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With the heritage home built in the 1920s, bridging the divide between a classic and eye-catchingly new look was always on the cards for this bathroom

Designed by Carmen Hansberry Design and Lux Interiors

Overview

This turn of the century 6-bedroom home (circa 1904) is in one of the most sought-after areas in Claremont.

It was extensively renovated in 1992-3, when it was awarded WA Renovation of the Year and National Runner-Up in its category (architect Carolyn Marshall, builder Arlington Homes). 

The well designed and built house faithfully retains many original features and elements, while maintaining a modern appeal. 

The owners approached me to help them freshen up their newly purchased forever home.

The role started out as a few rooms, namely the kitchen, though through the design and planning stages the entire home ended up being renovated.


Owners' brief

The main items in terms of this upper second bathroom were:

  • The bathroom space was to be revamped and freshened up with a request for more light and bright space
  • Use of marble or marble-look wall and floor tiles, and if possible the same on vanity benchtop
  • Main fixtures to stay in same spot and be replaced with high quality fixtures and fittings
  • To have a shower hob and frameless shower screen with cantilevered shower seat
  • Preference if space allows to have larger shower
  • Retain laundry chute to lower laundry
  • Easy to clean and maintain
  • The look was to be eye-catching yet refined, not taking away from the federation heritage characteristics.
  • To have the same finish as lower two bathrooms to ensure home’s cohesion

How brief was achieved and problems overcome

• The bathroom space was to be revamped and freshened up; use of marble or marble-look wall and floor tiles, and if possible same on vanity benchtop

I suggested and recommended Lusso Stone - Bella series – Bianco Calcutta in Silk Finish.

The beautiful silk finish of this product allows people to perhaps be fooled that it is the real thing – marble.

As this product comes in varying thicknesses, it allowed for it to be used for wall and floor tiles along with benchtops.

  • 3000 x 1000 x 6mm – floor & wall applications
  • 3000 x 1500 x 6mm – floor & wall applications
  • 3200 x 1500 x 12mm – benchtops
  • 3200 x 1600 x 12mm – benchtops

With this large format sizing of the tiles, it allowed this bathroom to have only 2 x floor grout lines and no wall grout lines in the shower, making the bathroom easy to clean.

Further  properties such as being 100% natural material, with no chemical binders or resins, while being UV resistant, scratch resistance, thermal shock resistance, stain and mould resistant all made this the clear choice for the wall and floor tiling and vanity benchtop.

The striking resemblance of Calacatta marble vein design on the porcelain tile further ensured a fresh and bright vibe would be created.

  • Main fixtures to stay in same spot and be replaced with high quality fixtures and fittings

I recommended the all tapware, shower head and bath mixer be Brodware – City Stik range in Brushed Nickel PVD for its boasted properties of being resistance to tarnishing, abrasion, corrosion, UV radiation and discolouration.

Specifying the Duravit Starck 3 under counter vanity basin provides a clean streamline look with minimal fuss.

The use of the new Kado Lussi cast solid surface freestanding bath with plug & waste 1700mm cemented the feel of hotel luxury.

I recommended however, a half-height nib wall run the entire length of the shower/ vanity wall for a few functional reasons: provides a shower shelf for shampoo bottles in shower space; provides a vanity shelf under mirror; allowed for a high-quality concealed toilet cistern to be introduced – thus ensuring the toilet isn’t the main focus when you enter the room (as it had been previously); allows for a decorative shelf for bath bottles/ artwork/ greenery to be display near freestanding bath.

  • To have a shower hob and frameless shower screen

As the owners specifically asked for a shower hob, in lieu of a dropped shower floor, we made a feature of it and the tilers carried the vein from the large format tiles up over the bob  – making the hob look like a work of art.

  • Preference if space allows to have larger shower with cantilevered shower seat

This idea I loved and took some work to ensure the design of the seat could withstand the weight of the tiles together with the weight of a person sitting on it – a steel frame structure was manufactured and attached to an adjacent wall, then sheeted and waterproofed before it was tiled.

  • Retain laundry chute to lower laundry

This was tricky as a nib wall that run the entire length of the room.

The previous laundry chute was built on a 45-degree angle so that the laundry dropped into the room diagonally opposite below. 

Adding in a 100mm thick wall extended the spans of the 45 degree, so making the cabinet door work and ensure no laundry would get stuck along the way.

The far LHS door to vanity is a hinged pull-down door that the laundry chute is built into – I extended the vanity width and built into cabinetwork, thus concealing the unsightly wall opening.

  • Easy to clean and maintain

The large format tiles and minimal grout lines make for an extremely easy to clean space as there are no crevices for dirt or grime to be trapped in.

Specifying an under-mounted basin together with wall mounted mixer taps further ensures that no build up can be found around the base of a mixer while also making it easily to wipe the bench down with one flat plane.

  • The look was to be eye-catching yet refined, not taking away from the federation heritage characteristics

With the use of the large format porcelain tiles, I stopped them short of running to the ceiling as I felt the exposed wall on the upper part softened the space and avoided making the room seem as clinical. 

Retaining the same decorative cornice helped ensure the heritage charm continued.

I positioned the freestanding bath at the centre of the end window so that when one is sitting in bath you can enjoy the view from both angles – this allowed for a smaller space to one side for the wall mounted bath mixer and an area to allow one to easily manoeuvre themselves to get in.

The bath plinth provides a great stage and raises the position of the bath, so the window view is at the correct level. 

However, this was designed as the bath plumbing was in the wrong position – installing a plinth that finishes in line with the ceiling bulkhead made for a real statement.

Low voltage LED light strips recessed behind the perimeter of the vanity mirror adds to the room’s ambience, while again providing functional light for makeup application.

  • To be same finish as lower two bathrooms to ensure cohesion

Same tiles, cabinetwork, sanitaryware and tapware were implemented in both lower ground bathrooms.

Credit list

Vanity cabinetry
Profile – flat door; finish – two pack polyurethane paint; colour – to match Polytec Classic White
Bath
Kado Lussi cast solid Surface freestanding
Taps
City Stik Range, Brushed Nickel PVD finish, by Broadware
Shower fittings
City Stik shower rose and arm; City Stik wall mixer, by Broadware
Accessories
Broadware City Stik Range Brushed Nickel PVD
Lighting
Clipsal LED Flush mounted Downlights
Hot water systems
Stiebel Eltron, 3 Phase electric instantaneous Water Heater
Awards
Trends International Design Awards (TIDA) Bathrooms – Runner Up
Builder
Benchtop
Bella Series – Calacatta Macchia Vecchia, silk finish, from Lusso Stone
Basin
Duravit – Starck 3, undermount
Shower stall
Calacatta Macchia Vecchia, silk finish, from Lusso Stone
Toilet
Caroma Liano Invisi Series II; Suite & Invisi Series II with round dual flush plate & buttons (Metal), Brushed Nickel,
Wall tiles
Bella Series – Calacatta Macchia Vecchia, silk finish – large format porcelain tiles (3000 x 1000 x 6mm), from Lusso Stone
Ventilation
Schweigen exhaust fan
Blinds
Designer White roller blinds with pelmet, from Eltu Curtains and Blinds

Designed by: Carmen Hansberry Design and Lux Interiors

Story by: Trendsideas

Photography by: Joel Barbitta - Dmax Photography

04 Sep, 2022

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