Bathroom Design


Marble has been in the limelight for some time now and as fashion goes, things change.  We do love a good classic Carrara Marble but it pays to consider other options outside of what’s currently saturating the market. With that said it’s not all over for marble.  There is an expansion on the trend into more colour and texture.  We are also seeing other stones surface such as Granite, Limestone, Slate and Travertine as well as alternative finishes. 

As designers we love watching and reporting on trends before they become mainstream.  Keeping ahead of or outside the trends means the material selections you make will have a longer design and/or product life. I cannot recall the source but “if it isn’t in fashion, it isn’t out” holds some truth.  Although, we would recommend steering clear of anything obviously out-of-date. In saying that fashion often re-interprets old materials into quite likeable new versions.

So where to next? Well here’s some stone for thought . . .


NATURE – There is a natural progression from cool greys of seasons past to warmer earthy hues and more movement.  Coloured marbles in reds, greens and browns.


TRANQUILITY -  Peaceful neutrals of white, grey and black. Think mottled, dusty and chalky and rough textures contrasted with sleek minimalist. 


CONCRETE - Consider the hues and ambience of concrete rather than the material itself. Look for softer more refined finishes and curves versus hard edges. Tadelkt plaster for example, is a perfect take on a more organic version of the industrial trend.


TERRAZZO – Highly durable terrazzo is now very accessible. Large scale patterns draw attention to beautiful stone colours and textures while finer chips are more reserved and classic. Terrazzo can now be found in a variety of applications from hard finishes to furniture to homewares. 


Six Tips to renovation success 

This month Sonya Cotter was privileged to be asked to contribute the the August issue of NZ House & Garden's renovation special where we were asked to share some of our ideas and tips on cost effective renovations, read the full article written by Claire McCall.  


Renovation tip #1

When renovating a heritage house, if you are opening up spaces to bring a more contemporary feel, incorporate some of the original elements to bring continuity, add visual focus and texture.

Renovation tip #2

A few things to consider when still at the planning stage would be - is there enough light in the kitchen?  Skylights are an effective solution, maintaining wall space for cabinetry etc.  Are there enough walls for your art collection make sure your Interior Designer or Architect has incorporated any large or prominent pieces into the design scheme

Renovation tip #3

Here's a quick fix to update/renovate your laundry.  A clean, white style for laundries will never date, so look at off-the-shelf, flat-pack white laundry cabinets from building merchants and finish them with a stunning custom stone benchtop.  This is quick option too, as you could probably put flat-pack laundry cabinets together in just one afternoon!

Renovation Tip #4

Use over-height mirrors in the bathrooms to bounce extra light about, reflect a dramatic tile feature and increase the feeling of space.  Small mirrors just don't do the business.  For very little extra cost, there's a big gain on the glam factor.

REnovation Tip #5

Think carefully about the locations of existing internal doors, even in parts of the project that are not part of the renovation.  Moving a doorway can greatly enhance a room's layout and is a relatively easy thing to do during the build when all our contractors are about.  In a project I managed, the size of a wardrobe was doubled just by moving the bedroom door.


Meet your builder regularly and consistently, generally first thing in the morning.  That meeting should be locked in stone.  The builder can ask questions, product can be ordered and contractors briefed, creating a smooth workflow that saves time and cost.  There is no point in having tradespeople trying to guess how you would like things done.