The pulsing heartbeat of a home, kitchens are crucial as this is where you cook, eat and gather socially.
For The Block NZ teams they are also important in helping each team sell their homes.
A simple yet soulful space created and designed by Tim & Arthur captured all the judges' attention and guaranteed the friends a whopping $10,000 win.
This kitchen is really well put together - the judges loved the splashback, simple cabinetry. According to the judges it is 'minimalist without being miserabilist' and a 'great family space with lots of natural light'.
If the kitchen is the heart of the home, then Tim & Arthur's dining room is its soul. A splash of colour in the artwork and stunning table and chairs ensured the room has a warm and happy feeling.
Newshub sought advice from the experts about the key elements for creating stylish kitchen and dining rooms, which you can see in abundance on The Block NZ.
Meg & Dan came close to winning this week's room reveal by designing a kitchen which felt homely, light and social.
The appeal of this kitchen is it wouldn’t need to be replaced for at least 10 years and is attractive to many buyers in the market.
Also, the appliances in this kitchen stood out, including two different cooktops, the four burner gas hob and the induction - all from Noel Leeming, the LED stripped-out lights and even two sinks. The colour palette and bold design gave this kitchen a timeless feel.
As Resene Colour Expert, Carolyn Atkinson points out kitchens are less likely to follow the latest colour fashion trends. A kitchen is an expensive room to install so most of us are keen to make sure they last the distance. Classic and timeless is appealing, which is why whites and off-whites are often used in kitchens.
"It's a practical choice but doesn’t have to be boring. One element in a kitchen that is easily changed with paint is the wall colour. And because there normally isn’t much wall space showing in a kitchen where cabinets dominate, you can update your colour choices without too much risk."
Black and white kitchens accented by plants are one on-trend look that, when done well, will look classic for many years to come. Resene Bokara Grey is a current favourite for cabinetry. Resene Nero is also popular, as is the deep grey of Resene Fuscous Grey, teamed with off-whites like Resene Black White.
If you decide to hire a professional to paint or refinish your cabinetry, make sure they use the Resene colour and the Resene AquaLAQ paint finish so you get the genuine colour you have chosen. Many homeowners have horror stories of off white kitchens looking pink because the joinery supplier has tried to substitute a lower quality paint in the wrong colour.
Of course, you don’t necessarily need to fully renovate your kitchen if your carcass is still in good condition and you’re happy with the layout, or working to a really, really tight budget. A lick of paint can be transformational. The Resene AquaLAQ range, for example, provides a tough finish that’s ideal for kitchen cabinetry while Resene Lustacryl semi-gloss or Resene Enamacryl gloss can be used over Resene Waterborne Smooth Surface Sealer for quick DIY updates. Replace the door handles and you’ll have a whole new look.
Kitchens are considered a wet zone, which means you need to use an enamel, not just the same acrylic paint you used in the lounge. The Resene Kitchen & Bathroom paint range combines antibacterial silver protection and MoulDefender to minimise unwanted nasties in kitchens, bathrooms and laundries.
And remember when considering paint, it's not just cabinet fronts and walls in the equation – concrete and tile floors can be painted with Resene Walk-on and timber floors can be stained or painted.
Delightful dining rooms
The dining room created by Dylan & Keegan stood out for its gorgeousness. The judges liked the choice of rugs and furniture. It was a place they would like to spend time and enjoy a dinner in.
According to Resene experts there are many ways to approach the decoration of a dining space. Traditionally, homeowners have sought out a bit of drama to add a sense of occasion to the dining experience, using bold colours and showy centrepieces.
Now, with dining spaces so often part of an open-plan area, it's trickier to treat them differently without adding to the visual busy-ness of the room. You can anchor the space with a feature wall of Resene wallpaper or colour but for open-plan spaces that rely on a neutral palette, it might be best to keep your feature colour and/or pattern more muted.
This sort of approach also lets the food and table be the stars of the show, and lets you change out the seasons or introduce subtle style shifts without having to refurbish the entire area.
Keeping the walls fairly neutral lets you accessorise with colour. With just one Resene testpot you can upcycle old tableware and accessories.
Upcoming Kiwi kitchen trends
Integrated appliances help create a functional space - great for both entertaining, and everyday family living.
As the Noel Leeming experts suggest integrated appliances offer true design freedom. Appliances can be fitted with custom front panels to match kitchen cabinetry and installed to fit flush with minimal gaps. This supports a consistent aesthetic in the kitchen, allowing the homeowner to choose which appliances hide and which to have on show.
"You can elevate your kitchen with appliances designed for Kiwi homes. Clean and clutter-free styling or smart cooking features like AirFry, SteamAssist and PyroClean help you prepare and enjoy healthier meals."
A Noel Leeming expert visited The Block NZ kitchens and during this episode showed a delighted Dylan how to operate the Samsung family hub fridge - the ultimate smart fridge.
Check out an image gallery of all four teams on the The Block NZ Fanzone.
This article has been created for Noel Leeming and Resene - proud partners of The Block NZ on Three.