Classic furniture and distressed tiles give this bathroom a sense of history

With ‘found’ solid wood furniture pieces and tiles that seem to peel back layers of history, this bathroom achieves a charming, French rustic aesthetic

Winner – TIDA International Bathroom of the Year – TIDA New Zealand Bathroom of the Year

One way to achieve a classic, rustic aesthetic is to introduce eclectic furniture and solid wood elements – much as a grand old rural homestead might collect various quality pieces over time.

This main bathroom, part of a wider character home renovation by Angelique Armstrong of Armstrong Interiors takes just such an approach.

“For the home, we introduced high timber ceilings with French oak sarking, heavy timber beams and a reclaimed French oak parquet floor from France,” she says. “Plus we designed cabinetry, some in solid oak, and joinery throughout.

“So you could say it has a French rustic feel.”

And the owner wanted the bathrooms, this main bathroom included, to continue that look.

In architectural terms, the bathroom’s entry was moved from the corner of the room and two blade walls were introduced to provide a zone divider between the vanity area and bath zone.

One of the walls brings privacy for the toilet tucked into the bathing area, while together they offer an attractive visual layering of space.

However, overall the space is very open and easy to negotiate, responding to the brief for easy wheelchair access through the bathroom. A large, easy access tiled shower was part of this.

Then there is the room’s aesthetic presence. The character solid wood vanity began life as a butcher’s block, while a tall wood cabinet at the rear of the bathroom offers ample storage.

Complementing these pieces, an existing window behind the tub was extended to the floor and finished with classic wood shutters.

Furthering the rustic appeal, the patterned wall tiles have a distressed, almost layered look.

“We concentrated the tiles in the bath corner – drawing attention to the bath – and then faded them out over the other walls. Again, their more casual spacing implies changes over time.”

One of the owner’s favourite features is the Soktas Ost pendant lights hanging above the vanity. Looking like delicate hanging sculptures, these seem to tread the middle ground between traditional and highly contemporary.

The tapware and even the wall mirror are in classic vein, with concealed LED lighting highlighting the mirror and providing a night light.

However, the curvaceous vanity basin and matching stone bathtub have a modern vibe.

“If we went all traditional, the design would have been too heavy. I chose these because they are beautiful. This bathroom is all about beauty.”

Credit list

Angelique Armstrong, Armstrong Interiors
Quila, cast stone, from Waterware
Taps and shower fittings
Axor Montreux range in Brushed Brass, by Hansgrohe, from Mico Bathrooms
Small feature wall tiles on vanity wall – Iris Beige (150 x 316mm); patterned feature wall tiles – Crea Stories (30 x 120cm); plain wall tiles – Crea Ash (30 x 120cm); porcelain floor tile – Lab325 Pearl Ret (600 x 600mm)
Soktas Ost pendants
Timber, by Weathermaster
Vanity and benchtop
Repurposed butchers block, by Cuchi
iStone Oval Bowl, from Waterware
Parisi Ellisse MK II Overheight, from Mico Bathrooms
Taps and shower Fittings
Axor Montreux range in Brushed Brass
Underfloor heating
Trends International Design Awards (TIDA) Bathrooms – International Bathroom of the Year – New Zealand Bathroom of the Year

Designed by: Angelique Armstrong, Armstrong Interiors

Story by: Charles Moxham

Photography by: Mick Stephenson

01 Feb, 2021

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