetry and a classic hook situation that had me beaming. The desk didn’t quite work for me in the space (a built-in table would have been better), but I’ll go easy on them. There were so many lovely elements here that saved the desk. So we’ll let that slide.

If you could take Kim and Michelle’s mud room, pair it with Josh and Brandon’s Hallway, and then roll that vibe across the entire home, you’d be set.

Now, the master bedroom. A drab non-event is how I would describe it too, LLB. This room is nice as a starting point but it has a ways to go before it is resolved and complete. It actually reminds me of a client’s home I went to consult in. The owner said she’d started to roll out some Hamptons decor but couldn’t work out why it didn’t feel right.

And here’s the answer to what the room needs to make it feel complete:

  • Wallpaper. Specifically, a cloth paper in a very light blue-grey
  • Wider bedside tables, in a mid-toned weathered timber, not gloss white
  • Pendants hanging over the bedside, so it feels like a master suite
  • The bedding is so pedestrian. Get it one size larger than the bed, for starters
  • Some softer greys are needed in this room – it’s too high-contrast
  • A rug under the bed wouldn’t hurt either, nor would art over the headboard

The reading nook in this space is just odd and will never get used. It already looks like a dumping ground and that’s what it will become.

house rules 2018 mel and dave laundry with hexagonal floor tiles house rules 2018 mel and dave dining room with yellow love sign

Chiara and David’s Laundry and Dining Room Nook

I hate to kick someone while they’re down, I really do. Chiara and David landed at the bottom of the leaderboard this week, and sadly it was deserved.

I just don’t understand the thought process behind the laundry. The yellow and blue used en masse makes the space feel like a kids playground. It’s just not designer in any way. Laundries are pretty easy to get right. Play it safe and you can still end up with a room that looks great. Try and go wacky – as they have here – and it usually fails miserably.

Also, Hamptons is so easy to do in a hard-surfaces room like a kitchen or laundry. It all comes down to the cabinetry, handles, lighting and colour palette. They should have kept it simple here and they could have been saved from bottom position.

The dining room isn’t terrible, it’s just again quite juvenile. The blue wall paired with the zesty yellow accessories feels childlike and not at all Hamptons. The dining table and chairs I actually quite like. But why is the top of the bench seat not the same colour?

The table is also too small for the space. They should have removed the cabinet in this room and had a rectangular table that matched the length of the bench. The rug is also impractical and would be removed from under that table the first time you sat at it.

house rules 2018 mel and dave reveal

What’s your Take on the House Rules Mel and Dave Reveal?

How are you feeling about the House Rules 2018 Mel and Dave reveal? Drop me a comment below and let me know what spaces you loved and loathed. Which team do you think has what it takes to win so far? Share all your thoughts in the comments section!


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

Related Posts​

7 Responses

  1. I am dying here! I just came across your blog as I was searching Pinterest. I nearly peed myself laughing over your post. You are spot on!!! I love how candid you are! Keep it up – I love when people keep it real!!

  2. The hallway wall paper is perfect for the style! I also feel like more greenery throughout the entire house wouldn’t have gone astray!

    I’m also so angry with that bath/shower combo! I LOVE a good wet area bathroom, but this doesn’t work! You couldn’t actually stand in that bath under the shower head without standing on the curved section of the bath. I don’t think the idea itself is bad, i just think the vanity and toilet should have been shifted closer to the entrance door and the shower shifted further to the left of the bath so that they are separate spaces (i.e. standing in shower between bath to the right, and screen to the left) both existing behind the shower screen – a true ‘wet area’ and pretty on trend at the moment!
    I love black tap-ware (that’s my sort of style) but i don’t think it worked in either bathroom if you’re going ‘Hamptons’.

    1. Totally agree on the bathroom. It was a really odd choice to put that bath in there. I love the wet room idea too, but as you said… impractical and you couldn’t use it without potentially slipping over in the bath and slowly dying!

  3. I could not use that powder room it would give me a migrain.And who puts a clock in the toilet, that is so weird! That blue colour in the dining nook is the same colour my brother had in his bedroom circa 1982 & I’m sorry but the love shelf thing is hideous! The laundry made me shudder & the bedroom looks like they went shopping at Amart I do like the mud room & the hallway although i would have chosen a more classic door handle, petty of me i know but little details count .The kitchen is quite nice also but i do agree with you about the tap & the bench. That bath in the shower was such a fail, it’s like they had a good idea in their head but had no knowledge on how to actually make it a reality. I have actually seen baths incorporated into the shower space ( without being under the shower head ) in some American bathrooms & it looks fabulous & also saves space. The board & batton walls are gorgeous as is the hallway flooring . I do like the contrast of the black tapware & shower head in the ensuite but i don’t like the pendant light. I had a giggle at the night terror inducing dinosaur

    1. haha everything you said I completely agree with Skye. And yes re the bathroom; I’ve seen American homes do this wonderfully, but it was such a fail here. Thank God LLB is on this show so we can all have a laugh at this terrible design!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


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!

Latest Articles