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Square Carrara marble tiles covering the walls and floor of this guest bathroom create a simple but rich ambience

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Keeping a room open and uncluttered can be an effective way of drawing attention to a particular feature in the space.

When interior designer Peta Tearle saw the bathroom in the guest suite of a large country home for the first time, she was struck by the generous proportions of the space. Although the bathroom was an internal space with no windows, high ceilings allowed it to have large skylights. To ventilate the room these can be operated manually, or automatically using rain sensors.

Tearle decided that the best approach was to maintain and enhance the spacious feel of the room, so she elected to work with a single material in her design – square Carrara marble tiles – as the cladding for both the walls and floor.

"The effect of all this very beautiful marble is simple and yet at the same time, it creates a spectacular and luxurious ambience," says Tearle.

Partially dividing the room is a three-quarter height wall of rustic stone tiles applied horizontally. These refer to areas of schist cladding on the exterior of the house.

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This partition creates a dark foil against which the freestanding white porcelain bath is displayed. It also allows the marble in the rest of the bathroom to be the main focus of the space.

Another purpose of the wall is to provide partial privacy for the shower and toilet, which are tucked away behind either end of it in two separate alcoves.

"The charcoal colour and horizontal appearance of these tiles ensure the wall looks as if it is an intended design feature in the space, rather than just a functional partition," says Tearle.

"I wanted the wall to look special and provide a backdrop that would give the bath a presence of its own in the bathroom. It helps give the room an extravagant and uncluttered air," she says.

To continue the look of sleek and understated luxury, an elongated vanity stretches across one wall of the room. Above it, a large, wide mirror emphasises the horizontal feel.

Black stained oak on the vanity cabinetry matches the finishes used in the kitchen and in other bathrooms in the home. With a negative edge, the vanity top, made from a slab of grey, almost black, Angola Satin granite, appears to float above the cabinetry.

The generous proportions of the vanity in this bathroom called for drawer hardware designed on the same scale. Long, horizontal handles were specially manufactured in a Florentine bronze finish that co-ordinates with door and drawer handles used in the rest of the house.

First published date: 11 February 2012

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Credit List

Designer Bryan Airey, Award Homes (Auckland)
Builder K & J Quality Homes
Interior designer Peta Tearle, Colour and Design Studio
Vanity Custom made by Connoisseur Kitchens
Vanity cabinetry Black stained oak
Vanity top Angola satin granite
Basins Marra Machina granite from SpazioCasa
Bath, shower enclosure, shower fittings, toilet, taps SpazioCasa
Wall and floor tiles Carrara marble from SpazioCasa
Lighting Storm Electrical
Ventilation Fujitsu air conditioning
Mirror Factory Frames
Handles Custom made with a Florentine bronze finish
Water heater Rheem
Wall paint Dulux