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the block 2021 kirsty and jesse master ensuite white floating vanity with blue round basins and brass taps

The Block 2021 Master Bathroom Reveal Recap: Bonkers Bathtubs and Controversial Tiles

The 2021 Block contestants revealed their master bathrooms this week, and like a Real Housewives reunion, we have a lot to talk about.

Before we dive into the critique, a big thank you to those of you who let me in on the world’s worst secret: people who buy The Block houses get all of the furniture and decor too. I never knew this. In last week’s recap I made mention of furniture not being as crucial because it doesn’t come with the house. This changes everything! 

Also a big thanks to those of you who pointed out that Ronnie and Georgia did indeed have a concealed fridge in their cinema room. You lot keep me in check, and I love it. We may not love each other after this week’s recap though, because I have so many things to say and you might not agree with all of them. Let’s do this.

the block 2021 ronnie and georgia master ensuite kit kat tiles in shower

Ronnie and Georgia Came First

I feel the same way about this master ensuite as I did about the Ronnie and Georgia’s guest one; beautiful but boring. This duo do neutral well, there’s no doubt about it. But I have to disagree with Neale when he said, “you could never accuse them of being bland”. To me this is room is fairly bland.

As I’ve said in previous recaps though, Ronnie and Georgia are incredibly smart to deliver rooms that feel current to the everyday person. And they’ve done the same here.

This is a room most buyers walking in off the street will feel is quite stylish. They see this design in magazines all the time, so it makes sense to them. They aren’t put off by anything. There’s nothing daring or divisive, or really anything that stands out.

It’s tactically smart, so I commend them in one sense. But I prefer a Block room that feels buyer-appropriate and delivers something new design-wise. This is just the former. Mitch and Mark’s guest ensuite was a good example of a bathroom that feels neutral but with an element of surprise. This bathroom is not that.

the block 2021 ronnie and georgia master ensuite floating timber vanity from reece

the block 2021 ronnie and georgia master ensuite zuster issy blossom vanity

The Tall Ceiling is the Moment

Outside of the weird height of the shower head, which is positioned so high I feel like the hot water would be cold by the time it reached your head, there aren’t any terribly bad moments here. In fact there are many beautiful ones.

The 300 x 600mm grey tiles they used across the majority of the space are very successful. They’re super-soothing and yet have an earthy, organic feel to them. The pale green kit kat tiles are also rather delicious, and having them run the full length of the wall was a smart idea. The sharp angle where the wall meets the ceiling is giving me my life.

I would have appreciated something unexpected from Ronnie and Georgia in this ensuite to take it next-level though. Give me a different accent outside of brass. Give me something interesting in the mirror shape and profile. Give me accent lighting that’s not so expected. I’ll even take a green towel or some hand soap that’s not by those twins.

the block 2021 josh and luke master ensuite outdoor round bath the block 2021 josh and luke master ensuite shower with brushed nickel tapware

Josh and Luke Came Second

Has the world gone made or have I? Somebody pass me the entire bottle of Bex immediately because I need it and a good lye down pronto.

For those of you who don’t live in Melbourne, I’ll let you in on a little secret: there’s a four-minute window, during a single day in September each year, where it would be appropriate to sit outside in a bath tub. That four minutes is proceeded by torrential rain, and followed by winds that would make the world’s worst hurricane jealous. So it must be said: a bath is a stupid idea here. 

I could maybe (maaaaaybe) get on board with a spa or jacuzzi outside in Melbourne (although even that is a little Kath & Kim) but a bath tub with no cover that you’d need to clean every single time you wanted to use it: no deal.

Buyers are not going to find this a selling point. “Don’t know when we’d use that,” will be the most-heard phrase on viewing day. It would have been smarter to include a bath inside and a jacuzzi outside. At least that way you have options, and a buyer who loves a bath but doesn’t want to have one surrounded by spiders and the neighbourhood peeping Tom isn’t put off.

the block 2021 josh and luke master ensuite light timber floating vanity with double arch mirrors

The Rest of the Room Was OK

I’ve emerged from my Bex-induced coma and can now comment on the rest of Josh and Luke’s master bathroom. I have to say, all in all, it’s visually successful but a little generic. If Ronnie and Georgia’s bathroom is safe, this one is in the witness protection program.

Again, like with Ronnie and Georgia’s, there are nice individual elements. The wall tiles are lovely, the vanity is lovely, the basins and mirrors are lovely. But it’s giving me nothing new, nothing forward-thinking. The one thing I will call out as stunning is the tapware colour. All of the metallic accents are actually beautiful in this bathroom. So I’ll give them points there.

There are two other elements stand out for me, and not in a good way. Firstly, the tall storage cabinet. What’s that all about? And secondly, the ugly patch of carpet as you walk in the room. To stick on the Kath & Kim theme, it’s a welcome mat I want to get lasered off toot suite. 

the block 2021 kirsty and jesse master ensuite navy blue wall tiles blue basins the block 2021 kirsty and jesse master ensuite white floating vanity with blue round basins and brass taps

Kirsty and Jesse Came Third

Let me be very clear about this: I am OB-SESSED with this master bathroom. That doesn’t mean it’s perfect, and there are changes to be made. But far out; this is a truly stunning space that’s giving me heart palpitations. They’re so severe that I’ve pressed double zero on my phone and am ready to press the third one at any given moment.

Kirsty and Jesse hands-down delivered what I was complaining Ronnie and Georgia failed to. They’ve given us a bathroom that will appeal to a buyer, that feels calm and welcoming, but it’s giving you some design moments we haven’t seen a hundred times.

Kirsty and Jess have a point of view. I really admire that. Sure, they don’t always get it right, but at least they have something to say. I don’t get any point of view from some of the other Block teams.

The feeling in here is so serene. It’s got a tranquility to it, a sense of escape. It has moments to appreciate that set it apart. The arched door frame, for starters, is everything. Those two-toned sinks: I’ve officially flooded my basement. And the grey tiles are doing nothing to help my objectophilia. There’s honestly so much good here that I really feel they should have scored higher.

the block 2021 kirsty and jesse master ensuite with arched doorway and grey wall tiles

It’s Not All Amazing Though

OK, real talk: the brass is too much. This bathroom is suffering exactly the same issue their last guest bathroom faced: the brass is fighting with the tiles. Let one be the star. Those blue tiles are a gift from the decor gods. To pull focus away from them with all of these somewhat garish gold moments is doing this master bathroom a diservice.

And yes, Darren said it right: there are too many varying shades of brass at play as well, which is making matters worse. The darkest, most aged brass (which appears to be on the vanity handles) is the best finish of the lot. But I would have taken brushed nickel here any day. 

Alternatively, have an aged brushed brass on your tapware and vanity handles, but make the shower screen just a single panel of glass with no gold trim. Then your view of those stunning blue tiles wouldn’t be obstructed. I still adore this space though. The shot directly above with the grey tiles, white vanity and arched doorway: I’m in design heaven!

the block 2021 tanya and vito master ensuite curved shower screen the block 2021 tanya and vito master ensuite brown wall tiles and brown floating zuster vanity

Tanya and Vito Came Fourth

I have a lot to say about this bathroom, so strap yourself in for the ride, kids!

Firstly, I want to love this bathroom. And secondly, I do love this bathroom! This is the most interesting, unexpected and forward-thinking bathroom I’ve seen on The Block in years. This is one of those bathrooms that people right now might not get, but I swear to you in three years, brown will be everywhere and we’ll realise that Tanya and Vito were ahead of their time.

In a sea of neutral bathrooms on The Block, in magazines, and on Instragram, good Lord is it nice to see a bathroom that feels like its drawing inspiration from somewhere different. Even if you don’t love a particular colour or tile, surely we can agree that it’s nice to see something new.

And also, sorry judges, but the talk about Tanya and Vito limiting their market, and the buyer pool getting smaller and smaller… where was this feedback last year for Jimmy and Tam? All we heard was praise there, but Tanya and Vito are too eclectic? I hear the concerns, and yes some buyers might be put off, but this bathroom would actually make me want the home more.

the block 2021 tanya and vito master ensuite dark brown floating timber vanity from zuster

Major Wins, and a Few Sins

So let’s address the shower tile. To me, it’s a welcome surprise. Like when Maccas gives you a sweet and sour sauce you didn’t pay for. I find it works just fine with the other tiles in the space, and I love it paired with the black tapware. I think for me the main issue is that the colour of the tile and the vanity are not the same, but not different enough. I would have potentially explored another vanity colour.

I also really love the shower doors. Again, not something we’ve seen on The Block before, and something I find rather divine. I also can’t get enough of the burnt orange towels styled in this space either – the perfect tone!

The major sin for me is the pendant light and styling. It is a bit naff and takes the concept too far. The tiles are a moment. Then we have the arched shower screen. Then we have a black loo. They once again need to edit the space and remove a few things. That pendant light is too flee market find and brings the entire room down.

I’m really keen to see if any of you agree with me on this bathroom. I could be alone in this love affair. 

the block 2021 mitch and mark master ensuite marble floor tiles the block 2021 mitch and mark master ensuite shower with brass double shower heads

Mitch and Mark Came Last

I’m seeing the return of the 2019 Mitch and Mark here you guys. And I feel the same way about it as I do the return of hair scrunchies: don’t want. M&M were on such a good run for a few weeks there (with some really considered room designs), but I fear the restrained style is coming to an end. 

This master bathroom is a bit much for my liking. It’s busier than Bondi Beach during lockdown (yep, I went there). Between the fishscale feature tiles, the larger stone tiles, the stacks of brass and bright red flowers, it’s a lot to take in. Like Gina Liano’s hair and makeup, there’s too much going on. I’d appreciate a little visual calm. 

It’s an either-or scenario with the tiles for me, that’s the main issue. Given they did a similar tile in their guest bathroom, Mitch and Mark should have stuck with the fishscale tiles here and had the rest of the space decked out in a simple white tile. That would have created a nice sense of cohesion between both bathrooms.

To reduce the brass overload, I would have had the vanity handleless and made the drawers push-to-open.

the block 2021 mitch and mark master ensuite white floating vanity with brass handles

The Spatial Planning Was Indeed Quite Bad

Everything the judges had to say about the functionality and spatial planning was valid. I don’t know what Mitch and Mark we thinking cutting the room down the middle with an oversized piece of glass. 

I also can’t make sense of the double shower heads positioned the way they were. You’d have to literally be joined at the hip to enjoy that sort of shower scenario. Great for codependent couples, I suppose, but not really useable for most people.

It feels like there’s a lot of wasted space here too. Space that, if they worked the floorplan better, might have allowed for a bath.

What did you make of The Block 2021 master bathroom reveals? Drop me a comment below and share your thoughts. Do you think the right team won?

Want to see more goodness from The Block? Make sure you check out The Block Shop and nine now.

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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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Comments

10 Responses

  1. Kirsty and Jesse’s bathroom was my favourite, loved the blue tiles and vanity. I wasn’t sure about Tanya and Vito’s brown tiles but they do work with the vanity and towels. Agree with you about Mitch and Mark and Ronnie and Georgia’s bathrooms. Love the idea of a courtyard bath, but I’ve been to Melbourne and I’m pretty sure it will get used maybe twice a year.

  2. I totally agree with you this week Chris. I think Tanya and Vito’s room was the most daring, I actually loved the tile and the shower screen were bold and exciting but not the loo. I thought Ronnie and Georgia was the most saleable but not groundbreaking in design. I love the boys idea but thought the execution was a bit meh. I think enclose the bath and put in massive skylights to bring “the outside in”and you would conquer spiders the bath, too cold in Melbourne scenario. I wasn’t overwhelmed by the blue bathroom, loved the blue but thought the ideas were a bit too Instagramable(could be a good thing).
    Mitch and mark had too many functional errors for my liking.

  3. I loved Tanya and Vito’s bathroom, those arched shower screens were stunning and I loved that pendant light, what a fab find. But I love the 70’s and styles that aren’t beige.

    The two tone basins in Jesse and Kirsty rooms were already saved on my pinterest board for my own reno coming up so a big hands up for that choose. Their bathroom was beautiful, the only thing that I feel let them down (besides the wobbly floor spout) was the shower screen, I would have opted for clear glass screen. I am not a fan though of having to clean a bathtub every time I have a shower – especially behind the bathtub when my coloured hair dye goes flying everything.

    Yes Ronnie and Georgia’s was great, safe though.

    I always believe in a house not appealing to the masses but stealing the heart of a few so the person becomes emotionally attached to the house, and can’t just find another one around the corner that looks that same. That way, come auction time, they simply have to have the house.

  4. I hated the tile in T&V’s bathroom, but then, I am old enough to remember them in all bathrooms in the 80’s and have a violent reaction towards that shiny mustard colour on tiles. It doesn’t help the actual ledge is quite mean which makes it feel like a left over constructional constraint that they just had to dress up. The black toilet is a miss for me as well on a practical cleaning level. They could have made the point with the lamp and the towels.
    K&J should change the door as per judges comment and fix the screen to be all the way up, and then the bathroom is AAA.
    J&L like the hardware, but so much to hate about the bathtub and the glass doors before them: The opening of the sliding doors, doesn’t align with the corridor created in the bathroom, the frame is hideous and clashing with the rest of the bathroom. I also want to know why the judges and a lot of reno shows don’t discuss how bad it is for the environment to have any external heaters, electric or tank on all levels. The outside aspect as you wrote is just not ok.

  5. Oh Chris, Tanya and Vito`s is horrible.
    40 years ago we had similar and bulldozed it, surely this look and colour is not coming back.
    As for the black toilet, I bought black loo paper after seeing it on the block years ago and everyone thought it disgusting, wasn`t a hit at all.

  6. Chris the carpet at the door of the Twins bathroom is in the walk-in wardrobe. You open a wardrobe door like Narnia & you are “transported” to another room.

  7. I’m with you Chris, I thought the bathrooms were all a bit safe. There was nothing from a design point of view that hasn’t been done before.

    I’m wondering when the double vanity phase is going? There’s no room on the bench for me to do my makeup. I would personally prefer one basin.

  8. Thought Kirsty and Jesse’s bathroom was the best. Though totally agree about the brass. Ronnie and Georgia nice but boring. The twins no way outside bathtub and that horrible storage cupboard. M&M way too busy. Loved their first bathroom so don’t know how they got this one so wrong. As for Tanya and Vito I would forever use the other bathroom as I thought that was the worst I’ve ever seen on the block

  9. That was one of my favorite recaps of yours!! Best read with my morning coffee, got me laughing so much, great way to start my day on lockdown day 1254678.
    I agree with you on Tanya & Vito’s bathroom, I thought the look was so refreshing. Not a huge fan of the shower tiles…. But aside from that the feel in the bathroom was great. I would love that bathroom.

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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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