A Bathroom and Laundry Transformation in Glendowie, Auckland

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Much of this 1950s home had already undergone a Refresh Renovation; now it was time to give the same treatment to the bathrooms and laundry.

Before After
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A Welcome Return

Auckland homeowner Joe had engaged Renovation Consultant, Chiraag (Corey) Rambhai to renovate his 1950s weatherboard house three years earlier, with great success. So when it came time to renovate his bathrooms and laundry, Joe didn’t hesitate to bring Corey on board a second time.
During the initial concept stage, it became clear that Joe was looking for more than minor improvements; he required a complete overhaul of his bathrooms and laundry, from top to bottom. Corey was more than ready to help Joe bring his vision to life.
While both bathrooms and laundry were usable, there was wasted space and the dark, cluttered and dated style no longer matched the rest of the renovated house. Joe was looking for something more open, elegant and uplifting, so Corey got to work, excited to create beautiful spaces and exceed Joe’s expectations.

Budgeting for High-End Finishing

Joe’s estimated budget going into the project was around $60,000 but, following the initial consultation, Corey came back with an estimate of $80,000. This included stripping the bathrooms and laundry right back to the frame and waterproofing wet areas from the ground up. As construction progressed, the re-modelling and construction costs remained consistent, but Joe’s requested upgrades of bespoke cabinetry, fittings, and tiling, increased the final budget to $90,000.  

Successful Construction Scheduling 

Corey engaged all the tradespeople necessary to bring Joe’s project to life. This included builders, plumbers, electricians, plasterers, painters, waterproofers, tilers and glass fitters. Their presence on-site had to be carefully coordinated around Joe’s daily routines, as well as aligned with material delays and COVID lockdowns. This was no mean feat, but Corey’s project management experience ensured everything went to plan.
To accommodate the material delays and enable construction to continue in the COVID climate, the decision was made to remodel one bathroom at a time to ensure Joe and his family always had one operational bathroom. This proved to be the smart choice as Corey and his team managed to complete one bathroom just prior to a COVID lockdown, which then kept the team off site and prevented them from completing the second bathroom for a considerable time.
In Corey’s capable hands, bathroom one was stripped back to its timber frames, which allowed for the layout to be re-shaped and the plumbing to be relocated. A new sub-floor for the waterproofing and tiling was also built. Bathroom two was given a complete facelift with a reconfigured shower recess, while the laundry gained beautiful yet functional cabinets, shelving, and a benchtop.
Throughout the entire process, Corey remained in constant communication with Joe regarding the design, layout, and finishes, to ensure no concepts had been misunderstood or overlooked.
Corey’s design experience meant that he incorporated all of Joe’s requirements from the start, avoiding expensive and disruptive mid-construction changes to layout, materials, and quantities.

Spatial Transformations

Bathroom one was opened up to create an airy, streamlined space with a long, custom-built vanity and wide mirror. This clever design created more physical space while the wide format mirror, which reflects light off the pale tiles, helps to create a brighter and more spacious ambience.
Lighting was placed for maximum effect, with one positioned above the vanity and directed upwards to bounce light off the ceiling, while the other was directed downwards to bounce light off the tiles and vanity. Finished with bespoke fittings and tiles, this luxurious bathroom is now a space for sophisticated relaxation.
The second bathroom deployed similar design ideas. Floating cabinetry creates the appearance of increased floor space, while cramped corners were eliminated by shifting the layout of the shower recess and installing a frameless shower screen. A former cabinet over the vanity, which was home to downlights, created a very ‘top-heavy’ feeling in the small space. Now, a large mirror with full perimeter back-lighting bounces light off the pale tiles creating softer, diffused light.  

Laundry Layout

The laundry is also unrecognisable from its darker days, now boasting a fresh practical yet refined look. Corey and his team turned this room of the house from a drab, under-utilised space into an elevated, polished, and highly functional room. Thoughtful touches such as the work-station light and the open shelf for decorative display ensure a high-quality finish to this renovation.

Final Thoughts

Corey’s understanding of the brief and coordination of tradespeople and materials resulted in the whole project staying within budget, and the final effect exactly, if not better, than envisioned. Joe and his family couldn’t be happier with the outcome; their entire home is now a haven of comfort, tranquility, and style.

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This project was completed in
May 2022
Project description
Bathroom and Laundry Renovation
Auckland Central
New Zealand
Project duration
10 months
Cost estimate
Actual cost
COVID delays, with site shutdowns and materials being stuck on a boat
Interesting aspects
Custom vanity with a full width recess, large format mirror, and clever lighting decisions.
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Chiraag (Corey) Rambhai is Renovation Consultant of Recreate Construction Ltd, a franchisee of Renovation Franchise Ltd, doing business in Auckland Central.

Actual costs vary by project. Plan ahead to reduce the impact of industry changes or disruptions. For more information see here.

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