Room design brings judge to tears
It's not a sight you often see - Shaynna Blaze speechless and in tears - but there was one room during Monday night's Block reveal that pulled at the heart strings so bad, she had to take a seat.
"I can't talk," she said while looking around the room, stunned.
When she finally did muster the courage to speak, she said: "This is stunning."
As Shaynna took a seat to try to contain her emotions, fellow judges Neale Whitaker and Darren Palmer chimed in, describing the bedroom's soft and welcoming aura as "absolutely beautiful".
So, what was so special about it?
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HOUSE 3: Andy and Deb
According to the judges, it conjured an indescribable emotion.
"You can feel its engagement the instant you walk in," Neale said, "and there are so many buyers that will feel that connection and who will be more than prepared to overlook any of the shortcomings - so I applaud this room. I think it's beautiful on every level."
While Neale was speaking, Shaynna, still semi-speechless, began to cry.
"I just think you know when a house is built with love and I think that's what I am connecting with, there is something very healing about this interior," she said, while taking a seat next to Darren to try compose herself.
Darren then felt he needed to be the pragmatic one - especially with Shaynna in tears and Neale completely blinded by the room's beauty.
"Andy and Deb had to decide whether to commit and spend their money wisely with the most impact they could possibly get," he said.
"And I think they have done that in spades.
"Because what they have delivered is perfect, however from a judging point of view, house one (Mitch and Mark) and house two (Tess and Luke) have more value out of their floor plan than house three (Andy and Deb), so that adds another facet of judging for me."
Shaynna found her voice again and totally agreed: "I think when we get to the end that's where our heads go because we are all about practicality."
Neale still couldn't fault it, saying the couple have created a house that takes a buyer on that emotional journey.
"You walk in and you fall in love with it. It's so beautifully balanced."
Style-wise, the judges said it had gone to an even higher level with Deb getting another pat on the back for her skills. A few weeks ago, Shaynna gave her the ultimate compliment, saying she has the capacity to be a great interior designer.
"Neutral doesn't equal boring and this room is a perfect example of that," Neale said.
Aesthetically, it was a perfect room, but it still wasn't enough to earn them the top spot with a score of 28.
HOUSE 1: Mitch and Mark
Last week Mitch and Mark's courtyard missed out on top spot by half a point, with the same thing happening this week.
However, it didn't take away from how impressed the judges were with their master ensuite and walk-in wardrobe.
They didn't get one piece of criticism except when Darren brought up their overall risk-taking floor plan changes, but even then Neale defended them.
"Look at the size of this," was the first thing Neale said when he walked into the ensuite.
Shaynna was just blown away, describing it as "sass personified".
"I don't think it's a walk-in robe, I think it's a strutting-robe," Darren said.
Then both he and Shaynna decided to strut while Neale watched on awkwardly.
According to Shaynna, it had a "Sex in the City" vibe.
"I like nothing better than having a few good pieces on display when you have got a space like this," she said while grabbing designer items off the glass shelves.
All three judges agreed every bit of styling suited the boys' entire house.
Shaynna then diverted her very excited attention to the cupboards and make-up table.
"Look at that dressing table, they have all the make-up laid out. You've got your seat, you've got natural light with the shutters. I think getting dressed in here would be joyous. I really do," she said.
Neale was worried the bedroom lacked the boys' trademark pizzazz, but "they have more than compensated for it".
Shaynna was beside herself before seeing the ensuite
"Oh my God I can't imagine," she said. "Oh my God," she said again. "It's the best thing ever."
"Look at that bath, that is just so beautiful and it's angled toward the natural light."
She then proceeded to yell, "I LOVE THIS, I LOVE IT, I LOVE IT, I LOVE IT."
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Neale's first reaction was "hello luxury" when he got a chance to speak above Shaynna's screaming.
He was drawn to the vanity walls, the tiles and the massive chandelier in the bathroom.
Of course there was a chandelier in the bathroom, it's Mitch and Mark.
Darren then brought up the change in floor plan, which was a touchy subject in the past.
"It's a risk having three bedrooms, not four," he said.
But then Neale interrupted, saying when one of those rooms looks like this "you got to be onto a winner, surely".
The Bondi boys came equal second with Jesse and Mel.
HOUSE 2: Tess and Luke (Winners)
Even though the judges were captivated by Andy and Deb's ensuite and the luxury oozing out of Mitch and Mark's room, Tess and Luke nabbed the top spot with their impressive, self-contained apartment.
The last time Tess and Luke won a room reveal was five weeks ago, so you can imagine how happy they were to steal first place.
They used a point they had won in a previous challenge to take out the winning spot by half a point.
Nonetheless, the judges loved their budget studio apartment (they were running out of money).
Tess and Luke split their floor plan into a bedroom, bathroom and kitchenette.
"Oh wow, that's a really big floor plan change," Shaynna said.
"It's a good solution to this space," Darren added.
Shaynna had to check the wardrobe and was impressed to find ample storage and even a television in there.
"So you have got your marble top, your drawers which are practical, but it actually feels like a living room space with the television there," she said.
Then into the kitchen and "wow", Neale said, "it's luxury of a compete different kind".
"This a luxury based on functionality which will please a lot of people," he said.
Shaynna ticked off all the amenities by literally listing everything in her sight from the stove, oven and fridge.
"It's compact, but it works," Neale added.
"They have really thought it through. They have gone through the checklist of what the space requires to be self-sufficient and I think there will be plenty of buyers."
Then into the bathroom they agreed it had great space and the styling was consistent with the bedroom and kitchen.
The only criticism was Shaynna saying "continuity wasn't their thing".
But Neale disagreed, saying Tess and Luke made the rooms (in this reveal) different to the rest of the house on purpose to give off that "self-contained apartment" feel.
He found it hard to fault. "I think they have really, really thought about the detail of the person using this space," he said.
They finished with a score of 29 (technically 28, had they not used their extra point).
HOUSE 4: Matt and El'ise
Even though the judges had a lot to like about Matt and El'ise' ensuite, it still wasn't enough compared with the other homes. They came last with a score of 27.5
The judges said their room had a glamorous vibe but felt the ensuite let it down due to their being no natural light.
"Look at the colour in here," Shaynna said upon walking into the bedroom. "They know how to do colour this couple."
"Green on green on green. It's quite regal," Neale added.
Darren was impressed with the consistency Matt and El'ise achieved with their bedrooms throughout the entire home.
"It's a replay of the front bedroom and I think that's a good thing. It definitely has elements that are very similar, but I think how it comes across the entire floor is very wise," he said.
Neale loved that it had a nice contrast with classic and ultra-modern feels.
"When you look at the artwork, they're really cool and very contemporary, but there is a sense of classicism about the other choices," he said, referring to the bedside table, lamps and button back, velvet headboard.
"To me it's a lovely balance. I was never a big fan of these large, overblown wallpaper artworks, but they're growing on me."
Shaynna was a big fan of the layout, saying it was absolutely beautiful and felt "restful" because of the natural light. She was all about he natural light in this reveal.
Walking into the walk-in wardrobe, she also loved the amount of storage. "It's classy, classic and very simple," Shaynna said before adding the room had no natural light. There it is again.
"I myself like a bathroom that has natural light, so I have to say even though it looks good, it's a bathroom I might feel a little claustrophobic in."
But on the plus side she liked the wall, floor tiles and the grey basin.
However, Matt and El'ise ran out of time to put in ventilation, which was a big no, no and illegal.
"Surely they would realise nobody would put in a bathroom without ventilation," Neale asked.
While he said aesthetically it was a good-looking bathroom, "it's not exciting".
"It's slightly generic, but it ticks the boxes," he said.
It definitely wasn't a room that made Shaynna cry.
"But I do feel good in that bedroom and in the walk-in robe," she said.
Just not so much in the ensuite.
HOUSE 5: Jesse and Mel
They were very close to making it a trifecta of wins, but they missed out by half a point, joining Mitch and Mark in second place with a score of 28.5.
The judges started their tour in the wardrobe where they found some "stunning joinery".
"You can easily move around in there, there's lots of storage space and you get a desk/ dressing table," Darren said looking rather impressed.
Shaynna also loved their massive mirror, with Neale saying, "I dare say it, but it spells luxury".
Heading into the bedroom, Darren loved the ample space.
"We have got a loungeroom, bedroom area and a massive walk-in wardrobe and ensuite," he said.
"This is a self-contained hotel room. It has broad market appeal."
It's not something you often hear coming from Neale but he said "Jesse and Mel are becoming the masters of modern luxury" despite having blasted their style in the past for looking too "corporate".
For Darren, the room lacked the same emotional pull that Andy and Deb's had - that is, bringing Shaynna to tears.
"While this space is really smart and ticking so many boxes, there's only going to be a few people lit up emotionally by this aesthetic," he explained.
But what it does do is beautifully demonstrate what the space could be, according to Neale.
"They're very good at showing you 'look, you can have all this, this can be whatever you want it to be'," he said.
What drove Shaynna crazy (her words) was Jesse and Mel's use of mixed metals, from chrome to brass finishes. It's something she has been trying to get them to change, but 10 weeks in, it's safe to say Jesse and Mel are really not taking on-board her feedback.
What all three judges did agree on was that the couple's house was going to appeal to the most number of buyers compared with the other four homes.
Mitch and Mark: 28.5
Tess and Luke: 29 used gnome for one point (Winners)
Andy and Deb: 28
Matt and Elise: 27.5
Jesse and Mel: 28.5
The Block airs tomorrow at 7pm on Channel 9