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outside in

From Habitat magazine - issue 11

Bringing outside elements inside makes this bach bathroom an unconventional and interesting place to be.

Bach bathrrom

If you’re keen to include something a little quirky or unexpected into your new home or renovation, the bathroom is a great place to do it. You can be experimental and creative with colours, materials and textures without the fear of making a major mistake.

And the bathroom in a bach is an even better place to let go of traditional constraints. That was the view of Marg and Dave Kennedy when building their three-bedroom holiday home in the Martinborough wine district. The couple worked closely with designer Darren Hunter from Hunter Design Studio and Dave’s company, KBL Builders, carried out the construction.

Together they decided on a relaxed, simple feel that incorporated a range of textures and the unconventional use of certain materials. For example, mini Zincalume lines the bedroom ceilings, and the living room features black Onduline with varnished custom wood throughout for visual interest and durability. “We designed this house with entertaining and holidaying in mind,” says Marg.

Bach bathrrom
Bath: A bath big enough for two was a strict requirement. Mirror frame: To accentuate the outdoor feel, the mirror frame, painted Resene White, resembles an exterior window. Walls: Linea weatherboard. Get the look with Resene SpaceCote Low Sheen (walls), tinted to Resene Stonewall, and Resene Lustacryl (trims and joinery) tinted to Resene White.

“We wanted it to be relaxed and to be able to take the knocks.”

The bathroom has the same casual atmosphere, with a surprising mix of the rustic and the modern. And there’s a twist – users have the subtle impression of being in an outside room.

The interior walls are finished in Linea weatherboard, a durable fibre cement cladding more commonly used on a home’s exterior. The result is a traditional bach feel that adds interest to the design. To enhance the outdoor feeling, simple exterior downlights illuminate the space. Dave added a personal touch of his own with a mirror surround, painted Resene White, that resembles an external window frame and complements the horizontal window at the foot of the bath.

Beneath the mirror is another custom piece designed and made by Dave – a vanity unit made of a plywood carcass with a warm-coloured kwila top, on which sits a modern Kohler hand basin and a clean-lined chrome tap.

Towel hooks
Bathroom vanity
Towel hooks: These wrought iron towel hooks and the shelves add personality to the room. Vanity: The plywood vanity was custom-made by the owner, and sports a Kohler basin. Vanity: plywood carcass with kwila top. Hand basin, from Kohler. Toilet, from Caroma. Taps, from Methven.

Adding to the carefree mix of materials and styles is a more ornate wrought iron shelving unit and matching towel hook. “We didn’t really want a particular style for this bathroom. We liked the wrought iron and it gives the room a bit of personality. By contrast, we wanted the taps and light fittings to be simple and almost fade into the background,” explains Marg.

Complementing the tones of the Resene Stonewall walls, the easy-care vinyl on the floor has a pebble pattern that adds another element of texture to the space.

The only must-have element in the bathroom, says Marg, was a bath big enough for two. Its durable timber surround ties in with the vanity unit.

“The top window was placed at such a height so that when you’re sitting in the bath looking through it, you can see the trees and the stars, which just adds to the whole feeling of being outside,” says Marg.

“Darren is such a talented designer and so much fun to work with. It was a great experience having the freedom to do something that wasn’t mainstream. That made it a really enjoyable project.”

Did you know? Resene SpaceCote Low Sheen Kitchen & Bathroom combines anti-bacterial silver protection and MoulDefender mould inhibitor, perfect for minimising unwanted nasties in kitchens, bathrooms and laundries.

Accessories: Lights, from Lighting Plus. Heated towel rail, from Heirloom. Wrought iron shelves, from Acquisitions, Westfield Queensgate, Lower Hutt. Designer: Darren Hunter, Hunter Design Studio, Paraparaumu. Builders: KBL Builders.

Words: Deirdre Coleman
Pictures: Nicola Edmonds

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