The first challenge for our freshly-minted Blockheads — guest ensuite week. We spoke to some of last year’s contestants to find out what what it takes to win this week's challenge.
Your guests arrive and unpack their bags. The guest ensuite is where they unwind after their journey, prepare in the morning and relax in the evening, so it's important that it works for everyone who visits.
The number one tip for any Blockhead, renovator or builder is to think about layout. Deb and Andy said contestants and renovators should look to “create a space that looks beautiful and is functional.” Their secret tip was deceptively simple; “make sure everything’s within reach. Guests don’t want to walk too far to grab a towel!”
Taking the time to plan the space will make sure the layout puts function first.
Mitch and Mark urged how important it is to think about how your guests arrive and what they want out of the ensuite. “Ensure easy storage with good bench space to allow people to unpack their toiletries and feel at home. Don’t clutter the space.”
It’s all about making a home feel welcoming for guests and making things easy. Jesse and Mel said, “consider having shelves underneath or next to the vanity for towels, so your guests don’t have to go looking,” and seconded Mitch and Mark’s call for easy, accessible storage.
It’s not all about functionality. A guest ensuite should make an impact, and the best way to do that is with one or two statement pieces that catch the eye. For Deb and Andy, the key was in the taps, saying that “tapware can really add wow factor and set the mood for the entire space.”
Jesse and Mel thought that contestants and renovators should take a different tack and put the vanity first. “A beautiful vanity is sure to impress… So too is a floor-to-ceiling shower screen which is recessed, hiding all the fixings.” Those little moments of drama can create a memorable impression.
Elise and Matt said that an impactful guest ensuite isn’t just about looks. For them, it’s all about the shower; “a good showerhead and the pressure it can give.
"That’s always the most memorable thing when you shower at a friend’s house.”
However, the former contestants were pretty clear about one thing. “Don’t put in a tub, unless you’re running a hotel,” said Mitch and Mark, echoed by Jesse and Mel. “You don’t need a bath in your guest ensuite.”
The message was clear; invest in what matters to them to create a memorable guest ensuite.
The guest ensuite isn’t an everyday space. Guests may come and go, Mitch and Mark said, so “design a space that’s easy to maintain." Elise and Matt agreed with them; “you don’t need to go huge on the layout or extravagant. Keep it clean, elegant – and simple.”
Elegance is about creating a seamless look, said Deb and Andy. “Create a continuous flow in the space, with nothing to jar the eye.”
Space is key, so contestants should “float the vanity, creating the illusion of space and makes your bathroom appear more open”.
Ultimately, the guest ensuite is creating a warm, welcoming impression. Contestants should go the extra mile to ensure their guests feel pampered and seen to.
Mitch and Mark suggested, “Underfloor heating, so many people overlook this and no matter where you live, on a cold morning? A warm floor is just wow.”
Elise and Matt agreed and added that you can elevate an ensuite and:
“Make it luxe by using the nice soaps, plants and accessories that your guests won’t get at home. That way, the space stays versatile and won’t date.”