A pair of heritage bathrooms clean up nicely

11 Mar 2020

Renovating a heritage bathroom is a behemoth of an undertaking. But when done right, it’s also a truly rewarding experience. It’s the kind of project which requires that perfect meeting of passion and a penchant for choosing inspired colours, which is exactly what happened when a beachside cottage in Oamaru and a villa in Waiuku each found new owners

The former has a rich history as one of the oldest timber houses in the North Otago area, one that dates all the way back to 1872. The homeowners were faced with a big decision given the house’s age: renovate or start from scratch. While they kept working on concepts for a new home with some exciting character features, they couldn’t quite shake off the possibilities of refurbishing the existing property. To help bring their vision to life, they employed the services of designers Annabel Berry and Meghan Nockels of Design Federation. 

“The intention of the design was to combine the historical cottage look with a coastal beach feel,” says Annabel. They were able to achieve their goal in large part of their inspired Resene paint palette.

“We had two site visits to Kakanui Beach and Campbells Bay to review the main colour cues that inspired our palette. Using the Resene Colour Palette Generator tool we were able to see from our photographs what paint colours we could use that were directly generated from our surroundings.”

Classic Resene Duck Egg Blue eventually won everyone over as the right choice for the home’s bathroom, and was neatly complemented by crisp Resene Half Black White panelling. Resene Eighth Parchment was that final refreshing finishing touch for the doors, architraves and ceiling. The home’s original claw foot bath is the home’s crown jewel, and was beautifully restored by a car painter in Oamaru, and looks right at home amongst the calming colour palette. 

Do you have a home full of wonderful Resene paint and colour? Send us some snaps by emailing [email protected].

bathroom, blue bathroom, heritage bathroom, free standing bath, Resene

The colours of nearby Kakanui Beach inspired the palette in this renovation. The tongue-and-groove panelling is painted in Resene Half Black White beneath walls in Resene Duck Egg Blue. The ceiling, architraves and door are in Resene Eighth Parchment.

Over in Waiuku, Jane Thorne and her husband Pim Slagman became enamoured with a century old villa, and had been hard at work on it since purchasing in 2015. While their budget was tight and the bulk of the work would be up to them, Jane and Pim just knew they wanted to embrace the age of the house.

“The hours and hours of sanding were one of the biggest challenges, but it was worth it to get the perfect paint finish,” says Jane.

It wasn’t until they were hard at work on the bathroom that Jane discovered the original tub when she found its taps poking out of the wall. Not being able to let it go, Jane’s curiosity eventually unearthed the enormous clawfoot bath, which had been completely boxed in by previous owners.

“It was in terrible condition, with rust around the drain and rough, peeling paint all over. We had it restored to its former glory by a bath resurfacer and we couldn't be happier with the work.”

Inspired by the soft pastels popular in the 1950s, Jane set about building a palette around this colour theme. She selected Resene Half Pale Rose for the walls with Resene Quarter Villa White for the tongue-and-groove panelling, ceiling, trims and architraves. For the tub, the buttery Resene Pale Prim was selected for the outside and Resene White for the feet.

The newly restored bathroom, Pim notes, is beautifully grand, spacious and classic with a nod to its heritage. For Jane, the tranquil space and has become her favourite room. 

yellow bath tub, pink bathroom, heritage bathroom, pink bathroom inspiration, Resene

After spending years walled in, Jane and Pim unearthed an original claw foot bath during their bathroom renovation. They chose Resene Half Pale Rose for the walls and Resene Quarter Villa White to refresh the original the tongue-in-groove panelling, ceiling and trims. The outside of the now restored tub is in Resene Pale Prim and the feet are in Resene White.

Freestanding tub top tips

If you’re thinking of purchasing a luxurious freestanding tub, ensure you’ve taken these considerations into account:

1. Be sure your bathroom is big enough to accommodate. 

Freestanding baths, especially older ones, tend to take up more room than built-in models and need space between them and the wall. The plumbing and tapware will also take up extra room and will be more visible than it would be with a built-in.

relaxing bathroom, bathroom inspiration, neutral bathroom, freestanding bath, Resene

Resene Wallpaper Collection P031-VD3 sets the scene for a relaxing time in this modern bathroom thanks to the serene picture it paints. Pair it with floors in Resene Colorwood Natural, a vanity in Resene Alabaster, pot planters in soft oranges and pinks like Resene Tuft Bush and Resene Romantic and a towel basket and woven mat in Resene Calico.

2. If you opt for a footed tub, you’ll need to clean beneath it. 

Even freestanding tubs that sit flush on the floor will leave a gap between the wall and the bath that may be tough to reach when cleaning depending on where it’s placed. On the other hand, freestanding baths can be accessible from all sides if placed further from the wall or in the centre of the room, making scrubbing easier.

tropical bathroom, green and white bathroom, nature inspired bathroom, bathroom inspiration, Resene

The dark, deep leafy patterns of Resene Wallpaper Collection P035-VD2 is an ideal choice for bathrooms with windows peering out to lush gardens. Go with flooring in Resene Colorwood Oregon, a chair in Resene China Ivory topped with a cushion in Resene Saratoga, and a bathroom mat and vases in calming greys like Resene Half Jumbo.

3. Your bathroom floor needs to be strong enough to support not just the weight of the tub you choose, but the weight when it’s filled with water and has someone sitting inside. 

This is particularly important if you are planning to put a tub on the second floor of your home as the floor may need to be reinforced first. Cast iron baths can be especially heavy, sometimes prohibitively so, to transport upstairs.

4. Make sure you have a place to store soap that’ll still be within in reach when you’re in the bath. 

Having a freestanding tray table to place all your bath products is an easy option.

bathroom wallpaper, bathroom inspiration, towel ladder, bathroom mirror, freestanding bath, Resene

Resene Wallpaper Collection E384534 is a stand out design in this charming bathroom, which features a freestanding bathtub, bath filler, vanity and faucet from Plumbing World. Floor in Resene Coconut Cream, bamboo ladder in Resene Apple Blossom, tongue-and-groove panelling in Resene Bunting, front wall in Resene Pewter, tray (on vanity) in Resene Coriander, soap dispenser and tumbler in Resene Coral Tree, stool in Resene Apple Blossom, vase (on vanity) in Resene Bunting and textured vase (on vanity) in Resene Coral Tree

images Bryce Carleton, Jessica GernatRachel Wybrow

designer (blue bathroom) Annabel Berry and Meghan Nockels, Design Federation

styling (wallpaper bathroom) Vanessa Nouwens

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