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the block 2021 mitch and mark guest bathroom floating timber vanity and brass tapware

The Block 2021 Guest Bathroom Recap: This Week’s Biggest Design Pops and Flops

The 2021 Block crew just revealed their guest bathrooms and boy did they prompt some of the best burns ever from the judges. The Blaze, N-Dubz and D-Paz really had me cackling this week as they cast their eyes over week two’s spaces.

It was a really mixed bag this time around, don’t you think? I felt wowed, I felt woeful. There were even moments where I was more confused than I am trying to find Sweet Potatoes in the search list when using self-serve checkouts and Woolworths (they’re under ‘P’, so I was told). But boy did it all make for a pretty eventful Sunday night.

Here are my thoughts on this week’s spaces, and I’d love to know yours in the comments below too. Overall it was a case of one space amazing, one space bad, two spaces OK and one space quite boring. Let’s see how it all panned out…

the block 2021 mitch and mark guest bathroom toilet behind door

the block 2021 mitch and mark guest bathroom pink and grey marble mosaic tiles

Mitch and Mark Came First

Last week I hoped that Mitch and Mark would stay committed to their more refined design direction, and this week they did. This is a true 180 compared to the bathrooms they executed the last time they were on the show. I’ve not seen a change this big since Selling Houses Australia lost two thirds of its hosts. And I do feel that this space has an obvious connection to their guest bedroom design, which is appreciated. 

The tile alone is a winner. They could have just tiled an empty bathroom with no toilet, bath or vanity and I’d probably still declare them winners. The tile is Cascade Norwegian Rose for those of you playing at home, and boy is it a show-stopper. I wouldn’t have tiled the niche near the bath, truth be told, as it appears too intentionally matchy-matchy. But outside of that small tile blunder they’ve done exceptionally well with application.

I agree with Shaynna about the relationship between the profile on the vanity and the tiles too; a lovely connection there. It’s like they’re related but a few branches away from one another on the family tree. The sense of warmth brought by the tile and vanity combination is glorious. And then you have all that while tile to retain a sense of calm.

the block 2021 mitch and mark guest bathroom pink marble tiles

A Few Tweaks Would Be Appreciated

There are a few things that are making my design eye twitch a little, and it’s not even the horrible ducks styled on the bath caddy (potentially worse than a block of cheese, but we’ll get to that!). It’s the placement of and relationship between the bath niche and window.

I don’t know if they can make decisions about removing windows, or where they should be placed (let me know in the comments below, if you can). Perhaps decisions like this are out of their control. But for me, the window can go altogether and the niche can be centred on the wall above the bath. Please. Pretty please. Can they correct this for me so my eyeballs can stop pulsating?

If we’re nit-picking (which we always are), I would have also placed a timber stool bedside the bath, to connect this wet zone to the vanity zone. And I would have also selected lower basins for the vanity. I find those tall bowls and wall-mounted taps problematic together. I like to get my mug right into a bowl without taking out an eye.

But all in all, I’m so happy to see something new and refreshing in the way of bathrooms on The Block. Sadly I can’t say the same for the next zone… 

the block 2021 ronnie and georgia guest bathroom the block 2021 ronnie and georgia guest bathroom with velux skylight

Ronnie and Georgia Came Second

Simple, minimalistic and contemporary is how the judges summed up this guest bathroom from Ronnie and Georgia. And it is all of those things. That’s not a positive from where I’m sitting though. Granted, I’m sitting in day pyjamas in lockdown number 574, but I think that illustrates my point even further.

To not be wowed by this bathroom when we’re all kinda starved of stunning design right now is really rather disappointing. 

The problem with this space is that it’s so regular. So vanilla. And don’t get me wrong, vanilla is my fave flavour in the tub of neapolitan. But I’ve seen different versions of this bathroom so many times over the past few years. In fact, it reminds me a lot of Luke and Jasmin’s bathroom from last season. Or this other one from Luke and Jasmin last season. I think you get my point.

I’m hope Ronnie and Georgia aren’t just going to deliver an expected, market-ready home to make some money out of this season. I mean, that that’s the whole point of the show, I know. But they’re capable of pushing it further and I personally would love to see it.

the block 2021 ronnie and georgia guest bathroom vanity with white kit kat tiles

Next-Level Neutral is What We Needed

Every material in this space is beautiful, of course. The kit kat tiles are delicious, the brass fixtures are luxurious, the bath tub is a stunner. But it’s all just so white and bland. Like the cast of Neighbours, it needs more diversity. The feeling in this space is beautiful and light-filled thanks to that skylight, and the layout is successful, but it’s just not quite doing it for me overall.

The functionality issues Shaynna raised around the shower are valid, but don’t stop there. Where are the towel rails? You don’t have any for bath towels in the wet zone or hand towels near the vanity. A bit of an obvious miss from seasoned Blockheads. 

I don’t have a lot more to say about this space, because it’s neither here nor there. Just your average, contemporary bathroom lifted right from the pages of every magazine on the shelves right now. 

the block 2021 tanya and vito guest bathroom the block 2021 tanya and vito guest bathroom square terracotta tiles and terrazzo floor

Tanya and Vito Came Third

I won’t lie; the first time I cast eyes on images of Tanya and Vito’s guest bathroom I was torn. Torn like Natalie Imbruglia in 1995. I truly couldn’t work out if this was one of the ugliest Block bathrooms in recent seasons, or if it was one of the best strokes of creative genius since Khloe Kardashian Facetuned her visage for Instagram.

I’ve come to the conclusion that elements of this bathroom are visually stunning. There, I said it. I don’t think I’ve seen a space on The Block in recent years that’s made me think so much. Normally I love it or I hate it. It’s good or it’s bad. To come across a space that’s a bit baffling is quite refreshing. And it only happens when a duo make choices that are anything but run of the mill.

The tiles are of course the main reason this bathroom feels so good. The Moroccan vibes are not lost on me. Pairing them with terrazzo flooring is a very successful combination. The shell here is a real winner, and there was so much scope for it to be one of the best bathrooms on the series. But then you look closer and there are oodles of issues.

the block 2021 tanya and vito guest bathroom floating vanity with arch mirrors

Lots of Minor Changes Are Needed

The judges weren’t wrong. The closer you start to look at things, the more issues come up. Tanya and Vito need to edit, that’s one of their biggest issues. The vision is there. It was evident last week in their guest bedroom too. There’s certainly not a lack of ideas. It’s just that there are too many of them going on at once.

The black door frame needs to go. The oak trim on the power point needs to go. The towel hooks need to go. The lights above the bath need to go. The plant that’s more frail that The Olsen twins needs to go. I also have an issue with the coloured basins, as I feel they detract from the wall tiles. Just let the wall tiles be the one moment. And the mirrors are too high.

OK so the more I’m critiquing, the more problems I’m finding. I guess, all in all, what I’m saying is that the wall tiles are stunning. Maybe I just like the wall tiles? Help me make sense of this confusion before I have a designer meltdown.

the block 2021 kirsty and jesse guest bathroom the block 2021 kirsty and jesse guest bathroom blue tiles brass tapware and hooks

Kirsty and Jesse Came Fourth

This room is pretty successful. I enjoy that Kirsty and Jesse are embracing the fact that a guest bedroom doesn’t need a bathroom you could fit 60 people in for a mid-lockdown engagement party (too soon?). It’s size-appropriate and it does have everything a guest needs when they’re staying over. 

I really enjoy the colour palette. It’s soft and soothing, calm and clean. That blue basin is so powdery and delicious against the white vanity top, and the profile on the vanity front is very in-keeping with the vibe they’re clearly embracing for this season of The Block. I even love the tasselled towels. Their styling is quite beautiful. 

There’s a nice connection to their guest bedroom in this bathroom too. I can see where they wanted to take the guest bed now. They just need to get rid of that blue strip around the outside of the room and the two spaces could look divine side-by-side. 

I disagree with Shaynna about the nub wall. I like that sense of barrier between shower and toilet.

the block 2021 kirsty and jesse guest bathroom floating white vanity and light blue basin

Speaking of Removing Blue from Walls…

Let’s talk about those shower tiles. Now, I’m having the same issue here as I had with Jimmy and Tam’s pink bathroom last year (even mentioning that bathroom is giving me PTSD). There are just too many moments in a small space fighting for your attention.

In a bathroom of this size, either your brass accents are the focal point, or your blue tiles are. Together they don’t have a sense of refinement to them. The bathroom quickly becomes a little tacky, which is a shame.

In deciding if the blue tiles come away of the brass accents do, I would vote for the brass accents. Chrome would have worked just as well here and actually made the room feel way calmer and less blingy. Then, the blue tiles would have been enough of a moment, and it could have been a winning room.

the block 2021 josh and luke guest bathroom the block 2021 josh and luke guest bathroom vanity with oval mirrors and grey marble tile

Josh and Luke Came Last

“Take it on the chin, your styling’s atrocious” is the best and biggest burn to come out of The Blaze in recent years and I’m LIVING for it. It’s almost as good as when Neale called a bunch of dried flowers last year “Funerial in its ugliness”. You just don’t get insults like this when you watch The Bachelor. Darren pointing out the spotlight on the cheese was also truly delicious. Thanks for the laugh you guys.

I have to agree with the judges on all of their comments here. I do find the bathroom to be dark and dated. I do find it to be too large. I do find the ceiling a bit odd. The shower feels really narrow considering the room is so large. And the styling is bad. 

I will say though (because you know I call out what needs to be called out) you can’t call this bathroom something you’ve seen before if you’re not calling out Ronnie and Georgia for the same thing. Both are dated and generic. It’s just that one feels nicer to be in because it’s lighter and brighter. But both are nothing new.

Shoutout to the music team this week for playing sad music as the critiques were playing during Josh and Luke’s feedback. Comedy gold.

the block 2021 josh and luke guest bathroom shower with black floor and wall tiles

It’s Not All Bad Though

OK, we’ve had our fun, we’ve pointed out the bad parts. But honestly there are some good things in this bathroom and I do feel we should point them out. That cheese did look edible. I joke, I joke!

The feature wall behind the vanity was very successful. I love the industrial vibe it brings to the space, and even though I didn’t love their guest bedroom, the spaces feel connected. It was a welcome change in the way of bathroom feature walls on The Block too. So many of the spaces opt for an all-white approach that I’m really over.

The vanity, mirrors and tapware were also really lovely. The bath was ample and appropriate too. And I did enjoy the amount of towel rails (something the other teams failed to include). So yes, they’re rookies, and they can improve. That’s if they listen to the feedback, which I am concerned about.

What did you make of the 2021 Block guest bathrooms? Drop me a comment below and share your thoughts!

Photography in this post via David Cook Photography. See more Block goodness at The Block Shop and nine now.


Chris Carroll

Outside of writing this blog, Chris is an interior designer, presenter and author. He’s also spent time on TV, on Channel 10’s Changing Rooms, as well presenting segments on Channel 7’s Sunrise and The Morning Show. If you’d like to book a design consult with Chris, you can find out more here

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14 Responses

  1. “ I wouldn’t have tiled the niche near the bath, truth be told, as it appears too intentionally matchy-matchy”…
    YES! I HATE this obsession with matching the niche to the feature wall. It feels so “project joke builder”. That said, Mitch and Mark’s one works better than I’ve ever seen it before, even though I find the concept tacky.

    Didn’t love the blue bathroom for the same reasons as you Chris, but feel it might stem from the fact the blue towels just ruined it.

    I’m just really despising the matchy matchy thing that feels far too juvenile for a show like the Block.

  2. What is the deal with the skylights? They are amazing and make the bathrooms so much better by themselves. I wondered if these are part of the budget or they just get to have them as Velux is getting such great advertising. They would be a fairly big ticket item otherwise. I agree, I don’t like a toilet in the bathroom (unless it’s the ensuite) and I disagree about towels not drying on hooks. When you see the way my kids hang them on the rail it’s far better on a hook!

  3. Firstly, I have an answer for you – “a guest bedroom doesn’t need a bathroom you could fit 60 people in for a mid-lockdown engagement party (too soon?)” Nope. Gold.

    Secondly, I have a general question for you – where are all the interesting mirrors? The Block seems to revel in its propensity for same old, same old mirrors. Mirrors can lift a neutral space into something pretty wow.

    Oh Chris, the best bit about The Block is the return of your blog! Truly. Thank you. Thank you for critique that is educational and bwahahahaha.

    I’ve just a few observations to add:
    Kit Kat tiles are currently so overused. Well, at least I know I’m over them.
    Handmade tiles are adorable; I love the character they impart, but, and this is a big but, keeping them mould free in a wet area is a nightmare. Tanya and Vito’s buyer might want to invest in Exit Mould shares. Used as a feature wall, a hell yes from me, used in the shower – nope, just nope.
    If you have a big enough space tuck your toilet away, preferably far away from perched beside the vanity.

    What’s this obsession with vivid pinky terracotta colours? I can’t stand Mitch and Mark’s tiles! I appreciate the way they complemented the vanity style with the tiles – all class – but the colours are just . There will be regrets with this colour palette. Mark my words. Mitch my words also.

    On the other hand, I thought I’d never board this coloured washbasin bandwagon and lo and behold, Kirsty and Jesse present that powder blue version. So pretty. So, so pretty. But will it date? Methinks, not as quickly as terracotta coloured bathrooms. However I don’t like either of the blue towel colours they chose, they’re not the right blue. They would have been better off picking out the soft pink colour from the tiles.

    In conclusion, let me just say, I will never choose black tapware for my bathroom. N-e-v-e-r. Noch nie.

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I’m interior designer Chris Carroll, and at TLC Interiors we’re all about helping you create an amazing home without breaking the bank. It’s affordable designer style at its best, and we make the whole process easy and fun for clients & readers alike!

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