Refresh completely overhauled these bathrooms and created a brightly lit and modern space.
WORDS Persephone Nicholas
When Gerringong couple Mark and Meryl Knox called in Refresh Renovations Illawarra they had a big home improvement project in mind. They wanted to renovate two large bathrooms, a toilet, an ensuite and a laundry and they needed most of the work completed before a big get together for interstate guests who would be staying at the home.
The existing bathrooms, toilet, ensuite and laundry were dark, cramped and more than ready for an update. The renovation specialist also noticed that the laundry did not make good use of space and that there was no toilet in the ensuite. Mark explained that they had previously asked several builders if it would be possible to add a toilet to the room, but had been advised it couldn’t be done.
Refresh used their 3D graphics programme to show us exactly what the end result would look like
Wet area bathroom designs
Looking back on her first visit to the home, the renovation specialist says renovating multiple wet areas at the same time made sense.
‘Doing multiple wet areas was advantageous; whether they were disconnecting, roughing in or fitting out, the trades could make one visit and deal with that part of the job in every area. It was more efficient and there were cost advantages too.’
She says they used Spapanel, a strong, marine grade ply with a laminate finish, for the wet areas to create a first-class finish in less time and at a lower overall cost than using tiles.
Carrying out the bathroom renovation
‘Meryl and Mark originally wanted floor to ceiling tiles, but I took them to the Spapanel showroom and they instantly fell in love with the product and choice of colours and finishes available. There’s no need for waterproofing behind Spapanel, which means you can do most of a bathroom in a day and installation and labour costs are lower.’
With the wall finish chosen, the renovation specialist says she and her builder were determined to find a way to add a toilet to the ensuite.
‘When we heard that other builders had said it was impossible, we took it as a challenge. We managed to steal some space from the laundry that adjoined the ensuite and create space for the toilet that way. The original laundry was so poorly designed that we could reconfigure it and create more storage than there was previously, even after we’d stolen the space for the ensuite.’
With so many new wet areas to create, it was important to maintain a consistent look throughout. The colour palette of pale grey and white helped create a cool contemporary feel; the Spapanel walls contrasting with the oversize CIBO porcelain vanity top and freestanding Caroma Aura back-to-wall bath in the main bathroom. The other bathrooms continue the theme and all feature contemporary chrome tapware from Akemi combined with smaller accessories from Phoenix.
The laundry too reflects the couple’s understated aesthetic but is more functional now the renovation specialist has worked her magic. There’s a large sink, plenty of benchtop space and a generous amount of storage as well as a new washing machine and dryer.
‘The new laundry layout is much more functional,’ says the renovation specialist. ‘It actually seems bigger than before, even though it’s smaller, simply because we’ve made better use of the space.’
The new, modern bathroom
With the renovation complete, Mark says he loves showing off his new bathrooms and that working with Refresh Renovations took the stress out of the project.
‘Builders often ask you to ‘picture this’ or ‘picture that’ and sometimes it’s a struggle. But Refresh used their 3D graphics programme to show us exactly what the end result would look like. It gave us some peace of mind and made Meryl happy – and that made me happy too.’
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