Bath­rooms and laun­dries that are both beau­ti­ful and func­tional.

BATH­ROOM AND LAUN­DRY de­sign has come a long way in the past decade. These once purely func­tional rooms have be­come more invit­ing with hand­made ma­te­ri­als and fin­ishes and cus­tom choices that lend a more be­spoke feel. Ul­ti­mately, it is the way that the de­sign com­ple­ments the rest of the house, and the sur­round­ing en­vi­ron­ment, that sets our ap­proach to these spa­ces now apart from the bath­rooms and laun­dries of the past. The ren­o­va­tion of a Caper­tee Val­ley cot­tage in ru­ral NSW high­lights the way its de­sign­ers sought to cre­ate har­mony be­tween the in­te­rior and ex­te­rior. Felic­ity Slat­tery and Sarah Cosentino, from Mel­bourne’s Stu­dio Esteta, say their client wanted to cre­ate an in­te­rior that com­ple­mented the ex­ist­ing sand­stone cot­tage and re­flected the land­scape of Caper­tee Val­ley, three hours west of Syd­ney. “It was im­por­tant for the de­sign to be a time­less and durable ad­di­tion that would al­low them to thor­oughly en­joy their home for many years to come.” They fo­cused on a re­fined yet mod­ern de­sign fea­tur­ing sand­stone, tex­tured neu­tral wall fin­ishes, hand­made tiles, linen cur­tains and warm tim­ber. Func­tion was key, too. “Too of­ten, we find a bath­room can be over-de­signed and filled with un­nec­es­sary fit­tings and fix­tures, re­sult­ing in a space that feels cramped and un­invit­ing,” says Felic­ity. “Good ac­cess to nat­u­ral light

“A well-planned space, re­gard­less of the size, can be func­tional and en­joy­able to work in.”

and ven­ti­la­tion is also im­por­tant to avoid the bath­room feel­ing air­less and dark,” adds Sarah. “If there is no ac­cess to a win­dow, we find a large open­able sky­light is an ef­fi­cient way to in­tro­duce abun­dant nat­u­ral light and ven­ti­la­tion, to make the space feel light and airy.” In­te­rior de­signer Emma Say of Tom Mark Henry in Syd­ney says they took a sim­i­lar ap­proach al­beit in a com­pletely dif­fer­ent en­vi­ron­ment. The client lived near a beach, and wanted to cre­ate a home that felt in­trin­si­cally part of the area. “He wanted a space that re­flected the re­laxed coastal life­style and ef­fort­less aes­thetic,” Emma says. To help achieve this, the fit­tings and fin­ishes re­flect the prop­erty’s prox­im­ity to the beach. “Nat­u­ral ma­te­ri­als with in­her­ent vari­a­tion were spec­i­fied to soften the in­nate hard sur­faces of a tile fin­ish,” Emma says. “This was es­tab­lished through the use of a sandy, warm-toned tim­ber ve­neer fin­ish in the join­ery.” When de­sign­ing bath­rooms or other small spa­ces, keep­ing ma­te­ri­als pro­por­tion­ate to the size of the room can make it feel more spa­cious. “If the bath­room is small, it’s al­ways nice to use smaller wall tiles, as it will make the space feel big­ger than it ac­tu­ally is,” Emma says. Also, us­ing hand­made or tum­bled-edged tiles is a great way to add tex­ture and warmth to the room. When Eva-marie Prineas from Syd­ney’s Stu­dio Prineas was cre­at­ing a laun­dry in a ter­race, she looked to the his­tory of the house to help her de­cide on the ma­te­rial pal­ette. “Sim­ple white sub­way tiles with a pat­terned black and white tile on the floor be­came a con­tem­po­rary nod to tes­sel­lated tiles of the Vic­to­rian era,” she says. Plan­ning ev­ery de­tail was in­te­gral to mak­ing the small space work. “A well-planned space, re­gard­less of the size, can be func­tional and en­joy­able to work in,” says Eva-marie. “Plenty of ac­ces­si­ble stor­age makes the minu­tia of tasks more en­joy­able.” To this end, she in­cor­po­rated a wall-hung iron­ing board on one wall, which is less cum­ber­some than a free­stand­ing one. “These kinds of de­tails can make a big dif­fer­ence in a small space,” Eva-marie says. “Some­times what ini­tially ap­pears to be less space — bench space or stor­age — can be more func­tional if de­signed prop­erly.” How a room, such as a bath­room or laun­dry, func­tions in re­la­tion to the rest of the house is also im­por­tant. This was an is­sue for de­signer Sophia Leop­ardi of Wil­liams Bur­ton Leop­ardi in Ade­laide, when cre­at­ing a laun­dry in a thor­ough­fare be­tween a main liv­ing space and a bath­room. “We had to be cre­ative with the laun­dry given the lim­ited amount of space,” she says. “We con­cealed the util­i­ties be­hind join­ery cup­boards to en­sure it didn’t feel like you were walk­ing through one room to get to the other.” >

The ma­te­ri­als mat­tered, too. “The be­spoke tile pat­tern flows through to the bath­room and fur­ther en­hances the con­nec­tion of spa­ces, and al­lows a usu­ally con­cealed func­tional space within the home to be proudly on dis­play.” When a home doesn’t have a huge amount of ar­chi­tec­tural beauty, some­times pat­tern or colour can be used to lift spa­ces. De­signer Lisa Bur­dus took this ap­proach in a home for a young fam­ily. She cre­ated a colour­ful main bath­room for three chil­dren and a dark and moody en­suite for the par­ents. The schemes also fol­lowed on from the look and feel of the rest of the house. “I of­ten dec­o­rate a bath­room like any other room,” Lisa says. “I love to hang art, fab­ric blinds, green­ery and, if there is space, an arm­chair or cabi­net for stor­age — all of these things add lay­ers and warmth.”

CLOCK­WISE, FROM TOP LEFT Traver­tine tiles in Stu­dio Esteta’s Caper­tee Val­ley project bring a nat­u­ral feel to the bath­room; Popham De­sign floor tiles make a bold state­ment in this laun­dry by Stu­dio Prineas. Prac­ti­cal shelv­ing with stor­age bas­kets is hid­den be­hind cus­tom slid­ing doors; the bath­room of a Bondi res­i­dence, de­signed by Tom Mark Henry, dis­plays a so­phis­ti­cated blend of tex­tures with hand­made tiles and sandy-toned tim­ber; this look is also mir­rored in the en­suite.

In this South Aus­tralian home, the work of Wil­liams Bur­ton Leop­ardi, the stor­age wall of the main liv­ing room acts as a bound­ary to con­ceal the laun­dry be­hind; util­i­ties are hid­den from view al­low­ing the vivid pat­tern of Winck­el­mans tiles to draw fo­cus. THIS PAGE, FROM TOP


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