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.
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 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.
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 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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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 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?