The truth about The Block’s renovations
THEY are the home reno trends made famous by The Block - but will buyers be lining up for the controversial round bath, the gimmicky kids room, the wacky wallpaper?
Or will they be put off by the off-the-wall inclusions designed to impress the judges, not necessarily the buyers?
If you ask contestants Ronnie and Georgia, it's certainly a fine line between weird and wonderful in the competitive world of home renovation.
Wow factor or functionality? A little from column A, a little from column B …
Perth mum and Block bad-girl Georgia Caceres said contestants had to be careful with too many "trends" to cash in on auction day - but they needed to impress the judges to win rooms and earn enough money to finish the build.
"I feel like the Block renos are different to renos in the real world because it's a competition and a game first and foremost - and if you don't win, you wont have enough money to finish," Georgia told news.com.au
"In one of our rooms we do a really beautiful wallpaper and it's really on trend and I think will appeal to a lot of people.
"People expect amazing things, and even from a buyer's point of view, it's not your standard house for sale and that's where it does really well in terms of what it is expected to sell for.
"But in a general market, don't do these things - or if you do wall paper, do one that's easy to paint over.
"But if you build a bunk bed or mezzanine, that is a structural thing that will cost you money to fix.
"Like if you think about Josh and Elyse's round bath - for the wow factor I thought it was cool, and then I thought about it from a practical point of view and how long it would take to fill up, and you would have to lean across to bathe children.
"It just wasn't functional and showed they didn't have the understanding of a family."
Think classic designs - with a cool edge
Georgia and Ronnie, who were the only couple to paint the exterior of their Melbourne renovation a dark colour, said it suited their home, and the right buyer would identify with that.
"The really dark dramatic walls are massively on trend this season and it suited our house and the dramatic ceiling cornices," Georgia said.
"We also had a wallpaper which is quite classic but it had botanical, floral embellishments which are really cool."
Kirrely Powe from Hunt & Gather Interiors said DIY renovators were often seduced by new trends as showcased on The Block, but warned that longevity could be a problem.
"People fall for trends, whereas my design personally is usually a neutral palate that we work with, and the trends come in with them," she said.
"Things like black and gold tap wear - but things like that can have a longevity problem, and if you are building for sale, you have to appeal to a wide target market.
"On The Block, that round bath as lovely as it is, but that to me is a hotel room and I don't think that's very practical from a family point of view."
Blockheads focus on end game
Last year's Block couple Julia and Sasha know what it's like to be drawn between the importance of 'wow factor' and creating a cohesive home that works - and they say the room-winning trends may not be the biggest draw card come auction day.
"Sash and I went onto The Block and our mentality was we thought about the buyer - we wanted the apartment to be consistent, we understood the market and who we were selling to," Julia Treuel told news.com.au
"We certainly felt pressure on the show to do something massive in every single room, but from a livability, practicality perspective, we didn't think that was the right thing to do.
"There's not a wow moment in every room - some are quieter - and while it's great to impress the judges, when buyers walk through they want to know it flows and all works together.
"The kids climbing wall is a gorgeous idea, but if I had kids would I want them climbing up it? Probably not.
"And the round bath looked beautiful but I don't think you would ever fill it, would you?
"You can have massive feature walls which are gorgeous on their own but at the end it has to make sense.
"It's really hard and you there were some weeks we went into thinking we probably won't win this week, but it will make sense at the end.
"The biggest mistake is going out to impress the judges every single week if it goes against their aesthetic or the end game - you have to understand the balance."