STYLE: Rustic warmth with a contemporary touch
Brothers Andrew, 37, and Mike, 29, bring considerable renovating experience to The Block, fresh from recently transforming two derelict homes in Sydney’s Bondi.
But it’s not the renovation side of The Block that worries these energetic brothers from NSW. It’s the thought of leaving their loved ones behind for ten weeks.
Andrew is a project manager and handyman who lives in Byron Bay with his fiancee Emilie. He says: “I proposed to her and a few hours later the phone rang with the incredible news Mike and I had made it through to be on The Block. It was a mad 24 hours of celebrating, absolutely the best day of my life. Then it dawned on me that I’d have to leave Emilie all alone.”
Mike, a labourer, lives in one of the Bondi houses they restored and is going to miss Dee, his girlfriend of six years, desperately. Mike and Dee spend their weekends treasure hunting.
“I’ve been scouring through second-hand stores and rubbish tips since I was a kid and actually put myself through a business degree at university and then a diploma at the Australian Institute of Music on the proceeds from restoring things I found,” says Mike.
Of working together, Mike credits his brother with guiding them through the challenges of the mammoth renovations on the Bondi properties.
“Andrew is incredibly energetic, motivated and passionate about everything he tries his hand at,” Mike says. “His ability to visualise, together with his great practical knowledge, usually results in a smooth execution. But like anyone who works together very closely, we definitely have our moments.”
The brotherly love cuts both ways, with Andrew describing Mike as having a “can do” attitude and always offering unconditional support.
If they win The Block, Andrew plans to use some of the money to pay for carpentry courses so he can obtain his own building licence. Mike has a more relaxed ambition. “I’d be lazing around my private island, drinking mocktails while running an online business,” he jokes.