Desperate for a bathing space that was just for grown-ups in their traditional four-bedroom California bungalow, the owners of this jaw-dropping bathroom wanted to reconfigure an empty room next to their bedroom into an ensuite, to give them a bit of escapism from their large family of five children. Working within the design industry herself, one of the owners had an astute eye for quality design and construction, and both owners also had a clear idea of the contemporary style they wanted to achieve. With these precise objectives in mind, they approached the award-winning interior design company, Minosa Design, who collaborated with Liebke Projects to help them achieve their desire for a space that was remarkable, relaxing and above all, a private retreat.
BATHROOM AT A GLANCE
Who lives here: A professional couple and their combined family of five children from the ages of 10 to 18 – a true Brady bunch!
Location: Clovelly, Sydney, NSW
Size: Approximately 20.5 square metres
“Very rarely are we presented with a space that is free from anything – a space that is a square with good light, a clean slate,” explains Darren Genner, founder of Minosa Design. “From the outset this room was a dream to work with, but it still had its challenges, most notably the difficult access to the space via a narrow staircase, and the fact there was no existing plumbing in the room.”
The homeowners appreciated contemporary design and modern living. With this in mind, the brief included bathing space for two, a large open shower and good task and ambient lighting. Natural materials had to play a starring role in the design, as did a monotone colour palette to achieve the simple yet striking look the couple wanted.
“The approach to the design was to zone the functions,” says Genner. “The toilet is in a separate area away from the bathing space, so the room was set out into three zones: bathing, vanity and hamper storage-cum-seating area.”
With the clients’ desire for a truly show-stopping feature, the designer elevated the bathing zone on a raised platform, which was then clad in elegant ‘Bianco’ Carrara marble from Marble and Ceramic Corp. As the clients had already chosen the dark grey Design Republic tiles early on in the design process, this striking marble was chosen as the natural element to warm up the space while sticking within the monochrome palette.
The marble was then extended up the back wall for added drama, and the edges were mitred to create a block-like feel and extenuate the contrast of materials. The round form of the classic Gubi mirror centred above the bath helps to soften the monochromatic and edgy design.
Gubi round leather mirror: Cult Design; Vola tapware: Dedece; stone freestanding bathtub: Apaiser
“By building up the back wall it allowed us to create recessed niches and also house accent lighting,” says Genner. The raised step also accommodates the night-light which is sensor activated. “Lighting in this space is very measured and layered,” says Genner. “The design allows the room to be bright in the morning or when there is the need to dress up, and it has the ability to tone down so you can rejuvenate and relax.”
To complement the wellness lighting, the designer chose to specify the three-millimetre Gessi showerhead. “Not only does it look sharp, but it has two other roles,” he explains. “Yes it is a rain soaker, but it also has a built-in waterfall option allowing the user a large amount of water when required.” An adjustable shower rail was also specified for complete flexibility.
Shower screen glass: Viridian Glass
With the clients’ wish to have an oversized bench and integrated wash basins, there was a clear decision to separate the bathing and vanity zones. The bespoke scooped wash basins were moulded from a single piece of solid surface to ensure a sleek, uninterrupted flow of benchtop. Above the basins, the dynamic touch-to-open lift-up doors take the doors away from the face, enabling easy access to the abundant storage behind. Below the basins, there are further drawers for extra towels and cleaning products.
Heated towel rail: Avenir
The room lighting comes via the LED uplights that run above the marble wall and above the recessed cabinets. These are also on a dimmer control, so the illumination can be softened when needed.
The designer chose to create a real sense of arrival, as the entry point to this new bathing space is through the wardrobe. The creation of a low, long hamper area with a marble top was designed as practical storage for extra towels or dirty clothes, as well as a seating space to create a spot for conversation or contemplation.
Two sky tubes set above the shower and the bath were created to bathe the space in more natural light, and allow glimpses to the sky to increase the feeling of space.
For Genner and his partner Simona Castagna, founders of Minosa Design, the final result is a clear example of their drive for ‘interior design with a refined balance of aesthetic and technical knowledge.’ The clean, simple monochromatic space is a well-balanced modern triumph that is the perfect place to start the day or unwind in the evening.