On entering this garden-view master ensuite, space expands, natural light filters in, and bathing rituals are elevated to the sublime

Designed by Kate McMahon and Rob Nerlich, mcmahon and nerlich

From the designers:

This main bedroom suite forms part of an architectural proposition that, through combining the functional with the poetic, elevates the daily routines of bathing, dressing and sleeping in this renovated Edwardian home.

The original dwelling was in very poor condition, and the house poorly laid out in a time that ignored solar orientation and the garden realm for the conventions of period style and aesthetics – resulting in a dark, damp interior. 

The renovation not only introduces natural light into the new additions, but transforms the original heritage fabric with new apertures that introduce light and garden realm views into the heart of the home, improving thermal mass. 

The new renovation is separated from the heritage front rooms with a glazed link and a clear gap between the new and the old, allowing for a tall narrow window next to where the freestanding bath would be located, with beautiful east light entering the space and offering an outlook to a bamboo oasis that shifts and changes with the breeze, contributing to a meditative bathing experience.

The main bedroom is located in the front principal room, celebrating the original heritage bay window and streetscape outlook. 

To make the existing layout work better for the new rooms, we introduced a freestanding timber-lined bedhead – complete with hidden charging ports, power, reading lights and storage.

This meant we were able to reduce the size of the walk-in robe and ensuite just enough to tuck them into the existing fabric of the house, allowing for that clear separation between the old fabric and the new. 

The freestanding bedhead is multi-functional; it acts as a partition to reduce the size of the main bedroom, as a modesty screen for entering the ensuite or walk-in robe, and also as a storage unit in its own right, providing drawer and cupboard storage.

It also accommodates an open dressing table tucked discreetly into the rear of the bedhead.

The ensuite also takes advantage of the heritage features of the roof – its key design cue takes up the extra height afforded by the heritage trusses to create a soaring cathedral ceiling above the bath, top-lit by a fixed triangular window which washes light gently down from above. 

The ensuite is it’s own oasis, connected to a private landscape, with a gently curved finger tile-clad wall which peels away on two different radii to create a sculptural shower shelf. 

The freestanding bath was chosen for its curved ends as it anchors into the embrace of the curved wall. 

A glazed door connects directly to the private garden.

The materiality celebrates a reduced material palette. 

Dark charcoal wool carpet contrasts with the golden timber hues of the bedhead when you first enter the space, and this reduced material palette continues into robe and bedroom. 

Matching dark grey, moody, thin porcelain tiles were used on both floor and wall, and again on vanity top and sides, appreciated as you enter the ensuite. 

This gives way to the light cream vertical finger tiles of the feature curved wall, a device used to enhance the feeling of meditation when one steps into the bathing and shower area. 

The glimpse of vertical garden outlook provides a meditative green respite which enhances indoor-outdoor connection and the beauty of the natural daylight.

The bedroom, robe, and ensuite converge to offer a truly tranquil sanctuary as you step into the master bedroom suite. 

There is a moment of joyous expansion when you enter the ensuite, where the connection to garden realm is celebrated through the purposeful apertures – space expands, natural light dissolves, and the daily rituals of bathing are elevated to the sublime.

See the full house story here

Credit list

Vanity manufacture
Greg Coulter
Basin; bath
Caroma, from Reece
Caroma Urbane, from Reece
Earp Bros Moov tile; Supertuft Velour Escape carpet
Towel rail
Thermogroup Thermorail single bar
Dave Kulesza
Custom designed by mcmahon and nerlich with Artedomus Maximum Cladding to cabinet sides and drawer fronts; with Your Smart Life (automation)
Vanity benchtop
Artdomus Maximum thin porcelain
Taps/shower fittings/accessories
Gareth Ashton
Wall coverings
Earp Bros Moov tile, Inax yuki finger tiles by Artedomus
Hot water system
Rinnai 32 Infinity, from Reece
Trends International Design Awards (TIDA) Bathrooms – Winner

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