The Block Tree Change 2022: all important kitchen week!

It’s the traditional heart of the home, the space where families gather and where technology meets tradition. Welcome to the always exciting kitchen week! With a perfect score of 30 for the winners and even 24 out of 30 for last place, you can imagine it was a night of impressive rooms!

Let’s see what the judges said and who scored what…

Tom & Sarah-Jane (first place) 30 points

“I am awestruck!” Darren said as he walked in and took in everything from the beautiful herringbone flooring, massive Ilve oven and statement copper fridge (complete with charcuterie and cheese cabinet!) and more. It’s “the ultimate contemporary country kitchen,” Neale declared and for once, Shaynna didn’t disagree.

Darren said making the mixed metals work took genuine insight. And the messaging to the market was pure luxury. Shaynna said the house had a pulsating heart and the kitchen was just beautiful.

With touches including an over-stove pot-filler tap, a butler’s pantry that could serve as a second kitchen and ample space for every gadget possible without feeling crowded, this was a kitchen that immediately caught all three judges and set the standard for every other team to beat… if they could.

They agreed the pantry was beautifully styled and like a kitchen on its own. Everything spoke to Neale of modern luxury with a contemporary twist. Darren said it was legit a luxury home with luxury inclusions.

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Dylan & Jenny (joint second place) 28.5 points

With brass mesh inserts in sage green cabinetry and fluted glass panelling behind the rangehood, Shaynna was instantly captivated by the colours of house 4’s kitchen, while Neale gushed over the mix of contemporary and country that tugged at the heartstrings. Darren really loved the brass mesh!

By matching the stove, fridge and rangehood, the whole area ties together, Shaynna said, with Darren pointing the lighting that for once this week, he utterly loved. From modern touches like an Insinkerator garbage disposal unit to a traditional butler’s pantry with more benchspace than they could want, the judges found the space a perfect addition to Jenny and Dylan’s home.

They pointed out the stools were too high (easy to change) but otherwise there was a lot to love. Darren loved the styling and the feel. Darren also loved how the lights anchored the kitchen area. Shaynna said the lighting plan worked. Neale said it had a little layer of personality, spirit and soul and felt right.

They loved the pantry too. Darren said it was all so beautifully done. Shaynna said it was stunning and Neale said the styling would have massive buyer appeal. It was the best room they’d delivered so far.

Shop the look: Olive Branch 9 art print by Angela Hawkey for Artist Lane

Omar & Oz (joint second place) 28.5 points

“Oh my God,” said Darren. It’s pretty spectacular,” said Neale. “This is nuts,” added Darren of the extra-long island bench and huge sink. Shaynna said the kitchen oozed with drama.

Featuring $250,000 worth of top-end Winning appliances – anything and everything a modern home owner could want – Omar and Oz’s kitchen was always going to be hard to beat. And nestled in a dark-accented space that screamed modern while somehow nodding to the country setting, it’s near perfect, Darren said, a kitchen that truly embraces contemporary.

But was it too much? In a country home, did the huge stainless island bench sink fit? Was the concrete aggregate flooring in style? Who cares, they decided, it all worked, from the Portatimber ceiling past the state-of-the-art Gallery and V-Zug appliances to the ground and everything in between, this kitchen, Darren summed up: “Will sell the house!”.

Shaynna said the lighting was beautiful. Neale thought the stools should have been timber to complement the ceiling.

They loved the butler’s pantry too, and the styling. Neale said it was a 100% contemporary kitchen and not the kitchen he would put in a country house, but could tell the boys were committed to and confident in their style. Shaynna was nervous for their future budget with what they’d spent on timber and Venetian plaster for example. But above all, it was great feedback.

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Ankur & Sharon (fourth place) 24.5 points

From the six-seat island in front to the discrete butler’s pantry behind (with its hidden challenge-winning mirror), a separate Smeg wine fridge and even cornices combined with square-set ceilings, it’s a kitchen that lacked the styling impact of others, but still did justice to the home Ankur and Sharon are building.

Cleverly set at the end of the new build and aimed straight at their house’s main asset – the view – this was a kitchen that immediately won the judges praise. The Black Empira Caesarstone complementing rose gold accents in the Smeg stove and a quirky pink-panelled fridge all worked to make what Neale called a classic kitchen.

Shaynna wasn’t loving the styling though. There was too much “just thrown there” and Neale agreed, saying there was no cohesion and he wasn’t getting the magic spark.

They were impressed by the wine-lovers’ butler’s pantry. Neale loved the galley feel and the wallpaper. Darren noticed the painting was very good. Shyanna wondered there was enough bench space.

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Rachel & Ryan (last place) 24 points

It didn’t go too well here! Shaynna said it was a kitchen without a soul and Neale said it felt like a work in progress. None of the judges liked the lights. Functionally and aesthetically Darren could see a lot of positives. The open shelves were too high for most people to reach though.

Shaynna said the concept of the timber wraparound was fantastic but it was a bit narrow (perhaps not wide enough for a dinner plate for example) but she just wasn’t feeling an emotional connection.

Beautifully executed and with attention to zoning and layout, the kitchen worked well, they agreed, but lacked the drama of other houses. The exposed beams overhead hinted at a country feel that could be coming, but while it’s a “bloody good kitchen” Neale said, there just wasn’t the emotional connection for him either.

In the butlers, Shaynna sad the all white palette was too clinical. Neale said it was frustrating as it needed life adding to it.

Shop the look: Koko kitchen stools

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