To say that Dan and Dani were pleased to be the first room winners for 2012 would be an understatement.
"We're absolutely wrapped," Dan laughs. "Dani's been jumping up and down with excitement. We have never renovated before and it was our first room so we didn't know what the judges would think of us. So to win – that's been great. Everyone wants to be the first to win a room on The Block!"
It was a close race, but in the end it was the quality of their finishes and attention to detail that won the room for Dan and Dani.
"Dani's got a damn good eye," says first-time judge Shaynna Blaze, from Selling Houses Australia, who admits she was impressed by the standard of all this year's rooms.
"She had a beautiful balance of colour and a very modern edge. You can definitely see the strength of her coming out in the look."
But, as Dani says, their efforts were done as a team.
"We’re both very fussy people, me with styling and Dan with the build," she explains.
"At 3 o'clock in the morning I went over all the cabinets – I wasn't happy with the corking [gap filling]. So I knocked it out and did it again. I got about two hours sleep – but some others got none!" Dan adds.
Their decision to do a guest-bedroom-come-study was a controversial one, with judge John McGrath unsure as to whether having a fourth bedroom really was an advantage. But both Dan and Dani are unrepentant.
"Dani researched it with the real estate agents. A four-bedder is obviously going to sell for more than a three-bedder – it sealed the deal for us," Dan explains.
"I'm still happy we did it."
Their favourite part of the room: "The layout. The big feature, for us, was the study area, and I think we ended up putting it in the right spot," says Dan.
Their biggest challenge: "The painting. We had learnt some new techniques, so it didn’t take as long, but it was still time consuming," says Dan.
Their choice of colour: "We went for a neutral colour palate. I wanted to keep it neutral and add 'colour-popping' throughout, which I did with the duvet and the art work," says Dani.
Their favourite accessory: Their vintage poster. But unlike Brad and Courtney, who spent a whopping $1500 on their vintage artwork, Dan and Dani were more mindful of their budget. "Originally we were umming and ahhing, because it was $1300, but then we found it down the road for $500 – framed!" says Dani.