Continuing our recaps from our expert panel of ex-Block contestants, who will this year get to spend room-reveal night judging from their couch rather than standing on the proverbial chopping block before Scotty Cam. This week, 2022 contestant Rachel Carr dissects the final reveal of Season 19, 2023.
Well, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, fellow Blockheads and Block lovers … here we are. The last Sunday night room reveal of The Block 2023.
And what a season it’s been. We’ve really seen it all, from wild storms that turned into cyclones and tore through the work sites in those early weeks to wild storms of emotions that ripped through friends and neighbours like a hurricane of destruction; this has definitely been a Block like no other.
The homes are complete, and this week we see their facade and front garden – and we all know that first impressions are incredibly important, especially in a real estate competition.
So, let’s see what our Blockheads have produced this week.
House 1: Kyle and Leslie
14 Charming Street, Hampton East VIC 3188
This week our judges are joined by Dave Franklin, landscape extraordinaire, and all four judges let out a “Wow” as they approach Kyle and Leslie’s house.
Shaynna notes the gorgeous sound of the water feature as soon as you walk through the gates, and I have to say, there is nothing I love more than the beautiful sound of gently running water as you enter a property. It really sets the scene for tranquillity, and I do believe that is what Kyle and Leslie have delivered in their home.
And of course, Marty notices the car turntable and describes it as “pretty cool”. Marty believes this to be a solid first impression for House 1 on Charming Street, although he isn’t fussed by the dark grey colour of the brickwork (and I have to agree with him) but we find out pretty quickly it was Scotty himself who influenced this decision and it’s the first (and likely the last) time he will be advising on colour.
Dave thinks the landscaping is ticking a lot of boxes, yet he does point out there is room for more trees and notes the chipped bricks could have been covered with some wisteria or star jasmine – again I completely agree. The facade does need something more to soften it.
The garage is … well… a garage, so let’s move into the home.
And what an entrance. The beautiful soft curve in the wall is so gorgeous and it sets the tone for the rest of their home. The styling is superb. The artwork is beautiful. And all in all, the home is perfectly Instagrammable, and we all know that’s a massive compliment these days.
House 2: Leah and Ash
Our judges aren’t even at the front gate when the gushing for this facade begins. In fact, as Scotty says, they couldn’t wipe the smiles off their faces.
Marty’s impressed with the batons on the curved architecture and Darren says, “you can insert ‘how Impressive are those’ on so many things here” and lists all the amazing features of this beautiful facade. Marty says he’s never seen anything like the contour 3D fence before, and he thinks a lot of buyers will be blown away by the personality of it.
The judges call it “understated luxury”, and I must agree. It’s the small details, like the basket weave in the fence, the plants on top that don’t jump out at you (the way the bright blue car does) but leave you with a sense of fulfilment. Dave Franklin notes that all the plants will be in bloom come auction day, which is a real selling point when people are entering your home. The judges also get excited by the fish in the water feature.
We head into the garage where Shaynna tells us the Grafico mural takes her back to her childhood, but what I really love most is that the wallpaper features the house’s old plans, and that is such a beautiful nod to the original home.
Marty notes the home is turnkey and that will really do House 2 well on auction day.
Stepping inside, we see the gorgeous staircase and the feature light, with a gallery wall that complements the rest of the home (personally I would have liked to see a bit more of an eclectic collection of art, but that’s just me). And the furnishing under the stairs ties in incredibly well with the rest of the home.
Marty says it is the cherry on top of a crazy cake and he believes there are buyers who will just have to have it.
House 3: Kristy and Brett
It’s a “Wow” from Dave upon entering Kristy and Brett’s deck area. Darren sets his eyes on the facade, and I must agree with him – the charred black timber is such a winner here. Marty points out that this deck is east-facing and it will be a perfect area to sit and relax; it’s a functional space.
Dave is impressed with the planting in the garden and says it does evoke a feeling of calmness through the balance of hard and soft elements.
The garage is probably my favourite so far. The crisp white against the floor and the black accents give it an air of sophistication. Marty points out that the direct access to the studio will suit multigenerational living.
We then head into the second living room where our judges disagree on whether they would have a projector or not. Marty is opposed yet Darren and Shaynna are all for it. Darren then discovers the large storage space and everyone is very impressed.
Marty has the last word and believes Kristy and Brett have really appealed to the masses with their home, and it could be the winning ticket come auction day. Time will tell …
House 4: Steph and Gian
“Well, this is an absolute showstopper,” says Marty, and all four judges experience a sense of joy upon walking into Steph and Gian’s front yard.
The stack stoned chimney, the width of the area, and the additional parking is pointed out and Shaynna tells us “This just has all the feels”. Darren tells us he has three words for this: “Kerb. A. Peal”.
The garden feels well established, the mature magnolia is stunning, and just when you thought it couldn’t get any more magical, we see two owls up in that gorgeous tree. Dave is impressed with the mix of the traditional pebble finish and the travertine pavers and our judges believe everything about the front of this home just screams warm and inviting. Dave loves the plant species that have gone into the garden and all the judges can see that there has been plenty of money spent here.
In the garage, all the judges think the floor should have been painted, to which Steph rolls her eyes and says “ I would never,” but they move on from this pretty quickly and then head to the entrance of their home with its signature Japandi style.
Darren thinks the entrance is “just dark “in comparison to the rest of their light and bright home. He wonders why there hadn’t been more effort to add a light well into the space, especially by using a glass door. Marty agrees but he also notes that this house has all the finesse and is the team to beat in this competition.
House 5: Eliza and Liberty
Lucky last … and it’s pretty silent when our judges walk in.
Shaynna breaks the ice by taking our attention to the original house and the new shape it’s taken on. We are then very quicky shown the timber-clad garage door which the judges believe is the best they’ve seen on the Block today.
Dave says the girls have made a big improvement from last week with the addition of a larger grass area, more hedging, and the brick front fence. They think the cherry tree is majestic and they note the sitting area has been purposely put there to allow buyers to understand where the front door is.
I’m confused by this architecture – why is the front door where it is? Marty seems to feel the same and thinks the side pathway is too thin for anyone to even realise it’s a path to the front door. Dave suggests a colonnade to lead people to the front door, to which the girls reply that they simply couldn’t afford it and Scotty jokingly suggests a simple sign saying, “Front door this way,” and we all have a good giggle.
Into the garage and Marty is immediately taken by the Porsche 911 Grafico wallpaper. The space is described as nice and simple, but with a dirty floor.
Moving on to the front entrance of the home, and Shaynna loves the side panelling and all the judges are blown away by the front space. The glass is gorgeous, and the interior is expansive. The stairs are gorgeous, and Marty says we cannot underestimate what House 5 offers to the buyers in terms of floor space.
Marty tells us this is definitely the grandest of entryways on The Block and this is the quintessential family home for this area. All of the judges think this home will be hotly contested.
It’s over to scoring for the last time this season, can you believe it? It’s a close one, with two Gnomes in play …
House 1: Kyle and Leslie with 32.5 points
House 2: Leah and Ash with 39 points (including their gnome)
House 3: Kristy and Brett with 35 points
House 4: Steph and Gian with 38.5 points (including their gnome)
House 5: Eliza and Liberty with 34.5 points
Taking out the win for the last reveal this year: Leah and Ash with a near perfect score and they get to take home that Ford Mustang. What a way to end what’s been a tumultuous season!