This website uses cookies to improve your experience navigating our site. By continuing to browse, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

OK, I understand

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.

View Comments

Similar Stories

Roundup

Solutions for Living Small

Cancel those extension plans; we're sharing a selection of clever ideas for beautiful and functional compact spaces from the TDF archives.

How To

Our Favourite Art Walls

Ideas from our archive to inspire your own in-home gallery!

Roundup

The Best of Bold Colour

A rainbow of bold, dramatic hues as seen in our favourite homes from the TDF archives.

This Week

News

The TDF ‘ALL THE THINGS’ 500k Giveaway!

Help us celebrate half a million (!) Insta followers with epic prize packs for three lucky readers! 

News

Shop These Plush Woollen Rugs And Get A Special TDF Discount!

Carpet Court’s customisable rug range is made with 100% New Zealand wool and can be cut to suit the size, shape and colour of your interio...
Sponsored

Interiors

A Glam ’60s-Inspired Makeover For A Drab Suburban Home

Kaiko Design transform a forgettable suburban space into a ritzy family residence, with big personality!

On The Market

A Light + Bright Beachside Home Hits The Market

This property in Sunrise Beach, Noosa is a full time home that feels like a holiday home - and it’s ready for new inhabitants!
51:47

Podcast

Country Road’s Managing Director On The Stickiness Of Sustainable Fashion, On TDF Talks

In this podcast conversation, Elle Roseby talks leading one of the country’s most iconic brands through a new age in the fashion industry....

Indigenous Art

15 Excellent Indigenous Art Centres To Support And Celebrate!

We've spoken to some experts, and pulled together this guide on purchasing Aboriginal artwork ethically, and some ideas of where to find it!...

News

Get Luxe Designer Furniture For Up To 15% Off!

Designer furniture retailer DOMO is discounting in-stock and custom items from HC28 + HC28 Cosmopolitan.
Sponsored

Gardens

A WOW-Factor 'Secret Garden' In Blairgowrie

Ian Barker Gardens creates a private outdoor sanctuary on the Mornington Peninsula.

Architecture

Everything You Need To Know About Working With An Architect

Four of Australia's best architects answer your frequently asked questions, from what an architect does, to how much they cost!

Interiors

Get The Look: Dark + Moody Bathrooms And Kitchens

All the product and styling advice you need to achieve the dark, moody bathrooms and kitchen interiors trend, brought to you Oliveri.

Studio Visit

Two Best Friends' Lockdown Hobby Turned Cult Candle Business

Creative entrepreneurs Ruby Kannava and Emma Cutri pooled their respective small business knowledge to found Blazed Wax - a colourful, cult-...

Homes

A Designer’s 1970s Bells Beach Dream Home!

The incredible eclectic home of interior designer Léo Terrando and Jessica Watts, on Victoria's surf coast.

TDF Design Awards

The Sensational Interior Design Finalists In The TDF + Laminex Design Awards 2021!

The 12 incredible residential projects in the running to win the Interior Design award at the TDF + Laminex Design Awards 2021, presented by...

Creative People

The Mother and Daughter Duo Uncovering Perth’s Hidden Terrazzo Treasures

A community exhibition uncovering Fremantle residences containing terrazzo floors by master artisan, Giuseppe Scolaro - as part of the city'...

Interiors

A Colour-Drenched, 'Grandmillennial' Home In North Sydney

Bold colour, and both English and Moroccan influences come together in this North Sydney home by Lisa Burdus.

Similar Stories

Roundup

Solutions for Living Small

A selection of our favourite functional, compact spaces from the TDF archives.

How To

Our Favourite Art Walls

Ideas from our archive to inspire your own in-home gallery!

Roundup

The Best of Bold Colour

A rainbow of bold, dramatic hues as seen in our favourite homes from the TDF archives.

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 – we would love to hear from you.

Please email us here.