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house rules 2020 kayne and aimees house dining room wall

Style Sins & Wins from the House Rules 2020 Kayne and Aimee Reveal

I won’t lie you guys; my expectations were low going into the House Rules 2020 Kayne and Aimee reveal. But low and behold, my expectations were not just met this week, they were exceeded. Twist!

That’s not to say that all of the rooms were successful. But in a TV landscape where unqualified reno rookies dominate, this was impressive overall. Why we can’t get a few more shows where qualified designers transform spaces is a whole other blog post for a whole other day. Don’t open that pandora’s box right now or you’ll never shut me up!

For now, why don’t we take a look at all this sins and wins from House Rules’ Kayne and Aimee reveal of the season. Because truly, and to my absolute surprise and delight, there were a lot of things to ooh and ahh about. And in case you missed it, here’s the recap of last week’s horrid penthouse reveal.

house rules 2020 kayne and aimees house kitchen with grey concrete benchtop house rules 2020 kayne and aimees house kitchen window

For the Most Part, the Kitchen Was a Win

The House Rules 2020 Kayne and Aimee reveal starts with this dream space.

The sun flooding through oversized skylights, the concrete-effect countertop, the feature splashback tiles. These are just a few of the things that have my heart racing when it comes to this kitchen. What a wonderfully considered space that makes great use of natural light and celebrates a medley of materials.

The cabinetry colour is soft and soothing. I love that the room is punctuated with these black moments too (the appliances, tapware and window frame) and then softened with cabinetry handles that blend two tactile materials in the one piece.

Even the styling, which is usually a fail on these sorts of shows, is pretty good here. I like the introduction of greenery, and I really enjoy the textural runner on the island top.

It’s not All Good News Though

On the downside, the pendants are a bit much, especially at different heights. I would have installed a simple strip light here and let the dining room pendants be the feature in this open-plan room.

I’ll also say that the window frame is a bit heavy. A slimmer profile would have been successful here, or a gas-lift window that opens up and outwards also would have worked.

Lastly, the fridge is a little far away from the sink, and the wall tiles between the cabinet and window needed to be brought up. But apart from that I am loving this zone and I’m sure Kayne and Aimee do too.

house rules 2020 kayne and aimees house dining room wall house rules 2020 kayne and aimees house dining room stack stone feature wall

Are we Burning Butts in the Dining Room?

From a purely looks perspective, the dining room is just as wonderfully soothing as the kitchen.

I love the table and chair combo. This looks to be a fairly relaxed family home, so I’m into the mix of the three chairs with the bench seat. The dining table styling is pretty good too, and I feel the kitchen and dining room are quite cohesive and harmonious as connected spaces.

I’m a huge fan of the white VJ panelling (more inso on those sorts of walls here) and love the highland cow artwork as well. So look, we’re ticking loads of boxes here. The visuals are not lost on me.

Functionally though, we have a problem. The dining setting looks to be way too close to the fireplace. It’s actually really odd to have a fireplace in this position given that you could never sit on a bench seat and eat dinner that close to it. What was the thinking there from the contestants?

There’s no point putting in a feature that’s just not going to be used. It’s a waste of money, and a waste for Kayne and Aimee who have something they can’t really use.

house rules 2020 kayne and aimees house boho bedroom with bamboo feature wall

Say No to a Bamboo Bedroom Wall

Let me just say right here, right now: feature walls are not over. I love me a feature wall in a bedroom (here are 10 of my best ideas), but these ones weren’t amazing.

In fact, the one above is undeniably bad. And it’s bad for a number of reasons.

Firstly, the room isn’t massive, so a feature wall in a thick material like bamboo is doing the space no favours. It totally overwhelms this zone.

It also doesn’t allow you to place art on the wall, so your feature wall can’t be broken up with anything. A wallpapered wall, or a boldly coloured wall, benefits from having art or a mirror on it above the bed. But here you’re left with no option but to embrace a heavy wall of bamboo.

Lastly, apart from the fact that bamboo in this size and scale feels very outdoorsy-tiki-torch, it has been cheapened by those artificial plants. And this is coming from me, the king of fake plants and flowers.

The Alternative Option

It would have been far more successful, and super creative, if the team had of created a bamboo headboard. The scale would have been much smaller, it wouldn’t have felt overbearing, and if they did it right it could have come across as wonderfully earthy and boho. But as it stands, it’s a big no deal from me! The hanging chair is gorgeous though, I will say that!

house rules 2020 kayne and aimees house bedroom with dark timber feature wall house rules 2020 kayne and aimees house bedroom with round mirror and sideboard

This Bedroom was a Step in the Right Direction

Things definitely got better in this bedroom in terms of the feature wall. Yes, it still feels a bit dark and heavy for the space, but it does show that timber paneling can look good en masse like this.

The wall would have looked better with a large mirror on it. It would have broken up the timber far better than the round macrame wall hanging did. It also would have been wise to change up the materials when it came to the bedsides. It’s all just a lot of heavy timber on the one wall. And then on the other wall you have a plain white wall and plain white door. So the room feels a little off-kilter.

I get the vibe they were going for though, and I can appreciate where they were trying to take it. The good news is that just a few small tweaks will take this room to the next level. No major changes need to be made.

house rules 2020 kayne and aimees house laundry with marble pennyround tiles

I Have (Almost) No Complaints about the Laundry

You’re always going to have me at penny round tiles. The marble ones, anyway. Once I saw those I was so overcome with joy and rapture that I marked this space as best room in the house and was ready to move on.

But upon digging deeper, I still keep finding things I like about it. A really nice colour palette in terms of cabinetry and countertops, for starters. I also like the way they’ve allowed the tiles to be the star of the show. Editing is a huge issue in this show. And I mean editing down of ideas and inclusions, not editing of footage.

So often the contestants throw everything but the kitchen sink into a small zone like this and the design elements rarely work together. This was proven in last week’s House Rules reveal where the laundry floor tiles and wallpaper clashed terribly. But the materials in this space are delicious and very in sync.

Even looks aside, it wins from a functionality perspective. A cupboard for the ironing board, plenty of storage, a drying rack, upper shelving. It has it all. The only change I’d have made is having a wider depth in that tall cupboard. Remove the shelves and leave yourself some room to store the vacuum cleaner.

house rules 2020 kayne and aimees house upcycled sideboard as bathroom vanity

I’m Crushin’ on this Old-Meets-New Bathroom

I love me an upcycled situation when it’s done right, and here it is definitely done right. I love the vintage dresser transformed into a vanity unit here. It brings an eclectic edge to this home, even if it doesn’t necessarily tie into the more modern contemporary vibe we have going on in other pockets of the interior.

I know storage might be an issue here, so that’s something to point out from a usability point of view. Although I’m hoping the mirror above the vanity has storage behind it. It probably doesn’t, but at least that’s a relatively easy fix. A shaving cabinet above the vanity will get this room across the line.

I love the soothing green tone of the floor tiles, and I even think the brass tapware is lovely, even if it’s not necessarily the number one bathroom tapware colour people are embracing right now.

All or the visual elements are right in this space. It’s a charming little surprise.

house rules 2020 kayne and aimees house bathroom with white tiles and brass taps house rules 2020 kayne and aimees house white bathroom with exposed copper pipes

I’m Not Crushing on this Though

I’m not entirely across what happened regarding the exposed pipes in the bathroom above. I assume they were there already and it proved too expensive to put them under the new floor? I can’t understand what else could have gone wrong here, because you’d surely not choose to have them look like this as a feature in a modern bathroom.

And I’m not saying exposed pipes are bad. They can look amazing. They’re actually one of eight big bathroom design trends landing this year. But this is overkill and it’s not showcased in a way that makes sense. It definitely feels like a mistake.

If it was an intentional design choice, the pipes should have been sprayed black to match the tapware. You’d then have some cohesion at the very least.

Outside of that, the floor tiles look rather filthy. Not the sort of bathroom you’d want to relax and unwind in.

What do you think of the House Rules 2020 Kayne and Aimee Reveal?

House Rules 2020 is off to a good start if this Kayne and Aimee reveal is anything to go by. Sure, it’s not all perfect, but it’s better than the Penthouse reveal last week and way better than previous seasons of House Rules.

What do you think of the House Rules 2020 Kayne and Aimee reveal? Drop me a comment below and share your thoughts.

House Rules airs Sunday 7pm and Monday – Tuesday 7.30pm on Channel 7.
Click here to see clips from the show.


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

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5 Responses

  1. I agree about the ridiculous fireplace. I think it ruined the entire room for the owners. Shame on the couple who insisted on it’s placement in the middle of a cramped room! They should be penalised for trying to win at the expense of spoiling a beautiful open plan space for Kayne and Aimee.

  2. Good comments Chris. The pipes were originally hidden in the wall, they should have stayed there!
    The horrible stacked crap fireplace should have been on a wall with stunning country timber and logs stacked underneath, there are so many gorgeous glass front fires to choose from. I can’t see the point in a spice shelf coming out of a bench an exhaust coming up would have been good. Herb gardens in a kitchen die off before being used, better on the wall just outside the kitchen door. The other thing I hate is a fluffy fur mat used as a throw on throw on the bench seat. Rather a lovely coloured throw to lift the place, maybe flat seat cushions to soften the look. Oh no they would melt.

  3. I stopped watching after the Penthouse. I found it embarrassing! Though this house seems to be much better from the photos above. I agree with all of your points.

  4. I agree with almost everything you mentioned EXCEPT th fridge being closer to the sink. Why? Every house I have lived in (which is quite a few) have never had the fridge near the sink. It’s been at least 3m away.

  5. I totally agree with all your comments here. Why don’t they replace those judges with you? Now can you please help me out with my house now?

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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!

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