Ready for a bathroom renovation but not sure where to start? Check out these tips from Simon Vos, one-time winner of The Block, and his wife Ashley.
The Block Glasshouse winners Simon and Shannon Vos are known for their renovating prowess. Now Simon and his partner Ash are making over their entire Coffs Harbour home from top to bottom – and inviting us on the journey.
Bathrooms are typically considered the trickiest room in the home to renovate. There’s no easy way around construction or plumbing, with bathrooms offering very little opportunity to DIY.
We spoke to Ash Vos to get her advice on kicking off a bathroom renovation.
Some of you will already have an idea of your preferred interior style. Others will be overwhelmed, and unsure of where to start. Regardless of how you start your project, it always pays to do a bit of research.
Jump on Instagram, Pinterest or pick up a magazine if you prefer an analytical approach.
“The bathroom was the thing that we ‘Pinned’ the most!” Ash shares. “We were toying with different colour options and finishes on tiles and vanities, so Pinterest was really helpful.”
Ash and Simon’s luxe master bathroom, featuring Thala Herringbone Mosaic tiles.
If you’re feeling indecisive and you would like direction from the get-go, a great starting point is Beaumont Tiles’ ‘What’s My Style’ quiz. Select a series of fun objects, images and styles and you’ll be matched with a suitable bathroom style.
Ash and Simon ended up with two slightly different styles for their bathrooms.
“Simon and I split the bathrooms. So, I designed the main bathroom and I wanted it to feel like a spa and quite glamorous, while at the same time a bit mid-century modern,” Ash explains.
“Then Simon grabbed the ensuite and that was all about texture and natural stone tiles and finishes. We don’t have kids yet, but we wanted to give it that ‘parents retreat’ feel.”
The ensuite, with Lux Marfil Polished tiles.
When locking in a style, sometimes it can help to work backwards from a focal point, like a bathtub or statement vanity.
“For the main bathroom, I really wanted a bath and we started with the layout to achieve this,” Ash says. “The bathroom space isn’t massive, but to fit in a bath it had to work with the overall aesthetic and layout. We selected a Lite-Weight option from Kaskade Stone, available through Beaumont Tiles. And from that decision, the layout really determined the mood and tile choices.”
Budget will dictate most of your decisions. While your personal taste may demand expensive Italian marble and solid gold door handles, your budget may leave you with something quite different.
Budgets will vary for everyone. However, one rule always applies: don’t undercut yourself when designing a forever home.
“When it comes to budget, we believe that bathrooms and fixed items are where you spend money,” Ash says. “Furniture moves with the owner, but luxurious fixtures and tiles add value to the home. Don’t go for budget tiles when you want to live in your home and enjoy it, the essence of a bathroom exists in the selection of your tiles and hardware.”
Invest in good quality tiles – like these City Green Gloss Mosaics – and a good tiler.
That said, it’s easy to go overboard.
“When you have your style in mind, then you should see what’s available and hone in on what’s achievable for your space,” Ash explains. “Without seeing the options, it’s easy to get carried away with a theme and plenty of inspiration. What you need to do, is select tiles according to your layout and what’s going to make the space the best it can be.”
Finally, justify your budget according to what you want to get out of the space.
“Don’t skimp on trades who are working with fixed materials like tiles. If you are renovating a forever home there is no point skimping on the quality of workmanship if you have spent a large amount on the materials,” Ash says. “If it’s a flip, then expensive fixtures and materials may not be necessary.”
Pick your bathroom
Once you have a budget in place, it’s time to shop! You may underestimate how many choices need to be made. Everything from tiles to shower heads to toilets and cabinets need to be selected, and they need to be compatible with the space and with each other.
This is where a bathroom package can come in handy. Beaumont Tiles have a series of bathroom packages that include all the vital pieces. Pick your style (for example, ‘Retro Vintage’ or ‘Coastal’) and everything from taps to cabinets will be included according to your theme.
If it’s difficult making a final decision, use this handy visualiser to experiment with styles virtually before committing to them in-store.
Tile-wise, Ash and Simon used an exclusive Antique Pantheon Pietra for the shelf wall and Mos Penny Round Cinder Grey for the mirror wall.
If customising a theme, start by shopping for materials – and there are two ways to do this, Ash explains. “Research online, make an order for samples or go in store and see everything all at once and make selections,” she says. “We would recommend having some inspiration pictures to take to the store, so you can show the sales team who can help you achieve your end selects.”
The other thing you need to ‘shop’ for are your tradespeople. This can be tricky with bathrooms because not only do you need to seek a range of quotes, you need have all your ducks in a tightly-organised row. If you’re going ‘DIY’, Beaumont Tiles are a one-stop shop with glues and grouts available too.
You want to get the most out of your time, but do allow some leeway between jobs. “Trades don’t like working altogether in the one small space – we knew this ahead of time because Simon is a plumber. We would always recommend a small buffer between bathroom trades,” Ash says.
Ash opted for Antique Pantheon Pietra tiles on the the floor and Antique Royal White tiles for the wall.
When it comes to project management, a spreadsheet or calendar and plenty of forward planning will be the key to success – and your sanity. Good luck!