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On a pedestal – elevated bathtub takes centre stage

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Large master suite by designer Sue Gillbanks

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Space is often at a premium in a master suite, but it wasn't a problem for this project – the bathroom is extra large.

Designer Sue Gillbanks of Kitchens By Design says the sheer size of the room made it easier to create the private haven the owners wanted. There was enough space to provide a shower wet area without doors, and to create an elevated bathtub centrepiece.

"The owners wanted the bathing area to be positioned right away from everything so it would provide a total escape," Gillbanks says. "Raising the tub on a pedestal and positioning it in front of the large window enhances this sense of sanctuary."

To create a tranquil view, the designer added a courtyard garden with leafy plants. This not only hides the rear entry to the house, but also ensures the bathing area is private.

Additional drama in the ensuite is provided by the contrasting dark charcoal and white tiles. The floor features 600mm2 charcoal tiles, while the charcoal wall tiles are 600mm x 300mm. The white wall tiles are 600mm2.


White lacquered cabinets in the same dimensions as these tiles conceal a linen cupboard opposite the bathtub.

"There was a short wall within the bathroom in the original plan, but we bulked this up a little to provide a more solid form – and to accommodate storage," says the designer.

The sculptural white tub and matching basins, a white pendant light, white-lacquered vanity and accessories also provide a strong contrast to the dark charcoal floor and walls.

"The vanity is cantilevered so it appears to float above the dark floor," says Gillbanks. "Its geometric form is echoed by the long, narrow windows overhead."

An Absolute Black granite vanity top reinforces the visual composition.

First published date: 19 July 2012

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Credit List

Bathroom designer Sue Gillbanks, Kitchens By Design (Auckland)
Architectural designer Martin Heere, Timber Construction Solutions
Builder Roose Butcher Builders
Cabinetmaker Kitchens By Design
Vanity unit Lacquered in Resene White; with Absolute Black granite top
Basins Napoli Vessel from Robertson Agencies
Tapware Methven Kiri Hi Rise basin mixer; Qbik floor bath mixer from Chesters Plumbing & Bathroom Centre
Tub Napoli from Robertson Agencies
Shower fittings Methven Tahi from Chesters
Toilet Dial from Robertson Agencies
Dark wall and floor tiles Nero Slate from Tile Depot
White wall tiles Heritage Tiles
Blinds Curtain Studio
Accessories Vintage chair; Ponder Jack towel rails from Chesters