It’s not every day you get to be on reality TV, but for Stoke Melbourne, they were asked back to The Block Australia for a second year running.
And once again, they loved being part of the process from start to finish – something that owner Corey Greenway says is the best part of the job. “It’s so satisfying following a job from beginning to end – especially five full room renovations in the space of just one week!"
When it came to choosing the fires for each house, some teams were able to visit the showroom to see Stoke’s full collection in the flesh. For others, they were able to imagine the fireplaces in their own living rooms thanks to a little bit of ingenuity from Corey – he visited the sites with lifesize cutouts of the fireplaces to give contestants an idea of what they look like in situ. This allowed them to accurately compare models and styles, then finally decide on a fireplace which Corey says was probably the trickiest part of the whole experience.
Of the final decisions, Corey says “Some teams just wanted the biggest fire they could get. Mitch and Mark ended up with the Escea DS1900 – a gas fire nearly 2m long!” Other teams were looking for fires that did more than just heat – three of the teams were after a way to divide their open plan living spaces too.
Kirsty and Jesse knew they wanted a double sided fire, but when Corey showed them the MODE three-sided Peninsula fireplace, they were instantly sold. The Peninsula was placed between their dining and living areas which cleverly zoned the two areas, while keeping them both visually connected and warm too.
Tanya and Vito were originally looking to install their fireplace under the TV in their sunken lounge but Corey suggested moving it to the dividing wall between their two living areas. They ended up taking Corey’s advice and if he was asked, was definitely a deciding factor in what was ultimately the winning room!
When it came to installations, Corey says they were all very straight forward this year.
“What might look like a complex fireplace design or installation to some, is actually very simple for us. It’s what we do every day.”
Josh and Luke’s installation might’ve been the most challenging, but in the scheme of things was still pretty simple. The flue ended up being woven into another wall, and then concealed by some cabinetry to eventually exit an external wall – something that’s made possible because of Escea’s flexible flue technology.
A highlight of The Block this year for Corey was supplying an outdoor Escea EP1350 Fire Table as a prize for the Winning Wheel. “To see Mitch and Mark be so excited to win the Fire Table was pretty special – it’s such a cool product.”
Corey said the whole experience was so much fun to be part of again. From larking around on site with Mitch and Mark, to an impromptu singing session with the contestants at the showroom, he says “all-in-all The Block is a really cool, fun and rewarding experience.”
Corey’s favourite room? He says “I wasn’t at all surprised to see Tanya and Vito win. Their sunken lounge was a monumental feat from all trades involved, and it really shows.”
Check out all the room reveals and fireplaces featured here.