Who Lives Here: Diana & Brendan
Location: Bayswater North, Victoria
Timeframe: 4 Weeks
Moving in 3 years ago, nothing had been done. It was still raw, with the original 1980’s build – everything was brown!
The bathroom was deteriorated, the shower was leaking and dirty; this renovation needed to be done. Eventually, when we saved enough money, we made it happen.
We chose the look of this bathroom because we thought it was more modern, more contemporary and we also think it’s quite timeless as we haven’t included any features that will date quickly. Being a smaller space, we decided to go very simple and use a colour palette that complements our tastes as well as the room.
Pinterest was definitely a major contributor to our design process – seeing what other bathrooms look like and getting inspiration from other renovations.
We’re also fans of The Block and grabbed inspiration from there, but we also learned a lot of what not to do from them as well.
The fact that we extensively planned for this process worked in our favour. We downloaded an app which allows you to make room layouts and play around with the space. We tried moving things around to see if it worked but stayed with the original layout and just changed a few features within.
We planned for the millimetre – measured, measured and re-measured.
If we wanted an item we would measure the product and make sure that we’d cover all areas of it just so we didn’t run into any unforeseen problems that could arise. What drove us to be so specific with measurements was functionality because we’re both ones to hate something that doesn’t work.
So as much as it looks great, it also really works too.
We had a 3-week plan and it went out to 4 because we did run into a complication. The leaky shower raised a lot of problems for us that we didn’t expect. Whoever built the bathroom originally did a very sloppy job. Our process was extended because we had to pull apart the flooring and gut out the bathroom which led to more carpentry work than expected as there was no other choice but to get the flooring fixed professionally. Those were the type of delays that hit us. It was unfortunate because this had a domino affect to our process. It delayed our tiler for a week and as a result, delayed the overall process a week while we dealt with the unforeseen problem.
That was the only hurdle, the pre-existing damage we uncovered in the 30 year old bathroom.
With products, we ordered them months before we were doing the actual renovation. We made sure that the items were in stock and could be delivered by a certain date because we had our start date and wanted to make the process as seamless as possible. The minor things that we did have to wait on didn’t make a huge difference with us using the bathroom.
In terms of hidden surprises and costs, there really wasn’t any aside from the shower. Because we thought about all those little details that you must consider we were able to stick to budget. Regarding our trades, they were all quoted prices, so we knew exactly what we were paying for. All the rest of the renovation was done by us or friends and family who have trade skills so it really helped with our budget as well.
What could have easily gone wrong, was when we installed the vanity and making sure all the measurements worked together to get the most out of bathroom experience. It’s also crucial to factor in where the water will hit in the basin from the spout.
These things could have easily gone wrong and it would have been a major issue for us but we took our time getting things together.
The boldest I decision made throughout the whole process was when I didn’t ask Diana if she wanted all the tapware measurements to be the same. Risky move to not get approval first. Otherwise everything had been thought out.
We selected really simple items. In terms of styling, we included different colour accents and we can easily remove it or change it up with time. The only nervous period is choosing your tiles and not knowing what the end result will look like. You hope it will work out but you just don’t know until you see it. Luckily, it really paid off for us!
In terms of adjustments, we’re happy with everything. To the point where we didn’t install the heated towel rail for a while, whilst we made sure that the positioning was exactly right. If we were to be picky, looking back now I wish I installed a steel grate instead of a tile drain – but that was a very minor issue! It’s only afterward that you sit and go, ‘I would have preferred that’. We wouldn’t change anything though, maybe the style in a few years’ time!
We love that we got the timber-top vanity because it breaks up the colour palette of the space and brings in a bit of texture as well.
We can’t go past the functionality either. The showerhead is also amazing. Brendan uses the rain shower and I use the hose – it’s always changing!
For me (Diana) it’s amazing having a good bath now. Our old bath was very shallow and wasn’t inviting whatsoever. Whereas now, this bath is deep and has storage on the sides which is a great feature and a reason why we chose this particular bath. It’s a freestanding but also flush against the wall which means we don’t have any of the issues with dust accumulating.
If you’re thinking of renovating your bathroom, plan, but also consider when you want to start and then start planning 6-9 months beforehand. Getting in early is crucial. Start going to bathroom shops and suppliers and work with these companies to figure out what items you want and consider that you have to order them and might need to wait. If they are out of stock, you need to consider when it will come back in and whether it will work with your timeline, and if not, will you go for something else.
Fontaine Industries was the only company that had the exact measurements for our mirror cabinet dimensions. When we first purchased all our bathroom products, at that time they were out of stock of the cabinet, so this is why it's crucial to work with suppliers and to start planning every detail months in advance; just so you can be sure you have everything you need by a certain date.
Speak to people who have renovated before. Hearing issues they may of had is important and you can work to avoid having the same experiences.
Don’t over capitalise.
We considered the black tapware trend but it wouldn’t complement the current location and wouldn’t suit the overall look we are going for. So we think it's more important to go with what you like and what's going to suit the house than focusing on trends.
If we could give any advise to anyone renovating, or thinking about renovating, is: be intrusive to your trades. Get involved with them and see what they’re doing to your room. They might make decisions that would benefit them, but you may not like the finished look, so it might take them a bit of extra work, but it’s worth it for the peace of mind you get for your investment.
We've had nothing but rave reviews for our transformation. Our family and friends love it. We haven’t met anyone that’s come in and didn’t like it. Even some of the neighbours (because we’re in a unit block) have come in and are in awe of the transformation because they’ve got the same bathroom from the 80’s.
What gets us going is seeing that end result – that transformation.
That really motivates us to keep going and do it right because that difference is just huge. Now we’ve got the kitchen to renovate!
Watch Diana & Brendan's project highlights below!
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