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LOOKING FOR THE PERFECT MATERIAL FOR YOUR AL FRESCO AREA? FOLLOW THE LEAD BY THE CONTESTANTS ON THE BLOCK AND CHOOSE BRICK
With the al fresco area reaching peak popularity throughout Australian homes, it seems only natural that the outdoor living reveals were a big ratings winner in this year’s The Block.

The five teams of contestants brought creativity, style and hard work to their new courtyards, with bricks a key element in many of the designs. Hardy, weatherproof and decorative, bricks are always a popular choice and complemented the brick (and Cultured Stone) feature fireplaces in three of the apartments.

Located in Melbourne’s creatively eclectic St Kilda, the renovation of the outdoor spaces at The Oslo needed to meet the needs of time-poor, style-savvy potential buyers. 
 
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The reveals of the exterior spaces followed on from those of the living and dining areas of the week before. The courtyards can each be viewed from the living areas, so it was important to have a stylistic connection between the two spaces.

Tess and Luke of House 2 went dramatic with their courtyard with their show-stopping feature wall using PGH Bricks’ CORIUM rail system in a spectacular stacked vertical bond. Mirroring the dark palette of their successful living space, the couple chose a grey/ brown Metallic brick with a Charcoal mortar, allowing the texture to shine.

Judge Darren Palmer loved the textural element provided by the bricks. “Tess and Luke have played with textures on a neutral dark palette and then sculptural items, like these pots and the spiral staircase.”

CORIUM combines the natural beauty of real brick with cost-effective fast-track installation. It is exclusively available from PGH Bricks and Pavers, and a genuine Terracotta rain screen façade system. Fast and easy to install, it was a great choice for the time-pressured Block environment.

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Onto House 1 where Sydney duo Mitch and Mark impressed the judges with the reveal of their Palm Springs-style courtyard, which had a playground feel, a pink neon sign, enormous feature wall emblazoned with palm trees and a colour palette of Miami blues and whites with splashes of pink in the terrazzo pots.

The couple scored points because of the consistency of design between their outdoor space and indoor living area, which both featured Morada Blanco Linear bricks in a stacked bond, which provided a contemporary edge to the product. 
 

The white detailing in the landscape design added an extra layer to the Palm Springs aesthetic throughout the rest of the boys’ apartment, with judge Neale Whitaker calling it a Las Vegas touch.

Judge Darren Palmer thought the boys had delivered on the consistency all the judges had wanted them to bring to the outdoor space, by repeating the brickwork from the lounge room to the courtyard.

Shaynna Blaze loved the fact that the area was low-maintenance. “This is a space that says ‘show time’.  It’s got great confidence and a sense of fun,” she said.

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El’ise and Matt continued their impressive form with a charming courtyard design using the same hero material as their inspiring living room fireplace – PGH’s Palisades Ancient Villa Ledgestone – to tie the two spaces together.

The Perth pair secured landscaper and Block veteran Dave Franklin who helped them create what Neale described it as a “tranquil, peaceful space”. The Ledgestone was used for a generous planter box full of bamboo and anchored a timber bench as the seating for the area. 

Shaynna loved the material choices, saying that the textures worked beautifully with "the lodge" aesthetic and colour palette of the home.

All three judges agreed the courtyard oozed tranquillity and the styling choices in the courtyard were perfect. 
 
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