Fontaine In Focus - Stephanie Salinas

How would you describe your bathroom style?

I've opted for a classic and traditional monochromatic theme with a clean and modern finish. 


Why did you choose this style for your bathroom? Were you inspired by anything?

I chose this style for the bathroom as the renovations were taking place in an older style traditional weatherboard house. I thought it would be a good opportunity to maintain a more classic styling to fit in with the feel of the high ceilings, trusses and old floor boards in the house. I spent a lot of time browsing the Houzz app to create a bit of a design theme.


Did you design this bathroom for yourself or on behalf of a client?

I designed this bathroom for my own property with the intention that the style could be made to feel more modern should I chose to tenant the house in the future. I guess I designed it with both functionality but also my own love for classic styling.


What was the purpose of the renovation?

To update a very old, tired and not very functional aspect of the house with the overall intent of increasing the property’s value as a future rental property. This was a fully stripped back renovation, with even new walls being required. The main limitation was the small space available and secondly to keep costs down, where possible plumbing was kept in the same locations which provided some limitations.


Were there any problems you had to overcome? If so, how did you solve them?

The main unexpected issue was that the walls were not straight which would cause issues for the tiling. A carpenter was bought in to straighten the beams for the new plaster. An unexpected cost however they were also able to check in the base of the shower while they were there which prevent a future hold up as I was unaware that they needed to be fixed into the walls before then! The second issue was the rot identified beneath the old shower base and also under the old vanity, this was easily rectified via the use of blue tongue and water proofing agent as I knew tiles were going to cover the floor.


Were there any surprises/hidden costs that you weren’t aware of?

As mentioned, the cost of straightening the walls and checking in the shower base was unexpected. Most other costs had been anticipated.


How long did the whole process take?

The entire process took about two and a half weeks. The main time contributor was the days required in between trades, such days required for waterproofing and then plaster to dry, then tiles to set and paint to dry. They can add a few days onto your renovation so you need to be wary to book your trades in appropriately.


Did you make any bold decisions that you’re happy with now?

The classic black and white dot tile!! I was worried they would be to “old and conservative” and too dated, however when balanced with the modern style of the subway tiles, the Harper bath and modern silver tapware they are now my favourite part of the room.


Is there an element that is surprisingly functional now you are using the space?

The floating vanity has allowed for an additional functional cavity beneath it, for say towels or a clothes basket without making the overall space look too small. I have gotten quite a bit of use from by bringing in some classic baskets which sit beneath the vanity and compliment the décor.


What’s your favourite feature of the finished room?

The tiles!! Or the combination of the beautiful Harper Bath on the classic tiles!


Are there any further adjustments you’d like to make?

I’d like to be able to have a dimmed pendant light in the room however due to the ceiling height this is not possible under the safety standards for home electrical connections in wet spaces.


If you have your chance again would you change anything? What would you do differently?

I would have included the mirror cabinet checked into the wall when the plastering work was being undertaken.


How has your family/friends reacted to your new bathroom?

I’ve not had a bad comment to date! In fact I have had a few requests to come and soak in the bath when I’ve been out of town which I’ve happily obliged.


Do you have any tips for our readers?

Plan plan plan!! Start planning way ahead of when you intend to begin and research all your ideas big and small. Somewhere someone has tried something similar and you can learn from their mistakes. Also, ask questions! When shopping for products ask about installation challenges and limitations, when trades quote ask as many questions as you can about the job and also how their work may interact with another trades. And always make provisions for unexpected costs and hidden surprises, this will keep stress levels down should something pop up mid renovations as you will feel better prepared.


Did you enjoy the experience? Would you do it again?

Yes, it was a fantastic experience to learn about all the secret little details that keep your house functional and comfortable. I have since updated the laundry and toilet to match the bathroom styling and I will be starting to plan the kitchen renovation next!

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