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What I discovered on my tour of The Block Apartments

With The Block 2016 almost all done and dusted, I was invited to tour all five apartments this week gone by. And boy did it change a lot of my thoughts about the show.

What would The Block apartments really look like in-person? That’s the main thought I had going into the media tour. I mean, I’ve hosted a lot of video segments in homes over the years, and I’m all too aware that things can look different on camera than they do in-the-flesh.

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

So let me take you through what I learnt and discovered as I wandered through the apartments.

What I discovered on my tour of The Block Apartments

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Karlie and Will’s feature walls are everything

Do you hear me eating my words, Karlie and Will? I’ve actually got indigestion, that’s how fast I’m gobbling them down.

In my room reveal post, I recall being hard on these guys for their innovative walls; great for a cafe or restaurant, but not a main bedroom. Too visually chaotic and overbearing, I said. Well, I was wrong.

In-person, Will and Karlie’s apartment surprised me the most – especially the bedrooms. In-person, the dramatic feature wall you see above looks phenomenal. Not overbearing at all. And I’m positive it’ll help them clean up on auction day.

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There’s a view, but not the one you want

A lot of talk went down during room reveals this year, that suggested that the teams needed to orient furniture to look out to amazing views of Melbourne.

Sadly, though, the views are soon going to be of your neighbour in the adjoining apartment block. Port Melbourne, where The Block was filmed this year, is construction city, and from what I could see when I was there… every window you look out of saw an apartment being built beside it.

At least there’s tradies to perve on should you move in!

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The bedrooms are bigger in person, the living areas smaller

TV is a weird thing, and the photography of the room reveals I get each week are also deceiving. Not intentionally so, of course, but things always look different on film.

As I walked through the apartments, I was surprised to discover that a lot of the bedrooms were actually really spacious and that the living and dining areas felt quite intimate in real life.

The balconies and terraces are definitely needed here, and make the apartments feel much larger.

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Some of the finishes are dodgy

Mainly paint out of all the finishes. And not in all apartments. I saw some pretty dodgy painting in Andy and Ben’s apartment out of them all, especially in the master bedroom.

I recall saying that the master felt small when I saw photos of it, and in-the-flesh it is definitely on the cosy side.

The recesses they cut into the wall in the master were where I noticed the bad painting. The other apartments were fine though.

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The kitchens are where it’s at

I have to say, the kitchens in The Block apartments really were the wow moments. In-person, the attention to detail was amazing and the appliances knocked me for six.

There is so much technology going into kitchens these days (I need a built-in coffee machine ASAP if not sooner), and in these apartments it was showcased wonderfully.

I still stand by my comments in the room reveal recap posts of these zones though; Will and Karlie’s kitchen a bit dark, Julia and Sasha’s the best of the lot, Kim and Chris’ wooden bench was a no-go. But in each kitchen the actual design of the space was wonderful.

And I now hate the oven, dishwasher and cooktop in my own home. #KitchenEnvy

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Go ground or top floor

If you’re ever on The Block, or you’re buying off the plan in an apartment complex, you have to go ground or top floor. Anything in the middle is a little disappointing.

The ground floor allows you to create an amazing backyard zone like Will and Karlie did this week in their terrace reveal. But as we went upstairs, the middle floor felt darker and less impressive. When you got to the top apartment – Julia and Sasha’s – the light in the space was everyyyyything!

You honestly cannot beat the ambiance in this apartment. So bear that in mind if you ever find yourself tossing up between floors.

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Julia and Sasha’s apartment = heaven

I said it week after week in my room reveal recaps, that Julia and Sasha’s apartment continued to impress me the most. And in-person, it was ten times better than you see on camera.

The light, the spatial planning, the consistency and flow in the space, the ambiance, the finishes, the SMELL in the apartment. Yes, out of them all, this apartment was fragrant thanks to candles and flowers used throughout. I was in nostril nirvana the entire time I was there.

These girls will clean up on auction day.

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My prediction for auction results

Having seen all of The Block apartments in person, and viewing them as a potential buyer, I have to say that I think this is how the leader board will look on auction day:

  1. Julia and Sasha
  2. Will and Karlie
  3. Dan and Carleen
  4. Kim and Chris
  5. Andy and Ben

 

K&C and A&B didn’t have bad apartments, but there wasn’t a sense of luxury in these spaces. So they’ll be neck and neck in terms of the sale price I think.

What are your thoughts on who has the best of the five Block Apartments? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.

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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