The Block NZ has revealed three new judges for it's ninth season in 2021.
Award-winning real estate manager Lauren Mirabito, design studio founder Chris Stevens and interior designer Ann-Louise Hyde will be carefully scrutinising and scoring the work of the teams renovating four houses in Auckland's Point Chevalier.
It's the first time the show has ever had three judges on the show, with Mirabito, Stevens and Hyde bringing over 60 years of experience to the panel between them.
Lauren Mirabito is the general manager at Ray White Carpenter Realty, and has been in the industry and renovating houses for nearly two decades. She describes herself as a "huge Block NZ fan", having watched every one of the previous seasons.
Mirabito says she'll be looking for "considered choices" in the team's layout and design.
"I am not looking for extreme design choices or out of the box ideas. The teams' homes and rooms need to appeal to the widest pool of buyers possible while also creating an emotional connection with as many buyers as possible," she says.
"That is where the skill will be, in creating spaces that are neutral enough to not alienate buyers, but special and brave enough to get buyers feeling impressed and in love - like they can't imagine themselves living anywhere else."
Ann-Louise Hyde is the owner of Hyde Inside Interiors and has worked on luxury homes all over the world. She says she aims to bring "a practical, not snooty, approach to design".
She traces her love of and fascination for interiors back to the stately homes and ornate concert halls of Europe, where she played the cello for a living in her 20s.
Hyde says she'll be looking for sufficient space to move around comfortably and "good thought" put into fixtures, fittings and equipment.
"I don't want to see glass table-tops, sharp bench edges or silk velvet dining chairs in a family home, or unnecessarily sensible flooring and soft furnishings in an adult-only pad," she says.
Chris Stevens is the founder and director of CTRL Space, an award-winning commercial and interior design studio specialising in high end bars, cafes and restaurants as well as residential spaces.
Having worked in the design industry for twenty years, Stevens has a love of 'Californian modernism' derived from his love of the ocean and surfing.
This aesthetic means clean lines and a restrained material palette, which translates into "less is more", according to Stevens.
He describes himself as a stickler for detail and will be looking for "context and consideration" while judging the work of The Block NZ teams.
"I will no doubt repeat myself on this, but I truly believe form follows function so if a room doesn't function as it is intended to, I'll be deducting points for that," he says.
"Moreover, I want to see an overall concept thread for the whole house - again considered - not just plucked from Pinterest."
The Block NZ will be hosted by Mark Richardson and Shelley Ferguson and premieres on Monday, June 14 on Three and ThreeNow.