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all in the detail

From Habitat magazine - issue 25

Three stunning bathrooms are meticulously created.

Black and white beauty

Many great colour schemes have been inspired by a 'kick-starter' element. In this case, the owners of this bungalow, Sarah and Peter, fell in love with the bold black and white floor tiles from Bath & Tile. They sought the opinion of interior designer Hayley Brown of Lou Brown Design, who was helping them with their full-house renovation. The tiles inspired her to create this striking high-contrast scheme, which beautifully overlays a fresh contemporary look onto character features.

Black and white bathroom
Black and white bathroom design

Painting the tongue and groove panelling in Resene Half Black White and the wall above in Resene Black gives the room both elegance and drama, while the colour of the panelling offsets the graceful lines of the black 42nd Avenue slipper bath from Newtech.

The second-hand vanity was refurbished in Resene Half Black White, and new Aquatica tapware was added. The black heated towel rail was from Trade Depot, the round mirror from Briscoes and the wall lights from Lighting Direct.

To add a touch of whimsy to the room and to visually break up the height, Hayley added a cluster of suspended tea light holders from SM Interiors – the perfect way to add light and ambiance without having to wire in lighting.

Accessories in soft green and rustic timber soften this monochromatic scheme.

Peaceful approach

This beautifully detailed bathroom proves that you can add plenty of character to a small space without it being overwhelming. All it takes is the careful hand of a good designer and a restful Resene colour palette.

Calming bathroom design

Modern shower

The owners of this home wanted to introduce a European flavour to honour their own background so interior design company Room by Room chose a range of decorative elements to reinforce the look, from ornate tapware, decorative handles, a timber ladder-style towel rail, facetted subway tiles, marble-look floor tiles and wall lights with fabric shades. Resene Quarter Powder Blue adds a gentle, fresh backdrop.

But perhaps the star of the show is the vanity, which is designed to look more like a piece of furniture than a built-in unit. Painted in Resene Half Cougar, it is set on legs with panelled drawer fronts above open shelves. The most unusual aspect is the stepped top (made of Caesarstone), so that the centre of the vanity looks more like an antique dressing table.

The bathroom is used by two daughters, and underneath this middle section of the vanity is a velvet-lined hidden drawer for their make-up. The bathroom was part of a wider renovation. The glassbrick window needed to stay but has been cleverly incorporated into the new scheme.

The two showerheads (a handheld and a rainhead) continue the classic styling theme, while two shampoo niches are lined in a deep turquoise mosaic tile for definition.

The luxe look

Looking for a bit of luxe in their lives, Tony and Rachael Paine were not afraid to be bold when renovating their ensuite. Opting to use a metallic paint on the walls and the vanity unit is certainly left-field thinking.

Luxe bathroom design

They chose the satiny sea-green Resene Obelisk from the Resene Metallics and Special Effects range for the walls… "which look spectacular either day or night. With gorgeous dimmer lights at night, the shimmer on the walls is stunning," says Rachael. The vanity unit from Early Settler was the style they wanted, but its dark timber finish did not fit the vision. So Tony sanded it back, and painted it in Resene Blast Grey 1 metallic for a dark, shimmery finish.

Classic bathroom vanity
Classic bathroom design

The walls above the Resene Alabaster tongue-and-groove panelling of the bungalow were in poor condition so the couple used an anaglypta wallpaper from Resene ColorShops (Anaglypta 2011 RD80029) beneath the paint; its traditional motif adds to the richness of the room.

The couple then found a variety of fittings and fixtures to fit with the opulent theme: a clawfoot bath bought online, an ornate toilet roll holder from the States, a large mirror from local Cambridge store Simply Divine, and white subway tiles for the shower. The floor is also new to the room – recycled rimu to replace the nasty chipboard that lurked beneath the old lino.

Tony and Rachael are thrilled with the result – a luxurious retreat with which to spoil themselves.

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? Available in white and off whites. Use Resene SpaceCote Low Sheen or Resene Lustacryl semi-gloss for darker colours.

Get more decorating ideas for bathrooms at or

design:, design

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