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In my lady's chamber

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A spacious room, a large freestanding bath and clean, modern lines create a comfortable and luxurious ensuite bathroom

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A large family and a busy lifestyle may mean that the only peaceful place in the house is behind the locked door of the bathroom. If this is the case, then the bathroom should be designed to provide a luxurious retreat.

Interior designer Dearne Herrenberg was asked by the owner of this new home to design an ensuite with a boudoir feel – a cosy, comfortable retreat where she could relax in peace.

The ensuite also had to be bright, welcoming and contemporary in design.

"To achieve a sophisticated and contemporary look, we selected a palette of light colours and finishes. On the floor and walls we used the same stone-look porcelain tiles, but in different sizes. Because they are designed to replicate natural stone, the tiles all vary slightly in colour from salmon-pink undertones to cooler greys," says Herrenberg.

"We chose tiles with veining and tonal variations, rather than a stark white finish, to give the room a warmer look."

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The vanity top, made from dark honed granite, provides a strong contrast to the soft neutral colours. In addition, the granite's rustic, raw look provides a textural contrast with the smooth, polished finish of the porcelain tiles.

To maintain the clean, architectural lines of the space, the vanity is cantilevered off the wall, while the large, freestanding bath, with its single, wall-mounted chrome spout, makes a strong statement.

"A bath like this emphasises the spaciousness of the room and reinforces the idea of luxury," says the interior designer.

Both the exterior and interior of the house are square in theme, and this is reflected in the bathroom. A pair of square, white handbasins is semi-recessed into the dark granite, and the benchtop features a chunky, squared edge detail. Chrome tapware is easy to keep clean.

For neatness, the shower has a frameless glass door. In it, a recessed, tiled niche provides storage for soap and shampoo.

The owners wanted plenty of storage, so as well as the combination of drawers and cupboards in the vanity, additional space is concealed behind the mirrors above it. The recessed cabinets are accessed by push button catches.

Sliding glass doors across one wall of the bathroom open onto a balcony. The panels have been treated with a frosted glazing film for privacy and to allow soft, diffused, natural light into the bathroom.

Fluorescent lights, concealed in a bulkhead over the vanity, illuminate the mirror and define the vanity in the space. The bulkhead is painted in the same white matt lacquer finish as the vanity.

First published date: 20 June 2006

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Credit List

Architect David Edelman Architects
Interior designer Dearne Herrenberg Interiors (Melbourne)
Main contractor ED Developments
Vanity top Honed black granite from Quarella
Vanity cabinetry Planera
Bath Kaldewei Vaioduo oval freestanding from Reece
Basin Caroma Liano semi-recessed from Reece
Taps Vand tapware from Reece
Shower rose Zen Cape from Rogerseller
Bath outlet Luna from Rogerseller
Flooring and wallcoverings Messina Caliza porcelain tiles from Elite Ceramics
Toilet Porcher Esedra from Reece
Lighting Downlights, concealed fluorescent battens in bulkhead over vanity from Lighting and Electrical Distributors
Accessories Qube towel rails, toilet paper dispenser from Rogerseller