As anyone who follows us knows, we’ve been in a constant state of renovation for over SEVEN years now.
When we first bought our house, we intended to try and renovate within a year or two.
But of course, once the babies came, that just dragged out longer and longer.
And as our family grew, our needs for our home changed. Our minds changed 101 times on whether we wanted to stay or move. And big costly decisions, like our bathroom, just got pushed further down the list.
Fast forward to six months ago. Our bathroom had basically made the decision for us as tiles were falling off the wall and we were bordering some serious water damage if we didn’t do something.
Our only issue now was that we had no time to complete this project ourselves in a timely manner. As being without a toilet and shower for any period of time was going to be a nightmare.
Up till now, we’ve done 95% of our renovations ourselves, apart from the odd trade when we couldn’t legally do something ourselves.
We have chipped away at our renovation as we could afford what we wanted. We have learnt some hard lessons along the way to always save for what you want, rather than cheap out.
When The Reno Became Real
We had been saving our little bums off, and spent a year of back and forward over whether we would extend up. When that fell through, we had the money to take on this renovation of the bathroom then and there.
Once we decided what we wanted to do, we needed to find a builder to do it. And boy did I underestimate how hard that would even be…
After calling around 20 builders, I think I had maybe 2-3 follow-through to come to look at it and quote. And of those, one – JUST ONE, came through with a quote.
As our shed and outdoor area project required Jezz to do owner-builder, we were able to organise our own trades and semi-managed the project to save some money.
I also did a lot of research on what I wanted and priced up products from several different suppliers.
It also became a case of who offered good service and advice, as I know nothing about the technical side of these products.
I knew what I liked and what looked good but that doesn’t always translate into something affordable or practical.
We knew of a couple of specific and unique items we wanted and worked around those for everything else.
For most our bathroom fixture and fittings I went everywhere to do my research from Reece, Highgrove, Bunnings, Beaumonts and even some direct to public sales places around Dandenong.
But in the end, I went with Burdens as a good friend of ours used to work there and couldn’t recommend it highly enough.
He put me in touch with Cass, from our local Warragal store, who helped me translate the ideas I had in my head, into actual products that suited our budget and space.
All the things that I would never think of like bath tap-wear that swivelled away so the kid didn’t hit their head on it while in the bath.
Showerheads that had adjustable heights and detachable to make it suitable for the kids, as well as cleaning the shower.
Even down to the right fan for our space, that would be quite yet powerful enough to do its job in that sized room.
Cass even helped me pick the most suitable toilet with a detachable seat which made it easy to clean.
All of these are things you don’t think about, but in the day-to-day use and functionality of the products, it has made a huge difference. So I’m grateful for all the help and advice.
For our vanity and sink, we had custom pieces made by two amazing local businesses we had been dying to use.
The concrete sink was made by DLH Designs in Warragul, who also supply their sinks through Burdens.
Bec & David do all kinds of one-off concrete designs from bench-tops, furniture and anything you can think of.
They also have ready to buy sinks and small furniture pieces that can be shipped Australia-wide.
Our vanity was made by Ingrain Designs, another family-run small business. They have a factory in Preston, Melbourne.
Ben and Kendall create beautiful one-off designs which are built to last. Made from sustainably sourced recycled timber that doesn’t compromise on the environment.
Jezz has always admired such beautiful craftsmanship and wanted to have something special in the space as we always had to get something custom made for the small space we had to work with.
Once we chose all our fixture and fittings, it was time to get started. And coincidently we were in Japan at the time so a lot of the dirty work and demolition could be done then.
Originally, we were quoted around two-three weeks for the entire project. But, as these things always go it ended up being close to two months.
In that time we lived at my in-laws (before they got sick of us). We made do with using our outside toilet and the gym showers for a few weeks in the end.
But, good things come to those who wait. And we couldn’t be happier with the finished product.
Especially considering we have such a small space to work with, everything we picked worked so well in the space and made it a usable and beautiful bathroom.
The before and after’s were unrecognisable. I think everyone will be pleasantly surprised at what we achieved.
I have popped a gallery of images for you to check out below as well as listed all products, fixtures and fittings with pricing below.
Before & After
This has to be one of my favourite things about the bathroom. And mostly because the story it tells.
We always knew it would be hard to find something that fit the space. A lot of vanities this narrow don’t offer much storage or look ugly. So finding this baby was meant to be.
Kendall and I met a few years ago, and she and her husband have an amazing business called Ingrain Designs. A Melbourne-based sustainable furniture business, where they make handcraft custom recycled timber furniture in their Preston workshop.
Jezz has used reclaimed timber as a feature all through his shed and outdoor area, so we wanted to continue this theme into the house.
I chatted to Kendall and her husband Ben about a few of their designs that would work and we went with the “Northcliffe” bathroom vanity. It can be made to order in a selection of sizes and configurations.
This is amazing for anyone working to a specific space and anyone who has renovated or built would know how hard it is to find EXACTLY what you want. Having that flexibility was GOLDEN!
I chose to have two draws and it has an open shelf at the bottom great for storing towels etc to really use up all the space we had.
Our vanity is made from recycled Messmate, with natural feature grain. The timber was reclaimed from an old demolished house in Footscray.
And I love so much that this piece has so much history, sustainably sourced and won’t impact the environment.
Ingrain is also currently offering 15% off ALL ORDERS.
Orders need to be placed by midnight 31st December. A great way for people to save monies now for their reno in the NY – that’s everything including tables, vanities, coffee tables, sideboards).
Our sink is from DLH Designs. They are a local business run by the lovely Bec and David.
We had seen many of their gorgeous sinks and custom concrete craftsmanship in friends’ houses. So I knew this was exactly what I wanted.
Bec came over with a dozen or so concrete colours and I picked one that best suited our colour scheme.
It was super easy to fix as well as it just sits on top the vanity. It was easy to pair the two.
My favourite part about it is how unique it is, and the detail is phenomenal.
As I mentioned, most of of the products we got were from Burdens. Not only did they offer exceptional service, but they were affordable. Also, everything we wanted was available (always check times of things, ALWAYS).
We used Nero Kara wall basin, wall bath and wall top (shower taps) in matte black. I loved them because they were simple and had the hot and cold rings around the base.
Cass talked me into this one. I’m so glad I listened. It is the Atlanta Back to Wall Freestanding from Best BM and it is a back-to-wall for easy cleaning, solid and super deep.
We needed something that didn’t come out too much and take up our vanity space, because the space was small. It is only 750mm deep, as were most others were over 800.
You can find it on their website here.
I really wanted a round mirror, but the space didn’t really allow for it nor would it look right.
Cass pointed me in the direction of this amazing pill-shaped one that also had storage behind.
We were able to get the builder to recess it in as well so it’s almost flush to the wall.
Great for when you have zero space and storage in your bathroom. It comes from a family-owned business called ADP.
As we were working with very little space, Cass suggested a frameless shower. We got our builder to cast up a base for it to stand on.
We got the Oz-Wholesale Nautical Frameless Shower Screen Made in Matte Black.
The showerhead is from Methven and called the Krome Twin Rail Shower in Matte Black.
I always hated the idea of the double heads but Cass convinced me it was much between with kids and good for resale. She was right, it’s been way better.
We used the same tile all through the bathroom and laundry. We also tiled the walls in the bathroom from floor to ceiling.
I used a 60×60 tile to make it simple as I wanted my fixtures and fittings to be the standout.
I also used a mermaid feature tile in the nooks to break it up.
The grey tiles are called Belga Grey. I got lucky with a 35% off sale at our local Beaumont Tiles.
The mermaid tiles are from Tile Cloud and called Fish Scale Tile “Coral Bay” in Carrara Look Matte. Note that these are matte. Because I missed that part haha.
I mean, I have to tell you about the toilet right?
I know it isn’t overly fancy, but I was most excited about the fact the seat was detachable to clean. It also backs to the wall making it a lot easier to clean around.
- Vanity: Ingrain Designs “Northcliffe” Bathroom Vanity – $1979
- Sink: DLH Designs Round Concrete Sink in Smoke – $589
- Tapwear: Nero “Kara” Wall Basin, Wall Bath and Wall Top in Matte Black –
- Bath: Best BM “Atlanta” Back to Wall Freestanding in White
- Shaving Cabinet: ADP Pill Shaving Cabinet in Matte Black
- Shower Screen: Oz Wholesale Nautical Frameless Shower Screen Made in Matte Black
- Shower Head: “Methven” Krome Twin Rail Shower in Matte Black
- Toilet: Seima “Limni” Back to Wall Suite
- Rails & Hooks: Fienza “Komo” Toilet Roll Holder, Towel Rail and Robe Hook in Matte Black
- Exhaust Fan: Fantech “Rapid Response” Exhaust Fan with round white grille
- Wall & Floor Tiles: Beaumont Tiles “Belga Grey” in 60×60 – $32 per square metre
- Feature Tile: Tile Cloud Fish Scale Tile “Coral Bay” in Carrara Look Matte – $9 per sheet
- Feature Light: Beacon Lighting “Sculpt 1” Light Drop Pendant in Ash/Concrete – $67.50 (on sale)
I cannot believe it is finally done! I am pretty chuffed with how it turned out, as you can tell from the smile below!
It was a pretty new experience using trades for us. And to my builder Tom and his boys, a big THANK YOU for getting the job done!
With some savvy buys and a lot of research, we were also able to come in under budget. This was great as it crept closer to Christmas.
We changed home loans mid-way through the year from our original home loan (much higher interest) to one much better suited to our current position.
I have been using the UNO Home Loan service to keep track of our home loan and also prepare for our next project of extension out current home and buying an investment property.
UNO currently have an amazing cashback offer of $1,200. Which is perfect around this time with the holiday season upon us. Well worth checking it out, and saving yourself on your home loan as we did.
But for now, I cannot wait to show you the laundry next! Stay tuned!!!