A Modern Bathroom Makeover with Playful Use of Colour in Hataitai, Wellington

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Sunny bathroom makeover

This sunny bathroom makeover is the latest of several fantastic Refresh projects undertaken at this 1920s Hataitai villa.

Before After
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A Consultation Encore

Positioned high in the Hataitai hills sits a charming 1920s villa belonging to Ravi and Stephanie. Stunning views of Evans Bay came with the property, but the interior left much to be desired. Since owning it, Ravi and Stephanie have completed a number of home improvements led by the talented Lia Boersma, Refresh’s local Wellington Renovation Consultant. 
This time they wanted to focus on their home’s laundry area and bathroom. The existing laundry area was situated in the kitchen, which wasn’t practical for the couple. True to the 1920s era of the home, the bathroom had leadlight windows and floor-to-ceiling wood panelling; it needed a complete makeover. 
With just 6m2 to work with, space was tight but there’s always room for a fantastic design when Lia’s leading the project. 

Aligning the Scope and Cost

Budget and design were of equal importance to Ravi and Stephanie but they knew this wouldn't be a problem, having experienced the Refresh process before. Defining the scope of the project helped determine if their $60,000 budget was realistic. Moving the laundry out of the kitchen and updating the bathroom were the main objectives, but an extractor fan installation and upgraded hot water cylinder were needed as well. 
After receiving the building contract and factoring in the variations, the final cost came to $75,000. Though this was above their original budget, Ravi and Stephanie knew what they wanted and trusted that Lia would deliver. Once the designs and fixed-quote were approved it was time to move forward. 

Planning Around the Supply Chain

Global supply chain issues were challenging at the time of this renovation, and Ravi and Stephanie wanted the project finished as quickly as possible. So, instead of living in a partial construction zone for months while they waited for materials to arrive, Lia suggested they delay the start of the project. This took the pressure off the timeline as they could wait for all their supplies and start the build once everything they needed was delivered. Ravi and Stephanie agreed this was a great plan.  
Once all the materials had arrived, Lia brought in her project manager Danielle Paul to oversee the day-to-day operations on site. Danielle managed the team that Lia had assembled from her network of trusted professionals which included builders, electricians, plumbers, flooring specialists, and decorators.
The team began by demolishing the existing bathroom to make room for the new laundry area; once that was done they could rebuild in the new design. The renovation proceeded smoothly and was completed in four short weeks.

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A Sunny Outcome

The only remnant of the old bathroom is the colour yellow; every other aspect has been completely reimagined. Ravi and Stephanie loved the idea of bright yellow so it’s woven subtly throughout with decor — even the dryer has yellow details. But there is a permanent fixture that anchors the yellow accents and that’s the vanity; the sides have a matte finish but the drawer faces have a high-gloss sheen, complemented by timber lip-pulls.  
The sleek rectangular handbasin echoes the form of the black framed mirror above. Traditional white subway tiles provide the splashback of both the main basin and the laundry tub which sits on the opposite wall. Bench space, concealed storage, open-shelving, and built-in appliances now co-exist neatly in the bathroom for Ravi and Stephanie’s convenience. A cubicle shower, complete with recessed shelving and brushed chrome fixtures, is the final new feature in this compact and well-appointed bathroom.  

Final Thoughts

Modernising the bathroom was one of the main goals and that has been achieved in spades. As has the functional laundry space. Having worked with the couple before, Lia knows their style and loves their colour choice for the vanity, which is her favourite part. That, and the custom-built laundry cabinet unit. Now, all that’s left is to see which part of their home Ravi and Stephanie want to renovate next. 
The materials used for this project were sourced from trusted suppliers within Lia’s network of preferred industry contacts. Suppliers and materials included aqualine gib by GIB; building materials and hardware by Placemakers; plumbing supplies by Plumbing Plus; and tiles by Tile Space.

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This project was completed in
June 2022
Project description
Laundry and bathroom renovation
New Zealand
Project duration
4 weeks
Cost estimate
Actual cost
Supply chain delays
Interesting aspects
Yellow accents and a custom-built laundry unit
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Lia Boersma is a Renovation Consultant of Silkworm Ltd, a franchisee of Renovation Franchise Ltd, doing business in Wellington.

Actual costs vary by project. Plan ahead to reduce the impact of industry changes or disruptions. For more information see here.

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