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All that glitters

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Period mouldings, mosaic tiles and a 160-year-old chandelier set an opulent scene

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According to Coco Chanel, doyenne of French fashion for many years, luxury must be comfortable, otherwise it is not luxury at all. In other words, it's the combination of both the form and functionality of a design.

This opulent-looking bathroom forms part of an Italianate villa redesigned by architect Nicholas Murray. Accessed from a central hallway in the front section of the house, it features many details that were painstakingly replicated from the original, heritage-protected structure.

"The front four rooms, which include this bathroom, were little more than a shell when we began designing the renovations," says the architect. "It was restored in a manner consistent with the original, yet with fittings and fixtures that ensure comfort and luxury. The rear of the house and the upstairs areas are, however, completely contemporary."

Detailed crown mouldings and skirting boards, similar to those of the original structure, adorn the room. Suspended in the centre is an obvious focal point – a 160-year-old French chandelier, one of two sourced by the homeowners. For additional lighting, small recessed downlights were subtly placed in the corners of the room.

Underneath the chandelier, the room's ambient light is picked up and reflected by a free standing wall covered with green-gold Bisazza mosaic tiles. The wall has a functional purpose as well as a decorative one, separating the deep bath from the shower. Large, square grey tiles cover the floor and the wall adjacent to the shower, providing a quiet background to the dazzling mosaics.

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From the bath, the view is orientated through a shuttered window to the water feature that separates the traditional part of the home from the modern. The wall-hung vanity, which sits neatly above the skirting board and underneath the large mirror, features materials, such as Calacutta marble and a veneer of ristretto wood, that are used in other areas of the house. An extra wide counter-top wash basin complements the vanity's proportions.

First published date: 22 June 2007

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Credit List

Architect Nicholas Murray, RAIA (Melbourne, Vic)
Vanity Ristretto veneer and marble top from Ana Cabinets
Shutters Inside Edge
Bath Centroform by Kaldewai
Basin Zero from Rogerseller
Taps Logic from Rogerseller
Tiles Smoky grey floor tiles and Bisazza green-gold mosaic tiles from City Tiler
Lighting Chandelier by Byonner