07/23/2024

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I had never done a reno before, but this would be the first of many as my husband and I slowly moved into our 1930s bungalow style home in Sydney.

We started with the bathroom, turning two small bathrooms leaning against each other into a main family bathroom and turning our sunroom (which used to be my home office) into our ensuite.

We made some structural changes that meant taking a slow and steady approach and it ended up taking 3 months to complete, but we are very happy with the results and it was very rewarding to be involved in every decision and see it all come back to life.

In approaching the design and overall look of the space, I maximized my Pinterest and Instagram saves, created an edit of my favorite bathroom styles, found common ground between them, and used those to discuss ideas with my husband.

I really love the bright and airy bathroom with its minimalist but warm, functional flow and layout, matte black faucet and wall-mounted floating vanity and built-in sink. I ruled out drawer storage early on because I couldn’t find anything I liked and custom joinery is very expensive, so decided to put the storage inside the mirror and on a floating shelf under the sink.

After doing a lot of research on built-in sinks, we decided to enlist the help of Concrete Nation, a Gold Coast company that makes sinks and basins, as well as everything for bathrooms and kitchens, out of concrete and can also create custom designs in many different color ways. Obviously white concrete was my choice and I love them so much. The concrete finishes are soft and smooth and at first glance you wouldn’t even know they were concrete.

I really want these to be statement pieces in our bathroom, they are so seamless and beautiful. For our suite, I just went with a large single sink design and then we did mostly a double sink, but with the same depth dimensions. I also found some perfectly matched matte white waste plugs. You know you are in the refurbishment phase when you are excited about the plugs.

Even more painful is the French plaster rendering we have on the walls. Instead of tile, I fell in love with this seamless travertine render finish, which, like traditional French Tadelakt, has natural bumpy and glossy areas. There are many options on the market to create this look, Venetian plaster, micro-cement, etc. We ended up choosing French stucco as a local supplier was able to deliver the results, but unfortunately, in general, this type of product and finish is still very new in Australia, it is not a seamless experience and is also very expensive. The first round tried to perform it to cover with a thin line of cracks, the second round, although good 99%, still had some minor quirks. You can’t use it in the shower either, so we tiled that area and after the stress of doing it in the ensuite first, we decided to tile the entire master bathroom.

Overall, as pretty as it is, I love using it in our smaller bathroom space, but probably wouldn’t recommend it. However, we do like our tile choices!

We landed on the wall tiles because we tried to match them to the stucco, so from a distance they have a similar vibe. What we really like is our natural travertine floor tiles in a French pattern. When I’m in the bathroom, I want to feel it on vacation, and these definitely give the space that feel. We chose an unfilled option so they were nice and each unique matte, nothing was too perfect.

Another big love I have for the bathroom is the abundance of natural light. This was easy to create in our suite, as it was formerly a daylight room with lots and lots of light. But for our master bathroom, which is located in the darkest part of the house, we used a skylight to create light and it was seriously life changing.

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