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house rules 2020 tamara and rhys dining room with teal dining chairs

Truth Bombs from the House Rules 2020 Tamara & Rhys Reveal

One of the things the House Rules 2020 Tamara and Rhys reveal proved to me this week is just how inconsistent the design is this season.

We started with a diabolical penthouse reveal at the start of the series. We can all agree on that, can’t we? Then we went into a successful bohemian home reveal. Things tanked again when Laith and George’s property was unveiled. And then last week’s reveal took things in a better direction.

I truly can’t decide if this is a good season or not. I’ve haven’t been this conflicted since I was asked to pick my favourite Spice Girl (always a toss up between Ginger and Sporty, or course!). Just like Natalie Imbruglia, I’m torn. That’s two pop music references in one paragraph and I’m pretty sure there’s more to come.

Let’s dive into the House Rules 2020 Tamara and Rhys reveal and decipher if the home owners ended up with a decent abode or not.

house rules 2020 tamara and rhys dining room

The Dining Room is the Best Space

There was so much drama this week over 600mm of floor space that I wasn’t sure how this dining room was going to turn out. But I have to say, from a visual perspective, it’s my fave room of the lot.

The concept of ‘less is more’ is something I see the teams struggle with a lot on this show. Like Christina Aguilera’s makeup in the early 2000s, they find hard to pare it back (I warned you there would be more pop music references). But in this dining room Laith and George have done really well.

I love the wall colour, I love the flooring, and I adore the sheer curtains. The table is gorgeous and so are the chairs. Even the rug they selected is all sorts of divine. It does break one of my top rug under dining table rules, but apart from that it’s a really well considered space.

The table styling isn’t great but at least they didn’t attempt to fully set it and fail miserably. This is how you style a dining table properly and trust me, it takes a lot of product and a lot of work to get right.

house rules 2020 tamara and rhys black kitchen with green feature tile house rules 2020 tamara and rhys kitchen with black cabinetry and green tiles

The Kitchen was 90% There

I really don’t have a lot of negatives to say about this space. Of all the rooms in the House Rules 2020 Tamara and Rhys reveal, this is the second best zone.

The colour palette is rather moody, which I’m digging. It actually reminds me a bit of the industrial kitchen reno I designed for my Williamstown clients. The black cabinetry really evokes a sleek and sophisticated feel, and I really enjoy the architectural angle in that island.

On a personal level I’m not keen on the green feature tiles. I know they were tossing up between these ones and a tone that was less bright and glossy. They made the wrong decision here. To quote the Whitney Houston song, It’s not right, but it’s OK (pop music reference number four).

That said, I know jewel tones were part of the house rules so I will just shut my gob and move on. If Tamara and Rhys like it, then who am I to judge?

house rules 2020 tamara and rhys living room

The Living Room Scores Third Place

I like the colour palette and the mix of materials in this space. It feels fresh and crisp, and quite open and airy, but it’s not an all-white affair.

I enjoy the sheer curtains here, which connect this zone to the dining room. The black feature wall connects the living room to the kitchen as well. What’s this; teams working together on House Rules to make the zones feel cohesive? This is an early Christmas miracle. Or a late one. Either way I’m on board.

I’m also enjoying the vertical timber paneling, as it brings a bit of interest to the room and provides textural variance. However, I’m not smitten with the colour. Like Michael Jackson in the nineties, it’s too light. I want it to be a darker shade of brown. It would have fit in with the rest of the open plan scheme if it was more chocolatey.

The other thing that lets this space down is the floating shelf under the TV. Absolutely not ample enough to do anything with an no storage included. Not cute.

house rules 2020 tamara and rhys bedroom with green feature wall house rules 2020 tamara and rhys master bedroom with walk in robe

Let’s Discuss this Bedroom

OK, this is a bit of a mixed bag, let’s be honest. While I do love the look of it, I can’t say it’s a successful space.

The visuals are divine, don’t get me wrong. I adore the green feature wall and the paneling they’ve executed on it. It’s amazing. It gives the bedroom a dazzling focal point. It’s delicious and I could have it for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

But here’s the thing: the layout and orientation is all wrong. This room just isn’t large enough to include a walk-in-robe moment.

The feature wall is not wide enough to contain the furniture that sits against it. The bedside tables are too small. It feels very cramped, all so they could include the robe behind it. Sometimes you have to work with the dimensions of the room you’ve been given, instead of trying to make it something it can’t be.

There’s also not enough space for a decent mirror in the robe. All signs are leading to this space feeling inadequate.

house rules 2020 tamara and rhys bathroom with concrete walls and freestanding bath

Both Bathrooms are OK, but not OMG

The bathroom above is the better of the two, and adheres to the house rules a little more. The idea was to splash a few jewel tones about the spaces, so I feel the above bathroom strikes this balance better than the one below.

The bathroom above feels quite moody and gritty, thanks to those industrial grey tiles. Those, paired with the floating timber vanity, gives a nice sense of contrast. It doesn’t feel too light or heavy, and the slither of blue tiles in the shower recess gives it the right amount of punch.

The bathroom above feels like it fits in with the living, kitchen and dining rooms we’ve already explored. You can see how they’re all related. Like cousins from the same family.

The bathroom below feels a little too much. The feature tile is a little overbearing, and then on the opposite vanity wall it’s all a bit black and predictable. There’s nothing new here. I also don’t feel the artwork hung over the bath is a good idea.

house rules 2020 tamara and rhys ensuite house rules 2020 tamara and rhys gym

The Worst Spaces of the Reveal

Now, look, I’m no fitness freak, but I do know that raw pine is not the first material that comes to mind when I think of a home gym. Of course, I’m always open to being surprised, but I prefer it to be a pleasant one. Like the Beyonce song, I want it to be a sweet dream, not a beautiful nightmare (OK that references was a stretch).

I don’t feel there’s a nice visual here at all. It looks unfinished. It looks small and closed off. And I don’t think it’s going to motivate anyone to want to pump iron and get swoll. Perhaps it might work functionally, but I do think we need to have a good mix of looks and usability, and sadly the former is missing.

Now, what in God’s name is happening below? I thought the puffy leather recliner chair of the late eighties was the worst thing to ever happen to furniture. But here we have a velvet abomination so criminal there’s going to be a Netflix series about the sentencing of its maker. Move over Tiger King, Armchair King has arrived.

Between that chair and the dog statue I can’t bring myself to lay eyes on this space any longer.


What’s Your Take on the Tamara and Rhys Reveal?

What do you make of the rooms in the House Rules 2020 Tamara and Rhys reveal? Drop a comment below and let me know which spaces were your fave and which spaces fell short. I’d love to get your input.

Tune in next week as we judge the next batch of room reveals.

House Rules 2020 airs Sunday 7pm and Monday – Tuesday 7.30pm on Channel 7.

Want to see more from the House Rules 2020 Tamra and Rhys reveal? Click here to see clips from the show.


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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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8 Responses

  1. Have you seen Bettlejuice? That “velvet abomination” (as you described it ) takes me back to the scene when the chairs come alive at the dinner party!

  2. They seem to use the same sheers in every room in every house. They never include any footage of the contestants considering or shopping for window dressings. I suspect that they’re dictated by the production to help out with camera and lighting. They usually look OK with the contestants’ designs but I don’t give them any credit for that!

  3. Well now here we are again, love your critics Chris. The front veranda was boring, the ceiling timber would have looked stunning down the wall around the big doors.The furniture was ordinary.. lovely potted Cordylines would have been great. Bedside tables didn’t fit the space. Study dark, cheap and nasty. Pine in the gym was not a good look and the doors will bow in the Qld humidity. Equipment good though. T V standing on the shelf was just to high, why all the boring space below it.
    PS what happened to Tue nights episode in the Mums house?

  4. I did think the dining was a bit too minimalist. I loved the kitchen, even the green tiles. And I loathe green. Which surprised me that I loved the green feature wall in the bedroom. I didn’t realise how narrow it was until I read your comments, and I totally agree, it was impractical. Both bathrooms to me were a bit bland. I really didn’t like the ensuite, it was too much empty space and I thought it felt cold. The grey tiles made it feel like a cement basement. And that study was awful – if they’d left that stupid chair out it might have worked, like the Tears For Fears album, Songs From the Big Chair.

  5. Yes I agree that chair, so big and so ugly. I was a bit disappointed with most of the rooms this week and didn’t really like the colours much at all. I did like the concealed laundry appliances though although my hubby says I’m impractical. X

  6. I love your critique far more informative and real than the actual judges.
    I totally agree with all you have said, great summary, look forward to see what you have to say next week

  7. Chris I lived through the 80s & I can’t say I ever saw one these. Perhaps it is an updated version (albeit tacky) of the classic Egg Chair.

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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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