We’ve just finished our breezy beach-side bathroom reno, so I thought it would be a great time to talk through a few things to think about when designing wet areas. Here are my top five design tips -
1. Work With What You Have
When you’re planning any renovation, it’s important to consider the era and location of your home when making style choices.
Our house is an old federation style weatherboard which was built in 1930 and is now almost 90 years old. The beach is at the end of our street and there are plenty of beautiful character features to love, however as you can see by the ‘Before’ image below, like most old homes, there were were plenty of areas in great need of love when we moved in, including this one.
To honour the heritage and location of this house, when re-designing this space, I wanted to give a nod to the period of the home in a contemporary way and inject some relaxed beach-side style, making it a refreshing sanctuary to wash off the salt and sand after our frequent beach visits.
This room is also quite small and at times has limited natural light - by opting for a light colour palette it feels SO much bigger and maximises every ray of natural light throughout the day. Selecting a classic herringbone splash back in a finger sized tile by Tile Cloud, opting to lay white subways in a contemporary vertical pattern in the shower recess and introducing brass tap ware by Meir offers some wow factor and another contemporary nod to the period in which this home was built.
2. Go For Neutral Timeless Selections
I don’t know about you but I am fickle when it comes to style selections, often influenced by merging new and traditional looks and trends, depending on the season and latest design imagery popping up in my feed. So, this very neutral white-on-white colour palette with timber cabinetry is perfect, as it offers a neutral timelessness that I can’t see myself tiring of.
Less is so often more and if you choose one hero feature - in this case, the tap ware - you can pair everything else back for a beautiful refined look. By using a light colour palette of white-on-white and focusing on tile pattern texture and timber to bring interest (rather than bursts of colour), the final space has those casual refined breezy beach-side feels while remaining nice and neutral. This neutral palette will allow anyone to make this space their own - hopefully adding to re-sale value down the track.
3. Think About How You Use The Space
When designing any space it’s important to consider exactly how you plan to use it and cater to your needs accordingly.
As a family of five we need maximum storage (who doesn’t?!) so I went for two banks of large push open Nordic Oak Polytech Woodmatt drawers by PS Chester Cabinetry to store bathroom accessories and towels. I love the simple streamlined minimalist aesthetic of push open drawers and the way they offer an in-built child proof opening. This feature has been such a game changer, allowing space to hide everything out of sight, away from little toddler hands. Wilby is yet to figure out how to open them. Winning!
I know some of you will find this controversial BUT I went for one sink instead of two in exchange for some serious bench space. In my mind, that’s one less sink to clean and plenty of space for hair straighteners and makeup, getting ready in the morning. The bench top is Caesar Stone Nougat by Geraldton Granite Construction - a beautiful terrazzo look to inject some 2019 style and to promote a relaxed indoor-outdoor vibe.
It’s hard to give you an idea of scale in photos but this room has really high ceilings and that beautiful arched Bjorn Mirror sourced from Granite Lane is HUGE - the top is well above my head height when I stand in front of it. I was planning to hang it above the sink, however given it’s size, I fell in love with it simply leaning on the bench, so that’s where I’ve decided it will stay.
4. Layout is King
The right layout can make or break your bathroom reno/build so make sure you take enough time to consider the best option for the space you have to work with. Consider how you use the space and if you’re including a toilet in your design, make sure it is hidden out of sight when you enter the space.
For this particular room, I didn’t change too much about the layout as it already worked well and the room is small, so there weren’t any practical alternative options.
5. Research Your Trades
Even the best made design plans can end in disaster if you hire the wrong trades, so make sure you do your research. Word of mouth from friends and family in your local area goes a long way and viewing existing examples of trade workmanship is even better. Do not use a trade without at least one positive referral from someone you trust. If you’ve found one great trade that you trust - like a plumber for example - ask them to refer you to other complimenting trades they work with like a tiler and a glazier.
Feeling overwhelmed? Get some professional design help and advice - your investment in the planning stage can pay for itself a few times over by avoiding costly mistakes in the installation phase. We offer wet area product selection service to bring your preferred look to life in a beautiful digital concept before you start the installation process. You can check out some of our portfolio here - email email@example.com for more information.
Trades and product suppliers for this project, listed at the bottom of this post.
realestate image of the bathroom when we bought the house:
Tiler - Terry McGuiness
Plumbing - ASA Plumbing
Cabinetry & Shower Screen - PS Chesters
Bech top - Geraldton Granite Construction
Tapware - Meir Australia
Mirror - Granite Lane
Hanging Planter - Succulent Kiss
Tiles - Tile Cloud & Geraldton Ceramic