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Quiet contrast in this bathroom by designer Davinia Sutton

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Modern project by by designer Davinia Sutton

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Working within a restricted footprint requires design discipline. While close control has to be kept on space efficiency, the look and material palette needs to offer the best possible aesthetic result within the constrained setting.

For this bathroom, designer Davinia Sutton was asked to achieve a spacious feeling, despite the architectural limitations.

The owners wanted the design to reflect the home's modern architecture but also to offer a private place to relax and linger, says Sutton.

"In addition, they requested clean, simple lines, beautiful surfaces and attractive fittings."

In response, Sutton created a galley-style design, with the bath on one side and an open, walk-in shower on the other. Dividing these key utilities was a way to optimise the space.


"I raised the vanity off the ground to add to the sense of space and introduced a blade wall to give the shower area privacy."

Material choices were important in a design that balances a strong white and grey theme with the warmth of wood veneer on the vanity.

"As well as the tonal contrast of the white CaesarStone countertop against the deep grey of the basalt floor and wall tiles, I introduced another, more playful interaction," says Sutton. "The splashback wall that extends over into the back of the shower is comprised of small, round mosaic tiles – a juxtaposition of scale and shape against the large-format square tiles."

While the design utilises all available space, the mix of selected finishes and fixtures gives the room a spacious, free-flowing feeling.

In addition, the use of simple, abstract shapes brings a sculptural quality, which, together with the introduction of windows and skylights into the previously windowless space, gives the bathroom the tranquil aesthetic desired.

First published date: 19 June 2013

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Credit List

Bathroom designer Davinia Sutton (Christchurch)
Joinery Lyall Park Joinery
Cabinetry company Prime Panels
Cabinetry White MDF with matching PVC edges; oak veneer with horizontal grain and matching Tekton edge; mirror cabinet in MDF
Vanity top CaesarStone in Snow from Trethewey Artisan Stone
Splashback Round mosaic tiles from Tile Warehouse
Vanity basin Duravit
Basin mixer and handle, shower mixer Vola
Bath Kaldewei freestanding
Hinges Blum
Shower mixer Vola
Ventilation Bex ceiling diffuser and fan, both from Smooth-Air
Tiles Natural Basalt tiles from Tile Warehouse