Trifecta room win positions Tom and Sarah-Jane as The Block front-runners.
Tasked with renovating House 1 on this year’s The Block Tree-change, contestants Tom and Sarah-Jane are so far nailing this season’s ‘new rural’ aesthetic, winning three consecutive room challenges and being tipped as the show’s front-runners for a win.
Representing plumber Tom and social worker Sarah-Jane on the reality renovation show’s 18th season are Belle Property Daylesford agents Natalie Fagan and Ashlee McKee, with the auction of House 1 at 191 McGeorge Road, Gisborne, to be led by veteran Block auctioneer David Wood from Belle Property Albert Park.
The couple’s master bedroom and walk-in robe reveal on 4 September attracted praise aplenty from judges Neale Whitaker, Shaynna Blaze and Darren Palmer—including the first 10 of the season—and resulted in a win for the parents of one from Melbourne.
Their choice to hero the same olive-green paint as in their winning House Decider challenge bedroom, complemented by the master’s white walls and autumnal-coloured linen, impressed the judges, with Shaynna commenting, "How much does it hug you as soon as you walk in?"
The judges found the room cosy despite its high ceiling, thanks to a real wood fireplace, wainscotting and textures ranging from a rattan bedhead to check bedding and corduroy cushions.
The gilded-edge, soft-lit, walk-in robe also met with approval, putting the finishing touch to a luxury master suite which looks set to also win over buyers at sale time.
The couple’s winning streak continued with a guest bedroom and ensuite victory the following week; securing more plaudits from the judges for the bold use of blue tartan wallpaper, grey cabinetry and matching blue, white and green linen.
All three fell in love with the design, with Darren remarking, "I have loved everything Tom and Sarah-Jane have done so far, but not as much as I've loved this. It feels like that perfect Ralph Lauren country house.”
The duo doubled down with another win last week for their kitchen, with all three judges wowed by its white base palette with teal and metallic accents in the form of a rose gold fridge and the ultimate in luxury entertaining – a dedicated charcuterie fridge.
The judges also commended the couple for the room’s functionality with its distinct cooking, cleaning and preparation zones, and were similarly impressed when they opened the barn doors and saw the butler's pantry. Both spaces added up to "the ultimate contemporary country kitchen" according to Neale, and scored them full marks from each judge.
‘Frontrunners for a win’
As well as their house being the most viewed property on domain.com.au the week of their guest bedroom win, the couple is also being heralded by Darren Palmer as the team to beat on auction day. Speaking to Shelley Craft on The Block podcast, Darren said Tom and Sarah-Jane's cohesive vision for the house not only sets them apart from the competition, but will also play an important role come auction time.
“They have done such great rooms and they have consistently been right up there in terms of finishes and designs. They are really front-runners in this competition, as far as I am concerned,” said Darren.
The Block: Tree-change airs on Channel 9 (Sun 7pm | Mon-Wed 7.30pm).