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Vintage elements with a modern twist create a practical and cosy environment for this master suite

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Historical architectural features, such as wide baseboards, geometric symmetry, and the use of solid materials including stone give a space a sense of strength and longevity. Paired with contemporary highlights and a well thought-out floor plan, the result can be an enticing space to spend time in.

The owner's requirements for this project were to create a simple space that feels inviting and is easy to maintain, says designer Eric Rothman of design and build company HammerSmith.

"There is something modern about this design, but I wouldn't describe it as contemporary, " says Rothman. "It's more like a reinterpretation of Victorian architecture, influenced by minimalism, but with more warmth."

A dark, coffee bean oak floor has an antique quality. This flooring is accentuated by 203mm baseboards that create a simple transition between the floor and the walls.

"There is a carved-out quality to these rooms, which gives this design an almost sculptural quality," says Rothman.

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Oak flooring continues in the bathroom and contrasts with the freestanding cherry cabinetry.

"You have to be careful when combining wood grains. But the cherry, complements the oak, creating a smooth transition between the timber to the freestanding feature wall," says Rothman.

Tiling the wall in Pewter fossil stone adds multiple levels of interest, contributing to the sculptured aesthetic of this space.

"The stone tiles look clean and simple from a distance, but the detailing, visible up-close, creates interest and intrigue," says Rothman.

The top ledge of the wall provides a place to put toothbrushes and other bathroom accessories, keeping the basin areas clean and uncluttered. Concrete countertops accentuate the geometric simplicity of this design.

The same tiling is used around the bath and shower stall.

By enclosing the shower with clear glazing, the tiles can act as an architectural link with the walls, and bath surround. The transparency of the glass contributes to the overall feeling of space.

A white bath contrasts with the darker tones of the wood grains on the floor and cabinetry, making it stand out as a design feature.

"We've created structure, then deliberately broken it by placing a curved bath amongst the angles. This makes it look placed, so the space takes on a more human feeling," says Rothman.

First published date: 28 April 2006

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Credit List

Design team Eric Rothman and Jenny Nelson, NKBA, NARI, HBA, HammerSmith
Main contractor HammerSmith
Bathtub Lefroy Brooks XO Zen
Vanity countertop Concrete Seal Grey
Cabinetry Custom in cherry
Basin Ovalyn Undermount
Taps Concinnity Malmo in satin nickel
Shower fittings Concinnity Apex
Flooring Oak
Tiles Honed Pewter Fossil Stone
Lighting LBL
Ventilation Panasonic