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The Block NZ House 1: Ben & Quinn

These renovation rookies have succeeded with this relaxed, functional home.

The couple

Everything this married couple have done on The Block NZ, from briefing tradespeople to painting and decorating, has been for the first time.

“We’re just regular Kiwis from Christchurch up against these four flash-as Auckland houses,” says Ben, 30, a business development manager. After the show, he and wife Quinn, 26, a beauty therapist, are looking forward to renovating their first home, a two-bedroom brick flat. Then comes an even bigger challenge: the arrival of their first baby.

The big picture

From the outside, this is one the grandest houses on The Block NZ – but Ben and Quinn wanted the interior to reflect their laidback personalities.

“It’s not all showy with heaps of unnecessary stuff in it,” says Quinn. “Everything’s done to a really high standard but it’s not OTT or pretentious.”

Entertainers will appreciate the home’s spacious layout and impressive indoor-outdoor flow, and abundance of natural light. If the sun’s not out, the carpeted garage can be used as a hang-out room, says Quinn. “It’s great for the kids on a rainy day.”

The finishing touches

Quinn and Ben have an understated style and an eye for quirky accessories – like the miniature terrariums from Freedom in the teen’s bedroom and the cute owl and rhino toys from Bunnings and Freedom respectively, in the kid’s room.

“We found that once we did a bedroom, the next bedroom would be better,” says Quinn. Planning is the key to success, she says.

“Don’t just rush into the job. That’s something I would do – screw it up! Always measure things until you’re 100 percent sure.”

And if you’re short on inspiration, jump on the internet.

“Search Pinterest for exactly what you want, and when you find it, there’s no reason you can’t make it your own.”


Words by: Rebecca Barry Hill
Photography by: Scott McAulay
Interior Designer: Ben & Quinn