Design mistake haunting Block couples
It's the F word that has no doubt scarred Mitch and Mark after the Bondi boys copped a beating for their living and dining reveal last week.
And in Monday night's courtyard reveal, it was Matt and El'ise's turn to face the dreaded criticism - lack of functionality.
They are the words no Block couple wants to hear. Just ask Tess and Luke, who were also marked down for their poor layout.
HOUSE 4: Matt and El'ise
The couple's courtyard impressed the judges with their bamboo, tiles and bench seat, describing it as "tranquil and peaceful", but they were quick to point out the big garden didn't add functionality to the floorspace.
"From the lounge area it's spectacular, but I just think when you're at the dining and kitchen table (inside) you're not going to see that peaceful serenity, you're going to get those hard lines," Shaynna Blaze said, referring to outdoor furniture.
"If they put a bit more softness across here," she said while pointing at the courtyard's seating area, "it will break it up."
Darren Palmer suggested they should have spun the entire courtyard 90 degrees. But obviously that wasn't going to happen so late in the game.
"It doesn't help this courtyard at all that one quarter of this floor space is a garden bed, so it's actually not ticking the box for me in terms of added functionality," Darren said.
"And that's what I am looking for today."
Neale Whitaker jumped in, saying the other courtyards really understood the importance of "taking the eye upwards".
"The others have created visual interest at height, not just so the upper levels of the house have something to look out onto but also because it creates a sense of space and height at ground level too."
Well, those comments didn't go down too well with El'ise, who slammed the judges feedback.
"I'm shocked with their thoughts and judging lately," she said, adding they had got the best landscaper in Australia.
But it wasn't all negative.
The moment they walked in Darren whispered "shh" to the other two judges.
"Listen, did you hear when the wind goes through the bamboo, that lovely calming, rustle sound?"
Shaynna responded, "yeah, gorgeous," as she looked around confused, clearly having no idea what Darren was talking about.
But they all agreed the courtyard oozed tranquillity and the styling choices were spot on. It was just the functionality that had let them down.
But they didn't come last. They came equal third with a score of 26.
HOUSE 1: Mitch and Mark
After two weeks of consistent negative feedback, the boys have managed to impress the judges. Last week saw them cop blows left, right and centre over the "lack of functionality" in their living and dining reveal.
But this time, the judges struggled to find a thing to fault.
Upon entering Shaynna said, "This is just pure joy". And she said it twice so she really did mean it.
Neale has been banging on about their Palm Spring theme which he said they have failed to deliver throughout the house.
However, he described their courtyard as having a "Vegas feel". Neale, what's it going to be?
"I know I have been saying Palm Springs these past few weeks but maybe now were in Vegas," he said, pointing to the boys' massive, neon Oslo sign.
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The judges loved the leaves and although they were fake, they were "good fake", unlike their faux windows from a few weeks ago.
Darren thought the boys had delivered on consistency, bringing the brick work from the lounge room to the court yard.
"You get that real Miami colour palette of blue and white and I like their touches of pink," Darren said.
They all thought the graphic wallprint added to the Colorbond cladding, describing it as just "genius".
"Look at these palm trees Shaynna," Neale demanded.
"As if this courtyard doesn't have height enough then to use those trees which just goes soaring up above us."
The judges also commended them on their dining and seating space and for having a "proper barbecue" which they said is perfect for their "party house".
Neale said he had started to worry the boys had lost their sense of humour but Shaynna said "not at all".
"If anything, they were laughing at us."
Well, the judges tune changed big time compared to last week's reveal.
Shaynna described the room as "showtime, an unapologetic space, with great confidence and a sense of fun".
The boys missed out on the top spot by half a point with a score of 29.
HOUSE 2: Tess and Luke
Over at Tess and Luke's place, the judges were back on their favourite topic - functionality.
Shaynna loved the colour palette and all the judges liked the staircase, however they felt having no barbecue or soft furnishings was a problem.
"I was expecting a really big table", Shaynna said, "like a 10 seater."
Darren noticed there was no place to sit that was upholested or a place to lay down, relax and read a book.
Then Shaynna questioned why they didn't have a barbecue and unfortunately for Tess and Luke, they considered it but they had no cash.
"So if they want to make this (courtyard) about dining and entertaining, then wouldn't you want a barbecue out here as well?" Shaynna asked.
But again, it wasn't all bad - in fact this week the judges appeared to be in a much better mood, offering plenty of positive feedback.
"When you look around at the budget things they have got in here, other than sponsors, they haven't really spent a lot," Shaynna said.
"But I think that's one of their big credits," Darren added.
Neale said stylistically they're on track.
"It looks great, so all is not lost. But they have just got to address the functionality," he said.
Darren praised the use of textures.
"They have played with textures on a neutral dark pallet and then sculptural items, like these (gold) pots, the (dark) spiral staircase, the heating dome and even this golden rio that's making its way up the wall."
Even though the judges balanced out the negative with the positive, it still wasn't enough to give Tess and Luke a high score. They came last at 24.5
HOUSE 3: Andy and Deb
The judges gasped as they walked in to Andy and Deb's courtyard.
"Ah, this is a chilled space," Darren said. "It's so relaxed and light."
He said the massive feature wall was the perfect choice.
"It's a lighter colour but you still get this lovely linear element, it drives your eye upward."
"Look, I think it's absolutely seamless the way this flows on from the kitchen, living and dining," Neale said.
"I think it has been done beautifully as we have come to expect from Andy and Deb."
Shaynna thought the way they had planned the space was very good, adding how she would use the area.
"I immediately thought I could put my yoga mat out here." Good idea Shaynna.
But Neale thought what they had delivered was a bit light on "comfort".
"It's all hard edges; This isn't a comfortable space to be in."
Darren agreed that the buyer is going to want to get a dining table and probably a sofa and there clearly was space for all that.
"Everything I see, I love. I love the panelling leading up to the Romeo and juliet balcony. I love the vertical wall garden, but I love it's not just clumped together, it's spaced out."
"It's a lovely inner city oasis and it will only get better with time."
Neale agreed there was a lot to love, but there was also a lot more he wishes was in the courtyard.
"It's not quite right."
Not all doom and gloom for Andy and Deb with a score of 26.
HOUSE 5: Jesse and Mel (Winners)
As the saying goes - they saved the best for last. But it also just happens to be the order of judging.
Jesse and Mel delivered a "spectacular" courtyard that had the judges in awe and fell just half a point short of a perfect score.
So what was so special about it? Well, a lot of it had to do with Jesse and Mel laying 105,215 tiles by hand, to form their feature wall.
"What, they did it themselves?" a surprised Neale asked.
"I swear to God, having to get a professional to do that, would take forever. They're mosaic sheets, each one of those is only 30cm by 30cm but imagine putting it up on that wall …" Darren said, completely gobsmacked.
Neale said he had never seen tiles used to such great effect. "The height, the grander, the magnificence of that is incredible,"
The judges kept raving on about he tiles using words such as "spectacular" and "astonishing", before they finally moved on to other areas of the courtyard.
It would have been a perfect room reveal, until Shaynna spotted some missing details - no heater or speakers.
But she said it didn't matter "because everything they have created here is more important than those few inclusion".
But not for Darren - it was make or break.
"It changes the usability from a seasonal, all-year round, to only when it's warm enough and I think a heater in Melbourne is a very smart inclusion and fact they haven't put it in …"
Yes, the fact they hadn't put it in earned them a score of 29.5, instead of 30.
But they won for the second week in a row.
Mitch and Mark: 29
Tess and Luke: 24.5
Andy and Deb: 26
Matt and Elise: 26
Jesse and Mel: 29.5 (Winners)
The Block airs tomorrow at 7pm on Channel 9.