Unified by a modern design, the bathroom and toilet in this 1980s home get a stylish update.
A Reassuring Introduction
North of Invercargill on the main highway to Queenstown, you’ll find the quaint rural town of Winton. Travellers favour it as a pitstop for its character cafes and friendly pubs, while locals, like homeowner Barbara, savour its peace and community spirit.
Having lived in her three-bedroom brick-faced bungalow for some years, Barbara knew it was time to refresh her dated bathroom and toilet. She wanted a modern look that would add value to her property, but was concerned about “budget blow-out” — an all too common occurrence with poorly managed renovations.
To keep her bathroom makeover on track Barbara reached out to Refresh Renovations and was connected with local Renovation Consultant, Mathew Hartigan. From the very beginning, Mathew prioritised Barbara’s budgetary concerns as he explored how best to achieve the result she was after.
Seratone - a Modern Material Alternative
Initially, Barbara wanted a fully tiled bathroom, estimated to be between $20,000 and $30,000. To determine the feasibility of this idea, Mathew produced some concept drawings and sent them out to trades for pricing.
The result? A potential budget blowout! So Mathew suggested the attractive and cost-effective solution of using patterned Seratone to give Barbara the look she wanted within budget!
Seratone colour palettes are specifically designed to complement other contemporary materials. Mathew researched patterns which would give Barbara the look she was after and, thanks to his meticulous attention to detail at this pre-building planning stage, the scope of the project was adjusted with the final cost sitting at $35,000.
Overcoming Obstacles and Finding Solutions
After the plans were finalised, building began. Mathew brought in a team of contractors from his network of preferred professionals, while remaining Barbara’s single point of contact throughout the entire renovation.
Work proceeded smoothly and within a week and a half all wall linings were installed and plumbing and electrical done. When a pipe unexpectedly burst in the ceiling, quick thinking by the builder to turn the water off until the plumber arrived ensured no damage was caused. What’s more, pipe replacement had been factored into the cost so this didn’t affect the budget either.
Another unexpected event in the renovation project was the discovery of asbestos under the vinyl of the toilet floor. Mathew was able to give Barbara two options - costly removal or safe encasement, since the vinyl had not been disturbed. She opted for the latter.
Just as the team was about to lay the flooring, a COVID-19 lockdown forced them to hit pause. Once they could resume work, all the flooring and final fit-outs were finished in four days. Mathew’s expert project management and regular communication with Barbara kept the renovation on track over 76 days despite the lockdown delay.
A Serene Design
The Seratone proved to be a spectacular solution. A matte concrete look covers most of the walls with both the main bathroom and toilet room having a feature wall of glossy black subway tile Seratone. Flooring with a wood grain pattern adds a natural element to incorporate a feeling of warmth, while providing a modern contrast with industrial-looking concrete.
Removing the bathtub enabled a smart layout change to make the bathroom feel open. In its place is a beautiful new vanity with a polished white countertop and tri-fold mirrored medicine cabinet. Floating next to the vanity is additional cabinetry with both exposed and concealed storage. The verticality of the cabinet is a clever use of otherwise wasted space.
It was important to Barbara to replace the cramped shower with a level walk-in one. Her new and spacious, semi-frameless glass shower with matte black fixtures and built-in shelving has the added bonus of abundant natural light and adds a chic modern feel to the room.
With the exception of the towel racks which are the same matte black as the showerhead, the rest of the finishings are classic chrome, a selection chosen by Barbara herself. A fresh coat of paint for the ceiling and trim in both rooms completes the transformation.
Worth the Wait
Although Barbara hadn’t placed any time constraints on Mathew, she did want the renovation project finished as soon as possible, so she could revel in her stylish new space. Finishing on time and within budget was made possible by Mathew’s superb project management. Without his attention to detail and meticulous planning, the minor setbacks could have turned into major difficulties.
Both Barbara and Mathew are thrilled with the fresh contemporary bathroom renovation.