A luxurious transformation of a 1930s house by a hardworking couple has captured Australia’s attention.
While many of us can describe the outline of our dream home, bringing that idea into reality is a far more complex process. Add to that the pressures of reality television, a pandemic, and the fierce competition to attract strong buyer interest, and you can appreciate the challenges The Block contestants Daniel and Jade Joyce have faced while transforming a dilapidated house styled into a luxury 1930’s era home.
From remote South Australian farmland ravaged by drought and bushfires to the streets of affluent Brighton in Melbourne’s south-east, the couple – with no styling experience, but a whole lot of passion and building know-how – have created an elegant home that blends lifestyle, luxury, and livability.
No matter the number of successes a team has throughout the season, the winners of The Block are ultimately determined by their auction day results. Luckily for Daniel and Jade, they have secured David Wood of Belle Property Albert Park, a three-time Block winner, as their selling agent.
We asked Daniel and Jade to walk us through their home and David Wood to share his thoughts on the key selling points throughout.
From the outside in, Daniel and Jade’s modern vintage style permeates throughout the six-bedroom, four-bathroom family home. Jade and Daniel (a carpenter by trade) embraced timber and curves, while bringing in key pieces that are reminiscent of the 1930s including an original pendant light Daniel found among the home’s rubble, ornate ceiling panels and cornices.
“From the start, we said we wanted this house to have good bones – it had to be about the build as much as the styling,” explains Jade. “We love that our house is this big proud, beautiful girl sitting right there in the middle, with the largest frontage and the only house with six bedrooms on The Block.”
With his tenured experience in securing winning sales on The Block, David says “the most successful homes achieve a seamless blend between the vision of the team and the history of the home, while still bringing the context of the area in”.
He notes that the luxury modern elements of underfloor heating, rotating shoe racks and Italian marble seamlessly accentuates Brighton’s eye for sophistication while neatly matching the home’s Art Deco influences.
“Daniel and Jade used a meticulous attention to detail and craftsmanship to bring the 1930s opulence to life throughout the home,” says David. “Elements like the warmth of colour on the walls, the well-crafted cornice and ceiling panels, and timber elements keep it quite traditional to the era while still attracting a discerning contemporary buyers' eye.”
Downstairs, the master bedroom and guestroom beautifully blend old-world charm with modern comforts – ornate ceiling cornices, pendant lighting, luxurious walk-in wardrobes, and Art Deco fantail wallpaper in the master bedroom. The ensuites are spa-like havens with underfloor heating, heated towel rails and a double shower in the master ensuite.
Upstairs, Daniel and Jade changed the floorplan to create an extra bedroom. Purposefully pared back, the three bedrooms, combined with the study/living room, instantly transform the upstairs into a kid’s oasis while tucked away in the upper reaches is an added 18 square metres of attic storage.
“One of the simplest yet most critical questions a contestant on The Block should ask themselves with every design decision is ‘does this make the house more livable?’. Given lockdown restrictions, the luxury of space that Daniel and Jade have created through an extra bedroom will be an asset. As work from home becomes a key consideration for professionals, the multi-function study space is another timely and smart addition to the home,” says David.
Kitchen and living spaces
Back downstairs, the ceilings soar in the open-plan kitchen, living and dining. The Art Deco-inspired kitchen delights with a butler’s pantry and mod-cons, but it’s the oversized kitchen island bench by Christian Cole that brings a whole other layer to the winning kitchen design.
“The custom-built timber island bench defines our house – it’s the opulence of what would have been back then, and it’s what people are looking for in Brighton these days. It’s special and so unique,” explains Jade.
The duo’s game plan was always to build an expertly crafted family home, even to the detailing of solid oak door jambs to storage in all parts of the house.
David says “given the premium suburban location and large block of land, Daniel and Jade need to consistently think about how to create a sophisticated family-friendly home that lends itself to entertainment amongst friends as easily as school night routines.”
“What they have achieved, particularly in the living and dining space, is a well thought out family home with an emphasis on flow. Considerate design, like being able to see the pool from the kitchen, adds to the luxury of the house while giving parents piece of mind. I have no doubt that this balance will really help to set them apart on auction day,” he concludes.
This property has now been sold through Belle Property Albert Park.