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Former The Block Stars Dan + Dani Reilly Reveal Their Dream Home

Interiors

Australia was first introduced to Dan and Dani Reilly 10 years ago when the then carpenter and financial analyst competed on the 2012 season of The Block. They’ve since appeared on an all stars season of the show, co-founded their own design and construction studio Manna Made, and most recently built their dream home on Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula. 

Dan and Dani’s home in Blairgowrie is the culmination of five years’ work, designed in collaboration with Bellhaus Design Office, to overcome numerous challenges. Simple, clean lines are enhanced through contrasting textures and tactile materiality to form a calming sanctuary away from the couple’s busy work life in Melbourne.

5th September, 2022

Inside the Mornington Peninsula home of Dan and Dani Reilly, former The Block stars and co-founders of Manna Made. Photography – Timothy Kaye

Designed in collaboration with Bellhaus Design Office, the home in Blairgowrie is the culmination of five years’ work and numerous overcome challenges. Photography – Timothy Kaye

Artwork on wall by Jean Paul Mangin from Station Gallery. Photography – Timothy Kaye

Dani and Dani designed a two-storey home with visual impact externally, and tactile materials indoors. Photography – Timothy Kaye

Expansive glazing with uninterrupted views to the leafy vistas that surround the home was an important element, along with a feeling of connectedness and flow in the interior spaces. Photography – Timothy Kaye

Minimal, purposeful design detailing was required with custom, built-in joinery, and furniture to be incorporated for ease of living. Photography – Timothy Kaye

The living room connects to an outdoor deck and the pool. Artwork by Christine Nakamarra Curtis. Photography – Timothy Kaye

Artwork by Christine Nakamarra Curtis. Photography – Timothy Kaye

With many complex decisions made on the fly and changes to certain design details initiated by the client and the design team, the success of the project was only possible through the significant collaboration of all involved. Artwork by Christine Nakamarra Curtis. Photography – Timothy Kaye

Tactility was achieved through the specification of handmade bricks by Krause Bricks, tumbled limestone tiles and pavers from Eco Outdoor, handmade Moroccan zellige tiles from Tiles of Ezra, natural timber wood veneer from Elton Group, French oak engineered flooring from Made by Storey, and Elite Marmorino (a lime-based plaster coat) from Calce Company. Photography – Timothy Kaye

Photography – Timothy Kaye

Bathrooms match the texture and calm of surrounding rooms. Photography – Timothy Kaye

Artwork by Tom Polo from Station Gallery. Photography – Timothy Kaye

The light-filled centre of the home. Photography – Timothy Kaye

Surrounding the home is native and Indigenous planting, newly-sourced mature olive and grass trees, and a plunge pool off the living area.  Photography – Timothy Kaye

The facade is clad with black-stained timber (including on the front door and garage),Photography – Timothy Kaye

COVID-19 restrictions created numerous additional obstacles during construction of the home, but the result is better than Dan and Dani ever imagined. Photography – Timothy Kaye

Photography – Timothy Kaye

Amelia Barnes
Monday 5th September 2022

‘The project outcome is second to none and has far exceeded what we thought possible within the build timeframe, budget allocation, and challenges Covid presented.’ – Dani Reilly

Dan and Dani Reilly have long fantasised about creating their dream home since competing on The Block and co-founding their own design and construction studio, Manna Made

The groundwork for the home was laid five years ago, when the couple purchased a block of land in Blairgowrie on Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula. ‘Being heavily surrounded by vegetation and having the ocean at our doorstep is what initially drew us to the area and to this site in particular,’ says Dani.

While the location of the site was perfect, it contained a challenging five-metre incline, as well as bushfire and flood restrictions. 

Dan and Dani purchased the site with an existing planning permit in place, which proved to be both a blessing and a curse. ‘We wanted to ensure that we were going to be able to build the home we were intending, without triggering the need for a completely new planning application,’ Dani explains. ‘This added complexities around approved setbacks, building heights and building footprint.’ 

Working with Bellhaus Design Office, Dani and Dani designed a two-storey home with visual impact externally, and tactile interior materials. The facade is clad with black-stained timber (including on the front door and garage), with textured and neutral materials indoors. 

Tactility was achieved through the specification of handmade bricks by Krause Bricks, tumbled limestone tiles and pavers from Eco Outdoor, handmade Moroccan tiles from Tiles of Ezra, natural timber wood veneer from Elton Group, French oak engineered flooring from Made by Storey, and Elite Marmorino (a lime-based plaster coat) from Calce Company

 Surrounding the home is native and Indigenous planting, newly-sourced mature olive and grass trees, and a plunge pool off the living area. 

COVID-19 restrictions created numerous additional obstacles during construction of the home, but the result is better than Dan and Dani ever imagined. ‘Despite significant, varied challenges thanks to the pandemic, it seemed like there was a period of unity within the building industry and the pleasure to venture to the Mornington Peninsula was not lost on anyone who was involved in the project,’ says Dani.

‘The project outcome is second to none and has far exceeded what we thought possible within the build timeframe, budget allocation, and challenges Covid presented.’

Blairgowrie House is Dan and Dani’s personal home, but it is available on occasion to book as short-stay accommodation

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The Design Files acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the lands on which we work, the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.

First Nations artists, designers, makers, and creative business owners are encouraged to submit their projects for coverage on The Design Files. Please email bea@thedesignfiles.net