Many of our community have been following along and watching Jess’s knock-down re-build in Sydney’s Northern Beaches in our community group. Jess is ecstatically happy to share her stunning small bathroom designs for her main bathroom and ensuite, and how she managed to create a luxurious look on a budget >>>
Creating two lovely bathrooms with limited space...
This reno has been a long time coming. After doing a few flips, we bought what we intended to be our biggest flip yet. However – I was swiftly (and super unexpectedly) pregnant with our first child and plans…ahhhhh….kinda changed!!
Five years later here we are, doing the renovation we dreamt of. Our little 2 bedroom fibro cottage on Sydney’s Northern Beaches has become a 4 bedroom, 2 bathroom family abode.
On a modest block and with plans to keep the home single-level I was faced with a bathroom dilemma. Do we have one very large family bathroom? OR do we have a medium-sized main bathroom and a tiny ensuite? To me the answer actually wasn’t so hard. I wanted two bathrooms and I will be clever with the floor plans to make them work!
For our main bathroom I DEFINITELY wanted a large shower and a large bath. After lacking storage for so long storage was also high on my priority list.
The main bathroom is just 2500 x 2500mm. And the ensuite 2500 x 1500mm. So how do I squeeze it all in without it feeling crowded? Well…read on for the floorplans>>>
Designing a small main bathroom
First I needed a long bath that felt luxurious but wasn’t crazy wide. Highgrove Bathrooms had this sorted. They stock a budget friendly acrylic tub called The “Alder” with a thin edge @ only 780 wide. Although narrower than most freestanding baths the thin edge on this bath makes the internal space HUGE!!!
For my shower I opted for a wet area. Rather than having something custom cut, Highgrove also stock off the shelf frameless glass screens at a fraction of the cost of having something custom made – no brainer for me and my tight budget.
For my super storage solution I bought 2 x 750wx1100h shaving cabinets and installed them side by side to look like one big long unit. Again, this saved me stacks as I was able to purchase these straight off the shelf.
To save space I purchased my first in wall cistern/floor pan combo. Highgrove stock some great affordable wall-mounted toilets. I used the “Ollie” which shaved off 150mm from the depth of a usual back to wall toilet. Not only is this my first in wall cistern. It is also my first ever “rimless” loo…
Yes I know – I can hardly believe I’m excited over such a thing! But hey – I’m the primary cleaner of this household and anything to make my cleaning job easier is a win for me. With a rimless pan there is nowhere for mould and gunk to accumulate. I will also mention the unthinkable – this toilet doesn’t have a “shelf” at the base. I’m not even kidding – this is known as a “poo shelf”. Yes, you heard me! I literally almost fell over when I heard this term. But it means there is no grotty little landing for you know what to get stuck on the way down. Another win for the cleaner!
I also needed to source a great stone vanity top to pop onto of my custom vanity. When I was looking for my bathroom fittings I spied these at Highgrove Bathrooms. They sell them in increments of 50mm and 100mm. And I found that if you can get away without having something custom cut it will save you lots. Highgrove drilled the holes for my basin and tap where I wanted them. I was able to pair the marble top with a lovely matte white above counter basin from the “Eden” range and I absolutely love it.
I chose brushed brass tapware from the “Spin” range and I’m thrilled with the combinations. Along with the “Monsoon” rainwater shower head and floor mounted bath filler I opted to have a handheld shower installed for both. The handhelds are so bloody useful. In the bath I use it for washing kids hair. In the shower I wash the dog. And best of all they are fabulous for actually cleaning the shower and bath. I would not go without a handheld!
Best layout for a small ensuite
My ensuite backs onto the main bathroom and is 2500 x 1500mm. I figured when you’re onto a good thing why change it? So I kept the exact same layout for our ensuite as our main bathroom – minus the bath. Truthfully – I have used this layout in a previous reno and feel it’s the best use of a tight space. I even used all the same tapware, so there really isn’t much to talk about here.
Making best use of the bathroom reno budget
As I mentioned I was able to save thousands by purchasing off the shelf standard size items. So now… lets quickly define the word “save”. What I actually mean is “reallocate”.
I used the savings to put underfloor heating through both bathrooms. And let me tell you, as someone who has never experienced underfloor heating, getting out of the shower in the middle of winter onto a cosy heated floor is the absolute bomb! And it’s really quite inexpensive. It cost around $600 per bathroomand I installed it myself. The kits are SO easy to DIY just about anyone can put it together and lay it out ready for a qualified sparky to do the connection.
With my “fund allocation” I was also able to make a real splurge on some of my tiles. On the walls which aren’t so visible I used plain old cheap as chips matte white 300 x 600 tiles.With the other walls I chose these tiny little hand made Italian subway tiles called the “Albert Park” from Tilecloud. They were the most expensive item in the whole bathroom reno but every time I look at them they make my heart sing.
Tilecloud stock such a huge range of tiles for varying budgets. I was able to reign it in with my floor tiles and managed to find some beautiful encaustic look porcelain tiles for only a fraction of the price of real encaustic tiles. They’re so much hardier than real deal. Real hand painted tiles are quite difficult to maintain.
So finally after a few long months of living in a construction zone we finally have bathrooms. If you need me in the evenings I can likely be found soaking in my new bath enjoying a beverage of my choice!!
Actually – that’s not at all how it goes. I spend my time with my ears submerged trying to muffle the sound of “MuuuUUUuuuuM”. We can but dream of a peaceful lasting soak 😅
Thank you Jess for sharing the design of your bathroom and ensuite! They both look stunning and love the tips of where to save, where to splurge and great suppliers. You must be so happy to be moving in and can’t wait to see the photos of the rest of your knock-down rebuild. If these photos are anything to go by….its going to be gorgeous 🙂
PS Jess has insta! You can follow her here @therenohoe
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