Friday, February 10, 2012

Bathroom Renovations ~ Don't be daring get a designer!

Photo via OnHomeDesign

A bathroom renovation is one of the most complex renovations a home owner can undertake.

It may seem straightforward and in some occasions it can be, however I would never recommend endeavoring a bathroom renovation without a professional in tow, this especially in an apartment  building where there is any possibility of water damage to the apartment below! 

We all dream of a Spa like experience, we have 'pinned' images and saved magazine cut outs, we know what we want!  But how do we turn this dream bathroom into a reality.

It is normal to feel overwhelmed and to have many questions. Where do we start? How much will it cost? How LONG will it take? These are a few of the questions that we need to know the answers to. 
An experienced designer will have the answers to these questions and more.

I always start the process with a comprehensive survey of the existing bathroom/space,  preferably together with a trusted contractor. Plans of existing space will then be drawn up. Note that even if blue prints are available, without a survey there is no telling if over the years these original plans have been altered.
The contractor is there to make initial investigations together with the designer. Looking for items such as the positioning of the supply and drainage of water, existing sub floors and positioning of beams within the floor. Actual ceiling height, insulation, ducting, vents etc..

After taking all these findings into consideration, the designer will have a meeting with the client to discuss the design, timeline and budget. With all that information in hand  the designer works on several layouts making sure that what is offered is feasible.
A comprehensive lighting plan is key, working in task lighting for makeup and shaving and ambient lighting for relaxation. Careful selection of light fixtures will also enhance the design aesthetic. 

The chandelier creates elegance & atmosphere. Source Clive Christian

The materials selection may be the fun part, but it is a crucial part.

Floors need to be durable but at the same time soft on the eye and warm on the feet. Tile or stone floors are a great choice for high traffic bathrooms, consider under floor heating for comfort. Love wood? Go for engineered wood with underfloor heating, stable and durable, looks warm and works both in contemporary and traditional settings alike. Some other options are vinyl, cork or bamboo.
{Sub floors, drop ceilings and walls need to be clad in moisture resistant ply or gypsum boards, with insulation installed in between as a sound and temperature barrier}. And adequate venting provided to avoid moisture which can lead to mold.

There are many choices for walls applications, in certain areas a waterproof surface is required, in a shower stall or behind a sink or bath. However in other areas of the room paint, wallpaper, mirror or natural materials such as wood is a great opportunity to bring in color and texture.

Product source Filmore Clark

For a comfortable shower, a minimum width of 800mm is advised, for me ideally 1200mm. Many more clients are requesting showers for two people, walk through showers with various shower heads and sprays, colored led lighting and showers with built in seating.

Tip~Include a source of music for an invigorating start to the day.

Source K&B Faucets

Image via Freshome  

The bath can be the main focal point of a bathroom. As seen in the first image above, this circular Jacuzzi tub has great wow factor and Spa feeling. Did you notice the walk through shower behind the timber wall?
Stand alone contemporary baths are very popular and for the more traditional design enthusiast claw feet tubs are a great feature.

Tip~ Opt for a heated towel rail.

When it comes to water closets I would rather take the discreet approach, a good option would be to have separate room. If this not possible, clever positioning and use of partitions  can offer some privacy. My choice of WC would be a simple wall hung type with an external tank, this choice makes it easy to clean under and around and takes up little space.

Designed by Thomas O'Brian
The vanity needs to meet high expectations, it needs to have a wow factor, irregardless of style or size. This beautifully crafted tradional one with white marble counter tops, under mounted sink and nickle faucets has been and continues to be very popular. In smaller bathrooms or powder rooms wall hung or pedestal sinks are a great option.

Tip: TV's hidden behind vanity mirrors are great for morning news and long baths.

It is impossible to cover every single step or item involved in renovating a bathroom on a blog post. There are entire books dedicated to the design and installation of bathrooms and I hope to have provided at least some insight!

Renovating your bathroom or any room is a great chance to be GREEN . Ask your designer how and where you can incorporate sustainable products, whether it is installing extra insulation or using wood from renewable sources.

Have a great weekend!

For further information or to hire Dionne Designs for your bathroom renovation email

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  1. Love the christian's feel + chandelier! mmm. wood floors and music in the shower. super ideas.

  2. can enhance the bath and shower area with phenomenal glass mosaics, tile and stone.

  3. The design is really amazing pretty cold in eyes and look very comfortable.I like that design if ever i will do Bathroom renovation.Cool.


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