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2 June 2022

Sense of Drama

Part of a complete renovation that involved re-planning the spacial layout of a 1920 transitional villa, these two bathrooms now sit centre stage in a home fit for this century.


The only space that wasn’t moved or repurposed in the house was the central hallway, says designer Katie Scott, who was responsible for the new interiors of this beautiful Remuera villa, which included the kitchen and the addition of a laundry and a scullery, as well as these two fabulous bathrooms.

“These old villas were designed for living in a different era, so I took the whole floor plan apart and put it back together and made it work for the way we live today,” says Katie. “There are two new bathrooms – one for the family and guest, the other is an ensuite to the master. To make space, I used the space occupied by an existing bathroom and bedroom, plus borrowed some space from the front bedroom. This allowed me to create a good-sized main bathroom for the house, plus the ensuite and a walk-in wardrobe for the master.”

Katie had worked with the owners on their previous home, so she knew their tastes and aesthetics – moody and dramatic.

For both bathrooms, she tiled to the full height of the stud using bold, marble-patterned tile to add a sense of luxury. The large-format tiles (1800mm x 900mm) were used vertically, which emphasises the height of the rooms, adding to the drama, she says.

The Family Bathroom

Visually, the feel of the family bathroom is more classical, thanks mainly to the introduction of a wainscoting (or dado line) feature on the walls. Traditionally, wainscoting was used as a decorative element in a room and was typically made from wooden panelling. Here, Katie has given the feature a modern twist by using a grey stone-look tile for the lower third of the walls and floor. This has the effect of grounding the room and, at the same time, keeping the marble as the hero. A fine, aged-brass tramline separates the two tile types. Aged brass is also used for all the tapware and fittings, which brings the whole look together, says Katie.

The large, existing window is a dominant feature in the room. It could not be moved, so Katie used it as a symmetrical focal point. Instead of breaking the space up into a separate shower stall and bathtub area, she created a wet room containing both, allowing her to place the dark, stand-alone concrete bathtub centrally under the window. Glass screens were framed in aged brass, completing the look. A wet room also works well for a family with young children.

A tall, curved mirror with an aged-brass frame emphasises the room’s height and, along with the curved brass tapware, adds softness and a traditional touch. To finish, bell-shaped feature wall lights in a smoky grey glass hang on either side of the bath. These frame the back wall and provide a welcoming view from the hall.

The Master Ensuite

The décor of the ensuite takes the owners’ request for mood and drama to the next level – and so it should, as this is their private sanctuary. The theatre begins at the entrance, where Katie has created two pairs of full-height sliding doors – one for the bathroom, the other for the walk-in robe.

The same marble-look tiles used in the family bathroom are used on the floor and up the back wall, which lengthens the room visually. The two side walls are fully tiled in dark-grey, handmade glazed tiles, which add a lovely textural feel to the room. The shuttered window is painted in a matching grey, which helps blend it into the wall.

Again, aged brass is the finish of choice for all the tapware, fittings and framing. The twin basins, in grey concrete, are overlooked by custom, pill-shaped mirrors that emphasise the room’s high stud. Strip LEDs and small, directional sconce lighting help to add more mood to the space.



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