Subtle interplay of herringbone tiles and a muted palette in luxury bathroom

Designed with various roles in mind – from guest bathroom to bathing retreat – this versatile bathroom boasts luxe materials and a reflective ambience

​​​​​​​Concealed lighting under the wall cabinetry washes down architecture, bathroom, bathroom design, black, white, tiles,  vanity, Melonie Bayl-Smith, Andrew Lee, Bijl Architecture
​​​​​​​Concealed lighting under the wall cabinetry washes down the eye-catching herringbone tilework in this bathroom by Bijl Architecture. Shutters outside the shower window conform to heritage regulations imposed on the cottage-style home.

Many elements can influence the look of a bathroom, such as exactly who will be using it and even how it relates to other bathrooms in the home. These considerations, among others, helped inform the look of this luxurious and subtly toned bathroom, by architects Melonie Bayl-Smith and Andrew Lee of Bijl Architecture.

This bathroom design is a careful response to several factors, says Melonie Bayl-Smith.

“Located in a reinvented and extended lower level of a cottage-style home, the new bathroom serves two guest bedrooms and a living space on this level. It’s also the bath retreat for the home as the other bathrooms don’t have a tub.”

For this reason – and to contrast the light, bright master ensuite upstairs – Bayl-Smith and Lee went for a subtle variety of tones that would appeal to a broad spectrum of tastes. The emphasis is instead on textures and patterns.

“The owners liked the way the light catches the herringbone-pattern tiles as it reminds them of the textures and colours of an old London mews, a look they were particularly fond of.”

This surface takes on different characters in the room – dark and rich on the side where the tub is positioned and lighter on the other side of the room where the cabinetry’s lighting washes over the tiles, lightening their tones slightly.

​​​​​​​Oak-look vanity cabinet fronts complement the subtle tones architecture, bathroom design, sink, tap, gray, black, taps, vanity, Melonie Bayl-Smith,  Andrew Lee, Bijl Architecture
​​​​​​​Oak-look vanity cabinet fronts complement the subtle tones of the herringbone tilework on wall on this side of a bathroom by architect Melonie Bayl-Smith. On the other side of the room – seen in reflection – the zigzag tiles take on a darker appeal.

While the herringbone tile gives the room an intriguing character, the large-format tiles used on the floors and other walls offer a peaceful backdrop to the overall design. The oak-look vanity and concrete-toned engineered stone benchtop both fit within this subdued colourway.

The potential different uses also called for diverse functionality, too, hence the double basins and separate bathing and shower zones.

“The design is also influenced by the bath-room’s physical location,” says Andrew Lee. “It’s intended to orientate the user by offering views out to the front and back of the house. The window next to the bath gives a sense of the subterranean level of the excavated space, while the window in the shower overlooks the rear landscaping towards the water views.”

​​​​​​​This new bathroom partially steps outside the original bathroom, floor tiles, bathroom designer, tap, tile, black, white, basin
​​​​​​​This new bathroom partially steps outside the original main lines of the home, allowing for natural light to enter the room from both ends. The lighting pendant adds a luxe touch to the atmospheric space.

Credit list

Melonie Bayl-Smith and Andrew Lee, Bijl Architecture
Vanity benchtop
Caesarstone – Fresh Concrete 4001
Moda Teresa, freestanding
Fantini Extended basin mixer, from Rogerseller
Shower stall
Magic Glass, frameless
Belig 560mm wall-faced pan
Floor and wall tiles
Cendre Stoneclay Grey 300 x 600 by Bisanna
Darkon Wyn LED wall GEN2, Exhausted LED 1, both by Dean Philllips
Under Tile Heating by Comfort Heat
Vental external blinds
Polytec Melamine – Artisan Oak, matt
Vanity basins
Moda Claudine countertop stone vessel
Bath pourer
Fantini Milano floor -mounted mixer/filler, from Rogerseller
Shower fittings
Fantini Soho Slim Handshower on Rail and Fantini Soho Round Ceiling Shower Rose 200mm, from Rogerseller
Kado Lux heated towel rail 830; Milli Glance hook and Milli hand towel rail, Aquabocci strip drains
Feature tiles
Mews Mutina, herringbone pattern, 55 x 394mm
Halliday Baillie HB1010frameless vent extraction grill
Hot water systems
Rinnai 32
Trends International Design Awards (TIDA) Bathrooms – Highly Commended

Story by: Charles Moxham

Photography by: Katherine Lu

28 Jun, 2019

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