Plan your bath­room so it comes up well in the wash, writes Chelsea Clarke

The Daily Telegraph (Sydney) - Home - - FRONT PAGE -

Your bath­room is one of the most hard­work­ing spa­ces in your home. And it’s also one of the most dif­fi­cult — and costly — to ren­o­vate thanks to the num­ber of trades re­quired to work in one small space. So it pays to in­vest a lit­tle ex­tra time in the plan­ning stage of any new or ren­o­vated bath­room to make sure you get things ex­actly right.

Ac­cord­ing to fig­ures from Reece Bath­rooms, the to­tal num­ber of bath­room in­stal­la­tions in new homes pro­jected for 2016/17 is 345,800 with a to­tal value es­ti­mated of $4.55 bil­lion.

And that’s not in­clud­ing the tens of thou­sands of ex­ist­ing bath­room ren­o­va­tions that will take place over the same pe­riod.

Rachel Se­queira from Raw­son Homes says home buy­ers have be­come more se­lec­tive and de­mand­ing with what they need from a fam­ily bath­room over the past 10 years.

“Com­pe­ti­tion be­tween home builders over this pe­riod has in­creased and this has driven a need to be more cre­ative and push the bound­aries — par­tic­u­larly when de­sign­ing bath­rooms,” she says.

“Dis­play homes all around Syd­ney show off what is pos­si­ble and clients see these and are in­spired by them. As such their ex­pec­ta­tions are much higher so they look for who will give them the most lux­u­ri­ous fin­ish for their dol­lar.”

Trends vs tra­di­tion

It’s an is­sue ev­ery new home builder or ren­o­va­tor faces: how to de­sign a mod­ern bath­room that looks fresh and cur­rent now — and 10 years down track.

Bath­rooms are ex­pen­sive spa­ces to ren­o­vate so you want some­thing that won’t date quickly.

“Ev­ery­one wants a mod­ern look­ing bath­room to show off and be proud of,” says Brooke Som­mers from Evoke Kitchens and Bath­rooms. “But we al­ways tell our clients to keep the ba­sics sim­ple and then use cur­rent trends (in ac­ces­sories) to dec­o­rate.”

Tiles and in-wall plumb­ing fix­tures can’t be changed eas­ily or cheaply so choose these wisely and if un­sure stick with sim­ple rather than trend-based prod­ucts.

“My ad­vice is to stay away from black tap­ware,” warns Brooke.

“Rose gold is now emerg­ing as the ‘must have’ for tap­ware but it could be old news in 12 months’ time.

“Use the trends for plants, tow­els, ac­ces­sories and light fit­tings – keep the ne­ces­si­ties sim­ple and it won’t date.”

If you’re stuck for in­spi­ra­tion though, Reece busi­ness man­ager Daniela San­tilli says trends can be a great place to start.

“When it comes to cre­at­ing your dream bath­room, trends can of­fer use­ful di­rec­tion in terms of how to tackle the chal­lenge at hand,” she says.

But, Daniella says, if you’re con­cerned your choices will date, then re­mem­ber­ing this rule should help.

“Skip the ‘bling’ of lav­ish, over-the-top ges­tures, and go for a more au­then­tic lux­ury feel with beau­ti­ful de­tail­ing, re­fined nat­u­ral ma­te­ri­als and a sense of el­e­gant re­straint.”

Well lit spa­ces

The right light­ing plan can trans­form your bath­room from a dark cave to a light and bright space that’s easy to work in.

“Per­haps more than any other room in the house, the bath­room re­quires care­ful con­sid­er­a­tion,” says Bea­con Light­ing’s Denise Ham­mond.

She says bath­room light­ing needs to be flex­i­ble enough to ac­com­mo­date shav­ing and ap­ply­ing make-up, bathing the chil­dren and even wash­ing the dog.

“A mix of light­ing is nec­es­sary to get the right ef­fect,” says Denise.

“Wall light­ing above a mir­ror shines light on your face, which makes shav­ing and the ap­pli­ca­tion of make-up easy.

“Add to this flat­ter­ing gen­eral light­ing such as dimmable down­lights, flush mounts, wall lights and a com­bined bath­room light with heater and ex­haust fan and you have all lev­els of light cov­ered for ev­ery sit­u­a­tion.”

Dis­play homes, like this one by Raw­son Homes, have raised the stakes in en­suite style.

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