Josh Densten and Jenna Whitehead, stars of Channel Nine show The Block, are turning their flair for interior design into a fulltime business with the launch of decorating/renovation business Bicker Design.
Densten and Whitehead, whose double-fronted Victorian cottage sold for $1 million through Ruth Roberts of Woodards a few days after The Block auction, have been swamped with enquiries from Australians who want their advice and expertise on furnishings, colour, design and complete renovation.
“It’s been really overwhelming because we’re trying to take on a little bit too much. It’s been really busy,” says Whitehead.
“Josh was going to go back to work and I was going to manage the business, but it’s been busy enough that we don’t have to go back to work.”
Whitehead says the response from home owners keen to ask for their expertise has taken the couple by surprise, but they did not have the luxury of planning if they wanted to capitalise on their newfound celebrity.
“We started our new business about a couple of months ago and we just thought we’d strike while the iron was hot,” she says.
“It’s been a lot harder, because people that start businesses take a bit of time and plan and all the rest, but we jumped right in.”
The couple are providing advice for four properties at the moment, as well as renovating their own Melbourne house.
Some of their clients ask for emailed consultation on colour, furnishings and decoration, while others need in-person consultation and advice on structural renovation.
Whitehead mentions a three-bedroom Carlton apartment that the couple are styling from scratch.
“It’s a pretty big job to style the whole house,” she says.
“It’s new, so they had no furniture whatsoever. We had to source everything, every little nook and cranny. It’s been fantastic. It’s been kind of like The Block again because we’re trying to get it done for them really, really quickly.”
“There’s a lot of lead time with furniture that we didn’t have on The Block – on the show you just dropped the name The Block and you could get everything right away but in the real world there is a lot of wait time!” she laughs.
Whitehead says their business name was inspired by their on and off screen persona.
“We thought Bicker Design Co because we bickered throughout the show and that’s what people knew of us,” she says.
She says the show has been invaluable in launching the next stage of their careers. She is enrolled in an interior design course at RMIT next year, and Densten may return to construction if business lags at Bicker Design. But that does not seem likely to happen anytime soon.
“We showed all of Australia what we do and if they get in contact with it they already like it,” Whitehead says.