Then & now

Two show­stop­ping win­dows res­cued from Trade Me are the cen­tre­piece of this el­e­gant bath­room makeover

Your Home and Garden - - Contents - In­ter­view by Fiona Ralph. Pho­tog­ra­phy by He­len Bankers.

Sal­vaged win­dows find new life as a bath­room cen­tre­piece


When did you move in? Melissa: We bought the house in July 2014, ap­plied for con­sents, de­mol­ished a large and unattrac­tive two-storey add-on and moved the re­main­ing house for­ward in about Oc­to­ber 2014. Builders came in shortly there­after, and in May 2015 we moved in.

What did you like about it? The house had had a 1960s makeover but was in many ways orig­i­nal and I knew I could make it over. It was a big house with large, sunny rooms on a rea­son­ably big site (729 square me­tres) on a road to the sea. What was the orig­i­nal bath­room like? It was typ­i­cal of the house – pink paint and pink wall­pa­per, old blue lino, ex­ceed­ingly dated and di­vided into sev­eral smaller ar­eas or rooms.


Tell us about the demo process. I de­mol­ished the walls, had a hand in tak­ing out some in­ter­nal glass panes and the toi­let, gave the old hot wa­ter cylin­der to my plum­ber, and ripped weird wall­pa­per and pla­s­ticky stuff off the walls. Bash­ing out the bath sur­round re­vealed an orig­i­nal claw-foot bath, which I thought about hav­ing re­stored, but in the end gave to my brother who has it in his gar­den for starry baths. I was left with an empty room with ugly win­dows, but dis­cov­ered two walls were lined with rimu tongue-and-groove, which was painted yel­low. Where did you find the an­tique win­dows? The whole house, with only one or two ex­cep­tions, had had the orig­i­nal 1910 win­dows re­placed


Who lives here? Melissa Boshier, 55 (for­mer lawyer, some­time le­gal re­searcher and ca­sual in­te­rior de­signer), Peter Tom­lin­son, 64 (lawyer), Luke, 17, Dom, 15, and Heath, 13, plus Whiskers the cat.

Where is the home? Devon­port, Auck­land.

with 1960s win­dows. They were wood, not alu­minium, but I wanted to re­place all of them (to­tal mad­ness) and thus I spent heaps of time on Trade Me and trawl­ing demo yards.

I spot­ted the bath­room win­dows on Trade Me and bought them for $112! Bar­gain. The Trade Me photo showed only one win­dow, so when I picked them up I was pretty sur­prised to find two. I hadn’t bought them with the bath­room in mind, but on the way home, know­ing I had two of them, I for­mu­lated the bath­room lay­out in my mind, with the win­dows as the fea­ture.

The win­dows were such an is­sue, I had a spe­cial­ist joiner work­ing on site for two weeks. For the bath­room win­dows he re­placed the spi­ral bal­ances, and all the other win­dows re­ceived new hard­ware and sash cords.

Did you de­sign the space? I had pre­vi­ously drawn up the plan for the whole house on grid pa­per and handed it to the ar­chi­tec­tural draughts­man, but that was for the con­sents – the in­ter­nal lay­outs of some rooms, in­clud­ing the bath­room, evolved dur­ing the build­ing process.

How did you de­cide on the lay­out? The room’s shape and the in­clu­sion of the win­dows dic­tated the lay­out. I wanted an open shower as clean­ing shower glass is not my favourite oc­cu­pa­tion. The door was in a good po­si­tion to tuck the shower where it is. And if you’re in the shower and some­one walks in, they can’t see you.

We built the high wall form­ing the shower and moved some of the rimu tongue-and­groove from the in­ner wall, which is now tiled, to the out­side of the shower wall and over the door. Af­ter much dis­cus­sion, the builder and I de­cided to add the shorter wall at the end of the shower. I’m happy we did, as it helps pre­vent splash and means the toi­let isn’t re­ally seen when one walks past the bath­room.

How did you re­store the tongue-and-groove?

I spent long hours strip­ping it us­ing paint strip­per – many dif­fer­ent-coloured coats came off. I filled some holes and painted it but it’s not per­fect and I didn’t want it to be. It’s over 100 years old.

What did the rest of the work en­tail? Once the plumb­ing and wiring went in and the new plas­ter­board ceil­ing went up, the tiler came in – tiling took about three or four days.

The bath had to go in be­fore any­thing else, al­though the floors were sanded first to save dam­ag­ing the new bath.

Shout out to iBath, who kindly ac­cepted back the first bath I or­dered, even though it came from China, be­cause I de­cided it was too big for the space. This de­layed me a bit as I had to wait four weeks for the new bath, but so much else was go­ing on it didn’t mat­ter. Then the van­ity and mir­ror unit went in, fol­lowed by the stone top, splash­back, toi­let and basins.


What was your bud­get? I didn’t have a spe­cific bud­get for the bath­room but, since we were ren­o­vat­ing the whole house, I was cost con­scious. For ex­am­ple, the taps are

Fel­ton and Methven when I might have liked an­tiqued brass from a higher-end shop. But this was a fam­ily bath­room to be used by a bunch of boys, so su­per high-end was not nec­es­sary. It needed to be ca­sual and I’m not a fan of finishes like shiny mar­ble. I wanted it to be at­trac­tive and func­tional.

TO­TAL $16K-18K ap­prox

What do you love about your new

bath­room? It is re­ally beau­ti­ful to stand in the shower with the morn­ing sun com­ing in.


FACT FILE Tongue-and-groove painted in Re­sene ‘Quar­ter Rice Cake’. Bath and basins are com­pos­ite stone from iBath. Toi­let from PlaceMak­ers. Van­ity and mir­ror cab­i­net de­signed by owner, made by Tang Ming; stone top from Gran­ite Work­shop. Van­ity side lights from ECC. Tiles from Arte­do­mus and Tile Ware­house. Hooks and towel rail from Elite Bath­rooms. Taps from Fel­ton and Methven. Stools from May Time and a gift fair. Floor­boards and door are orig­i­nal; door was dipped and fin­ished in wa­ter-based polyurethane. Win­dows from Trade Me. Over­head, warm white, tiltable• LEDs, on dim­mers, from Light­ing Plus.


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