Tag: bathroom renovation

Lyndie’s Renovation: A NEW ROOM TAKES SHAPE



We’re not newbies at realising the potential health benefits of outdoor living.  Although this was not our first consideration before deciding to extend and enclose our entertainment area, it certainly helped in ticking more boxes in the pro’s than con’s list.  This room would enhance our lifestyle by becoming a dining, living and entertainment room all in one.  We wanted the design to be an extension of our home, opening up to the outdoors with new pool and merging indoor living areas with outdoor areas effortlessly.  We had to do it right, first time around.  Of course, the trick to designing that perfect outdoor room is to make it complement your existing home, to have it blend in architecturally, as well as selecting finishes that would tie in with the indoor rooms.   The exterior part needs the same consideration, selecting roofing material that would match the existing roofing structure, face brick matching existing brick, as well as considering the pitch of the new roof.

Proposed plan for renovation


renovation changes

As you can see, our dog still can’t miss any of the action and can’t wait for this project to come to an end…  Nevertheless, she’s doing a great job overseeing the build 🙂

renovation tv room

Before: This door to our tv room will be replaced by bifold doors and the corners of the room will be squared.  We’ll remove the existing roof, as this is the only way we could effectively create a unified look with the new roof of the new entertainment area.  The other option was to leave the roof as is and build a new sloped roof onto the new extension.  Only trouble was, this could only be done by creating a box gutter, which collect a lot of water and could cause problems in the long run.

tv room door

Construction: The timber structure for the new roof is up and foundation ready to be tiled.  The tv room has been squared and steel support installed for the bifold doors.

renovation new wall

Before: It’s time for the wall of the new extension to be built.  This wall will house a fireplace and connect to the old formal dining room.  The cavity, that used to be the formal dining room window, is now ready for a bifold door that would eventually lead to the new bar.

new wall progress

Construction: I considered the design of the fireplace very carefully, as this would be an eye catching feature in the new entertainment area.   I wanted the fireplace at table height, so that it can be seen from across the room, including the dining area.  I also wanted a cavity on either side of the fireplace to store firewood, while simultaneously benefiting from the rustic charm of raw timber.  I wanted the design not only to be practical, but to fit the overall personality and style of the house.

renovation new fireplace

Well, now you’re getting the idea!  We’re finally ready to tile and render, install the new bifolds and share some great before and after photos!  Hang in there, we’re almost done…

If you’ve missed the renovation in other parts of our home, follow these links:

Before & After of Entry and Stairs, Before Photos of the Interior, Renovation, First Phase, Ensuite Bathroom Make Over, Kids’ Bathroom Make Over, Demolition day, Formal Lounge Room Reveal, Kitchen installation begins, Kitchen Reveal, Formal Dining Room Demolition, Inspiration for the new Bar, Bar Reveal, The New Extension, Digging the PoolConcreting the Pool, Pool Progress.

Cheerio ’til next time!

Lyndie camera

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How much does a bathroom renovation cost?

We’ve learnt that clients get frustrated if we answer: “It depends on what finishes you use and the the size of your bathroom.” (Even though it is true!) This is one of the questions we get asked the most!

So today we will give you a better breakdown on how to budget for your bathroom renovation.

We divide it into three categories:

  • The face-lift ($5,000+)
  • The standard bathroom replacement ($15,000+)
  • The luxury bathroom ($25,000+)

1. THE FACE-LIFT ($5,000+)

If you renovate to sell, or you renovate because your bathroom is falling apart but your budget is very low, the face-lift option is for you. This will not be your dream bathroom, but rather a working and less old fashioned bathroom.

To save money, you need to keep the plumbing (positions of taps and toilet included) in the same place. Don’t change the layout of the bathroom at all! Do not buy feature tiles, as they are expensive.  Focus on a cheaper tile, but still choose something interesting and on trend. To save costs, do not tile all the way to the ceiling. (We hate to recommend this, but it will save you a lot of money on tiles and labour) Get a quote to resurface your bathroom if possible. Check out Resurfacing Australia’s website for ideas. Shop around on e-bay for vanities, toilets and taps. If you project manage this yourself, you can save a lot of money!

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This is the minimum amount we always prepare our clients to budget for a bathroom. If you want to have a bathroom that is on trend, new and will have a WOW factor, you need to budget for more than just a face-lift bathroom. This option is for people who want to enjoy their new bathroom for many years to come.

We don’t do face-lift bathrooms for clients, but we do design and project manage many bathroom installations in the standard bathroom category. Clients must be willing to buy quality taps, a new toilet and a new bath. Old fashioned shower screens are replaced by frame-less screens. Many times we twist the bathroom layout too, so the client is willing to add a few hundred dollars to change the bathroom layout slightly. In a standard bathroom you can still not splurge and buy the top of the range products, but you will be able to create a beautiful new quality modern bathroom that will add value to your home.

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3.  LUXURY BATHROOM ($25,000+)

It is very important that you do not over capitalise your home. You can not spend $40,000 on a bathroom if your house does not fall in a price category to suit this expense. If you are unsure on how much you should spend, chat to your estate agent or interior designer. If, however, you are lucky enough to build your dream bathroom, you might easily spend between $25,000 to $40,000. The trick is to choose what items you should splurge on. If you save on some items, you can keep the budget affordable. The labour cost does not change much between the standard and luxury bathroom. It is the finishes that break your budget! Good spatial planning, choosing quality finishes and good styling are the keys for the luxury bathroom.  If you are planning to spend this amount on a bathroom, it might be good to get an expert’s opinion and design advise. It won’t cost an arm an a leg to pay for an interior designer’s professional help, but at least you know the $30,000 you spend on your bathroom will have a WOW factor and be the envy of your neighbourhood.

Bathroom renovation, interior designers hills district, how much does a new bathroom cost
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Always get more than one quotation. We always get at least two quotations from a bathroom installer, and relevant tradies and tile shops. Planning your bathroom will be the key to saving money. And most important, STICK TO YOUR BUDGET!!!! No, you don’t need the fancy tiles you can’t afford!

If you missed the story on how Lyndie renovated her bathroom, read her previous blog about her own en-suite bathroom renovation.   With marble tiles, luxury provincial taps, heated towel rails and a beautiful timber vanity, she added a few extras to a standard bathroom, to create a more luxurious look without breaking the bank.

Happy decorating!

eriana bredenhann interior designers hills district sydney

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What Tradies do you need for a Bathroom Reno?

If you’re a newbie at bathroom renovation, there are a few people you need on your side before you begin.  They will all be equally important in the steps you take to a beautiful bathroom, so treat them well!


Trades for batrhoom interior designer
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That’s us!  If you’re thinking about changing the layout to make it more suitable or functional for your needs, get a professional to help you at the planning phase.  It might be a bit more costly changing the plumbing around, but will work out better in the long run.  Any changes will be beneficial in increasing your enjoyment while spending time in this small little space.


Unless you can do this job yourself, a licenced plumber will be your best friend during this renovation.  He can change the layout of pipes, install beautiful tapware, showers and gorgeous freestanding baths.


Another step not to be missed for a successful renovation.  The waterproofer applies a membrane in your wet area, ensuring no water leaks to other areas.  Make sure he hands you a waterproofing certificate as proof that everything is up to scratch.


Trades for bathroom tiler
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A quality tiler is essential in a great bathroom renovation.  Tiles need to be sloped towards drains to ensure water doesn’t run out the door.  They also need to be equally spaced, applied with the correct colour grout and feature walls or niches need to look top notch.  Good tilers are usually pretty busy, so make sure you book them well in advance.


trades for bathroom cabinetmaker
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Today, there are many custom options for cabinets available, but if you need a bathroom cabinet to fulfil you storage dreams or fit a specific space, this is one trade you’ll certainly need!


You might think that water and electricity don’t mix, but your extractor fans, lighting, power points and heated towel rail will need proper connection.  A qualified, licenced electrician is the best man for this job.


Getting all trades to line up in sequence to finish a renovation in under 3 weeks (or 6 months!) could be a challenge for most.  To make things a bit easier, book a bathroom builder to do the hard stuff for you.  It might be more costly, but it will safe you a lot of time and effort in the long run.

Read our blogs Lyndie’s Ensuite Bathroom renovation or Eight Tips on getting the Kinks out of a Bathroom Renovation, before you start knocking down walls.

Cheerio ’til next time!

Lyndie camera

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Best tips for a wet room

Hold your horses, this is not as easy as you think! The wet room is a popular bathroom trend, but can be very unsuccessful if not done correctly. For a proper wet room, you need to throw a few extra dollars into your budget.

Wet rooms started as a solution for very small bathrooms where a toilet, shower and basin had to fit in a small space, but there were no place for extra walls. It reminds me of the bathroom in a standerd suite on a cruise ship. No ways two people can use those bathrooms together. You can’t even brush your teeth without hitting your head against the shower head. However, if people now mention a bathroom renovation with a wet room, they actually want a huge wet room with a spa feeling where you can almost fit a whole sports team in.

Things to consider when planning a wet room:


You need to do extra waterproofing as your whole bathroom might now be splashed and become soaking wet. Make sure you also buy waterproof light fittings and special sealed joinery. Make sure you plan your storage to be out of reach of any spray and steam. You don’t want to have soaked shelves every time you shower. Invest in heated floors, because they will help to evaporate water quicker. Also invest in a proper overhead shower head to prevent too much spray outside the designated shower area. I hate it when I get out of the shower and my towel is wet!

wet room bathroom renovation decor tips reno tips
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In a wet room there is a lot of water spraying everywhere. After your shower you might find it difficult to walk around in the bathroom without slipping. Invest in floor tiles with a bit of texture or non-slip characteristics. You can even add a timber area to create the real spa feeling and to prevent slipping.

wet room bathroom renovation decor tips reno tips
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So how will you contain all the water in the bathroom and prevent it from running down your hallway? Get a great tiler that can build a gradient in your floor and make sure that all the water flows towards your drain. In a wet room it is best to invest in strip drains that cover bigger areas. The other option is to create a total seperate space just for the bath and shower and split them from your door, toilet and basin with a floor to ceiling glass partition. It is less wet room and more open shower design, but it will still give you the feeling as if the whole room is one big wet room.

wet room bathroom renovation decor tips reno tips
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Nobody likes wet toiletpaper or a drenched toilet seat. If your bathroom is too small to prevent the shower’s spray to reach your toilet, maybe you should reconsider the wet room. Always position your toilet as far away from the shower as possible. Your other option is again to seperate the toilet from the shower with a floor to ceiling glass partition.

wet room bathroom renovation decor tips reno tips
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We would love to see photos of your wet rooms! Email them to us at: info@vanillaslatedesigns.com.au and you can be in one of our next blogs! Or, if you need help designing a bathroom, send us an email to ask for our price list.

Until next time,

eriana bredenhann interior designers hills district sydney


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Lyndie’s Ensuite Bathroom Makeover

Our suburb, Cherrybrook, was mostly rural land until around 1959, when it was subdivided and became the first project home village in Sydney. The original bushland was bulldozed, and exhibition homes were built and landscaped.  For this reason, most of the homes here look fairly similar and main bedrooms come with your standard walk in wardrobe and ensuite bathroom.

Our home was built in the 90’s and we’ve only recently started modernising our living spaces.  The bathrooms all reflected that lovely 90’s look including gold framed showers, peach toned tiles and a wobbly toilet to boot (which was no fault of the builders)!

Ensuite bathroom before

We originated in South Africa and were raised on maize meal, sunshine and meat.  For this reason, most of us are fairly large boned and require a bit more room to move.  Our bathroom could not fit 2 (large boned) people at the same time and the position of the toilet did not contribute to comfortable moments on the throne.  The same was to be said for the walk-in wardrobe – we had plenty of storage, but the U-shaped layout wasn’t very practical for our bone structure.

Blog, Lyndie's ensuite bathroom plans

We decided to remove the wall between the walk-in robe and ensuite bathroom and turn the entire area into a large bathroom.  So what to do about a wardrobe and storage space?  Where will we put our snorkelling gear (which we only used once), our duffel bags, suitcases, rucksacks, sports bags (it sounds like we travel a lot, but we don’t…) clothes and shoes?  We decided to create a built-in wardrobe in the bathroom cavity with an access door from the bedroom.  I’ll address the rest of the bedroom storage in my next blog about the main bedroom.  We installed a shower screen, which left us with a huge area for a wall hung vanity, ample knee space in front of the toilet, as well as a nice big shower.

Ensuite bathroom marble and timber inspiration

I love the combination of marble, timber and crisp white.  A modern look with a Provincial twist will be the style I’ll be carrying throughout the house.  I used a hexagon marble tile from Beaumont Tiles as feature wall in the shower and they kindly suggested a light grey grout to define the edges.

Bathroom view from Bedroom to Bathroom

After a bit of brainstorming with Eriana, we decided that, by carrying the grey floor tile up to the wall, it will create a more dramatic backdrop for the white and timber wall hung vanity.  The rest of the bathroom was tiled in large white tiles in a satin finish.  Great decision, don’t you think?

grey bathroom floor and wall tiles


Timber top Vanity grey tiled wall

I decided on a mirrored cabinet to match the timber topped vanity, as it would create more storage.  I love top mounted basins, as it fits the look I’m going for. As in the other bathrooms, I’ve stuck to hardware in a Provincial range.

Keep your eyes peeled for my main bedroom blog!

Cheerio ’til next time!

Lyndie camera

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