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house rules 2019 pete and courtney kitchen with black countertop and blue cabinets

Chris Judges the House Rules 2019 Pete and Courtney Reveal

The House Rules 2019 Pete and Courtney reveal has just gone down. And I cannot wait to get stuck into judging each space for you! 

Now, you know the rules I always play by here: no personal attacks on contestants. Trust me, I run into too many of them post-show and I do not want that kind of awkwardness in my life.

And here’s the thing: they’re novices with no experience – they don’t deserve to be attacked. They just want a nice-looking house and their mortgage paid off. I mean, 99% of them don’t get that, but that’s the risk you take when you go on a show to hopefully score an ambassadorship with a tile company once filming wraps.

The entire point of these post-reveal articles is to show you what not to do when trying to apply some of these design moments to your own space. It’s learning. I’m doing God’s work. I’m going to heaven. Woohoo!

And you know I always call out the good stuff as well as the bad. So there’s my disclaimer done. Let’s get into the judging.

house rules 2019 pete and courtney kitchen blue kitchen with black benchtop

Let’s Start with the Galactic Kitchen

There’s something about the assumption that opulence means ‘bling’ that really gets my goat. Truth is, you can have an opulent and sophisticated home with no gold, no reflective surfaces, no brass and no shimmer & shine. Thought I’d start by making that point because the teams here took the word ‘opulence’ and made all the major rookie design mistakes.

In the kitchen, the biggest issue is the benchtop and splashback. There’s something quite reflective and faux-glam in that countertop that has me feeling a bit cheap. Like when you pour $2 hand soap into your old expensive bottles to fool guests that you always buy the high-end stuff (I’m guilty as charged!). It’s just not a finish that works here. And the splashback is just as bad. It looks quite tacky.

A matte grey or even concrete-look benchtop would have sizzled here (like the one that was used in the laundry). And it would have given the kitchen a little grit and grounding. As it is, it’s too futuristic disco. A disco where they serve everything in plastic cups and there’s an old drag queen named Tess Tickle who does bingo on a Thursday night.

Now, I am living for the bar stools, but they don’t work in this space. Pick a feature, teams. You can’t have dramatic blue cabinets, a dramatic black benchtop, an eye-catching splashback and then put in vivid blue stools. It’s very busy.

house rules 2019 pete and courtney dining room with blue velvet dining chairs

The Dining Room is a bit Confused

The dining room is like me getting off the plane from Europe last week: tired, confused, and with a lot of money spent on it despite it looking the opposite. There are two very competing styles here: provincial and luxe. Again, we have gold everywhere. Now, if the house rules contained instructions to include gold, fair call, but this is just too much. Editing is key and I hope as the season goes on the teams implement it a bit more.

The positives are that the table is quite lovely and size-wise it’s great for the space. I also really like the chairs, but they clash with the stools nearby. I understand different teams did the kitchen and dining, but it’s still a shame.

I also love love love the artworks. Did I mention I love them? I actually specified the same ones for a client of my own recently. So I can’t be mad about those. They’re probably the stand-out in this space, but all the styling around them makes them look less amazing than they are.

I absolutely cannot with the gold Enya panpipes hanging from the ceiling. They really cheapen the space. I also don’t enjoy the blue wainscoting. It’s too much. Again, it’s about choosing a feature – and there’s too many here.

house rules 2019 pete and courtney living room black brick wall in living room with tiled feature wall house rules 2019 pete and courtney red brick living room with blue feature wall

The Living Room has Serious Promise

I actually like the shell of this room. The flooring is gorgeous, the sheers are nice, and I am all for a black wall. A black brick wall is even better. The exposed red brick across from the TV as you enter the space is also quite lovely. But a lot of the elements that were put into this room felt quite random. Is it luxe, is it earthy, is it industrial? Truth is, it’s all of those, but they clash terribly.

I’m also a bit confused by the nook above. If it’s a kids play area, where are the chairs or beanbags or tables for the kids? If you’re going to create something like this, see it through and realise its full potential. No kids want to sit on those velvet chairs, and no parent wants them to. They are divine chairs though, don’t you think?

Despite the bookcase being a good industrial moment, the styling is a let down. The decor is too small and we’ve seen it all before (in Kmart, it’s all from Kmart, landed over a year ago). The cluster of pendants in this living room is also a crime. And while I do like the art, it does not work at all in this room.

Lastly, if those tiles on the wall bedside the TV were matte grey or marble it would look a thousand times better. Reflection and glass has once again made the room look cheap.

house rules 2019 pete and courtney entry with blue walls and timber shelving

Above: I actually like the entry so we’ll move forward with dishing the dirt on more controversial spaces.

house rules 2019 pete and courtney bathroom with green feature tiles in shower and gold tapware

Did the Bathroom give you Deja Vu?

You can’t fool us, House Rules! While I enjoy a green tile in a bathroom this is such a replica of what happened last year in Toad and Mandy’s house. If you want to see it for yourself, check out my recap post from that episode. Not only was this exact tile used in T&M’s ensuite, but the bath-in-shower setup was used in their bathroom too. All from the same episode. Let’s bring some new ideas to the table guys! Or at least watch last season before you audition for this one.

But looking as this bathroom solely from a design perspective, it is nice. I do enjoy the green tile. I do enjoy the large-scale marble tiles too. It was wise to create a shelf above the bath to sit things on, and I also enjoy the recess in the shower. So it’s not all bad, it’s just been done before. Personally I think the bath appears a little dwarfed and stuffed into the space, but I could be wrong. I’ve been known to be wrong on the odd occasion.

I also believe the gold has to go. I hate to repeat myself, but it’s just like in the other rooms of this home: too much. Let the green tile be the star of the show; everything else can be a supporting player. To put it bluntly: the tiles are Beyonce and the tapware and towel rails need to be Kelly and Michelle.

house rules 2019 pete and courtney master bedroom with blue upholstered headboard and wallpaper house rules 2019 pete and courtney dressing room with red rose wallpaper

I need Sunglasses and a Wine Immediately

Ideally, the sunglasses required to enter the bedroom and robes are the darkest you can find. Like the darkest legal tint on car windows. I want them so dark I can barely make out the features in the rooms. I also need to be two wines in to cope with everything going on in the master bedroom. Three wines preferred. Maybe one of those giant plastic margarita cups you get in Vegas that hang around your neck while you shop at 3pm in the afternoon. Or was I the only one who drunk shopped when I was there?

And when it comes to both the dressing room and the walk-in robe, let me say this: if I had a closet this ghastly growing up I would have come out of it a lot sooner! They’re both really quite bad.

All jokes aside, I’m happy to go on the record as saying I can’t see the wallpaper in the master working in any scheme or space. I’m sorry to the brand who produces it, but it’s just not something I can be on board with. The bed is good. We can keep the bed. The bedding is good. We can keep the bedding too. Everything else I’m ready to send to Elton John’s place. You just know Elton would love the faux fur and the pendant lights.

If it takes balls to be dandy, I’ll gladly remove mine. This quote-in-wardrobe feature below is not cute.

house rules 2019 pete and courtney blue walk in wardrobe

Above: One of the less impressive moments of the House Rules 2019 Pete and Courtney Reveal. What did you think of it?

house rules 2019 pete and courtney laundry with green cabinets and brass splashback

We’re Ending on a High: I Love the Laundry!

And you thought the House Rules 2019 Pete and Courtney recap was going to be all jokes and negativity. I swear I just type exactly what comes to mind when I see these rooms – good or bad! And when it comes to this laundry I have to say this: It is bloody marvellous. It is the best room of the house. It is giving me life and love and all the stars in the sky with puppies shooting out of cannons to land in buckets of lollipops.

This feels sophisticated. This feels high-end. This feels opulent – and there’s no gold in sight! OK, we have one little gold trinket near the sink. But remove that and you have a room that feels contemporary, interesting, refined, and bold.

I really love the contrast between the rich green cabinetry and the organic splashback tiles. It’s a wonderful balance of dark and light, cold and warm. The tiles give you the feeling gold would but without the garishness. Phenomenal job here by Shayn and Carly, who oddly landed on the bottom of the scoreboard. Although we all know it was the master bedroom that did them in. Can’t praise this laundry enough though. What a knockout.

What did you think of the House Rules 2019 Pete and Courtney Reveal? Drop a comment below and let me know.

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

  • Michelle


    It is tough trying to figure out the houserules. I think the entry and the laundry were my favourites. The kitchen and dining just too much for me. Need to coco chanel it
    Well written tonight Chris.

    5 May, 2019
  • Wendy


    Hi Chris I’m not an opulence person at all so that rule would’ve completely gone over my head I did like the main bathroom all the tapware matched hate it when towel rails & fittings all different too much dark everywhere else even though that’s what home owners wanted none of it flowed (in my opinion) it would be hard to get it right I guess & that rose wallpaper

    6 May, 2019
  • Barb


    Hi Chris

    The kitchen would have cost a bomb and I agree with you, such a mishmash. its a lot to expect from rookie renovators and some of the Judges feedback must be quite confusing

    6 May, 2019
  • Ingrid


    Great kitchen and laundry. I love those gold bronze tiles on the laundry splash back.

    7 May, 2019
      • Kerry


        Functionality was lacking in the dressing room- is she supposed to hang her knickers and socks on the carousel as well?

        8 May, 2019
  • Kathy


    Not to mention there was no full length mirror in the rose-swathed dressing room

    10 May, 2019
  • Yvette


    Oh wow I’m so happy you love those pictures in the lounge, i absolutely loved them and didn’t understand why no one else did.
    Yep, Laundry best room in the house, love it
    Hate hate hate the wallpaper in both the Master and the Dressing room, what were they thinking????

    10 May, 2019
  • Leonie Pangallo


    Functionality seems to be something that they all overlook in their quest to fulfill house rules and style…??? I like simple, just two many colours and features for me.
    I’m going crazy trying to refurbish a few rooms in my own home………no insight here for me.

    10 May, 2019
  • Jan


    Why is there so much dark colour in every room of the house, it is very European ? I would have enjoyed some areas of soft dirty beiges in the rooms with pops of opulent richness.
    Chris I watched a series which followed Llewellyn through his purchase and Reno of his own manor home in UK. Honest to god it was and is a nightmare. After following him for about 20 yrs and loving him to bits, his humour and style is enjoyable. The contestants are trying too hard to impress HIM far to much and the styling is getting out of hand as far as I am concerned.I watch the show just to look forward to your comments each week.

    10 May, 2019
  • Julie Hurd


    Hi Chris
    I have absolutely loved reading through your commentary and feedback regarding the rooms, you’re hilarious, you should be a judge! I agree with all of your comments, some highs and some lows. I am however, in awe of how the contestants manage to make all of these design decisions with no formal training and in such a short tine frame. The rooms look great for the most part, although have some shortcomings and practicality issues in some rooms.

    20 May, 2019
  • Ally


    Hi Chris,
    Loved reading through your review. I noticed you didn’t mention the moody metallics rule, I think this is the rule that has led everyone to drop gold and copper over the place. I would love to hear your thoughts on how this particular rule could have been better implemented?

    28 May, 2019
  • Tina Cleverley


    Hi. I would like to know where Courtney & Pete purchased their towels (pink, great, black & white) for Katie and Alex’s bathroom. I just love them.
    Thank you

    13 June, 2019
    • Admirer


      Kmart actually. !!!

      23 September, 2019
  • Merinda


    I really want to know where Pete and Courteney got those egg swing chairs from the front garden in Matt and Tim’s.
    Anyone know?

    2 August, 2019
    • Admirer


      They are from House of Orange

      23 September, 2019
  • AJ


    Hi Chris, I want to tackle my bathroom. Quick question – are subway tiles too yesterday? I love the look of them and was thinking white with dark grey grout and/or dark green or blue. Would love your thoughts. Thanks,

    31 December, 2019
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