Perhaps the most exciting room reveal of The Block, we have finally reached kitchen week! The teams have created some spectacular looks, each including its own exciting and unique features: after all, it is often said that kitchens sell houses!
The Block’s Kitchen Week is one of the most exciting times of the show with viewers keenly awaiting the reveals each year, noting the common trends and using these spaces as an inspiration for their own homes. This year’s teams certainly didn’t disappoint! Each team pulled off a stunning kitchen design, each with its own unique colour schemes, materials and other exciting touches.
A common theme that has been raised this week however is that we all would have liked to see more powerpoints included in some of these designs so I thought I’d note this point straight off the bat instead of revisiting it in each design. Another interesting feature that has been included in several of the kitchen designs this week is the window splashback; this look is already quite dated and can also be a nuisance to maintain in many homes. It is however, very much up to the owner’s personal preferences so again, this is not an element of the designs that we’ll be critiquing!
Harry and Tash – Judge’s Score: 29/30
Including an extravagant 4m long Caesarstone island benchtop, Harry and Tash’s modern kitchen design absolutely wowed the judges this week! Darren especially enjoyed the black pull handles featured in the space while all judges agreed that the inclusion of the very stylish coffee machine added a lot of value to the kitchen. Including a lovely spacious Butler’s Pantry, this kitchen certainly is the perfect fit for a true entertainer.
The look and style of this was absolutely spectacular however, there are certain small issues in the overall design that may raise concerns over the space’s practicality and functionality over time. The layout for example includes a wonderfully large integrated refrigerator with other key work stations and appliances aligned in a straight row starting with the sink and cooktop and followed by a set of wall ovens. For a better and more practical flow, the fridge should be closer to the sink rather than on the opposite end of the space as this makes for a better organised and more functional design. The work triangle of a kitchen not only offers a guide as to where these key appliances and zones should be placed but also dictates the amount of steps that should be taken between one area to the next in terms of the preparation and cooking process. Following these guides not only makes for a better functioning design but also ensures the design itself has taken the user’s safety into consideration (in this example, trailing water droplets from the fridge to the sink, to prep zones, etc. can make for a messy and slippery space!).
LED strip lighting has also been included in the kitchen’s kickboards, creating a luxuriously lightweight feel in the room – A great touch however I do wonder why this same lighting feature was not included beneath the open wall shelves on either side of the cooktop. Although there is a small strip of lighting installed directly above the cooktop itself, this should have been extended to also light up the benchspace on either side of it as the user would be stood in the way of the space’s main light source and as such, casting a shadow over the worktop. Seeing as this space is also where the sink is, one would naturally assume that it would also be used as a preparation area so the additional light beneath the overhead shelving would have been a better choice than the kickboard lighting feature which at the end of the day, serves no more purpose other than making the space more aesthetically pleasing. Form should follow function after all!
Sarah & George – Judge’s Score: 28/30
Using a range of materials and finishes that show their home’s unique 1940’s flair, Sarah and George created an absolutely spectacular design this week, using a luxurious Dolomite stone benchtop with an on trend curved feature element. Darren seemed to be completely overjoyed with the design (and rightly so!) going as far as to give that curvaceous benchtop a big bear hug! The only criticism our judges had of the space is that the overhead cabinetry was simply too high, making for an uncomfortable experience. The louvered glass doors included in the Butler’s Pantry design were also a huge hit this week, making for a refreshingly modern look.
I enjoyed just about every aspect of this design, from the colours and materials used, to the wonderful profiled cabinetry doors and pulls that offer a subtle nod to the home’s 1940’s era. The layout of the appliances also seems to have been very well thought out, with the refrigerator being situated closest to the kitchen sink, making for a better functioning work triangle. I also loved the inclusion of the built-in rangehood in the cooktop – a very modern touch! It was also great to see that LED strip lighting has been installed beneath the overhead cupboards, serving both an incredibly important function in lighting up the workspace when in use while also making for a luxurious aesthetic touch. A very modern design that also recalls the look and charm of the 1940’s – well done Sarah and George!
Daniel & Jade – Judge’s Score: 29.5/30 (with bonus point)
Including a bold feature kitchen island designed by the renowned Christian Cole, Daniel and Jade took out the win this week, making good use of that bonus point! The central island was definitely the highlight of this design, even including a discrete drinks cupboard on one end for a wonderfully personal custom touch. The judges all agreed that this spectacular custom designed feature element was definitely an excellent addition to the space that truly reflected the 1930’s era of the property. Most definitely a very well planned out overall kitchen design with my only feedback being that a profiled cabinet door would have been a great inclusion as it would have offered the space some more interest and depth. Once again however, I would consider this a personal preference and otherwise, very much enjoyed the winning look!
Luke & Jasmin – Judge’s Score: 28/30
Copy cats or simply trend followers? Luke and Jasmin once again came under fire this week with fellow contestants Daniel and Jade left wondering the very same thing as the duo’s curved island bench seemed all too similar to their custom designed piece. Luke and Jasmin do seem to be relying heavily on their inspirational images and research when creating their designs each week which does bring the team’s originality into question however, this could also mean that they are simply trying to follow trends in order to create a home that is more attractive to buyers. It certainly is an interesting topic that has brought issues such as copyright in the design industry at the forefront of discussions.
Stepping away from these issues and instead focusing on the design itself, the team did create a very luscious and inviting look this week, using oak, white and brass to create a warm kitchen colour scheme. The curved timber kitchen island perfectly reflects the curved timber feature wall to create a well balanced and cohesive look that is contrasted by crisp white design features. The overall layout of the space was also well thought out, with careful attention to properly lighting the space too. Our judges did raise concerns over the baskets included in the Butler’s Pantry design however, as these are not fixed items, they can easily be swapped out by the new owners if need be.
Jimmy & Tam – Judge’s Score: 29/30
Jimmy and Tam used their week one prize of a $120,000 Gaggenau luxury kitchen appliance package in their design this week and did it pay off or what! World renowned appliance manufacturer, Gaggenau’s appliances are well known for their immense attention to detail and customisation in delivering a superb cooking experience – Definitely a very grand selling point for Jimmy and Tam’s 1950’s era home! Tam also included $5000 worth of wine in the kitchen’s wine fridge, an asset that will steadily increase in value each year, making for yet another unique selling point for the property. The kitchen design itself included a soft mint toned island that was contrasted with bold black structured lines and further complemented by softer tones to create a harmonious palette. In carrying with the team’s previous inclusion of terrazzo tiles in their bathroom designs, a set of terrazzo pendant lights from Bentu Design adorn the island bench, making for an excellent 50’s inspired touch that keeps the home’s theme consistent. The judges did comment on the overly large size of the stools used however, this feature is once again easily sorted as these are not a fixed element in the design itself. The Butler’s Pantry was rather tight in my opinion and I wonder why this was not raised as a topic of discussion; would you be able to comfortably open and use those appliances? Where am I going to place a hot tray that I’ve just pulled out of the oven, there’s no counter space on either side… Is the pull-out pantry comfortable to use in those dimensions? Mostly a well thought out and planned design however, it does seem that the Butler’s Pantry would have greatly benefited from some more attention!
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