Shan­non Vos shares the most im­por­tant con­sid­er­a­tions for this busy zone

Shan­non shares the key points to nail­ing your wet-zone reno. Ig­nore them at your peril…

Inside Out (Australia) - - Contents -

One of the most cru­cial spacess in a home to get ‘just

right’ is the bath­room, but it’s a mine­field of de­sign de­ci­sions out there. With so many choices at our fin­ger­tips, it can be difff­fi­cult to know what path to head down. Bath­rooms can be ex­pen­sive to build and a mas­sive headache to fix if you make a mis­take, so your choices need to be fi­nalised be­fore you be­gin the project. Here are the five key things to think about.

1. nail the brief

We all have buck­et­loads of in­spo th­ese days, thanks to In­sta­gram and Pin­ter­est, but how can we nar­row down those liked and pinned pics into a bath­room to be proud of? The key is not to overdo it. There’s no need to tick offff every trend in the book – in­stead, think about why you’re build­ing or ren­o­vat­ing your bath­room. Is it for re­sale, or for you? If it’s the for­mer, it’s prob­a­bly best to stay safe for the sake of a sale, but if it’s a labour of love, go nuts! Ex­plore colour, ma­te­ri­als, tex­ture, pat­tern, space and light, but limit your­self to one or two el­e­ments that re­ally float your boat and go from there. Base your de­sign around a few hero el­e­ments and stick to an aes­thetic. Whether it’s min­i­mal­ist, coastal, Art Deco or Hamp­tons style, com­mit to that brief. Try not to fill your space with too much ‘wow’, as a small bath­room can feel cramped with a busy pal­ette. If you love the look of fea­ture tiles on the floor or wall, choose sub­tle tiles for the rest of the room. If you just love a fancy pen­dant light, pare back on the fea­tures that sur­round that area. Give your he­roes the space they need to shine.

2. pri­ori­tise plan­ning

Yep, it’s the in­fa­mous seven Ps: ‘Proper prior plan­ning pre­vents p**s-poor per­for­mance’. To save the need for a sledge­ham­mer down the track, you’ll need to con­sider every mil­lime­tre of your bath­room be­fore a fin­ger is even slightly lifted. If it’s all too much, you may want to con­sider the ser­vices of an ar­chi­tect or a draftsper­son (you might be sur­prised by how in­ex­pen­sive they can be). They’ll know the Aus­tralian reg­u­la­tions that must be ad­hered to and the gen­eral ‘must-dos and -don’ts’ of space plan­ning. De­tailed plans will also make life eas­ier down the track when the tradies are ready to build and in­stall. If you do want to shoot from the hip, make sure you think about traffffic through the space and mark your plans out on the floor if you can. As a rough rule, you’ll need around 900mm width for a toi­let, at least the same for the width of a shower and gen­er­ally 850mm for the height of your van­ity. It’s a good idea to con­sider your en­trance, as a door that swings in­ward will chew up about one square me­tre of floor space, which is a huge slice of the av­er­age five-square-me­tre bath­room. It’s a good idea to have all your tiles, taps, bath and any­thing else that’s go­ing into the bath­room delivered and ready to go be­fore the build be­gins. This will not only save you money but also re­duce the time it takes to com­plete the job, as the tradies can see ex­actly what needs to be in­stalled.

3. re­mem­ber: stor­age is king

A clut­ter-free bath­room is what dreams are made of, and with the Marie Kondo ap­proach be­ing all the rage th­ese days, it’s a good idea to en­sure your bath­room is free of mess for those un­ex­pected guests. Under-bench stor­age and a re­cessed shav­ing cab­i­net will keep most of your stuffff at bay and, if ex­tra stor­age is needed, there are plenty of op­tions out there for stand-alone bath­room stor­age. Dou­ble towel rails are al­most a given th­ese days and towel hooks are great for func­tion­al­ity and keep­ing the wet tow­els offff the floor.

4. don’t ne­glect the fifiner de­tails

It’s of­ten the small­est things that an­noy us the most, and the build­ing game is no difff­fer­ent. Sadly, th­ese ‘smaller de­tails’ are of­ten un­cov­ered only af­ter the build is com­plete. It’s im­per­a­tive to nut out th­ese points prior to any work start­ing, as fix­ing th­ese glitches af­ter the room’s fin­ished can cost a bomb. An­a­lyse every de­ci­sion with a fine-tooth comb and give your­self time on this one. Is your show­er­head height tall enough for your shock­ingly lanky part­ner? Speak­ing from ex­pe­ri­ence on this one, a shower set at two me­tres usu­ally caters to most in the bas­ket­ball team. Make sure that your tap­ware comes out far enough, but not too far over the sink (you’ll want the wa­ter stream to hit the bot­tom of the bowl just be­fore the drain). In say­ing that, check the height of your tap, as I’ve seen so many gor­geous bath­rooms that don’t cater to peo­ple with any­thing big­ger than ‘pe­tite’ hands. It’s th­ese

de­tails will make or break your bath­room.

5. call in the A-team

A crack team will be worth its weight in gold for any bath­room build and more of­ten than not, you get what you pay for. Steer clear of cheap tradies that offf­fer you the world, as a bath­room with a leak is just money down the drain. It’s best to use a rep­utable builder (check the Mas­ter Builders As­so­ci­a­tion web­site: mas­ter­builders. com.au) and rely on them to man­age their own trades. How­ever, if you want to save a penny and man­age the build your­self, do your home­work on who you hire. Check all rel­e­vant li­cences and rely on word of mouth. One of the most im­por­tant things to get right is wa­ter­proof­ing, so be sure to get a com­pli­ance cer­tifi­cate and mon­i­tor the job with hawk-like eyes. If you can, help the tradies when­ever pos­si­ble, but try not to get in their way. A clean job site is an efff­fi­cient one, so en­able your tradies to do the best job that they can.

GIVE YOUR HE­ROES THE SPACE THEY NEED TO SHINE

The Block: Glasshouse co-win­ner and in­te­rior de­signer, Shan­non Vos. vo­scre­ative. com.au

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