The owners wanted an Italian vibe for this serene bathroom – including optimising view through a connecting courtyard complete with lemon tree

Designed by Mark de Rozario, CSA Craig Steere Architects

From the architect:

Owner requirements

  •  Our homeowners were inspired by their travels in Italy with homes built around courtyards; and textural masonry construction.
  • They also desired a view through the interconnecting courtyard, towards their bedroom and the river views beyond.
  • Having a green space adjacent was key to the enjoyment of their home – the courtyard next to the ensuite has a feature lemon tree.
  • Natural light entering in from the east and south sides via a highlight window that allowed light in while maintain privacy – privacy to the toilet and shower is maintained with privacy film.
  • Niches with inset tiles for toiletries with down lights to the top of the inset – the niches are functional when in use and become decorative design elements otherwise.


  • Specifications were inspired from masonry construction, for a luxury villa feel – Donnybrook limestone is a key material used.
  • The owners also had a strong desire for porcelain for functional surfaces – flooring, tiling, and benchtops for longevity and maintenance.
  • Cabinetry is a veneer for ease of maintenance and durability.


  • Storage – big cabinets for towels, toiletry bags, electrical under the vanity – storage was sized for each piece of equipment.
  • Cabinet next to the mirror is used for the small everyday items.
  • Occasional items under the vanity.
  • Materials are common across the house – anodised faceplate behind the rail is carried through the house and conceals the services such as waste pipes.

Spatial relationship to other rooms

  • The ensuite is accessed via the walk-in robe passage – the robe extends the materiality of the ensuite to create a cohesive experience joining both spaces.
  • The size of the ensuite was designed to accomodate standalone furniture to allow our homeowners to get ready in the ensuite without disturbing anyone sleeping in the bedroom.
  • Courtyard is designed as a central landscaping feature that visually connects the bedroom, passage gallery and the ensuite to each other.


  • A design change was resolved on site to bring in even more natural eastern light – this was achieved by creating a deep offset in the bulkhead to draw more natural light into the space.
  • A considered lighting design of non-obtrusive light on motion sensors along the passage and dressing room and ensuite means one can get ready in these spaces without impacting anyone sleeping in the bedroom.

Credit list

Duravit Vero Furniture Washbasin
Decina Elinea
Mutina Tierras, from Myaree Ceramics
Trends International Design Awards (TIDA) Bathrooms – Runner Up
Vanity cabinetry and top
Nav-Urban Balmoral
Astra Walker
Shower fittings
Elk Wall Mixer
Villeroy and Boch Subway
DC Short Bolshoi heated towel rail; Blum runners and hinges

Designed by: CSA Craig Steere Architects

Story by: Trendsideas

Photography by: Jody D'Arcy

15 Oct, 2023

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