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character call

From Habitat magazine - issue 21

Take a small space and add splashes of personality for a stunning result.

It's a homeowner's dilemma – do you insert a modern bathroom into a character home, or design something more in keeping with the original style?

For Maggie Robertson the answer was clear. It was character all the way... right down to placing a dainty side table beside the free-standing bath, hanging artworks and using a pair of whimsical Venetian glass wall-lights that she had packed away for years.

Classic bathroom vanity
Classic bathroom - bathtub
Vanity: Maggie chose an oak sideboard-style vanity from Mico Bathrooms, because of its Arts and Craft styling. The gilt-framed mirror, Venetian lights and artworks add to the character of the room. The panelling is in Resene Pewter and the walls are in Resene Double Spanish White.  Bathtub: A free-standing bath is joined by a old side table and a rag rug which Maggie describes as a bit of colourful hand-crafted indulgence, bought from Charleston House in East Sussex, England.

Says Maggie: "I wanted a look of faded grandeur but I don't like furniture or accessories that are purposely distressed or aged. I also wanted to be able to hang art and for it to not look out of place."

One artwork is by Otago-based stonemason Marcus Wainwright who specialises in repairing statuary. Sitting above the bath, it is lit from above to highlight the carved relief and set into an impressive layered frame.

The result is a space that looks like any other room, but just happens to include bathroom ware. Even the oak vanity wouldn't look out of place in a living room.

Maggie actually planned and ran the renovation of her 1917 Auckland transitional villa remotely from Wellington before shifting cities, so relied on her builder Kevin Kirkbride, who she describes as a true professional and a craftsman, to make decisions on her behalf and keep her abreast of progress.

The space used to be a bedroom. The architect's layout separated the toilet which left a small bathroom. Kevin suggested the new integrated layout and included a fin wall to tuck the toilet behind and outlined the various components on the floor to demonstrate to Maggie how the layout would work.

The colour scheme of Resene Pewter and Resene Double Spanish White was inspired not only by the existing roman blind on the window but also to integrate with the rest of the house where warm creams and egg-shell blues are used. The trims are Resene Quarter Pearl Lusta.

The tongue-and-groove panelling adds character but also has a practical purpose, hiding any irregularities in the old walls behind.

Did you know… that the Resene Kitchen & Bathroom range combines anti-bacterial silver protection and MoulDefender to minimise unwanted nasties in kitchens, bathrooms and laundries?

Get the look: with Resene SpaceCote Low Sheen (low sheen) or Resene Lustacryl (semi-gloss) tinted to Resene Pewter. Get the look with Resene SpaceCote Low Sheen Kitchen & Bathroom (low sheen) or Resene Lustacryl Kitchen & Bathroom (semi-gloss) tinted to Resene Double Spanish White.

pictures: Mark Heaslip
words: Sharon Newey

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