Bringing a 1930s bathroom into the 2020s in Sandringham, Auckland

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This renovation project enhanced practicality through modern features \u2013 without losing the bathroom's 1930s colourful charm.

This renovation project enhanced practicality through modern features – without losing the bathroom's 1930s colourful charm.

Before After
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Getting started

When client Helen bought her bungalow in the city fringe suburb of Sandringham, 1930s features were part of its appeal. But in the bathroom and adjacent powder room, those character elements seemed less charming and more dated. The materials were showing their age, there was no storage space, and the dividing wall reduced both rooms to feel cramped.
That’s why, after taking ownership of the house, Helen’s first goal was to update the bathrooms. She had a very specific design in mind, but she didn’t want to manage all the elements of a renovation on her own.
That’s where Refresh Renovations came in. Helen approached local Renovation Partners Johannes Jacobs and Anthony Bayne for help bringing her vision to life. She liked the idea of having a dedicated project manager, using reliable tradespeople, and not having to juggle everything on her own.
“When I bought my house late last year, I knew the first thing I wanted to do was renovate the very tired and dated bathroom and toilet. I had a clear vision of the space I wanted to create but was daunted by the prospect of coordinating so many different trades for my first major project,” she explains.

Developing the design, setting the budget

Anthony took the lead on this project, providing professional assistance with the entire process, from concept creation right through to managing the construction phase.
Helen didn’t have a specific budget in mind when she approached Refresh Renovations, but she did have strong ideas about the design of the space and the materials she wanted to use.
After looking at her ideas, Anthony came up with a concept and initial costing estimate of $32,602 to demolish the existing bathrooms, remove the dividing wall, and refit the space. Helen supplied her choice of fittings and tiles and chose to paint the bathroom herself.
Because she wanted to live in the house while the project was carried out, speed was also important – Helen wished to minimise the time spent without an accessible bathroom. With this in mind, Anthony set a timeframe of four to six weeks to complete the bathroom renovation. 

A well-trained tradie team

Although Helen’s project wasn’t huge, it did require a wide range of tradespeople – including builders, a plumber, an electrician, a tiler, a plasterer, and a glass installer. The challenges of 1930s plumbing and highly detailed design meant that everyone involved needed to be an expert. Fortunately, Refresh only works with tradies at the top of their game. 
Each element of the build needed to be completed on time and in order, which meant coordinating trades and keeping a close eye on timing. This is where Anthony’s expertise added significant value, leaving Helen relieved that she didn’t have to organise or oversee the complex parts of the renovation. 

Taking care of every little detail

Construction went smoothly, with Anthony scheduling workers, overseeing installations, and ensuring that every element aligned with Helen’s vision for the space.
Although the project didn’t run into any major challenges, creating Helen’s concept meant taking time to finesse the details. As the shower tiles featured a unique hexagonal design, the tiling required days of work from an experienced tiler to ensure the pattern matched perfectly.
Another key detail: the brass bathroom fittings. These fittings ended up tying the whole room together for a sophisticated look; although, it wasn’t so simple to achieve. At the time, the shower’s channel drain wasn’t available in the brass finish. In solution, Anthony had it electroplated to match.

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A stunning result

With the wall between the bathroom and powder room removed, the final bathroom has resulted in a larger space with a functional layout. 
Off-white walls and floor tiles provide a gentle contrast between the teal blue tiles in the spacious walk-in shower. Meanwhile, a large timber vanity offers ample storage space. And to complete the renovated bathroom, an oblong mirror with backlit lighting makes the room brighter and more practical to use. 
The tired, cramped, and impractical bathrooms Helen had started with have been transformed – and she couldn’t be happier with the result.
“As with most older homes, there were a few challenges along the way, but Anthony and his incredible team of tradespeople managed every issue quickly and kept me well informed and engaged throughout. The final result is better than I had imagined and is the beautiful, calm, urban retreat I had hoped for.
“I can’t recommend Anthony and everyone involved highly enough for bringing my vision to life, and I am looking forward to working with them all again on future projects,” she enthuses.

Final thoughts

Renovating a character home means bridging the gap between attractive original features and practical modern design. Anthony Bayne has done just that with this clever 1930s bathroom renovation. 
The finished bathroom renovation melds quality construction and practical features with interesting design elements, creating a modern space that fits seamlessly into the character home. 

Would you like to discuss your home renovation ideas?

Get in touch for a free consultation with your local Renovation Partner.

This project was completed in
October 2021
Project description
Bathroom renovation
Auckland Central
New Zealand
Project duration
161 days
Cost estimate
Actual cost
Interesting aspects
A unique colour palette creates a kitchen with a distinct personality.
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Anthony Bayne is Renovation Consultant of BL Projects Ltd, Shiloh Projects Ltd, a franchisee of Renovation Franchise LtdLtd, doing business in North Shore Auckland Central.

Johannes Jacobs (JJ) is Renovation Consultant of ​BL Projects LTD, Shiloh Projects LTD, a franchisee of Renovation Franchise LtdLtd, doing business in North Shore 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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If you would like to find out how Refresh Renovations can support you with a high quality, efficient home renovation, get in touch today. Your local Refresh Renovations consultant will be happy to meet with you for a free, no obligations consultation.

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