When designing her new wash zone, interior designer Chontelle Samios' wish list was tempered by a streak of practicality. She fitted the top items on her list into the tiny space – freestanding bath and super-sized storage – without losing sight of the budget or the less than glamorous realities of a family bathroom.
A bath is a luxury in a compact bathroom but, says Chontelle, “With a family, we thought having a bath was an essential component.” Chic and elegant freestanding baths offer versatility as they can be placed almost anywhere in a bathroom; due to limited space, Chontelle's bath was positioned close to the wall.
A reworked layout means the room's visual highlights – the bath and a black-framed shower – are the first things seen when the door is opened. Both are situated to take advantage of the window for views and ventilation. “You can open up that window and look into the backyard – it's a beautiful space to have a shower,” says Chontelle. At the other end, the door was moved slightly and the toilet tucked in behind it, out of sight until you step in and shut the door.
Black accents give the bathroom a chic modern feel, with the custom made black-framed shower screen forming a graphic feature at the end of the room. Chontelle selected a matt black basin mixer, Caroma ‘Liano Nexus' bath tapware and rain showerhead to echo the look.
With must-haves squeezed into a small room, it was important that Chontelle took every opportunity to create a sense of space. Her top tip for a tight bathroom is to invest in the biggest mirror possible, which she did with a three-door shaving cabinet. This matches the size of the wall hung vanity, chosen for its ease of cleaning and sleek visual effect. “Lifting a heavy item like the vanity off the ground makes it feel like there's beautiful flow rather than interrupting the space,” Chontelle says. She also chose hooks over towel racks to avoid another chunky feature, and now prefers them. “I don't like how towels sit on top of each other and don't dry well on a rack – on hooks they dry quicker.”
There's no such thing as too much storage, and Chontelle took advantage of every inch by building into the wall. Both shower and bath zones feature recessed niches. “I prefer a niche that's tiled and clean, and you can easily run a cloth over it,” she says. The shaving cabinets are also built into the wall framework, which gains extra space and achieves a tidy, almost seamless finish.
So there you have it, our simple tips for updating your existing bathroom to maximise space but also create a stylish retreat. Check out your local Bunnings to pick up what you need to get this job underway.
Photo credit: Brigid Arnott
Asbestos, lead-based paints and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber are health hazards you need to look out for when renovating older homes. These substances can easily be disturbed when renovating and exposure to them can cause a range of life-threatening diseases and conditions including cancer. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer or visit our Health & Safety page.
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