Dan & Carleen on life after The Block
The next season of the popular TV show The Block on Channel Nine is just around the corner and last year we got to know the renovation couple, Dan and Carleen, from Western Australia. For several weeks we got to follow their challenging renovation journey of an apartment in Port Melbourne. Their beautiful apartment landed third place and we spoke to Carleen about her experiences on the show and life after The Block.
e&s: How has your involvement on The Block impacted your life?
C: Our everyday life hasn’t changed too much, apart from the fact we’ve been able to lower our mortgage, and are feeling more financially secure thanks to our auction result on The Block. People are also interested in hearing about our experience, and we’re still renovating homes just like we did before we went on the show.
e&s: What was the biggest lesson you learnt about renovating after being on The Block last year?
C: The biggest challenge with renovating in front of the cameras is the crazy time frames. Even though we had renovated eight homes before the show, it was challenging working on such a tight schedule and constantly having to think on your feet.
e&s: What room were you most proud of and why?
C: The rooms we’re most proud of are the kitchen and living/dining area. It felt great to win those rooms especially since people spend most of their time there. The kitchen felt large and spacious and we used built-in appliances from Bosch for a modern and sleek look. It all came together beautifully and the feedback we received from the judges was incredible.
e&s: Tell us about your new exciting renovation project by the beach?
C: We started renovating parts of our beach house before we entered The Block, and now we’re putting on a 60sqm extension, which will become a master bedroom with an ensuite and walk-in wardrobe, and a second living area. The extension is positioned on the front of the house and will completely change the exterior. On top of that, we’re also adding a garage and will re-roof the whole house. The renovation started around Easter and we’re halfway there.
e&s: What interior style and trends are you going for?
C: Since the house is located close to the beach, we want to bring in that modern beachy vibe and combine it with a classic contemporary style.
e&s: What role do you think appliances play in the design/reno process?
C: Appliances play a very important part when renovating. In the kitchen for example, you have to think about what appliances meet your needs and how to incorporate them with the cabinetry in the early stages. When choosing appliances overall I always think of practicality, functionality and affordability.
e&s: Can you tell us some more about what you think of when choosing appliances?
C: I’m a huge fan of integrated appliances, such as fridge and dishwasher, and think it looks unified and modern. It’s important that the appliances fit the needs of your family, and having raised a family of three boys, I’ve always looked at speed and efficiency when it comes to choosing dishwashers and washing machines.
If possible I always go for a large kitchen island (which is perfect for our way of entertaining these days) with a double sink and tapware like the Armando Vicario kitchen mixer, which makes it easier to clean your dishes.
I love when your tapware becomes a statement piece. In our apartment at The Block, we went for gold in the bathrooms and black in the kitchen. Tapware is a great way to play around and bring in some personality.
e&s: What are your top renovation tips for someone who’s about to start renovating their home?
C: First up is be organised, make sure you have a well-planned budget and have done your homework. Once you’ve decided on what you like, try to stop looking around too much, as it can become overwhelming and confusing because there are so many good products and options on the market. Last but not least, it’s incredibly important to have a great relationship with your tradesmen – communication is key.
e&s: Do you have any other renovation projects on the horizon?
C: Not at the moment, but once we’re done with the beach house, I think we’re going to take a nice relaxing holiday!
Follow Dan & Carleen’s beach house renovation on their Instagram, here.