Then & now Bathroom makeover
A tired bathroom is given a sleek makeover, with a neutral colour palette and a few savvy storage solutions
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.
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.
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, makoconstruction.co.nz
> Zibi Kwasnik, European Tiler, europeantiler.co.nz
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.
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.
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.