Founders Lane Masthead
bath

Want to peek in Amanda’s bathroom?

Amanda Whitley

After 15 years of renovating, across two houses, we are finally done.

Well, until Mr HerCanberra decides there’s something else he wants to do with the place. Or wants to build somewhere else from scratch. Whichever comes first. Until then, I’m relishing the fact that we have a pretty perfect place to live.

As realestate.com.au shared last year, we bought our current home as a deceased estate a little over 11 years ago. I was six-months pregnant at the time and had just (after a few years of blood, sweat and tears) got the house we were living in exactly the way I wanted it—and then Drew saw this place and threw a huge spanner in the works, because we realised this had the potential to be our ‘forever home’.

When I say the house was “very original”, I’m not exaggerating. Before we even got on to the ‘sexy’ stuff, we had to throw a whole heap of money at things like new carpet (to replace the three different old kinds), rewiring, and a new roof. Then we tackled everything else in order of priority—i.e. when we either (a) saved enough money, or (b) the room in question became so run down that we had no choice but to do it.

Such was the case with the last piece of the puzzle—our main bathroom and toilet. We hadn’t planned on renovating these for another few years, but when paint literally started flaking off the walls and damp began to creep through to Sophia’s room, we realised we couldn’t put it off any longer.

BEFORE

This is what the bathroom looked like when we bought the place. Now imagine another decade without any maintenance and you get the picture.

original

The toilet/powder room was much the same. Ably assisted by our lovely friend Nicola of YOLK, the renovation goal was to achieve something classic and minimalist that would age well (because we didn’t want to be doing this all over again in a few years time!) and would see our two girls through their teenage years.

…AND AFTER

bath

For both rooms, we chose dark grey tiles for the floor and white satin subway tiles, the latter featuring a light grey grout rather than the black that has been in vogue the past few years—we wanted to avoid anything that would date.

Timber accents—a floating shelf above the bath and shadow lines on the custom-built vanity—warm the monochromatic space, and is a material we feature in accessories to soften the hard lines. We chucked in some bright Missoni towels and some succulents (the only plants I don’t kill) and I think the result is pretty gorgeous.

THE DETAILS

Our tiles are from Rivoland and all the bathroom fittings and fixtures came from Canberra’s Southern Innovations—they’d been our suppliers seven years ago when we did the kitchen and ensuite, and Mr HerCanberra (who likes a bit of matchy-matchy) wanted some design consistency throughout the house. Not to mention they’d always been incredibly helpful and knowledgeable and worked seamlessly with our builders, Brother Projects.

A small digression: one of the lovely lads from Brother is a bit handy and creative—he’d found a newspaper clipping from 1958 under the floorboards when pulling them up, and placed it in a frame he’d built using recycled wood from the rafters. He presented to us on his last day on the job and we were so touched—it spoke volumes about Brother’s culture. I mean, who does that?! So sweet.

But back to the bathroom. For the tapware, we chose Grohe Eurostyle in chrome—I was keen on matte black (Southern’s rose gold numbers were pretty gorgeous, too) but Mr HC sagely counselled that we were looking for longevity. I still have a bit of hankering for the black, but our chosen tapware is simple and elegant: for the bath spout, we went with the Argent Essential Square and the towel and hand towel rails are Avenir Beyond.

bathroom-wide

When it came to the vanity, we wanted to essentially have two decent bits of bench space, as this bathroom is predominantly used by our two daughters (and the eldest is beginning to spend a ridiculous amount of time in it doing her hair—Lord help us when she starts wearing makeup). So it made sense that they both had their own territory, so to speak.

As it’s not a huge space, we chose the Parisi Quasar Semi Recessed Basin which allowed us to have a full-depth sink, but set the rest of the unit back. The Neko Solace Mirror Door Shaving Cabinet provides a good amount of storage while serving up enough mirror space for the times it has to accommodate two tween girls and their mother when someone (not mentioning any names) is showering in the ensuite and has fogged up the mirror so badly that said mother can’t apply her makeup or fire up the GHD. Ahem.

shower

In the shower, we went super simple. I know the fashion is to have a huge shower rose, or complicated rails and hand-held shower heads, but we figured—given we literally have to drag Miss 11 out of the cubicle after about 20 minutes of showering—we didn’t need to give her any more excuses to hang around for even longer. We chose the Hansgrohe Croma 160 1 Jet Overhead Shower and continued with the Grohe Eurostyle.

THE POWDER ROOM (AKA THE LOO)

powder-room-2

So I don’t have any before pics of this one, but trust me—it was just your average loo in the same tiles etc as the original bathroom, with an au naturel ‘open’ pane in the window which was no doubt designed for airing odours but really only succeeded in being delightfully freezing in winter.

I’m actually super happy with how this little room turned out. It’s long and narrow, so continuing the floor tiles up and over the Geberit Sigma 8 Concealed Cistern makes it almost look like a built-in backing wall to the Vitra Matrix Back Inlet Pan with Soft Close Seat. The Geberit Sigma 50, Dual-Flush Push Plate in Smoked Reflective Glass is the perfect minimalist finish.

Because it’s not a wide space, we opted for a custom floating shelf to anchor our Parisi Box 270 Wall Basin—slim enough to allow the door to close and easy passage, but wide enough to actually wash your hands in. We stayed with the Grohe Eurostyle suite, selecting the Cosmopolitan Basin Mixer and again chose Avenir Beyond for the Toilet Roll Holder and Hand Towel Rail.

We found the large round copper mirror on sale at The Block Shop and it just brings everything together, softening the angular lines and tying in with the towels’ colour palette. I honestly couldn’t be happier with the results. The best part? I reckon we won’t have to update it for at least another decade or two.

HAVE THE RENOVATING BUG?

Excellent timing! This Friday 21 and Saturday 22 October, it’s the Southern Innovations Two Day Carpark Sale and everything is reduced—excess stock, ex-display stock and unclaimed orders, and most of it at cost price or below.

Pop along for great deals on all plumbing, bathroom, kitchen and laundry products, including appliances, toilets, vanities, tapware, basins, shower, mirrors, heated towel rails, kitchen mixers, hot water heaters, water storage and much more.

Don’t be put off by the rain, the carpark is fully covered!

Cash and credit cards only. Two days only. Only at 21 Lyell Street, Fyshwick.

Find out more at southerninnovations.com.au.

This is a sponsored post presented in partnership with Southern Innovations.

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Amanda Whitley

Amanda Whitley is the founder and director of HerCanberra. In her 'spare time', she instructs zumba, loves to cook (and eat), and wrangles two gorgeous little girls. She's done everything from present the tv news to operate a stop and go sign and is passionate about connecting Canberra women. More about the Author