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The Block 2016 Week 10: Challenge Apartment Reveals part 1

Both the judging and the scores that took place during this week’s room reveals on The Block have me quite concerned.

Now, I know I’m not dreaming, and I know I haven’t gone on a psychedelic trip to a parallel universe, so something’s gone wrong here. And I’m concerned it’s just me. Which only makes matters worse.

Was this week a topsy-turvy, it-must-be-opposite-day to you as well, or am I really losing my design eye?

Want to know more about The Block? Read our ultimate guide to every season!

Let’s examine each space in order of how the judges scored…

The Block 2016 Challenge Apartment part 1

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Kim and Chris’ Terrace

Kim and Chris came in first this week and I’m really confused as to why.

If we focus solely on the design of the space (we’ll get to the gadgets in a moment), the truth remains that this zone didn’t have much going on.

Sure, there were some elaborate pendants over the dining table, but that’s really where it ends. There was a dining table on one side of the space, and a lounge setting on the other side. And, well, that’s all.

Apart from the pendants, I’m struggling to see the other design moments in the space that got this to 28.5 on the scoreboard.

Now, gadgets are great and all, but they don’t make up for lacklustre design. And from a practicality point of view, the lounge setting was way too close to the projector for you to comfortably watch it.

There were too many bells and whistles here for me. Am I wrong?

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Dan and Carleen’s Ensuite

There’s a lot to love about Dan and Carleen’s ensuite. The use of subway tiles is nothing new, but it works in the space. And to use them en masse like this was a good idea too.

I’m all for a shower recess, so I was pleased to see one in this bathroom. I’m also a sucker for black tapware and basins right now, so it’s tick tick tick across the board for me here.

The floating timber vanity was also gorgeous, and the lighting either side of it brought a bit of interest to the space.

I really can’t fault the room. It’s not a phenomenal, call-a-medic bathroom but it’s really lovely and they deserved the points the received here.

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Andy and Ben’s Bathroom

I don’t know how much the teams got to collaborate on the overall design for the challenge apartment, but it’s a shame that Dan and Carleen’s ensuite doesn’t speak stylistically to Andy and Ben’s bathroom.

Dan and Carleen’s feels rather glam and sophisticated, while Andy and Ben’s feels more contemporary and earthy. I actually really like the boys’ bathroom, but if you owned the apartment you’d want both spaces to feel connected.

I love the use of marble tile on the walls here, and I thought the corner recess in the shower is genius. I will give the boys credit; the bathroom here is head and shoulders above the one they created at the start of the season. So props to them for evolving their style.

The one thing I really don’t like about this bathroom is that concrete wall beside the bath. It’s very jail yard chic, and is too gritty for my tastes.

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Will and Karlie’s Master Bedroom

When I first looked over the photos of Will and Karlie’s master bedroom I was certain they had taken out a win this week.

The feature wall across from the bed was a genius move. It tapped into the art deco vibe of the apartment wonderfully. I was also a fan of the colour scheme here and the mix of textures in the space.

Was the room perfection? No. I understand what the judges were saying about some of the styling choices. But they are easily fixed. If the chair looks dwarfed in the space, drag it out. It’s really not a huge deal. Certainly not enough to land these guys in fourth place.

I feel like a lot of thought went into the design of this room. And yes, this is a design competition, isn’t it? I think the judges scored based on technology this week and gadgets, and less on which teams thought about design and function.

Will and Karlie, I’m rooting for you! Except for the concrete wall. I can’t root for that.

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Julia and Sasha’s Kids Bedroom

This is where things got really opposite day for me. Actually, if you examine the scoreboard this week I would have flipped it over and been quite happy with Julia and Sasha coming first, Will and Karlie second, Andy and Ben third, Dan and Carleen fourth and Kim and Chris fifth. That makes far more sense to me.

I think the comments about this not going far enough, or that the colour palette was off, is just bonkers. I hate to make it personal, Neale, but there are thousands of kids rooms in this colour palette, and far darker, that look chic and amazing (like this one). I think this room was bang on-point.

Could it have been a little more filled? Sure. Perhaps a larger rug or kids beanbag could have added some more softness. But for me this was soft enough.

And when the lights came on: PARTY! I’ll happy sleep in here if there’s a cocktail involved.

What did you think of the scores this week? I’d love to know if I’m on my own here!

Outside of writing the TLC Interiors blog, Chris is an interior stylist and author. You can also catch him on your TV screens as a designer on Channel 10's Changing Rooms. If you'd like to book a design consult with Chris, you can find out more here

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