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A monochromatic colour scheme cools this sun-drenched ensuite

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A bathroom should feel comfortable, airy and fresh, but in remodelling situations the original design can often limit future potential.

However, as this bathroom shows, blending complementary materials with functional design can create the desired aesthetics in your bathroom, regardless of its current size or shape.

Stepping into this ensuite, it's hard to imagine the space was once a bathroom and a dressing room. Designer Rachel Barnes says there were numerous practical considerations during the project's planning phase, not the least being how to overcome unsightly angles.

"The toilet and bathroom were in predetermined positions due to existing plumbing. There were no existing linings when we knocked the wall down, and we needed to relocate all services. There were many sharp angles within the space and the door opened to a view of the toilet.

"To improve first appearances when entering the bathroom, the door was swapped on its hinges – providing a lengthways bathroom view. The toilet cistern was concealed to create more space."

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However, Barnes says the spa bath represents the most important space resolution.

"The room jutted out at awkward angles, so we created a curved tub surround to soften the look. Fitting the double shower and spa bath were high priorities for the owner."

North facing, with windows above the bath, the room attracts sunlight and it was therefore crucial to use a cooling colour scheme.

Fully customised in glass panels, the dark mosaic tiled showers are designed to blend in with the bathroom's other features – creating an overall design flow to soften the angles.

"The materials we used are intended to give the look of a flush wall," says Barnes.

"We also mounted the two basins in a granite-clad plinth designed to match the tiled floor. The plinth incorporates recessed mirror-front cabinets for practical application."

First published date: 22 June 2007

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Credit List

Designer Ingrid Geldof and Rachel Barnes, Ingrid Geldof Design (Christchurch)
Project manager Lindsay Robinson
Vanity, basin, toilet and bidet Duravit
Bath Milano from Englefield
Shower fittings and taps Ideal Standard
Tile flooring Black granite polished tiles
Wall tiles Le Gimme mosaics from Bisazza
Accessories Architect from Cosmic Studio Photography by Jamie Cobeldick