It is auction time on The Block for yet another season!
Whilst it is easy to get caught up with reserve prices, auction order and which apartment we think will take the gold medal; it is also a chance to reflect on the many valuable tips, reno tricks and pieces of styling advice that the judges provided throughout each week's room reveals.
Neale, Shaynna and Darren know their stuff! Whether we agreed with each and every comment they made or not; years of experience and a keen eye for detail delivered us buckets of advice and essentially free interior design lessons week in week out. Winning!
Sunday Minx Bath Towels are our name ... so Bathrooms are our game!
We have gathered all the bathroom feedback from the judges throughout the season and identified 5 key themes they emphasised again and again for winning bathroom designs. From reno rookies to those who just like to dream about their perfect bathroom, we hope this list provides a checklist for a 10/10 Bathroom space in your own home.
It has become a long-running joke on The Block, but a bathroom without face level storage is never going to get top marks ... and nor should it!
Keep bench space clear and tidy by having adequate space to store all your "stuff". My favourite quote from the season was Neale Whitaker saying he has four face-level storage cabinets to keep their grooming products within ... and he doesn't have hair! Brilliant!
Storage in general is important - consider ample space for towels, beauty products, hair dryers and toilet rolls. The more storage space the better!
Functionality features may be dull, yet are so important. If we are truthful these are the design elements that make daily living convenient and comfortable. There is nothing worse than being on hands and knees looking for a powerpoint and knowing this is now your new norm every time you want to dry your hair!
Key functionality considerations:
- Lighting plans are essential. Have options for a relaxing soft glow throughout, yet also appropriate vanity lighting for makeup/grooming.
- Placement of bathroom items ie. Is your towel rack within reach when you get out of the shower?
- Allow for vanity bench space when positioning your basin.
- Consider shower overspray. Does your shower need a door? Bathrooms are wet rooms, however you don't want large puddles morning and night that need mopping.
- Placement of power points. Hidden in face-level storage is a winner!
- Be consistent with the finishes you select throughout the entire room. Be meticulous about tapwear selection that will match or compliment door handles, trims and drain materials. If you choose a matte finish - be consistent throughout the entire bathroom. Likewise if you are using brushed metal, gold, silver or black finishes.
- Subtle links with other bathrooms/ensuite in the house can create a consistent and cohesive home. Bianca and Carla created a floor to ceiling stone feature wall in their main bathroom with rich wooden ceiling. Their main ensuite extended this theme with a half stone wall and wooden custom made vanity. Whilst unique in their own right, these acknowledgments to consistency ensure a flow throughout the entire apartment.
- Similarly, Courtney and Hans chose a stunning terrazzo tile in both their main bathroom and main ensuite - they just reversed the colour palette.
The biggest lesson to be learnt is 'Less is More.' The concept of styling often makes people think they need to create vignettes and pockets of items, yet simplistic and minimal styling in bathrooms often creates the biggest high fives.
Three tips I found helpful:
- Consider the area/era/style of the home and add small details that reflect this.
- Adding greenery, unique textures like marble and wood is a great way to soften the space from being cold and expansive.
- If you go for a predominately white bathroom (which many people do for longevity) break it up with pops of colour to avoid it looking like a large, clinical white box. Hint: We know some great coloured bath towels that will do the trick!
Designing a bathroom is a difficult task as so many elements are hard fixtures that need to be considered prior to the build. Try to remember:
- Choose ONE hero piece to showcase. As Sara and Hayden learnt the hard way ... less is more! Carefully consider a statement tile wall OR a unique freestanding bath OR a greenery feature. Don't do all!
- When you walk into a bathroom, you don't want the first thing you see to be the toilet. Consider this in the floorplan design.
- Dark walls will close in a space - especially a smaller room like the bathroom. Dark features can add a sense of luxe, however balance with light and bright colours to avoid making the room feel foreboding.
- Scale - don't overpower your bathroom with too many elements, yet also maximise the space you have. Extend vanities to the wall if you have the space to do so, emphasise tall ceilings and don't clutter with poor styling for the sake of it.
Now that we are all experts in creating the perfect bathroom, all that is left to do is watch and cheer on the couples at tonight's auctions!
Good Luck Everyone!