It’s been a huge luxury for us to have come from a home with one bathroom and fighting over the toilet to now being spoilt for choice. It may seem a bit excessive to have 3 bathrooms and to be honest when we tell people we do, they always seem surprised but when we explain each of their purpose we then get the “oh, that makes sense”
We always knew we wanted a real modern monochrome with a touch of timber theme to the house but originally we dreamt up a natural elements bathroom. Something rich, warm & earthy. The tapware was always going to be black, there was no question about that (budget permitting), so I started hunting for tiles quite early on – It was actually one off the first things we looked for. I remember it quite specifically because Mia was only 5 months, she generally loved car rides but this one day she just had a fit and needed to get out of the car so we saw Tile Warehouse in Penrose and I just said to James lets just get her out and start looking for options. We didn’t know it at the time but Mia led us to who we found we be the best and most helpful sales teams we have had on this whole journey.
I started out looking at every grey stone option they had in the store and even though I really liked the options I was pulling side to take home, I never really had that instant “I love this” moment. The options I was taking home we sophisticated, earthy, natural and suited our style but I think my gut was telling me it was just so ‘safe’ and it had been done over and over in other homes – like our old one haha, guess you just go back to what seems natural. There was this one tile that was placed at the entrance of the store that always grabbed my attention but because it wasn’t in my ‘brief’ I always walked passed it.
After taking home about 10 different tiles (and yes, the team let me do that) over 3 visits we never really found “the” tile. Time was gaining on us and we decided to pick a white, earthy stone tile which was huge. It was 600mm x 1200mm which we really liked and thought it would suit our aesthetic. Little did we know, we weren’t the only ones who thought the same about the tile, because when we went to place our order in it was sold out and we couldn’t order in more in time for the tiling deadline. Grrrrrrr.
In my frustrated and last attempt to find something Bree from the Tile Warehouse in Penrose (the most amazing salesperson and my personal tile saviour) started to get me to think a bit differently about how the bathroom could go. Bree had been watching our progress on Instagram and could see the style we were going for but because of the ‘brief’ I gave myself she always suggested what I told her – good sales person who listens, trust me there are a lot who just do not listen at all! She took me back to the Black marble tile I always admired but just walked past and as soon as she started walking me there I instantly had the ‘YESSSS!!!’ feeling. I guess I just needed someone else to validate what I was thinking and liking. After weeks of hunting, we found tiles – finally!
Black Matte Marble: Euromarmo Pietra Grey Hound 600×600
White Matte Tile: Marmi China 316×900
Our vanities were custom made by DJS Cabinetry to fit our spaces. In Mia’s/Main bathroom I wanted a long bench top to utilise space and looking to the future, I felt with kids, they needed to have more space to put things when getting ready. DJ who owns the company is so cool! and totally got what we looking for and his words were basically “you find what you like, and I’ll make it” and he did exactly that. I’d seen a vanity similar but the sizing was so out for our spaces so I gave him a photo and the finishes I wanted and viola! 6 weeks later, we had them in our house and to perfect size.
Matte finishes were the one thing we wanted in the bathrooms and set aside budget to make this possible. Our word of advice on matte finishes, if you want that look increase your budget by 10-20% because matte does come with a little extra costs. All our tiles, tapware, joinery, fixtures and even vanities have a matte finish and it’s all come out exactly how we wanted it.
Our tapware, bath, basin bowls and fittings was all sourced from Elite Bathroomware through our plumber – Levi Plumbing. We used the same plumbers we had on The Block NZ (we can not recommend these guys enough! they are truly the best) and one thing we always told us was to try and avoid going cheap on the fittings of taps especially in highly used areas. So we opted for the Methven range because of its reputation and guarantee. This was an expensive choice but now living in the house for 7 months it’s bee n an investment we do not regret.
All 3 of our showers are different. Our Master & guest are both walk in showers which means there is no step or door to get into them and you literally just walk in. Mia’s bathroom has a 900×1200 hinged door shower. Because these were classified as ‘custom’ we had to find a company that could make and fit our glass accordingly. For us going with the Matte theme also made things tricky, but luckily for us we found Sharpeye Glass on the North Shore who were able to do everything we needed and within our minimising budget.
Our tilers are just so good! we also worked with this team on The Block and found them so efficient, patient and just on to it! Give them a call if you need tilers – James from Excellent Tiling
M&J’s tips for the bathrooms
- Plan and pick your tiles early! Make this one of the first things you think about.
- Trust your gut. If you don’t initially feel like “its the one” it probably isn’t. Tiling (and tiles) aren’t cheap so make sure you truly love what you pick.
- Invest in good tap ware and put money aside for quality.
- If you want Matte finishes increase your budget accordingly.
- Have a plan to get things started. Know what you like/want and if it evolves or changes slightly – go with it. But trust your gut.
- Know your measurements & always carry around a tape measure.
- Consider your shower and/or wall sizes when picking your tiles. This can impact on how the end product looks in the space.
- Don’t be afraid to go over and repeat yourself in how you would like the placement of your tiles on the wall. Tilers do appreciate it clarity, but don’t watch over their shoulder like a hawk. A good tiler knows how to complete a specified brief.
Thanks to The Honest Eco for the photo of our spaces. All the stylish glass bottles used in the pics are from them. Check out their page for some awesome ways to reduce plastic waste and save a bit of cash by buying in bulk.