Tropical-look bathroom renovation with wood accents

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Indonesian spa-type bathroom makeover features macrocarpa batten-clad shower, jarrah bulkhead cover and cedar blinds

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When a burst pipe caused extensive water damage, it provided owners Sandy and Fraser Gillies with the opportunity to rethink their old bathroom from scratch.

"As both client and designer, we wanted something different – a tropical spa accent to complement the spa pool just beyond the bay window," Fraser Gillies says. "This also suited the Pacifica theme of the house.

"We never used the existing bath, so we replaced a combined bath-shower unit with a large walk-in shower with double shower heads, bamboo-look tilework and an inset perforated stainless steel shelf. The sloping floor drains to a slimline stainless steel channel."

Fitting with the exotic theme, Gillies chose a dark-stained macrocarpa battened wall for the showerstall's cladding. Black-painted waterproof sheeting behind the slats creates a sense of depth, while a below-floor brace support system allowed for a cantilever on the end section of the wall, facing the bathroom entrance.

Opposite the shower at the entry, an internally lit display unit brings balance. This also features stained macrocarpa slats and has a reflective stainless steel backing, adding a feeling of space to the room.


Extending the reinvented bathroom's natural feel, an unsightly bulkhead above the vanity was concealed with an upward-curving wing form finished in a rich Jarrah veneer. This is also reminiscent of a canoe hull – the designer has a boating background and the home is near the sea. The pleasing shape is echoed on the tapering, upward-turned nosing on the countertop in the same veneer.

The tropical, slatted-wood aesthetic is continued with an internal sliding mirror in the bay window. When the mirror isn't in use it can slide off to one side, revealing the external timber slats behind. The design lets fresh air flow into the bathroom without loosing the sense of privacy. Slat blinds either side complete the picture.

While most elements were specifically designed for this renovation, the existing vanity was retained, painted Resene Black Sheep and given a durable tile countertop. The overall look is warm and welcoming.

First published date: 23 June 2016

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Credit List

Designer/builder/owner Fraser Gillies, Lines Design
Interior designer/owner Sandy Gillies
Benchtop Tiles from Jacobsen
Vanity cabinetry Custom by Fraser Gillies
Shower stall Macrocarpa external slats, designed and constructed by Fraser Gillies
Basin Kholer
Bulkhead cover Jarrah
Taps Piani by Metrix
Shower fittings Piani, Nikles by Metrix
Toilet and accessories Metrix
Tiles Mirage stone tiles on heated bathroom floor; Venis Manhattan Mosaic tiles from Jacobsen and white gloss rectified tiles in shower
Lighting Lighthouse
Blinds Custom in cedar
Hot water systems Rinnai Infinity
Wallcoverings Jacobsens and Resene
Awards Trends International Design Awards (TIDA) Bathrooms – Highly Commended