The Block ditches ultra-modern for heritage-chic

The interior of the fifth house on the new season of The Block. Image: 9now.com.au

For 12 seasons now, Channel Nine’s The Block has focused on renovating luxury apartments in high-profile Melbourne areas. The newest season, which started on Sunday night, is a return to the formula of earlier seasons.

The five new teams will be carrying out a makeover on individual houses over a 12-week period, creating a beautiful family home in the Melbourne suburb of Elsternwick, just nine kilometres south-east of the CBD.

Five houses were sourced from around Australia for the new season. Image: 9now.com.au

Scott Cam, the show’s co-host, is excited about the new challenge.

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“Timber frame and weatherboard homes were my bread and butter when I was a carpenter,” Cam says in a Herald Sun article. “The apartments have been great over the years but the majority of people who are renovating are doing family homes.”

Returning to a more common type of renovation may prove a smart way to bring in old and new fans alike. Each team has been given $250,000 to carry out the entire renovation from start to finish, and it’s going to be a stretch even with an army of tradies.

Five houses were sourced from around the country and brought to Elsternwick for a renovation, with massive extensions being added on to the back. While the newer parts will have an expectation of modernity, the front is expected to honour the period detailing.

One couple scored serious points with the judges for electing to keep a gorgeous ceiling rose intact. Image: 9now.com.au

“This is the part that you keep very traditional,” judge Shaynna Blaze said while judging the first room reveals. “Don’t rip out what people buy these houses for.”

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Choosing to keep the original timber floors and windows worked in another couple’s favour. Image: 9now.com.au

Tears and tantrums have already begun on the reality TV series, but the contestants have taken the judges’ comments and expectations to heart when delivering their main bathrooms.

Most opted to keep plantation shutters or old window fittings as a nod to their house’s heritage, and a light modern-country style brightened up the space.

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Third-place couple Ronnie and Georgia chose a light colour palette with gold tapware. Image: 9now.com.au

The winning couple, Josh and Elyse, softened the look of their monochromatic bathroom with wooden accents. 

The winning bathroom featured The Block’s first round bath. Image: 9now.com.au

Stick and Wombat, who took out second place, chose a similar colour palette and brought in some industrial elements with copper towel rails and other fixtures. Their white floating vanity also had a more classic finish to it. 

The second-place bathroom had a steampunk feel to it. Image: 9now.com.au

What do you think of the styling on The Block so far? Do you have a favourite couple?