Luke’s stupid decision floors judges
In Cup Week, The Block became a two-horse race between roughies, Sarah and George, and the cashed-up favourites Jimmy and Tam.
As foreshadowed all week, those couples became the only teams in the running for the weekly $10,00 prize when it became apparent nobody else would finish their studios and garages by the deadline.
Judges Shaynna Blaze, Darren Palmer and Neale Whitaker were impressed by the efforts of both the topscoring couples to not only complete their huge spaces but to make them multifunctional.
Unlike Luke and Jasmin, Daniel and Jade, and Harry and Tash, who had all created basic garages with (unfinished) upstairs areas akin to serviced apartments, the two top teams had managed to think outside the square.
Jimmy and Tam, whose house is the only one without an office, decided to make their loft apartment a place where their buyer could work from home with a galley-style kitchen, double-seated desk space and fold-out couch.
The self-confessed fitness fanatics were also inspired by life in COVID-19 lockdown to use some of their garage space (and healthy bank balance) to build a home gym.
Darren, who looks like he loves to work out, was quivering with excitement at the sight of the kettle bell weights and exercise bike.
Shaynna, too, could see how a home gym would be a drawcard in the current climate saying: "Wow! That is thinking of the new world. A lot of people will be working out at home now. They won't be going to the gym."
Only Neale wasn't completely sold. He saved his most glowing praise for the fact the Queenslanders were the only team to have a floor lamp in their apartment (everyone knows Neale is turned on by lighting).
"Not everybody wants a home gym," Neale declared.
"There will be people who walk in and go: 'Oh, that's amazing!' and there will be an equal number who say: 'Well, that's not for me.'"
Neale was far more enamoured with Sarah and George's garage storage system and well-designed upstairs area featuring a desk, laundry, kitchen, bathroom and bedroom that could be used to house an au pair, boarder or elderly relative.
And it was in awarding Sarah and George a full 10 points for their renovation that Neale secured the couple their half point victory over Jimmy and Tam.
The judges didn't find it hard to agree that the other three teams were far from the mark.
And it wasn't just that they hadn't finished painting, corking, plastering or dressing their spaces that let them down.
The judges criticised the lack of imagination they'd shown by creating glorified additional bedrooms rather than clever multi-use spaces.
They were scathing about Harry and Tash's kitchen bench, which they felt was too big for the room and came at the expense of creating a workable desk space. They had also failed to finish painting their stairway or erecting their shower screen.
The judges also felt Harry and Tash had poorly designed their en suite to put their toilet in front of the doorway, on centre stage (where, let's face it, no-one wants it to be) rather than in a more discreet spot behind the sink.
Any concerns about the lack of discretion in Harry and Tash's studio WC placement, went out the window when they visited Luke and Jasmin's place and discovered they had completely done away with the dunny door.
Jasmin was never a fan of Luke's plan to create an en suite without a door, and now she had even more evidence that (a) she is always right and (b) he needs to check in with her before he makes any decisions.
"If you were running a business here in a home office, you can't use the toilet," said a gobsmacked Shaynna.
Neale concurred, adding that the lack of a door choice limited their studio space even more than their decision to style it (albeit beautifully) as yet another bedroom without so much as a desk.
"The fact that we don't have a door here it's very clear that they only ever envisaged this as a luxury bedroom for one person," he commented with a look of visible distaste on his face at the lack of foresight (and perhaps at the prospect of having to live in a house without bathroom doors).
Jade and Daniel fared better with their bathroom. It was the rest of the upstairs room that failed to make the grade with the judges branding it impractical and devoid of personality.
Shaynna felt the TV dominated the room and that the kitchen was let down by the lack of a stovetop.
Mostly, Shaynna felt the room felt "clunky" and that it was unnecessary having another bedroom when they already had five in their main house.
Neale added that their studio lacked "finesse."
"It's got about as much personality as the average serviced apartment," he remarked with clear disdain. "And that's weird, because when I look at the individual pieces there are some beautiful pieces here, but I am not making any emotional connection."
The judges were also unimpressed by another connection problem of the electrical variety. They noticed the desk was not serviced by a power-point making it useless for much of anything beyond a spot of letter writing.
And who does that these days?
1 Sarah and George: 29.5
2 Jimmy and Tam: 29
3 Daniel and Jade: 25.5
3 Luke and Jasmin: 25.5
4 Harry and Tash: 20
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Originally published as Luke's stupid decision floors judges