1. Home
  2. Blog
  3. News + Media
  4. The Block 2021 Garages, Studies & Wine Cellars: Stellar Stairs Meets Horror Hacks
the block 2021 ronnie and georgia built in banquette seat in home office

The Block 2021 Garages, Studies & Wine Cellars: Stellar Stairs Meets Horror Hacks

The Block 2021 garages, studies and wine cellars have just been revealed. And good Lord was it a journey from stunning to shocking and everything in-between. 

We saw some of the worst design crimes ever (I’m looking at you, wallpapered fridges), sit beside some truly awe-inspiring moments (hello spiral staircase). And then there were some other puzzling style choices we need to talk out too.

We also had some major made-for-TV drama I tried my best to avoid and not talk about, as you know I like to keep it design-focussed. And for the most part, I did that. But I’d love to know from you in the comments section at the end if you think it was all above-board scoring this week.

the block 2021 ronnie and georgia garage wall racing wallpaper mural

the block 2021 ronnie and georgia mud room banquette seat near garage

Ronnie and Georgia Came First

I don’t have a strong opinion on murals for garage walls, but Ronnie & Georgia don’t seem like the team to do it. Given the aesthetic of their home, it feels playfully out of place. Chic, subdued, sophisticated and neutral are all words I’d use to describe their property, but not this wallpaper.

The mud room was visually impressive, I’ll give them that. And they ticked the box when it came to storage underneath as well. It’s functionally smart, but I worry about safety.

I can see someone sitting on the bench seat getting whacked in the head by the door swinging open. A sliding door to the garage would have been a better idea here, or at least make it open toward the garage, not the mud room.

the block 2021 ronnie and georgia study with banquette seating

The Fourth “Bedroom” Was Not a Bedroom

When it came to the fourth “bedroom” above, again it was visually divine and felt plush and comfortable. I could see myself curling up on that upholstered banquette seat with a wine in hand for days. And the view out to the pool is a nice touch as well. I have no complaints on the style front.

That said, with all of the permanent joinery in here, there’s no space for a bed and other bedroom furniture. And that bench seat, no matter how big it is, is not cutting it as a place to sleep. This is not a fourth bedroom and nobody will convince me otherwise.

The judges roasted Tanya and Vito for theirs being a three-bedroom home, but as I see it, so is Ronnie and Georgia’s. Three-bed plus study is not a four-bedroom home.

the block 2021 ronnie and georgia spiral staircase up to mezzanine the block 2021 ronnie and georgia spiral staircase the block 2021 ronnie and georgia wine cellar with brick herringbone floor

The Moment of the Season Finally Arrived

We finally hit the most stunning moment of the series: that curved staircase. I’ve been waiting for something quite epic from Ronnie and Georgia this seasons and they well and truly served it up here.

While it is undoubtedly beautiful, it’s such a shame that a pylon sits smack bang in front of it in the dining room. I understand it must be structural, but it really takes away from the visual.

The cellar though; holy heavens above. The new owners are going to find me living down here. Wine, a powder room, and cinema seating: I’m moving in. The flooring in the cellar was everything too. This zone, along with the staircase, has really pushed R&G into guaranteed first place come auction day.

And can I say, I thoroughly enjoyed that some of the furniture down there was flatpack. I always say that the magic in interior design is in the mix (high end meets low end, skimp meets splurge). I appreciate this approach showcased in a way that works. A very good week for Ronnie and Georgia.

the block 2021 kirsty and jesse garage wall mural

Kirsty and Jesse Came Second

The garage door from Kirsty and Jesse (which you’ll see more of in next week’s front yard reveal) was divine and very in-keeping with the Hamptons theme inside. These are the sort of touched I didn’t see in their backyard, but at least the first impression is solid. Inside though, things are undercooked.

The mural and fridge look awkward sitting there side by side, like two teenagers on the Town Hall steps in Sydney meeting for a first date (been there, done that, and it never went well). 

And can we discuss contact paper on fridge doors for a moment? This is the sort of tragic hack people get mercilessly roasted for online, and it has no place on The Block in 2021. Please kids, do not try this at home. Contacting anything that’s not a book is one of the worst style crimes ever.

Overall I feel they got off a little scott free on the garage. The storage felt quite basic.

the block 2021 kirsty and jesse home office shaker cabinets brass handles

The Study Was Lovely, But Not In-Keeping

Kirsty and Jesse’s study featured a stick-on mural that made way more sense than the one in the garage. And overall, the vibe of the study is lovely. But, doesn’t it remind you of something you’d see in Ronnie and Georgia’s home? In fact, it reminds me a lot of their walk-in-robe.

Where is some of the signature Hamptons style K&J have executed so successfully across the rest of the home? I need some blue in here at the very least. If they didn’t want it in cabinetry, which I can understand, give us a navy chair, or navy felt backing board, or navy in the styling.

The zone does feel a little claustrophobic too. What could have helped in a study of this size, is double sliding doors to enter the room, and less joinery. It would be preferred to create a sense of space and connect this room to the rest of the home. As it stands it feels very closed-in.

the block 2021 kirsty and jesse wine cellar black cabinets

I’d Make Tweaks to Kirsty & Jess’s Wine Cellar

The wine cellar was visually appealing and connected well to the vibe of the cinema room. As sister spaces they’re very successful. The wine fridges are undeniably grand and impressive, and I like the dark feel in here.

Not putting in a sink though, seemed forgiven by the judges, but it’s such a functional fail. The cleanup after a wine and cinema sesh, to have to carry everything upstairs, is just not on. If you spill wine, how are you cleaning it up? That benchtop would be covered in red wine rings.

The space was also quite echoey during the judges walkthrough. Some carpet here would be preferred. I would have carpeted up to the bench zone and then left the section between the island and wall joinery as hard flooring. It’s a mistake a lot of teams made in their basements, actually.

the block 2021 mitch and mark garage pink wallpaper mural

Mitch and Mark Came Third

The garage was a bit of a sad first impression, let’s be honest. The wall mural isn’t bad, it just doesn’t shine in this space. Unless you’re going to kit out your garage with oodles of shelving/storage, like Ronnie and Georgia did, there’s not much else you can do to make it impressive.

The study, which you see below, is also not tickling me. The joinery is probably the one positive I can call out, but everything else is a bit hodge podge. The styling feels quite thrown together, the whole zone feels rushed, and the chairs are completely impractical. 

The biggest issue though is the size of this space. No sane person would want to sit on the right-hand side of this desk, hitting their head on the ceiling every time they get up. This will end up being a dead zone the buyer doesn’t use, which is a real shame.

the block 2021 mitch and mark study zone home office mezzanine

the block 2021 mitch and mark media room basement wine room

The Media Room Was Super Confused

Now, onto the most confused room of the lot: the wine cellar come media room come asylum come kids playground. This is a bonkers space with no distinct style, no clear vision, and no obvious purpose. I really can’t wrap my head around it.

The layout doesn’t work. As Shaynna pointed out, the placement of wine fridge and rack – across the room from the countertop and sink – is weird. You’d be walking back and forth in front of the TV with red wine, tripping over cushions, to get a glass. At least you have padded walls to break your fall!?

The tall wine rack feels like it’s going to topple down on you any minute as well. This is the kind of space you’d get injured in and nobody would hear you or find you for days. I’d only go down here if I had one of those necklaces with a panic button on it connected to an emergency services number.

I hate to say it, but the room needs to be redesigned from scratch.

the block 2021 tanya and vito garage with vintage car

Tanya and Vito Came Fourth

I can’t say I’m enjoying the portholes in the garage door. If you didn’t watch the reveal ep, I’ll show you more of them in next week’s front yard reveal. But there were many of them present in Tanya and Vito’s garage door. And I’m not a keen bean.

I half expect a munchkin from the lollypop guild to stick his head through one to welcome you to the land of Oz. I admire the idea, but it doesn’t read as sophisticated to me, given the suburb the home is in. Inside the garage, it’s attack of the fridge door wallpaper hack – again! Please, for the love of God, may nobody copy this idea.

I agree that it’s a mistake not to include a fourth bedroom if there’s space for it. But even if we give Tanya and Vito the leeway to stand by their conviction, we can’t forgive the fact that the back zone of the garage is a nothing space. At least do something epic with it in terms of storage. 

the block 2021 tanya and vito wine cellar games room the block 2021 tanya and vito basement games room

The Cellar Room Was A Mixed Bag

Down in Tanya and Vito’s cellar and games room, there are some wins. The joinery zone is quite nice and is a great start in terms of look and feel for an area like this. It’s a windowless room, after all, so I always say you should lean into the dark and moody.

Sadly though, it didn’t carry through to the rest of the space.

There’s a level of confusion in this room and it feels hard and sterile. It lacks warmth and cosiness. If they intended this to be a games room, then carpet would help reduce the noise of kids running around. I’m with Neale on this one… I’m not sure it’s adding anything to the home as it stands.

Like with Kirsty and Jesse’s cellar, I would have carpeted at last half of the room and then left a section of hard flooring in front of the kitchen joinery. The entire area needs to be zoned into two purposes; a clear adult wine and drinking zone, and then more of a kids games space.

the block 2021 josh and luke garage wall mural

the block 2021 josh and luke home office wall mural

Josh and Luke Came Last

The question I have for you, loyal viewers who watch throughout the week, is whether the re-jigged living and dining room was up for judging as part of this reveal. Because if it wasn’t, I really don’t think it needed to be focussed on, and for the scoring to be impacted by what was happening in there. Doesn’t it feel like some grudges were held?

That little gripe aside, let’s discuss the study. It is a very unfortunate area, with a desk squeezed in the corner and imposing joinery that makes the zone feel claustrophobic. The sitting area wasn’t much better in terms of giving the room a purpose or distinct look and feel that draws you in.

The judges were right to point out issues in the ensuite. It’s going to need to be re-worked. The whole zone needs that actually. I’d be making this a more anything-goes space with capacity to hold a bed.

the block 2021 josh and luke basement bar home cinema

I’m Not That Angry About the Basement Bar

The bar zone in the cinema room I take less issue with than the judges did. Sure, it needs a sink and a fridge, but outside of that I see it working well as a whole. 

I know you’re there to watch movies, but I could also see parties down there where you’re gathered around the bar and where there’s music videos playing on the screen. I see there’s space to dance too. I know, it’s not super polished like some of the other cellars, but a few tweaks will resolve it.

I like the idea that this is a little dark cave; an escape from the real world upstairs. They leaned into that idea and I really don’t mind it. Not every buyer wants a trip to a cellar door in Provence. I see some family buyers especially loving the party feel down here.

What did you make of The Block 2021 garages, studies and cellars this week? Drop me a comment below and let me know if you think the judges got the scores right.

See more goodness from The Block via The Block Shop and nine now.

Share

Share on pinterest
Share on facebook
Share on linkedin
Share on twitter

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

Related Posts​
Comments

15 Responses

  1. Hse 1, just gorgeous definitely a winner
    Hse 2, what a mess that room is, but they are always OTT
    Hse 3, I liked garage door think it suited exterior
    Hse 4 weren’t they boasting at the start about having the only 4 bed house, I hate everything about that hse
    Hse 5 I think they did a good job but agree about a Rsink down there

  2. How are Luke and Josh going to fix everything inside the house and the front garden?????
    They should have been thrown off the show when it was discovered that they were cheating.
    It seems that all of the houses are thtee bedroom.
    It’s not surprising that the average family these days have three children and need a four bedroom house.
    This year’s Block should be the last. It’s lost the appeal that it had before. Plus faves vs fans isn’t good. Especially when it’s R & G and M & M. They have businesses renovating, building and refreshing tired houses.
    But going back to the twins, the attitude, filthy mouthed, vile comments they have made especially last night towards Neil is reprehensible. They are sore loser’s, they behave like spoilt brats.
    The show thrives on the drama more than the building and styling, it gets top ratings from it, but enough is enough.

  3. I felt like crying when you called Kirsty “Kristy” as a Kirsten who always gets Kristen I can’t tell you how frustrating that is.

    The boys should be ashamed of themselves not even bothering to finish a whole space. What were they doing.

    I think that this weeks scores across the board were very high and probably not comparisons with other high 20 scores that have been given out. Having a styled garage seems so wasteful to me. A waste of money and resources. It should be a functional space with no styling required.

  4. Totally agree regarding the twins. Spoilt brats. So many things they’ve got away with. For me demanding an audit of K&J was so hypocritical when they had just whined their way to $20K worth of trees. They need to grow up.
    R&G are stirrers and as professional renovators should not be on the show.

  5. House 1, Love the basement, the floor is just divine there and it’s the only house with a powder room down there as well. Meaning, it’s self contained no matter what you want to do with it. The stairs are a work of art, I agree the structural post on the main floor is distracting, I would have considered bring the dining room wall out to it so it made more sense. I don’t see the medical bills from the mud room (I do see them from the sunken lounge). It’s a convenient place to sit, take your shoes off, drop your bag and go. I do see that bedroom 4 as a bedroom. Kids, even big kids have lived in king singles forever. If I chose this house and needed it to function as a bedroom for 2 people ie: guests, I’d spend the money to take the joinery out so as to fit a double bed and use just one of the closets in the opposite corner. The garage mural didn’t bother me, but I do wonder if they will be finishing the garage floor.

    House 2 – This house needs a lot of editing in the basement, I would agree on moving the fridge and wine rack. I would leave the sofa. Other than that, maybe a small chair, I’m not sure, I know where they wanted to go, I’m not sure, maybe pick just one purpose and stick with it. I thought the study in the garage was an odd concept, putting in gym equipment would have been more suitable for the area. Other than that the garage was barren. Did they deserve as many points as they got? No, should have been no more than the 7’s from each judge.

    House 3 – The garage was barren as well, why put up just a shelf or 2, it looks worse than if you’d put up none & that large window/glass door is really pretty. Do you need that in a garage? No, do you need it from a bedroom? Yes. Take the judges advice!!! As for the basement, the joinery was good, the wine barrel seating nice, but a games room? No. Pick one or the other and implement it flawlessly. Let buyers spend money to buy these arcade type games if you leave it as a wine cellar (by the way, none really hit the brief of a true wine cellar). This house deserved the 6’s it got. The garage door was fine by me, I didn’t really find it offensive.

    House 4 – garage, at least it had a cool door and a graphico wall, otherwise nothing is there, not even the first coat of paint, although the floor looks interesting. That’s the one good thing in house 4. Nothing was done or done well. That couch in a room with a desk crunched in an odd corner with an ensuite type bathroom. That has to be removed right away. What a waste. They switched their rooms around so they could have a 4th bedroom, well where is it?? That sofa looked ridiculous in the room. The basement never ceases to disappoint. It looks like they went to Kmart to put the bench in. Too bad they didn’t find a buyer for that statue. That traditional theatre room is a remake of the tired, out dated approach to home theatres, go check out house 1 for inspiration. It really is that bad. The whole thing is really that bad. I assume Channel 9 will fix it up for auction. They deserved the 3’s they got. Worst reveal I’ve seen in a very long time, well besides their hallway week.

    House 5 – Did this house deserve to be 1/2 a point behind house 1? NO. No toilet or water at the bar is a problem in a home, that quite frankly has a different buyer than the rest. The price will be vastly different and their requirements will be stiff. No toilet in the basement, no water or stone benchtop at the bar? This house was blessed and cursed with the 100K of wine coolers. The cheap joinery and shortage of a truly deserving fit out is disappointing. They should have sold 2 of the coolers so they could do the other 2 justice. This will be a big expense and problem should the new owner want to remedy it. The study was just as claustrophobic as house 2, just awful spatially, put in only what is necessary. For such a large house this feels like an afterthought. The garage, like the others was just plain. I was not as impressed as Neil with the 3 shelves to be used in the separate area for storage. This house deserved nothing more than 7’s.

    This week irked me like none other. Nothing was close to R&G and yet they had their problems as well, fixable problems with minimal inconvenience.

  6. The points given to the boys by the judges were disgusting and an insult to all the hard work that was put into those spaces. I would have walked off.

  7. I don’t watch the show, only read your fab reviews and view the room galleries on the Channel 9 website. The tensions, fighting, program editing, and turf wars make me too, too sad.
    I’d like to think the producers, judges and contestant come here and read your reviews too, Chris.
    I loved the photos of R&G’s basement. The staircase. The floor. The rustic finishes. Can I join you for a wine down there when all the fracas dies down? I don’t have kids so their space appeals to me the most. I don’t want a games room in my basement. The Dolly Parton/Johnny Cash styling by K&J in their basement was a bit too cutsie. And it’s too dark. I get your whole ’embrace the darkness with a moody look’ aesthetic, but it would make me feel like time stands still, and not in a good way, more like in a casino what-day-is-it way, and Covid has given me enough of those, besides, I’m claustrophobic. Eek! Where’s the exit?

  8. I think the boys seemed to have been judged on the other rooms than the ones they actually did. They probably could have cleaned up a bit, but either way shouldn’t have been judged on it. Also why pan them on no sink but give second place to a couple with no sink? I don’t get it.

    Kirsty and Jesse did not deserve to be half a point behind. I thought everything this week was bland and agree the Hamptons look seems to have slid off the radar the last two weeks. I’m quite confused by it.

    Ronnie and Georgia deserved to win, and by more than half a point. What they pulled off this week – the number of spaces and the level of finish compared to other houses was miles ahead.

    I feel bad for saying it but the boys room looked mush mashed to me, nothing flowed together, even the tones were different from each other.

    Tanya and Vito – Making the back of the garage into a study with double doors is a fabulous suggestion from the judges and I hope they take it on.

  9. I think we need new judges next year and no more of this fans v favs. I love the twins house and the judging has been outrageous this year. I also love Mitch and Marks house. I certainly hope these four sell their houses for the most profit . I love them and wish I could afford to buy one of them.

  10. R&G’s staircase was beautiful, their styling good, but how can this be classed a competition? They have won 5 times ($’$sss), of course the styling is going to be good, they had much more money to spend than other contestants put together. Where is the handicapping system? R&G professional renovators against complete novices.
    All the garages were very ordinary, nothing exciting there and didn’t like wallpaper at all in any of them.

    That being said I still keep watching hoping to get inspiration but not much of that this season.

    Still love reading your posts Chris.

  11. I’m a little disappointed with the basements, not a single tribute to AFL or sport! Perfect opportunity it’s to have lounge seating, with a sofa table doubling as a bar behind that seating, bar stools, leading back to maybe a games table or pool table. Sporting memorabilia on the walls, what a brilliant place to watch an AFL Grand Final! Wonderful opportunity missed in the nation’s sporting capital.

  12. I do wonder how often families will use those “caves”. I’m not one of those people who sit around watching movies & drinking wine every day.

  13. I am wondering why no basement has been turned into a well equipped gymnasium with surround sound. Does everyone go downstairs to drink wine, when there are gorgeous lounge and outdoor areas? as a someone who is a knowledge worker, ALL the studies are on the meh side, but R & G team at least offer a view.

  14. Not sure who the target market for all these windowless basement bars in family homes would be – movie producers entertaining financiers with a drink before heading into the home theatre!? Given all these homes have limited space, a gym or storage room or even a rumpus room possibly might have been a more practical option.

  15. I also hated the sunken lounge room. It lacks flexibility re furniture placement and I can see future owners filling it in. Mitch and Mark’s room had too much dead space. The entry table should go, which would allow the dining table to be moved and the lounge area expanded. I think that the contestants walk a fine line between adding personal touches but keeping the design appealing to the widest demographic. I agree with all the comments about the skylights. Way too many. Overkill by all contestants.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

LET’S GET DECORATING!

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!

Latest Articles