This ensuite renovation resulted in a space designed for a wellness lifestyle

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A black toilet suite, charcoal designer tiles, wood-look elements and a steam room all feature in this master ensuite makeover

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The word penthouse conjures a picture of the very best of everything. However, prior to this top-floor unit's ensuite renovation, the room had looked reasonably average. Designer Kim Duffin undertook the bathroom's comprehensive rethink.

"The existing space had been enclosed and housed a tub, single vanity, a small shower and a toilet – all lacking a sense of luxury," Duffin says. "In its place, the owners wanted a modern ensuite that reflected their wellness lifestyle."

The new design was to incorporate a steam and shower room that would allow the user to look out to the master bedroom and city views.

"An early obstacle was the need to relocate the services from fixed drainage points."

Duffin says the ensuite's existing window sill led a design stroke that served several uses – including addressing the services.


"We introduced a half wall reaching up to the sill's height and continued this around to the vanity wall and on into the new glass combined shower and steam shower enclosure, positioned where the bath had been."

Under the window, the wall conceals the toilet cistern and suspends the black toilet pan. Then, on the adjacent wall, it hides the relocated pipework that serves the vanity and shower."

The top of the wall provides a utility ledge for the vanities and for soaps and shampoos in the steam-shower enclosure.

The space between the ledge and mirrored wall cabinets above, forms a niche. Charcoal glass lines this, accentuated by diffused LED lighting. The mirrors add to the sense of space.

Duffin cut out a section of the wall between the bathroom and the rest of the suite – creating a glass corner that looks across the bedroom to the city views beyond and brings in added light.

"When installing a steam shower, the ceiling inside the enclosed space needs to be raked at a specific angle so condensation runs off into the drain without dripping on the user – again this was tricky in the tight apartment environment."

The combined matt black fixtures, charcoal wall and hexagon feature tiles and LED-lit niche create a sense of luxury. The predominant grey-black tones are complemented by the warmth of the vanity and wood-look tile floors.

"We chose the custom wall tiles and the pattern to be added to those on the half wall – then the plain and patterned tiles were fired together, for a perfect colour match," says Duffin.

First published date: 20 April 2017

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Credit List

Bathroom designer Kim Duffin, Sublime Architectural Interiors
Floor Timber plank-look floor tile, Nuances Rovere, by FAP Ceramics, from Metro Tiles
Wall tiles Custom ceramic wall tiles, plain – Zero Charcoal, and patterned, Geo Charcoal by Southern Cross Ceramics, from Metro Tiles
Niche splashback Toughened glass from Glass Backsplash Company
Vanity Lamiwood finished in 2-pac polyurethane from Platinum Polyurethane
Vanity benchtop Ravine/Sepia Oak from Polytec
Basin Above Counter Basin in Matte Black by Studio Bagno from Reece
Basin tapware Bliss Basin Mixer by Mizu from Reece
Cabinet doors Vinyl-backed mirrors from Logan Glass
Cabinetry hardware Tandembox Intivo softclose drawer system by Blum from Lincoln Sentry
Steam shower Effegibi Aqua SteamComplete 45 from Rogerseller
Shower glass Toughened glass from Euroglass
Showerhead Vivid Twin Shower, matt black, by Phoenix Bathware from Reece
Shower mixer Bliss Shower Mixer, chrome, by Mizu from Reece
Steam room seat Stainless steel brackets and wood seat
Toilet Nicole wall-hung pan and seat in Matt Black by Studio Bagno from
ReeceFlush plate Sigma 50, matt black with chrome buttons, by Geberit from
ReeceCistern Geberit from Reece
Toilet roll holder Chrome by Phoenix Bathware from Reece