Deck the halls: How to make your home all that merrier
Hobart designer Kate Watson has been honoured for the second year in a row with an HIA Bathroom Design of the Year award, for her own ensuite, best described as showcase of understated luxury, writes JARRAD BEVAN
Hobart design guru Kate Watson has won the HIA’s prestigious bathroom design award for her own bathroom, for a second year in a row.
Last year it was the ground floor main bathroom, this year the upstairs ensuite.
The ensuite is located within the roof space of her near 160-year-old North Hobart home.
It is a showcase of “simple luxuries” such as natural light, air, timber and tactile surfaces.
Where the balcony is now located, there used to be a dormer window. It had been boxed out in the ‘80s and looked unappealing.
The original ensuite also had a freestanding bath in one section and a wall that divided the area creating a dressing room and an odd-sized ensuite.
“It clicked for me that I could get rid of this layout and create an outdoor space, that was the ‘Eureka moment’ when the design came together,” she said.
The new layout includes skylights so that the family can shower in the sunlight.
“To me that feels like a healthy way to start the day,” Kate said.
“The space flows better now from the walk-in wet area to a space to get dressed and then through to the vanity and balcony side of the bathroom.
“Sitting in the roofline, the ensuite is highlighted by all these lovely triangular parts of the roof that drove me nuts when designing but look sensational in the finish.”
Working within a defined space and on her own property, presented Kate with a different challenge to the norm.
She said when working for an architect on a new home things would come together far quicker than they did for her own bathroom.
“There were challenges like the plumbing could not be moved at all, but that just meant I had to really engage the grey matter,” she said.
“I personally like bathrooms that are limited in their palette.
“I used a tile with a wavy texture on one wall but by not making a spectacle of any one feature you can create a restful space. A simple layering is often better than making a feature of just one item.”
Kate said she was thrilled to receive the HIA award two years on the trot because it showed the consistency of her business d’ECO Design and the skill of her builder P&S Knott Builders.
“I love this bathroom so much that it can make me late for work,” she said.