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 fiancée 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
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.
“Dee and I are now trying to make my hobby into a business with our new website, www.onlineantiquecentre.com.”
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
“At Bondi it helped that my workmate was not just my brother, but also my best friend. It was one hell of a job, but the
way we dealt with it was to avoid getting bogged down by daily hurdles and to always treat each day as a new one. We live
by the motto ‘you don’t plan to fail, you fail to plan,” says Andrew. “Exactly what we plan to do if we make it through the
If they win The Block 2012, 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.