Bathrooms are one of the key investment areas in a home. Get the design right, and you can rest assured that they will add significant value to your home. Designing a bathroom can be expensive though, as just about every trade is required to complete the space – plasterers, painters, tilers, plumbers, electricians, cabinetry makers, window furnishing manufacturers plus tapware and door hardware suppliers as well as suppliers for baths, basins, mirrors, shower screens and lighting.
Tiles are one of the most important elements in a bathroom as they often form your bathroom’s first impression. They anchor the space and serve as a backdrop for all other elements. There are so many incredible bathroom tiles to choose from these days – in all manner of shapes and colours. Why not be a bit bold, or adventurous, or innovative with the type of tiles you choose, how you lay them, where you place them and what colour grout you use. For my Beechwood bathroom, I wanted to showcase some of my most favourite tiles – handmade terracotta pickets from Earp Bros and beautiful Zellige tiles from National Tiles.
Working with materials that were made to look old, that was my goal. I didn’t want my home to feel brand new, so I featured old terracotta tiles from Earp Bros that look aged, and handmade tiles from National Tiles that are perfectly imperfect – all of these elements contributed to the lived-in look I wanted to achieve.
And when you have decided on the perfect tiles for your bathroom, having the tiles laid by a professional is so important. Removing them and having them relaid is something you don’t want to do, but living with poorly laid tiles can be unbearable. That’s why we have Henry from Master Tiling lay the tiles in all of our projects where possible. He is a perfectionist, and the quality of his work is based on his fine attention to detail.
A family home really does call for a bathtub – not only for your own pleasure, but for re-sell value as well. Nothing sets the tone in bathroom quite like a shapely statement tub. Whether you choose a sunken, stand-alone, or traditionally integrated style, a gorgeous tub is to a bathroom what a well-turned sofa is to a living room. Placement of the bathtub is also an important consideration, so take care with your space planning. If your space allows, make a feature of the bathtub.
In my ensuite we set the bathtub in front of the full glazing to make the most of the beautiful garden view and the natural light. And we added tapware from The English Tapware Company. They hadn’t done their contemporary range in the English bronze before so it took three months to arrive, but it was worth the wait.
Functional lighting is vital in a bathroom. It needs to be well positioned particularly for applying make up and for shaving – try placing vanity lighting at the sides of the mirror. to avoid casting shadows over your face. Lighting also needs to create the right ambience. No-one wants to relax back in a bath only to have a light blazing into their eyes. Dimmer switches are a great option.
We selected lights from The Montauk Lighting Co and Kelly Wearstler for the bathrooms in Beechwood, and they really set the mood for each space.
Storage is so important. Incorporating well thought through waist height and eye-level storage will go a long way to elevating the design of a bathroom. Hidden storage behind mirrors is particularly well regarded. Having designed bathroom joinery for so many projects, we understand how to create the best possible storage solutions that are perfect for storing appliances like hair dryers, straighteners and shavers, and toiletries, medicines and make-up.
Choosing the right paint for your bathroom is not just a matter of the colour that best suits the space, it’s also about the functionality of the paint. To preserve the beauty and longevity of your bathroom redesign, opt for a paint that’s specific to bathrooms – one that is more resistant to mildew. When designing the bathrooms for Beechwood (my son’s bathroom, my daughter’s ensuite, the powder and my ensuite), the inspiration really came from the exterior. I brought the outside in with shades of green, grey, white and terracotta which are all courtesy of Mother Nature and all leaning toward a modern farmhouse aesthetic.
For my dream bathrooms in my own home, I felt it was my turn to enjoy the products that I specify for my clients’ properties in my own home – like The English Tapware Company tapware, door hardware from Domino Architectural Fittings, joinery designed by my team and built by Gravina, lighting from The Montauk Lighting Co and Carrara marble from Gladstone Granite.
The space planning was the key to the success of Beechwood. There were so many discussions around making the most of the floorplan, and we used every single square inch of the footprint to ensure we had enough bathrooms to service the functionality of the property. And it was the things that changed along the way that were the most significant – introducing exciting features and making the most of opportunities. Like adding strapping to the entrance of Beechwood which inspired the use of strapping a feature in the powder room.
Selecting the right window furnishings for bathrooms was also the key to the success of each room. We worked closely with Lynch’s Window Fashions who guided us through the process, and their recommendations were perfect, with plantation shutters for my daughter’s ensuite and the powder room, and soft, sheer flowing curtains (with fabric from Elliot Clarke) for my ensuite to add a feminine touch to the masculine hard finishes. My son’s bathroom is an internal room, so we added a skylight to allow natural light in which is so important for a bathroom.
Being in the design industry, renovating is my passion. I find it an absolute joy. The highlight for me is working on site and seeing all the changes happening that I am directing. Having engaged my KWD team to bring my vision to life, I feel really confident that if you trust the design process and the decisions made by the professionals, you’ll get a great result.
Floor tiles – Earp Bros (Square Charcoal Concrete / Dove Grey Encaustic / Square Grey)
Wall tiles – National Tiles (Aria Sage)
Floor tiles – Earp Bros (Cement Fez Noir)
Wall tiles – National Tiles (Zellige White)
Floor tiles – Earp Bros (Geo Hex Chrysler)
Floor tiles – Earp Bros (Naveta Manual Miel Prot. Terracotta)
Wall tiles – National Tiles (Zellige White)
Tiling: Henry – Master Tiling
Window coverings: Lynch’s Window Fashions
Fabric: Elliot Clarke
Bathtub: Luxe By Design
Paint: Walls, strapping and bathtub – Dulux
Tapware: The English Tapware Company
Door hardware: Domino Architectural Brass Fittings
Shower screens and mirrors: Precision Installs
Joinery: Gravina Cabinets & Interiors
Bench tops: Gladstones Granite
Lighting: The Montauk Lighting Co
Photography: Armelle Habib
To all of our amazing supply partners who helped to bring the Beechwood vision to life, a heartfelt thank you for your time, your expertise, your effort and the quality of your products and services.