The Block 2021 presented new challenges. Creating a home with no floor plan, only the external boundaries of the house known, is a gift and a challenge. Trying to understand the likely occupants of a family home, their needs and the way they will live and move around the home is important. Then considering the building process, placement of services and utilities along with light, ventilation,'s huge. Here we talk a little about the process and planning we considered each week and for each space.

Master Bedroom

Our Master Bedroom for this home was designed to maximize the use of space and balance this with what would eventually be a large living and dining area. Using a monochromatic palette and soft wallpaper brings a sense of elegance and space. We also aimed to create a 'view' by having the bedroom open onto the resort-style back garden. Eventually the garden will be completed with a pool and tropical planting, taking advantage of the northern light, but shaded in summer by the existing liquid amber tree. The deck that will be outside the doors will be under cover, featuring a skylight and heating, allowing the owners to take advantage of the ‘view’ throughout the year.

Home Spa Room

We had the opportunity to create our own spaces. We realised early that flexibility in design is important when creating the basement, so we had already decided against fixed or tiered seating and the concept of a home theatre. In our opinion it’s too polarising and difficult to change the use of the space. However, we knew we always wanted to have a bathroom downstairs, and brining plumbing below ground level had been planned from the first week of The Block.  Bringing a bathroom downstairs took incredible building work but resulted in a sense of luxury that would also be functional. However, you use the basement, people don't need to go upstairs to use the bathroom, and it’s situated so that you have privacy. This is a result of forward planning and understanding how people use space. It also means the other space in the basement can be used for multiple purposes. A bit of forward planning in our view.

Master Ensuite

Using huge slab wall and floor tiles was a challenge, as they are so thin, creating challenges for cutting and laying the tiles. However, the impact is sensational, with reduced grout-lines providing a sense of luxury, complimented by the feature marble mosaic. We're not usually fans of niches in bathrooms as we find them over-done, but this one became an architectural feature by taking it the full length of the wall and using LED lighting to create romance and sophistication at night. Function is addressed by including stacks of storage. Form and finish has been used to create luxury.

Final Bedrooms – Bedroom 3 and 4

Starting with a Blank-canvas, we took the space and created a 4 bedroom home. This required careful balance between the allocation of space to bedrooms and living areas. It also meant thinking about where to locate rooms for private spaces and for communal living, including considering access pathways from the garage, gardens and living spaces to bedroom's. Considering the ways people will live and move around in the home is important. Here we presented a children's room, which was close to the parent room and allowed for friends to sleep over. Then we added a 4th bedroom (which was never judged) to the space which opened to the resort style back garden. This room was designed to be a guest room, or to be swapped out for other uses if needed. As one of the smaller homes on the 2021 Block, we still provided 4 full bedrooms PLUS home office and multiple living spaces.

Kitchen and Butler’s Pantry

Designing this kitchen commenced in week 2 of The Block 2021, when there were not walls, roof or doors in place. We designed this with the entire vision of the home only in our imaginations. Capitalizing on the scale of the front living space, we created a sense of grandeur that will be connected to the living, dining and outdoors via bifold doors to the back garden. We balanced the grandeur by creating an intimate casual dining area that overlooked the front garden, which connected the internal space to both the front garden, and eventually the back garden.

Living and Dining

The front of this home takes advantage of soaring ceilings and a connection to the outdoors. Ultimately it will open to the back garden, creating a sense of space. We had the luxury of being able to play with negative space in the living and dining areas, creating a modern, open-space take on an entry hall.

Hallway and Laundry

Our floorplan was laid our to allow direct access from the garage via the laundry and butler's pantry into the home. This means secure and protected access, but also the owner can bring shopping in and keep it away from the more public areas of the home. They can also access bedrooms without going through the living room of  the home - which is a design flaw in all the other Block 2021 homes. These rooms serve purposes related to how they direct foot traffic through a home. We also kept to one small hallway, reducing wasted space and maximizing space to be used for living areas of the home. The laundry has direct access to both the garage and the back yard.

Back Garden and Resort Pool

Back Garden and Resort Pool

The overall design of this house considered the Australian way of living, which is predominantly indoor/outdoor. We don't living in basements, but prefer the outdoors, with Australia inventing the 'outdoor room' as part of our lifestyle. This back garden is a resort style garden which brings together the home. It provides additional living options with undercover living, heating, outdoor kitchen and a pool. All of this also creates an 'internal view' the bedrooms use to create a sense of space, and draw the occupants outdoors.

Basement, Home Office and Garage

While other homes created winebars and fixed, tiered home theater seating, we decided to allow the room to be flexible. The Basement area can be used as an additional living area for families, allowing people to use the formal living area, while others use the basement living area. Adding a wet-bar also allows the purpose of the room to change, becoming a home gym with the spa nearby, or an art room, or a studio bedroom for teenagers.

Finding unused space to add an additional feature, that is functional, to a home takes a real understanding of space. Mitch found this opportunity and we created the plans to deliver a two person work-from-home office with privacy, light and function.

Front Garden and Facade

The final piece of the puzzle brings our vision together. We spent time talking to the neighbours, to understand how people live in the 'Court' from the beginning. Children spend time in the front gardens and on the Court playing, so from the beginning we planned a front garden that was a 'wonderland' for a family. It all brings things together, with a path creating a sense of 'arrival' into our home, which then draws you through to the resort pool garden at the rear of the house. Street appeal sells houses. It creates the story from the moment you walk through the gate.