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Guest Post: House Rules – And They Are In Marrickville

Well House Rules hit my neighbourhood last night with the apartments less then a kilometre from where I live as the crows flies. I can confirm that the crew were only there for a week.  The closest I got to them was nearly knocking Russell down as he crossed the road as I rubber necked looking at Maddi being interviewed in the drive way. Flattening a reality TV contestant would not have made me very popular with SEVEN.

However over to Annajjj who talks about what happened the block of flats:
Tonight we move into the next phase of the competition and the teams are facing two new challenges. Each team has to makeover an entire unit in four days then after that they have just 24 hours to rectify the zones the Snow Whites did in their own homes.

Teams arrive in Marrickville where Joh explains the rules which include a stupid one about the couples having to stay together at all times and, needless to say, the Cappers are instantly upset. Teams get to choose a unit by picking a set of keys, all of which have a cunning clue in the form of a keyring.

The Cappers go first and choose the frangipani which belongs to Jack and Alice who are looking for a tropical theme. Duh.

Next Adam and Lisa choose the dummy which is the apartment of Eleanor and Michael and baby Sebastian. Eleanor wants a modern plantation look while Michael looks like he’d rather be anywhere else.

Candy and Ryan choose the bug keyring which belongs to Monica who is instantly my new favourite. Monica has a fascination with insects which is definitely a positive when you live in a one bedroom unit in inner West Sydney.

Mads and Lloyd choose the pasta keyring which is Maria’s apartment. Maria bought this apartment 40 years ago and she is after a feel from a modern rustic Italian. Go Maria!

Finally Team Bomb sook a bit as they are forced to choose the final apartment keyring which is Sulman and Sila and their two boys. This family are keen to get a home that reflects their Nepalese heritage but Bomber is a bit cross with this whole concept. He doesn’t know the first thing about Nepal except, don’t they have those big Nepalese hills or something? Yeah the Hima-whatevs.

Well that didn’t take long. The Cappers are already fighting about a number of things including what to keep from their apartment. Mads and Lloyd are planning a herb garden for Maria which looks pretty cool. We’re told a couple of the kitchens definitely have to go and ‘we need a new knob’ declares Carole. Meanwhile her old knob is wandering around looking confused as usual.

The Nepalese family are ‘real people’ Mel tells us, which thankfully clears up any misunderstanding that we might have had that these were paid actors. The demolition begins and Bomber is in a very bad mood. His temper is not improved by the appearance of several million cockroaches. Mel suggests he farts to get rid of them but they go with the less toxic option of letting off several bug bombs. Monica would be spinning in her grave.

Then Chester! turns up to point out the issues with Bomber’s floor which makes him even more annoyed and he looks ready to explode (pun intended). He and Mel stupidly buy one bag of floor leveler which everyone watching immediately knew would not be enough.

McFlurry makes her own quick appearance to advise Maddi and Lloyd that ignoring the owner’s brief because it’s a bit hard and going with their own design is not a great idea. They decide she’s probably right and then research Italy for about 1 minute before deciding some plastic fruit and two bottles of wine should nail it.

We are reminded of the stupid rule that teams have to stay together and out at the shops, Candy is getting fed up with Ryan bouncing around like Tigger. Bomber and Mel are buying cheap stuff from Fantastic Furniture (although the cameraman has been briefed not to include the store’s logo anywhere) and as usual Carole is rolling her eyes at Gapper. Men! What do they know about style and shopping? Why am I here? whines Gapper. Because the producers have decided this show should focus more on drama than on renovation Gapper.

Further proving this point producers have let down Adam’s tyre to slow his team down a bit.

It does appear that the tradies have been able to do quite a lot while teams were occupied with shopping. But with only 24 hours to go the teams have to stay up all night painting and wallpapering to finish in time. Bomber has another sook outside and although my Mel-crush has dulled a bit I still think she could do better than this guy. Big reveal tomorrow.


1 all happening { 06.11.14 at 10:02 am }

Thank goodness Mel is a teacher as she knows how to talk to a child having a tanti. Get rid of him Mel, he is going to be your downfall.
Another great recap annajjj, especially as the show was boring last night.

2 jec { 06.11.14 at 10:49 am }

What did Channel 7 do? Knock on every door until they found 5 residents willing to have their units made-over?
Most things being done seem very superficial. Lucky for the two (?) families who are actually getting new kitchens and/or bathrooms instead of a paint job. I’m feel sorry for those who are getting existing furniture repainted – the work done on them would be very shoddy.
Is it fair that some units have two bedrooms and some have one?
Why don’t the teams stay late every night to get things done, instead of leaving it until the last night when they try to pull an all-nighter? I wonder if they’re told to leave and come back at certain times. I still think the clock should stop when they aren’t working. At least they should sleep at the unit.
I am totally convinced now that the boxes of stuff packed up by the removalists must be stored and returned to the house-holders. No way could they get rid of all the paraphernalia of everyday living.
Oh dear, M&B deciding on a wallpaper of mountains and prayer flags does not fit the “nepalese culture” brief. It would be like having wallpaper on Uluru or the Opera House in their house. Fail.
I laughed out loud that Maria wants “modern rustic Italian”. I wonder if she knows what that means because Maddi & Lloyd don’t! Their attempt at bringing Italian into the unit is laughable.
I am looking forward to seeing each team fix a room in their own home. Did anyone else catch a glimpse of what rooms were chosen apart from Maddi & Lloyd’s master bedroom?

3 Veronicali { 06.11.14 at 10:58 am }

I only dipped in and out of this episode as frankly I’m not interested in them renovating some randoms tiny crappy units. Families are living in these places designed for singles/couples? Get out of Sydney, gice!

Noticed that the day after B&M had set off the bug bomb, in their to-camera piece, a cockroach crawled down the wall behind Mel’s head! Those things will outlast us all :/
The whole block really needs fumigating, the roaches would’ve skedaddled next door too once disturbed. Maybe those people should swap units with the bug-lovin’ lady.

Units that are above ground floor should not get timber floors – their below neighbours don’t want to hear ppl walking around all the time, carpet is better for sound insulation surely.

4 cuisinaire { 06.11.14 at 11:15 am }

Can’t remember his exact words but had to laugh when Ryan said that they were looking for something to bring an insect theme into Monica’s unit. Look no further than M&B’s roach infested wildlife park. You could put some in one of those ant farm boxes as entomological objet d’art.

The exercise is the worst example of a not level playing field, pardon the pun. As @ 2, doing over kitchens and bathrooms (especially infested ones) is a lot harder and more time consuming than fixing up a bedroom.

How amazing that Lisa “I don’t know how to dress a cot?” finds wallpaper/decal, right down to the church steeple, exactly to the mum’s description in a very time limited shopping exercise.

5 all happening { 06.11.14 at 11:27 am }

I suspect the owners are given a Masters catalogue and told to pick a theme as in nursery and voila, the wallpaper just like Lisa found. What a surprise.
I feel very sorry for the neigbours of M&B who will now have cockies if they didn’t before. Body corporate might be needing to organize fumigation of all units.
I looked at that furniture that Mel and Bomber got and wondered about how politically incorrect and insensitive it was.

6 Agent 86 { 06.11.14 at 11:37 am }

Thanks once again Annajjj.

This whole exercise seems pointless and simply designed to frustrate the participants for artificial “drama”, especially the rule about staying together at all times and the particularly vague “house rules” provided by the owners. What on Earth is modern, rustic Italian? Even the designer seemed lost since her sole direction was “do something modern, rustic Italian”. Was she unable to find a neighbourhood hotel in that style for a personalised design lesson like Team Snow White received last week?

I also found the division of apartments to be unfair. Some teams have two bedrooms and others have only one. Some teams have kitchens and bathrooms which looked pretty new while Bomber and Mel had a kitchen which was falling apart and infested with thousands of insects.

I hope they get back to their own homes soon. I know they volunteered for the experience, but I just feel bad for the owners of these apartments. In most cases, I expect they’ll receive something that either looks worse than what they had or is only marginally better than what they had.

@ jec – I agree about the time limits. I wish they’d provide greater clarity about when the teams are and aren’t allowed to work on site. It seems to be that they’re only allowed to work at night on the very last night and the rest of the time they’re forced to leave the site. I understand that noise restrictions would limit their activities on site, but surely during the first few nights the teams could be out shopping, doing online shopping, putting together flat-packed furniture, painting or doing work without power tools (e.g. sanding window frames for painting, cutting skirting boards with a manual saw, etc).

7 Smythe { 06.11.14 at 11:51 am }

Don’t like this challenge. Agree w/ others that it’s inequitable w/ 1 vs 2 bedrooms and some putting in entirely new kitchens and bathrooms while others just repainting cabinets and tile.

Veronicali, I noticed the roach climbing down the wall behind Mel after they bombed the place, too. I think they left the windows wide open so I would assume that some of those roaches scattered outside and found new living quarters. The keychain w/ the insect should have been the one that went w/ the Nepalese family’s apartment.

Was it the Block or Season 1 HR where couple’s were also required to stay together for one of the challenges? Just an attempt to create more drama and it’s not necessary.

I’m looking forward to this 5 unit reno being over.

8 brain dead dave { 06.11.14 at 12:12 pm }

I thought we’d seen the last of the cockroaches when Brooke and Grant were eliminated.

Fans of Verminators would know that Bomber and Mel’s tilt to nuke those roaches was doomed to fail.

This challenge is a bore. I couldn’t care less what modern rustic means, if it means anything at all. Thanks annajjj.

9 all happening { 06.11.14 at 12:18 pm }

I am also looking forward to this apartment massacre being over. Producers must had some bad feed back on the fix up your own room so dumped this as an extra. Not working for me. It was season 1 of HR that partners had to stay together. I am enjoying Russell annoying the shite out of Carol.
believe it or not, I googled modern rustic Italian and voila a page of links. Here is a kitchen

10 Kat { 06.11.14 at 12:49 pm }

I wonder what the Strata/Body Corporate rules are in this block? If the original fixtures are removed and replaced with dodgy workmanship then these owners are going to be screwed. I am guessing they probably had to sign a waiver for any future claims.

Although by the look of the block & the cockroach infestation I am guessing the Body Corporate are bloody hopeless and there isn’t much done with the money raised by the levies.

11 Myra { 06.11.14 at 12:53 pm }

My first thought, how can you fit a “family” in those tiny apartments. Go to the country people! It it just me but if they were starting with a “clean slate”, why were they were calling out the couples to pick the keys in the order of who has the highest points??????? Veronicali, yes I noticed the roach crawling up the wall after they bombed. They are going to need more than bombs on that place. You can tell bomber is “All hat and no cattle” when it comes to renos. He didn’t even realize how much of the floor leveler to get. Carole yelling at Russell is wearing me thin. Adam must have the most positive attitude ever. “Mr. Smiley”. When I think of modern rustic Italian, I think of the Venetian in Vegas. Remembering when I was in Italy, when I think of just rustic Italian, I think of graffiti and urine stains.

12 TG { 06.11.14 at 1:16 pm }

@all happening #9 – I also did a google image search for the term and then a couple of separate searches for ‘modern rustic’ and ‘rustic italian’ kitchens. I liked what I saw although looks like it might work for a bigger space than in the flat.

I’m a bit disappointed that Maddi and Lloyd aren’t making more of an effort on that because I would really like to see that idea completed (or for them to have a go at least) – it also doesn’t seem to be as hard as they made out (although easy for me to say since I’m an armchair critic here).

M&L – Unless they are installing a set of canary yellow high school lockers into a house, they seem a little lost.

13 all happening { 06.11.14 at 1:43 pm }

TG, if you and I can google modern, rustic Italian and get results, surly M&L can.
Myra, some people are just happy to have a roof over there head. Good luck to them.

14 Myra { 06.11.14 at 1:49 pm }

All happening I understand but for the sake my the family, I would drive a further distance to work just to have a larger place for my children to roam. Many struggles here!

15 all happening { 06.11.14 at 2:08 pm }

Myra, not all families are as lucky as you obviously. We don’t know their situation.

16 Myra { 06.11.14 at 2:25 pm }

All happening! Not as lucky as you think – I work on special cases for the terminally ill so if I had luck I would give it away gladly! And, you are right we don’t know their situation!

17 Andrea { 06.11.14 at 2:29 pm }

I hope all the people in the unit block get a good makeover, and hopefully if the contestants muck it up as seems to be the case for at least one couple tonight, that professional tradies will fix up any mistakes.
I’m looking forward to seeing the garden makeovers once these units are done.

18 Reality Raver { 06.11.14 at 2:37 pm }

Here is a two bedder for sale on that street in fact I think it is the actual block.
Yes prices are insane. I suspect the Italian lady has been living there for quite some time whilst the two couples with kids (anglos) bought recently and they wanted to live closer to city. They would not have got much change for $500,000

19 Reality Raver { 06.11.14 at 2:39 pm }

Here is one from last year it is $450,000 maybe the ones they bought were cheaper as they were unrenovated.
I had never thought of painting over kitchen cupboards. Does it work or does the paint flake off?

20 TG { 06.11.14 at 3:09 pm }

@RR – painting cupboards seems to be a common tactic in quick turn-around home improvement makeover shows (geez that’s a mouthful but you get what I mean). There’s a british one on 7Two where they send in a team of 50 people to do a house in a couple of hours and they do it often.
My understanding is so long as it’s the right paint then it should be fine. When I was a kid dad painted my bookshelf and wardrobe white and it lasted years (although they weren’t near any water or extreme heat of a kitchen).
(I haven’t had the opportunity to own my own home so I’ve never been able to test it myself – does that make me a backseat renovator?)

21 jec { 06.11.14 at 3:09 pm }

Reality Raver, I was wondering that as well, with painting over tiles. What happens to the grout? Does that turn out to be the same colour as the tiles? It would be dreadful if the kitchen cupboards & tiles and the bathroom tiles started peeling and scratching!

22 all happening { 06.11.14 at 3:15 pm }

There is a special 3 part paint system you can buy at the hardware store RR. It is apparently ok as long as you do everything they say as per instructions. We looked at it at one time but then the cyclone took care of the matter and we got a new kitchen.
The one pros use is really good I believe.

23 Eliza { 06.11.14 at 3:55 pm }

Having the couples stay together at all times was a massive push for more ‘drama’ between the couples..come on ch7! Loved the Gappers’ reaction though!

Bomber is a giant baby and his hair (or lack there of) matches this perfectly.. he is so irritating. M&B should be next to go. Their Nepalese apartment should be interesting. At home we play a fun game of trying to speak mono tone like Mel without taking a break to breath and signify the end of a sentence it is really fun but I definitely get out of breath from talking so long without stopping…..

I think that Ryan and Candy seem to be on the right path with their reno. Ryan was hilarious while shopping.. It is maybe just the stress but Candy often seems to be genuinely repulsed by him by the looks on her face! I thought he was so cute getting into it and at least he was actually making decisions and some pretty decent ones.

I agree with another comment that M&L often seem lost with what to do.. they haven’t seem to have learnt much about styling and design especially after their last effort. That kitchen was a lost opportunity.

cuisinaire, I thought that Lisa’s wallpaper find was rather miraculous too. They have to be fooling themselves that they are fooling us into thinking there is no pre-planning because many things you can’t get in such a short time period.. like a new kitchen?!

jec, I have always assumed on this show that they are told when to leave and arrive on site. It does seem though that the couple in the tent can stick around longer though.. there have also been times when some individuals have stayed back longer to do work so it doesn’t really seem very clear!

24 all happening { 06.11.14 at 4:31 pm }

Producers are calling for apartments for next year.

25 Reality Raver { 06.11.14 at 4:53 pm }

TG – I would be the worst at these shows as I did not even realise you could spray. My kitchen is tired but not decrepit and was wondering if it would be a cheap quick fix.

All happening – thanks think I would have to get professionals into paint. I presume you can do colours other then white.

Jec- yes painting over tiles was weird I thought they just tiled over the tiles.

26 all happening { 06.11.14 at 5:09 pm }

Yes RR, any colour I believe. I have seen it used on quite a few of uk shows and also BHG regularly. As long as carcasses are in good nick it should work. Tiles and grout would be the same colour I assume.

27 Ma Chook { 06.11.14 at 6:24 pm }

No problem spraying kitchen cupboards. Make sure they are cleaned down really well to remove grease etc. We sprayed our kitchen doors etc. about 12 years ago. Still looking good. Get advice from the paint people before you start.

28 PollyB { 06.11.14 at 6:48 pm }

Spraying tiles is a favourite makeover of Shayna Blaze in Selling Houses Australia. BTW did her marriage not last? She dropped Vaughan off her name pretty quick.

29 LW { 06.11.14 at 8:14 pm }

Alice works at Channel Seven (actually at Pacific Magazines, their mag division).

30 all happening { 06.11.14 at 9:44 pm }

How tacky was that toilet seat? I though Bomber was going to snot the judges for a minute there.

31 Anonymous { 06.11.14 at 10:24 pm }

What appalling disgusting cruel judges tonight. Omg!! If I didntnlikebthe teams so much I definitely would stop watching!! The judges have no clue, do they?? The teams were given 4days judges- that’s 96 hours J&W-to redo build decorate and style plus some per unit. Gez they incense me. I could rant on and on!!!