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Our Best Bathrooms

Roundup

Though bathrooms are rarely the spaces we open with on our weekly home tours, we have come across some exceptional ones over the years!

Whether yours is a minimalist, compact bathroom, or a bold, architectural or even alfresco space (!), today we share some inspiration for transforming your soak-space into an extra special sanctuary.

11th October, 2017

The Cairns home of architect and builder Jesse Bennett and interior designer Anne-Marie Campagnolo is a tropical paradise! Bathroom details featuring ‘Goccia’ fittings by Gessi. The timber and mirror cabinet was built by Jesse and designed by Anne-Marie. Photo – Sean Fennessy.

The bath tub was built by Jesse with dot tiles from Academy tiles. Planters and bather mixer are ‘Goccia’ by Gessi. Photo – Sean Fennessy.

Jesse and Anne-Marie’s shower could quite possibly be the most relaxing place of all time. Photo – Sean Fennessy.

OPEN + SPACIOUS

Bathrooms are one of the most functional, purpose-driven rooms in the house – it makes sense to offer enough space to comfortably  accommodate more than one person at a time. Ok, so, it’s not a possibility for everyone, but when designing a home or renovation from scratch, it’s worth considering planning a more open and spacious bathroom, even if it means compromising on space elsewhere.

Think of how you use the space most frequently – consider a dedicated ‘wet zone’ along with separate showering, soaking and grooming zones. One big, roomy bathroom can be a better solution than two tiny bathrooms in some households!

 

The sleek, downstairs powder room with floor-to-ceiling wall tiles in James Tutton’s Coburg house. Photo – Eve Wilson.

A minimal bathroom can be brought to life by small, bright elements. Photo – Eve Wilson.

MINIMAL

The vast majority of us don’t have a blank canvas when it comes to bathroom design, we simply have to work with what we have… and that often means a tiny footprint.

Small bathrooms benefit from a sleek, minimal approach. Mosaic tiles aren’t great in small spaces – try large tiles in muted colours to give the illusion of space. We LOVE the terrazzo tiling (from Fibonacci Stone) in James Tutton’s Coburg house.

Dan Honey and Paul Fuog’s CBD apartment. Arguably Melbourne’s most photogenic bathroom…!?  LOVE the gold tapware – a little unexpected bling in this understated home. Photo – Sean Fennessy.

The bathroom is Sarah Collins and Justin Kennedy’s two bedroom unit in Belgrave is the perfect combination of old world charm with a modern twist. Photo – Annette O’Brien.

DISTINCTIVE DETAILS

As a general rule, where tiles are more minimal, you can afford to go a little more flashy on the tapware!

When selecting a classic palette – like white tiles and dark grout – consider a more distinctive tap, like the brass plated ones above. Coloured tapware is another trend that shows no signs of disappearing! Similarly, we LOVE the amazing coloured ceramic wash basins from Azzura Ceramica.

The bathroom in artist Susan Horacek’s Fitzroy home is a family affair! Cast iron bath, green house painting by Susan’s daughter Lil, Greek mosaic hanging on the wall found in a junk shop, paintings by Susan above the basin, and shower curtain rail made by Susan’s brother. Photo – Annette O’Brien.

Susan Horacek’s bathroom is made perfectly eclectic with lots of colour and varying textures. Photo – Annette O’Brien.

ECLECTIC

A bathroom is a highly personal space, unlikely to be seen by anyone except close family and friends, so there’s no reason it can’t be decorated with personality.

One of the most memorable bathrooms we’ve featured is that of artist Susan Horacek in her Fitzroy home. Bringing together a salvaged cast iron bath and DIY mosaic on the floor, this unconventional bathing space shows just how creative a bathroom can be!

Jen Stumbles and Ben Kerr’s coastal NSW home has an al fresco bathroom! The perfect touch for a place near the beach. Photo – Sean Fennessy.

Joost Bakker’s family home has swoon worthy ensuite bathroom views of the hills, bringing the outside, inside! Photo – Sean Fennessy.

ALFRESCO

A bathroom with a view is the ultimate luxury!  Consider the outlook when planning your bathroom layout – if there’s a window, try and orientate your bath or shower to take in the view, plant greenery outside the windows, and where possible, make windows openable.

We love the indoor/outdoor connection in Jen Stumbles and Ben Kerr’s coastal NSW home, and Joost Bakker’s family home in Monbulk.

The Collingwood home and studio of printmaker Stephanie Jane Rampton features a dark and moody bathroom. Photo – Annette O’Brien.

In a previous home of James Tutton, the kid’s bathroom swaps out a classic white tile in favour of a grand Nero marble. Photo – Eve Wilson.

DARK + MOODY

There’s a tendency to decorate bathrooms in bright, light hues, but a dark palette is a great option too. After all, this is the room where we often retreat from the world, and a moody, intimate space can be the perfect approach if you treasure your bathroom alone time!

Possibly the tiniest house we’ve ever featured, the bathroom Alex Kennedy’s Carlton studio apartment is bright and alive with plant life. Photo – Eve Wilson.

Clever use of space like this two way bathroom bench in Alex Kennedy’s apartment can make even the smallest bathrooms feel spacious. Photo – Eve Wilson.

COMPACT + VERSATILE

Possibly the tiniest house we’ve ever featured, the bathroom in Alex Kennedy’s Carlton studio apartment is a totally open to the living and bedroom space – not for the faint hearted!  The room also makes clever use of space, with a two way bathroom bench, which doubles as a room divider, accessible from both sides.

Kara Rosenlund and Timothy O’s bathroom is the epitome of country chic. Photo – Eve Wilson.

Anna and Andrew Swain’s Byron Bay ensuite bathroom features an old marble sink from Turkey, and Spanish antique Flores tiles. Photo – Eve Wilson.

CLASSIC

In older homes, it can be hard to design  a bathroom with new fixtures and fittings and retain a classic or traditional aesthetic sensitive to the era of the house.  Consider natural stone or handmade encaustic tiles (so perfect in the Byron Bay home of Andrew and Anna Swain), timber details, and a clawfoot bath if space permits!

The North Fitzroy converted warehouse home of Melbourne stylist Lynda Gardener and her partner Mark Smith brings the bath to the bed! Photo – Eve Wilson.

Lynda Gardener and Mark Smith’s bathroom/bedroom situation is the ultimate in relaxation. Photo – Eve Wilson.

BATH-IN-BED

Where space or natural light is tight, why not combine bathroom and bedroom!? Whilst having a freestanding bathtub in the centre of one’s bedroom mightn’t work for everybody (!), in the one bedroom home of Lynda Gardener, this is the perfect solution. It has enabled the creation of both a bedroom and a bathroom that feel HUGE by usual standards, and a bathroom that really feels like a sanctuary.

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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