Prepare yourself as we go inside the House Rules 2019 Lisa and Andy reveal. Because I’m about to say something I never anticipated saying. Are you sitting down? You need to be sitting down.
You guys… a lot of the rooms in this reveal are good. Like, actually good. I’d even go so far as to say beautiful. Some of the photos I actually want to post on my Instagram feed. We’re living in strange times here but I’m loving every minute of it.
I’ve cracked the code to getting a good home on House Rules: you gotta demand soft tones. That’s the golden rule. Lisa and Andy were wise to steer the teams in that direction. You also have to request a Nordic or Scandi scheme. It seems to be a style most of the contestants understand. Or at the very least, they Google imaged it and found some inspiration to kick-start the makeover.
We’ll get onto which room is a direct ripoff of a popular room we’ve seen online before. But before we do that let’s take a look at some winning spaces from this week. Because to my shock and awe, this was a pretty decent reveal. Of course not all good (we’ll get to that too) but overall I’m impressed.
Let’s dive right into judging the House Rules 2019 Lisa and Andy reveal.
Inside the House Rules 2019 Lisa & Andy Reveal
Finally a Sense of Cohesion!
One of the things that bothers me most when reveals are shown is just how disjointed the home normally is. You go from kitchen to dining in an open plan space and there’s never any cohesion. We all know that’s because of the way the rooms are divided between the teams. But this week, they kinda got it right in terms of consistency across the home.
The bedroom above, for example, flows perfectly to the entryway you see below. The colour palette and materials are all quite similar and nothing feels too jarring on the eye. There’s actually a level of sophistication here that I’ve not seen on House Rules in a long time. The rooms feel bright and airy with a sense of spaciousness to them, and it does feel Nordic without feeling too themed.
In the bedroom above, I’m really enjoying the herringbone pattern in that timber feature wall. I will say this though: I’m not into the draping plants. I can’t work out if they’re real or fake. But if they’re real, I think the maintenance would suck. You’d have to climb up on the bed all the time to care for this garden.
That said, I do love the lighting, love the plantation shutters, love the mirror, love the stack at the end of the bed. A great job here. And the love continues for the entryway below. Although the fact that the timber panelling doesn’t run all the way to the door is quite problematic and lets the look down.
It’s a Love-fest in the Dining Room too
The bedroom-entry-dining room moment is probably my fave from this reveal. There’s just such a sense of harmony as you move between the three zones.
I love the round dining table here too; great for a small space. And I love the fact that they chose concrete to bring a little grit to this scene. A Scandi or Nordic look can go soft and feminine quite quickly so this harder material was a wise idea. Even the styling on top is pretty good. And can we talk about the lighting above? I’m also rather keen on that because its simplicity allows the other elements in the room (like the timber) to take centre stage.
The wall-mounted shelves are also really successful. What is going on here gang? There’s way too much beautiful design here and I’m absolutely not used to it.
In terms of negatives, I would have enjoyed a rug under the table for some added softness in this space. And the round art on the wall (which you can see in the image below) was a step too far. It crowds that wall and makes it feel cluttered.
The Living Room was Unsuccessful though
One of the least successful spaces in the house has to be the living room. It’s just a little undercooked. I can fully appreciate the cohesion from the dining room into this zone in terms of the flooring and colour palette. But that’s pretty much all it has going for it. Shayn and Carly really missed the mark on this one.
The floating TV unit above is quite nice. I’m all for it. But the choice to put a timber panel behind the wall-mounted TV is an odd one. It only draws your eye to the television instead of detracting from it.
As you move your way around the space things get worse. Most of the furniture is anything but Nordic. In fact, the room has an eclectic mid-Century vibe that doesn’t obey any of the house rules at all.
There’s nothing Nordic about a leather sofa. There’s nothing Nordic about the tiles around the fireplace. And there’s nothing Nordic about the bohemian plant pots and macrame wall hangings. This is one confused room and is reflective of a team that lost their way.
The items placed on the wall are also jumbled and unsuccessful in terms of size and shape. It’s all systems no from me.
Things got Better in the Kitchen
I do agree with Jamie that the kitchen feels a little retro, but I don’t consider that to be a negative. The pink tiles and Smeg fridge do take you back in time, but who says you can’t merge Nordic and retro in a space like this?
The pink tiles are going to be divisive; you either love pink tiles or you hate pink tiles. I don’t particularly like pink tiles for a kitchen because I do feel they’ll date quite quickly. But the house rules did call for soft tones to be used, so the rules have been interpreted and executed accordingly. And I don’t think they look out of place.
There are a lot of warm tones in this room. The flooring, cabinets and tiles are all giving off heat, so Katie and Alex were wise to keep the benchtop, appliances and roller blind in cooler tones. It’s not achieving a perfect sense of balance but it’s almost there. And if we’re comparing it to other kitchens we’ve seen over the years on House Rules, this is head and shoulders above the rest.
I have to also call out the gigantic skylights that have been used in this kitchen. I love them like I love a red wine on a cold evening (or hot evening, or mild evening – any evening really).
And then Bad Again in the Laundry
I’m going to say it right here, right now: signs in homes are done. I’m not even sorry to break the news. It has to be said.
I don’t want to see “DIY Dog Wash” on the wall in your laundry. I don’t want to see “Gone Fishin” on the wall in your garage. And I don’t want to see “Live Love Laugh” above your bed either. All of those literal quotes or attempts to be cute with text are a little mid-2000s and it’s time to move on. I say this out of love.
Now that we have that outta the way, we’re still left with a tight laundry and a dog wash zone that feels cramped. It’s not ample enough a space to have the dog wash sink. What do you do once the dog is done washing? Put it on the floor in your hallway and let it shake itself off? It’s just not practical. In situations like this you either have to do it right or not do it at all. And I wished they’d left it out and delivered a laundry with a countertop.
I do like the tile choice though. Again, it all comes down to personal taste as to whether you like coloured tiles or not. I don’t love them for my home, but they do work here. There’s a consistent herringbone pattern being carried around the home here which isn’t going unrecognised or unappreciated.
We Need to Discuss this Pink Bathroom
I’d like to direct your attention to this recent blog post which showcases the Norsu home. Give the link a click and scroll down to the bathroom in the post. It’s an image that’s been splashed across the internet a fair bit. I covered it on this blog. Other blogs, websites and magazines have covered it. It’s been on quite a heavy rotation and you’ve no doubt seen it before in your travels.
So it’ll come as no surprise when I say I reckon the teams absolutely Googled Nordic bathrooms, found the Norsu bathroom and then copied the design. The pink wall, the penny tiles, the floating timber vanity with white top, the oval mirror AND the gold tapware; it’s all the same as the Norsu bathroom.
Now, I’m sure there’s no rules against taking inspiration from homes you see online. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery after all. But still… It would be nice to see some new ideas. Do you agree? Do you think it doesn’t matter? I’d love for you to let me know in the comments below.
Above: If this space was decluttered and the greenery was removed, it would be a successful space from the House Rules 2019 Lisa and Andy reveal.
The Weird Room Request
I’d like to end on this space, which is really odd. Not odd in its design, but odd in the fact that it was requested in the first place.
I don’t quite get asking for a Nordic home and then requesting a room that harks back to the suave sixties. It’s so bizarre. What’s going to happen next week? Someone will request a pared-back coastal interior with a leather-clad S&M dungeon? The den is so at odds with the rest of the home and it breaks all the good cohesion that’s going on inside the rest of the house.
I don’t think it’s a particularly bad room either, it’s just so out of place. I actually feel sorry for Mikaela and Eliza because they had to go through this week executing two totally different designs. No wonder they ended up on the bottom of the leaderboard when they had to attempt Nordic in one zone, and then swinging sixties in another.
What did you make of the House Rules 2019 Lisa and Andy reveal? Drop me a comment below and share your thoughts!