Inside Out (Australia)
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…
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