Then & now Bath­room makeover

A tired bath­room is given a sleek makeover, with a neu­tral colour pal­ette and a few savvy stor­age solutions

Your Home and Garden - - Contents - Text by Fiona Ralph. Pho­tog­ra­phy by Jamie Co­bel.


Who lives here? Robert and Lisa Davis, plus Per­sian cat Mr Grits. Robert is a semi-re­tired en­gi­neer and Lisa works in sales.

Where is the home? North­cote, Auck­land.

The pro­ject

What was the brief? Robert and Lisa en­listed in­te­rior de­signer Susan Tem­pler of Tem­pler In­te­ri­ors to ren­o­vate their bath­room. They wanted a more com­fort­able, func­tional and at­trac­tive space with up­graded fix­tures and fit­tings, a big­ger shower and bet­ter stor­age. Susan man­aged the whole process, from de­sign and prod­uct sourc­ing to sup­ply­ing trades­peo­ple and in­stal­la­tion.

De­sign solutions

What were some of the de­sign chal­lenges?

Susan: Although the bath­room was com­par­a­tively large, hav­ing a sep­a­rate tub and large walk-in shower was go­ing to be dif­fi­cult with­out some struc­tural changes. The old bath­room had a very small shower tucked in a cor­ner be­hind the hot-wa­ter cup­board. I moved the hot-wa­ter cylin­der to the laun­dry, where it is out of sight.

What fea­tures add in­ter­est? A unique fea­ture is the book­case-style open shelves at the back of the tall cab­i­net by the tub. This is a great place to store tow­els, bath salts, soaps and more, and the shelves take ad­van­tage of the ex­tra space cre­ated by the width of the tub.


> Susan Tem­pler, in­te­rior de­signer,


> Rec­comended by Susan: Daryll and Zibi are two trades­peo­ple whom I try to use on all of my projects. They are the best.

> Daryll Hayes, Mako Con­struc­tion, mako­con­struc­

> Zibi Kwas­nik, Euro­pean Tiler, eu­ro­pean­


De­scribe the style you were go­ing for. The style can only be called eclec­tic. It is clean and mod­ern, but the tim­ber cab­i­nets give it a more tra­di­tional look. The clients re­ally like tim­ber, par­tic­u­larly this shade. The rosy colour brings warmth and the grain adds in­ter­est.

What fin­ishes did you use? The floor, shower walls and tub sur­round are lined in beau­ti­ful Ital­ian, lime­stone-look porce­lain tiles. The van­ity splash­back and the back of both re­cessed al­coves (one in the shower, one by the bath) have a mo­saic ac­cent of glass and slate tiles. The cus­tom cab­i­nets are made from bub­inga tim­ber and pro­vide loads of stor­age. The paint colour is very close to the tile colour and lends a calm feel to the room.

The process

What was the best part of the process? I re­ally en­joy the whole ren­o­va­tion process, but the best part is prob­a­bly see­ing it start to come to­gether. Un­til then it is all in my head.

Any dis­as­ters dur­ing the reno? The whole ren­o­va­tion went very smoothly. The only real prob­lem came near the end, when we re­alised that the towel warmer lo­ca­tion was in­ter­fer­ing with some of the draw­ers open­ing fully.


What did you save on? We reused the orig­i­nal bath. The big, sturdy, roomy tub was resur­faced, mak­ing it as good as new and sav­ing thou­sands. What did you splurge on? The cab­i­netry. Robert and Lisa re­ally wanted high-qual­ity tim­ber cab­i­nets and fell in love with the look of bub­inga ve­neer. They didn’t want to skimp on the num­ber or style of cab­i­nets. They also chose a higher-priced Cae­sar­stone bench­top over more bud­get op­tions.

The re­sult

What do you love about your new bath­room?

Lisa and Robert: The large, easy, walk-in shower with the Paf­foni dumper show­er­head, the func­tion­al­ity of the light­ing and the beau­ti­ful bub­inga-wood cup­boards.

How was the ren­o­va­tion process? While it al­ways takes longer than one wants, it was ex­pertly man­aged, and not by us, which we think was the key! All the prod­ucts and fix­tures were sourced on time and were on hand when re­quired, so there was no go­ing back again and again for bits and pieces. Thanks to Susan, the whole thing went very smoothly.

How is this trans­formed room per­form­ing? It is more beau­ti­ful than we had hoped and works per­fectly for us. We love it and wish we had done it sooner!


ABOVE The bath was resur­faced and moved to align with the win­dow, cre­at­ing space for a richly coloured wooden stor­age cab­i­net.

RIGHT A mo­saic-tiled re­cess and dumper show­er­head are some of the fea­tures of the new walk-in shower.

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