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Render Style with Caro and Kingi from The Block
Render Style with Caro and Kingi from The Block
Caro and Kingi Tahana are known for their love of render. In the 2015 series of TV Show, The Block, Kingi’s rendered finishes in their bathroom, kitchen and powder room, received ongoing praise from the judges.
So it comes as no surprise that renders feature extensively in their newly renovated Townsville home. The family home is a showcase of Kingi’s artisan finishes, and the edgy design elements the couple became recognised for on national television.
Before the renovation began, the home had all the expected elements of a standard 1970s brick home - old kitchen cabinetry, exterior laundry, low ceilings. The major renovation is an incredible transformation. The home now has high ceilings, large open plan areas, timber floorboards, additional bedrooms and major makeovers of the kitchen and wet areas.
Caro notes striking differences between undertaking a renovation on The Block and working on their own home, with different timeframes and expectations.
“On the show, you have to complete one room at a time until it’s all done which makes you concentrate. In our own home, we kept moving between rooms before they were finished and leaving things for later. Life gets in the way sometimes!”
Both Caro and Kingi worked full-time day jobs for the duration of the 10-month project, and like many people who renovate their own home, much of the work was carried out after hours and on weekends.
ROCKCOTE products were used to achieve a variety of rendered finishes from smooth to high polished in the theatre, powder room, bathroom and daughter Halia’s bedroom. EcoStyle Paints were also used throughout.
Being a dominant view upon entering the home, it was important that the kitchen made an impression. An island bench finished in ROCKCOTE Marrakesh concrete colour is a major feature, complemented by a ROCKCOTE Smooth Set rendered bulkhead overhead.
“We knew we would do the bulkhead and Marrakesh bench before the reno kicked off,” explained Caro.
“A lot of people love the concrete look but don’t want to pay for a solid form concrete bench. It’s great because don’t have the weight of solid concrete to consider and can shape it to suit the space. I like the raw look, it is not completely perfect and has some character about it.”
Using ROCKCOTE render to achieve the “scandustrial” look
Render finishes are an integral part of Caro and Kingi’s signature “scandustrial” style, as explored on The Block. Hip and a little bit industrial, “scandustrial” combines strong black lines, grey render and timbers, with attention paid to the placement of geometric patterns and textures.
“With ROCKCOTE’s natural materials range, now you can use the different oxides and finishes to determine a unique style, like the scandustrial style. It challenges those traditional perspectives of render as usually seen on old Greek bathhouses or the rustic look that can’t be modernised,” Kingi said.
“A lot of people couldn’t see how you could style render, how to use it as a starting point and build a room around it. You would never think to put render in a five year-olds room but when you see Smooth Set and what you can do with it, people say ‘wow that’s beautiful’. Render can be a focal point,” added Caro.
The courageous use of ROCKCOTE Venetian Plaster walls in the theatre show off Kingi’s skills on a large scale, the attractive patina of the product and the trowel marks creating a real point of interest while maintaining the colour dark in line with recognised media room style. A black bulkhead and timber floorboards on the ceiling complete the look.
A striking tree design mosaic wall provides an intriguing feature in the powder room; the mural is the other half of the one the couple used on The Block. A Marrakesh counter adds softness to the look and ties in nicely with the kitchen bench. The sink shape is carefully slanted so that water does not pool on the rendered surface, in line with ROCKCOTE’s guidelines for Marrakesh use. To add interest and contrast, a mirror with a raw rusted, iron frame was added over the bench and taps were selected to align with the mirror style.
The main bathroom is intended as a practical, easy-clean, family bathroom, with simple colours and lines. A Marrakesh divider, topped with a glass half-wall gives a contemporary feel while large grey tiles ensure ease of maintenance.
Styling a child’s room
Soft concrete grey and dusty pink tones were chosen for Halia's room, a colour palette that Caro hopes will remain appropriate far beyond their daughter's childhood years. A dreamy Smooth Set feature wall gives the effect of floating clouds, and coupled with feminine soft furnishings, delivers a gentle, yet slightly edgy little girl’s room.
Styling Halia’s room was a fun project for Caro, who delights in finding inexpensive and unusual trinkets and styling them in unique ways.
“Halia is into unicorns and fairies so it’s easy to find little knick-knacks that she loves. I found most of the pictures and ornaments on instagram and online. A lot of the little stuff is from Kmart as well. Money is for the structural side of the home…and you don’t have to go and buy $500 cushions or $1000 French linen for a child’s room. She is only five.”
Finishes to reach out and touch
While working on The Block, one of the judges emphasised the importance of texture and touch in creating a room, something Caro and Kingi have really taken on board.
“Whenever someone walks into a space and they want to touch something, it is great because people are connecting with the room,” said Caro.
“So we put time and money into things that people will want to touch, that we want to touch. With the render finishes, everyone who walks in just wants to touch the render, to engage with it. So you’ve got these different and beautiful looks that Kingi has created but then you run your hands along them and you’ve got depth and texture which adds to the story.”
Major renovation, Townsville
Owners: Caro and Kingi Tahana
Artisan (ROCKCOTE finishes): Kingi Tahana, KCT Creative Rendering
Island bench top: ROCKCOTE Marrakesh
Kitchen bulkhead: ROCKCOTE Smooth Set
Bathroom concrete look feature wall and half wall: ROCKCOTE Marrakesh
Ensuite white polished wall: ROCKCOTE Marrakesh
White bedhead, master bedroom: ROCKCOTE Venetian Plaster
Concrete grey wall, Halia's room: ROCKCOTE Smooth Set
Interior Paint (walls, ceilings and trims): EcoStyle Paints