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Strong horizontal lines, backlit shelving and cool blue glass mosaics enhance the watery feel of this new bathroom

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Incorporating plenty of natural light in a room may be desirable when you're renovating, but it's not always possible – especially if you are altering a basement room.

As this project illustrates, however, there are other ways to introduce light while also making a strong design statement.

The new bathroom, designed by Kerry Fyfe and Antonino Lalli of Monckton Fyfe Architects, replaces an old basement laundry. Part of a major renovation project, the bathroom services a new wing of the house, and is used mostly by the children in the family.

"As there wasn't a lot of natural light available, we decided to treat it as slightly mysterious space," says Fyfe. "It was always going to be a little dark, but introducing rich colours and a glowing light was a way to enhance a sense of mystery."

Blue glass mosaics line the walls and are complemented by a recessed shelf lined with blue Marblo. The recess is backlit with fluorescent lighting, which adds a watery glow to the room.

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Fyfe says the confines of the space determined the simple layout – a tub is positioned on the left, and the shower behind a glass door on the right. Mirrored storage above the recess is flush with the wall, reinforcing the sleek, streamlined look.

Wall-mounted fixtures and a cantilevered handbasin further enhance the contemporary theme and increase the sense of space.

"Bathrooms with vanity units can become a little compartmentalised," says Fyfe. "Hanging the basin off the wall takes up much less room. However, I usually specify a basin that can provide a little extra shelf space at the side."

A long, horizontal window, high on the wall above the tub, repeats the form of the recessed shelf. Translucent glass allows light into the room, but ensures privacy is maintained.

First published date: 23 January 2006

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Credit List

Designers Antonino Lalli, Kerry Fyfe, Monckton Fyfe Architects (Sydney, NSW)
Builder AS & KB Constructions
Wall tiles Bisazza glass mosaics from Academy Tiles
Floor tiles Sadlerstone from Sadler Tiles
Light shelf Marblo
Basins Duravit Scola
Bath Caroma
Taps Scala from Reece
Toilet Chipperfield from Reece
Accessories Vola; Rogerseller; Madinoz
Shower screen Frameless clear glass
Ventilation Ventaxia with Linear slot diffuser