The price point of a home can often be determined by the quality of the bathrooms so it’s crucial to get it right from the outset. Changing bathroom features after the fact is far more difficult than changing paint colour or carpet so this means careful planning is an absolute must. This year’s Block contestants were presented with the challenge of their houses’ first bathroom we were given a window into their stylistic sensibilities. “I probably spend more time on my bathroom selections than any other space” says former Block Glasshouse contestant Carlene Duffy, “it’s not like you can paint over it if you get it wrong.”
So, what are the primary considerations to consider when designing and building a bathroom?
The tiles and tiling can be some of the costliest items in a bathroom build, but you can save money and time by just tiling the floor and shower area of the bathroom. Josh and Luke had that idea, and by using Gyprock Aquachek on all the walls they didn’t have to compromise the room’s moisture integrity. This can even create a unique design choice in your bathroom. “A softer surface (like a Gyprock wall) is your opportunity to incorporate some art” says Carlene.
People are starting to incorporate art into spaces they wouldn’t normally have before.
When you hear budget, you probably think of money. And while money is a huge consideration for bathrooms, you should also think about budgeting your space. Whether you’ve got an abundance of space like Mitch and Mark or the smallest bathroom like Kirsty and Jesse, you can still make a luxurious and functional bathroom with either sized space, provided you use it wisely.
Own your choices
Do your interior design instincts lean more bold or neutral? What kind of bathroom will both highlight and compliment your home? These are crucial questions to answer early and honestly in your design journey. All the Block’s best bathrooms have a touch of personality to them, in either the design or the styling. This week’s winners Mitch and Mark chose a bold, rumbled stone pink tile to act as a feature wall, as well as a pop of colour in the bath niche.
Ronnie and Georgia meanwhile when for a far more muted finish “I think keeping it neutral is really clever because it’s about the functionality of the space as well.” Carlene explains, “And you can do neutral. It doesn’t have to be boring.” However, you choose to style your bathroom, do it with conviction and the room itself will share that confidence.
Just because you don’t see the materials underpinning your bathroom, doesn’t mean that they don’t contribute to the sense of luxury you want in your bathroom. Interior designer Jono Fleming’s considerations begin at the wall lining stage. “You’ve got your Ceminseal Wallboard which will help keep everything sealed,” says Jono, “You’ve got Bradford Soundscreen insulation that helps soften noises. You don’t want to be woken up in the morning by a shower if you’re in the next room.” These materials give you peace of mind in both the short and long term.
It can be so difficult to predict where bathroom trends are going and what’s going to date your bathroom in ten years’ time. It’s easy to look at a bathroom from the 1980s and know what’s gone out of style, but it’s unlikely the built designing it back then would have known! “The word trend is fraught with danger,” says Carlene, “You do need to be conscious of employing trends, but it’s the context in which you use them that will end up defining their longevity.”
Josh and Luke’s feedback from the judges suffered with their choice of dark big format tiles, coupled with venetian plaster on both the vanity wall and the ceiling, sentiments echoed by Carlene. “That bathroom is, I feel like it’s something we would have seen a few seasons ago.”
This was not the case with Ronnie and Georgia’s use of the finger, or kit-kat tiling in their bathroom, “Their space feels really sophisticated,” continues Carlene, “I actually think a kit kat tile is a bit of a classic in terms of mosaics.”
Brass fittings in bathrooms are having a major moment but as Jono says, “don’t be so beholden to the rules of the brass or black” when choosing your bathroom fittings “Mixing metals is okay, surprisingly. Just don’t overdo it.” Ensure that when you’re going for that premium end of the market that you have fixings to match. Tanya and Vito found out the hard way about including towel rails rather than hooks, with Shaynna blaze none-too-pleased after a towel dropped on the floor during the judges inspection!
There’s never just one bathroom per house on The Block so we’ll have to wait and see how the various styles and sensibilities of each team frames their bathrooms moving forward.
For more ideas bought to you by CSR Dwelling.