Mar 2019
Project duration
5 weeks
Actual cost
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The owners of this Gwynneville home wanted a bathroom that included both safety features and elegance. 

WORDS Mina Phillips

When Illawarra Renovation Consultant met with the owners’ of this Gwynneville home, she was asked to transform their basic bathroom and laundry into a combined space. As their son lives with a disability, they needed a bathroom that would be safe for him to use. They also wanted the bathroom to reflect a French provincial style. Experienced in French provincial style renovations, the Renovation Consultant got to work.

Developing a modern bathroom design

The original bathroom design separated the bathroom and laundry. To join the two spaces, the Renovation Consultant and her team removed a wall. This resulted in a single, open and spacious bathroom and laundry.

“Originally we had this space for our laundry, which was huge, and then we had this pokey little bathroom”, explains homeowner Nicky.

“By opening the wall between the two areas, an L-Shape space was created, allowing us to make more space for the bathroom and enclose the laundry in a cupboard”, tells the Renovation Consultant.

The next important aspect was safety.

“The previous bathroom had many parts that were dangerous for their son”, says the Renovation Consultant.

The bathroom renovation

These parts included slippery floors and a flimsy glass shower screen. The shower screen was replaced with a shower curtain - both a stylistic choice and one that supported the safety of the client’s son. The original slippery tiles were replaced with slip resistant, artisan tiles, which the Renovation Consultant describes as “beautiful”.

“It was the Renovation Consultant idea not to put any shower screens in there, for the safety of my son”, notes Nicky. “She came up with the idea of having a shower curtain there, which I didn’t even think of doing. It was a great concept. Originally the design idea was to make the bathroom as accessible and safe for my son as possible. Therefore there’s no glass whatsoever in the bathroom, it’s a complete wet area.”

The only thing I had to worry about was going shopping and buying all the pretty things

Gradually, the beige bathroom was transformed into an elegant and functional space. Blue and white became the updated colour scheme, with chandelier lighting adding an immense amount of charm and delicacy. A freestanding bath was brought in and placed under the ceiling chandelier.

“It was imperative for the customer to have a deep freestanding bath and a chandelier over it. Many of the inclusions were sourced from overseas and interstate to keep the theme”, explains the Renovation Consultant.

Attention to detail was crucial in bringing out the French provincial features of the bathroom. Crystal embellishments were added to the shower curtain rings and vanity drawer handles. The style of vanity, tapware and the detailing on the mirror, above the vanity, all enhanced the refinement of the space. The detailing on the silver bathtub legs was the final touch.

The original $70,000 - $75,000 budget range reflected the high-end inclusions involved in this style of bathroom. Once the Renovation Consultant had received final quotes from all of the relevant trades, the exact cost of the renovation was established and presented. After the final quote was presented, and inclusions selected, the final cost of $75,000 fell within the original budget.  

The project took five weeks of work to complete, as originally estimated. However, labour was put on hold for two weeks over the Christmas holidays.

“It was estimated that the renovation would take five weeks but, with Christmas and the New Year occurring between the build, two extra weeks of the non-productive time were added. The build did take five weeks as planned”, adds the Renovation Consultant.

The new bathroom

Come January, the updated bathroom was ready to be used by the family. With a walk-in shower, slip-resistant tiles and a grab bar in place, the final result was a safe space for the client’s son. The process complete, Refresh's clients were left with a design that could be enjoyed for years to come.

“The Renovation Consultant and her team were just so organised. The only thing I had to worry about was going shopping and buying all the pretty things”, laughs Nicky. “It was such a huge job, yet we were only out of action from the end of November through to mid-January.”

“What was created was an extraordinarily beautiful bathroom and laundry”, smiles the Renovation Consultant.

Nicky agrees, describing her thoughts on the final result in just one word: “Beautiful.”


You may also be interested in reading about Refresh's other projects, see: Extending and updating a single-storey 1980s home in Russell Vale, NSW


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