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Sense of charm

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Installing modern fittings can improve functionality and maintain character

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When you're designing a classic-styled bathroom with modern specifications, there's always a risk that the end result won't quite gel. But with a very specific brief requiring the use of existing elements, designer Debra De Lorenzo was able to create a room with a strong sense of charm.

"Our client specified the use of tiles, and required the room to maintain the overall character of their 100-year-old farm house. The brief demanded modern practicality without modern appearance. They also asked that an existing wrought iron storage unit be used."

De Lorenzo says planning the room around the storage unit required intense attention to detail.

"The devil is the detail. All the ornate elements needed to be linked in order to not overpower each other. For example, the large ornate pedestal basin complements the client's own decorative Venetian mirror and chandelier.

"The black wrought iron unit was key for the colour scheme and strongly influenced the selection of feature tile artwork," says De Lorenzo.

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Handling and setting the hand-painted feature tiles was critical to the project's success, as they were specifically imported from Italy to exact spatial requirements.

"The ceramic floor and white wall tiles give a traditional base to the room. The Italian tile artwork in the open shower and the black claw-foot bath have an immediate impact, as you see them first when you open the door."

First published date: 22 June 2007

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Credit List

Designer Debra De Lorenzo, CKD, CBDNZ, NKBA, De Lorenzo Design (Wellington)
Tiles Cuban black ceramic feature tiles from Gabbianelli; Merida floor tiles, Ghiaccio Vogue wall tiles
Tapware and accessories Perrin & Rowe from In Residence
Pedestal basin Canova from Catalano
Bath Recor Dual from Plumbline
Towel ladder Hawthorn Hill from In Residence
Toilet Shires Princeton from Plumbline