Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Their HOUSE most definitely RULES..

..and, just quietly, so do they!

So those who have been following the show will know that unfortunately last night our very own Townsville dream-team Maddi and Lloyd were eliminated from House Rules.  BOOOO HISSSS!!! 

*USA and UK readers, House Rules is an Australian reality TV show that sees teams from each state competing against each other in renovation madness by doing up each other houses following five House Rules the owners leave for is all done in 7 days.  Teams that score highest with the combined teams and judges scores move up to the next round etc, with the overall winner having their mortgage paid off in full.

Even though we kinda knew what was coming (purely speculation on our part due to the fact we live 3 doors away and knew when filming was going on, when it ceased and when they came home) it was still a shock as we didn't know 100% until the judges uttered their ridiculously unfair and crappy scores.  Although we are very sad to see them go, as we discussed at the weekend every team is a winner in this competition, even Brooke and Grant, the first couple to be eliminated, have a fantastic home to show for all the blood, sweat and tears they put into the competition. 

As renovation shows go, we love it, we loved the first series and this one has been even better.  For us it's a great mix of reality and reno, we get to see different ideas and ways that others think outside the square for different tasks, as well as seeing different trends and products available.  Obviously some decisions are never going to sit well with everyone, and due to the fast moving nature of the show and extremely limited time in which they have to plan, execute and perfect each zone there are always going to be mistakes and rush jobs.  But the beauty of this show is that structurally everything is perfect, as for furniture and fittings etc?  Well...if you don't like the moss green colour (that you asked for, a'hem Brooke) then paint over it.  And if the table would look better going the other way on the new deck (a'hem Wendy) then the owner can just turn it around.  Ok, so if you don't like a tile choice then you are pretty stuffed short term but when you have just had your house fully renovated, who cares!?  When you get the opportunity change it!  Maddi and Lloyd have exactly that attitude, when we got together with Maddi (unfortunately Lloyd was working), we could tell straight up she is a 'don't stress the small stuff' kind of gal.  Their no-nonsense, get on with it work ethic has carried them through this competition and although I am soooo disappointed to see their journey come to an end I know they have gotten so much out of it, not just in terms of a freshly renovated home but also within themselves and will continue to grow from it. 

Which brings me to my little Q and A with them...I got asked the other day, how come you got to see their house...was it just because of the blog?  So just as an FYI here is the background to my house rules journey (haha)...also known as Maddi-Stalking if Col is to be believed...

Back in late March we had just begun our own reno on our new place, we had to do the bathroom in its entirety before we moved in so I was spending most of my days here overseeing the demolition and re-do of the bathroom and toilet. 

Sneak peek...!

On one of my trips out here, a letter was waiting in my mailbox from Channel 7 explaining what would be going on in our immediate neighbourhood and asking for complete discretion by keeping this information to ourselves.  Which of course we did.  (I now see how important that part is, the amount of traffic our usually quiet street has had since this aired is astronomical.  As my facebook peeps know, we call them the gawkers, they usually drive-by paying very little attention to the road itself, but generally causing no trouble, but the odd one is a little more determined.  Like the ones who knocked on our door on a Sunday morning asking where the HRH was, and the one who pulled into Maddi and Lloyd's driveway and just sat there gawking!!  Or incredulously the one that actually attempted to climb their fence last week to get a look over it into the yard...WTF!!??  *Edit* One neighbour, who is doing an amazing full renovation on his house right now, (thanks for the permission to use this pic Mr. N) even had to put up a sign to keep the gawkers at bay, which hysterically Sasha suggested to Maddi this weekend... "that's what you should do Maddi, that would fool them all!'
Not House Rules!!!
Over the course of the following 2 weeks we had every tradie, landscaper and camera crew who could possibly fit down our little street firmly entrenched as they filmed the episodes that aired this week.  (*The stage one - house reno part - had been completed late last year when we had not yet got the keys to our new home). 

This shot doesn't do it justice, the cars and utes were everywhere!

Lots and lots of extra shots are taken once all the crew leave
The huge boom (?) camera  taking all the sweeping overhead shots etc
Anyway long story short, once it had all settled and Maddi and Lloyd were back home, I dropped them a line asking if we could do a mini interview of sorts and thankfully she said yes once approval comes through from Channel 7 and the show had aired she'd love to help.  Yayyy!  (I actually couldn't wait to see Poppy's face when she was in the same room as a TV star!  Hahahaha).  Over the last few months we have emailed and written letters back and forth and finally it all aligned and we got to meet up.  The children were mesmerized by her, their gorgeous puppy dog Bronson who is just adorable and of course the amazing house.  We are so grateful that they allowed us to intrude like that and see it all up close and personal, it was great to see all the colours and styles incorporated, and also to see the things they've changed since they got back which really isn't that much, they mostly liked it all; but of course the hessian ceilings went!!!  I was also very grateful to see their kitchen as I loved what Adam and Lisa did with it and would like to take inspiration from it when it comes time to renovate ours.  The blue splashback is just perfect, I love it! So without further waffling ado, here is my mini interview with the lovely Maddi...

How did you guys meet?
Online! Lloyd and I came across each others profile on Myspace. We chatted online for a while and then he invited me to come to his mates BBQ.  We've been together ever since.

Why did you choose Pallarenda? (Funnily enough we actually looked at your house when it was on the market when we originally moved back here, but deemed it too much work for us, in time/money and expertise, having just begun renovating our previous house :)
We did our research on the property market in Townsville and found that Pallarenda was one of the suburbs with great investment potential. Apart from being on the beach, Pallarenda is only 10 minutes from the city and there is very little (if any) land left to build on so the existing land will become very valuable in time.  It's a gem of a suburb that we feel not many have discovered yet (well, I think NOW they have haha).

How and when did you originally apply for the gig, what was your audition video like? 

We applied for the show late last year.  The application process included a video, photos and a very intense application form! It wasn't easy and we never thought we had a chance!

Why do you think you got the gig.
I think we got chosen because we are different from most of the other couples in the competition and we live in the most unique place compared to the other contestants. We are the only couple that doesn't fight with each other and we never take anything too seriously - at the end of the day it's just a competition, it's not a life and death situation, so don't sweat the small stuff!

How much do they (producers) prepare you for the onslaught of the show and the pressures that come with it.  Was it far harder than you thought it would be?
Producers don't prepare you at all- it's as raw as it comes.  You fly into the first reno town and day one you are in to it.  Even if you have experience in the building industry, nothing prepares you for getting your head around renovating a house in 7 days with complete strangers. From budgets to building walls and buying furniture - you learn it all on the job in that first week, hitting the ground running.  You have to be a very fast learner.
We (general public) see what the shows producers want us to see, but for me they portrayed a wonderful group of people who looked like they had so much fun and all got along.  Was that the case? Did you all get along as well as it seemed?
The way I describe it is like being on a school camp - when you live with people for that amount of time someone is bound to get on someone's nerves. We all got along fine but towards the end of the camp :) there were a couple people on the annoying side that needed to be booted from the campsite. Carole was one of them. The way she spoke to Russell was funny to start with but on a daily basis for days and weeks on end it became hard to listen to.  In fact, we actually felt really sorry for the bloke.

How did Lisa look soooooo darn cute and fresh through all the renos!!??? 
Lisa is a trooper and I think she used to be a beauty therapist.  She is an amazing human being, inside and out!

Is stage one really done in 7 days?  When they were here, they filmed for nearly 2 weeks!?
Yep reno is all done in 7 days- it's crazy.  They film the judges at the top and tail- that might be what you saw and there's heaps of filming they do just of the house for the show and magazines but the contestants are only there for 7 days and the reno is completed in 7 days. I wish it was more days!! :)

Are all the trades used local to the area?

There's Chester the Build Supervisor - I think he is from Melbourne. But all trades are sourced locally.

What was your favourite room in the whole show for each of the following..
a) In your house  - Our kitchen.  It's stunning , practical and spacious.
b) that you have completed in one of the other houses - I loved the ensuite we did in VIC.  The hexagon tiles and greyscale look was very on-trend.
and c) in the whole competition either your work or completed by a fellow contestant.- Still our kitchen haha- it's really amazing

What did you think of all the junk in Bomber and Mel's out building when you first saw it?  (We loved what you did with the old bench...just awesome!)  Was that the hardest reno mentally and physically for you all?
Mel and Bombers reno was definitely the hardest for us design wise and physically. We basically had to smash down the entire back end of the house and re-do it. And the house rules were really hard to work with in a kitchen area - who wants a junky kitchen!

Did working in all the big cities make you realise how lacking we are in the Ville for decent home wares and similar stores

It was funny, trying to renovate in the larger cities compared to our smaller city of Townsville had it's disadvantages also. As you are running on a clock every minute counts and when you are in Western Sydney and need to get to a shop in Sydney in a hurry- good luck!! Whereas, although Townsville doesn't have as many shops to choose from, they are all in close vicinity with plenty of parking.  And when you are doing a 24hr challenge- that becomes really important.  Melk is amazing! :)

From Sasha - age 10 - What happened with your jobs while you were on the show?
Awesome Question.  We both have amazing bosses that allowed us to take leave.

From Poppy - age 5 - What is Maddi's favourite colour? (She followed it with...'I bet she says Rainbow'..the kid is so funny.)
Hahaha Rainbow - what a great thought, I may have to reconsider my colour choices.  I love pink :)
Thanks so much Maddi..we are counting down with you for the whole30 to end..hahahah!
So that's all folks, we would have loved for team Qld to be going further in the competition but now it is down to one team and one team only...
GO VICTORIA - Adam and Lisa for the WIN!!!

* source photo's gratefully borrowed from Maddi and Lloyd's Facebook page (with prior permission of course!)



  1. What a great interview that is so awesome that you live in the same area as them .... well apart from the crazys hanging around! I was sorry to see them go they are my favourite couple (sorry WA) and I thought they did a great job of the yard. Be interesting to see who is going to win .... Im hooked on the show its great to see everyday ordinary couples tackling home renovations (just like us!)

    1. It's certainly been an interesting experience Michelle, especially for all the kids in the neighbourhood with the TV cameras and the buzz around the show. All support in our house now firmly lodged behind Adam & Lisa.

      In terms of the gawkers I find it's best to just use the same technique as the Penguins (from the movie Madagascar)... "Just smile and wave boys, smile and wave!"

      Cheers, Col