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Mid-Century Colourful – Clapham Bathroom Renovation

A young family inhabit a 1952-built mid-century home nestled in the southern suburbs of Adelaide. They adore Modernist architecture and have a collection of vintage furniture and décor throughout their home.

Whilst the rest of the house has been updated, the wet areas were in original condition and required a complete renovation and reconfiguration to meet the needs of this busy, growing family.

Improving the bathroom layout was of utmost importance, as was making it safe for young children. The clients’ vision was for a functional and easy to clean space with simple storage and natural light. The clients were keen to remove the existing linen cupboard in the hallway to increase their bathroom footprint.

They wanted their new bathroom to be a fresh, light and calm space that is sympathetic to the era of the home through both design and use of authentic colours and materials.

The primary challenge of this mid-century bathroom was addressing the layout and functionality of the space. Removing the existing terrazzo floor and galvanized plumbing provided the freedom to completely reconfigure the room. The adjoining linen cupboard in the hallway was removed and this area was added to the bathroom. Repositioning the doorway allowed optimum transition from the hallway and placement of fixtures within the room.

The new layout features a built-in bath along the southern wall with a generous open shower next to this, providing full access for easy supervision and assistance at bath time. The toilet has ample circulation space in front and beside it, allowing parents to assist young children. The vanity is positioned next to the door and offers drawer and cupboard storage.

To ensure safety, floor tiles with a high slip rating were chosen and there is no set down to the walk-in open shower. The bath is built at 500mm high, making it easy for parents to help during bath time, and for children to get in and out easily and safely.

A rimless back to wall toilet suite, large format floor tiles, the simple design of the tapware, single panel shower screen and specification of an additional exhaust fan above the shower to extract moisture all contribute to making this space easy to clean.

The nature inspired colour palette of pale green and white, with accents of timber and brushed nickel creates a space that is calm and peaceful. Natural light is filtered through the obscure glass and additional task lighting is provided by the retro styled white LED wall light.

Mid-century design is referenced throughout this space, through the strong geometric lines and shapes, colour and materials. The grid pattern of the stack bond wall tiles is enhanced by using contrasting grout. The tile height and built-in bath create clean horizontal lines and reflect bathroom design of this era. Curved forms soften the space, in the rounded bath, pill shaped mirror, space age wall light and round vanity basin. The lively terrazzo floor tiles pay respect to the era of this colourful, modernist home.

The complete renovation of the bathroom made our clients’ lives so much easier. The new space provides ample room for bath time with their young children, and the simple storage and natural light make the space a calming retreat. With a growing family, they are delighted to enjoy a functional, safe, and easy-to-clean bathroom. In addition, the mid-century style of the bathroom is now in keeping with the rest of the home, bringing a sense of cohesion to the entire living space. Our clients are now able to enjoy their home to the fullest!

Key elements:

Wall tiles: Italia Ceramics, Aquarella tiles in Pistachio

Floor tiles: Italia Ceramics, Terrazzo tiles

Vanity: ADP, Clifton 1200 Wall Hung Vanity


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