It’s not often that the floor is a renovation highlight but it’s certainly the case with this Melbourne project, notwithstanding its many other stylish features. A thin, porcelain tile with cobalt blue aggregate throughout, it’s a statement and a welcome reprieve from the ubiquitous polished concrete that was originally in the room. “The floor turned out to be the feature of the project, but it was certainly not our favourite part given all the trials and tribulations that came with it!” says interior designer Lena Bruno of By Bruno.
“The floor initially was an industrial looking concrete finish floor slab, without the correct falls for appropriate drainage and was virtually impossible to keep clean. 25mm terrazzo tiles were our first choice however grinding down the slab to allow for these was going to be too costly and could potentially affect the integrity of the foundation,” says Lena who spent countless days hunting for the cobalt smattered tile that emulates terrazzo but was much more affordable and easier to clean.
Located in the Melbourne suburb of Northcote, together with the ensuite, Lena was tasked with upgrading the home’s bathroom/laundry and walk-in-robe too. The house is owned by a husband and wife duo that spend a lot of time travelling and were looking for a warm, welcoming feel at home. “The focus was to create an inviting, calm, retreat-like feel to the spaces, differing from that of a hotel,” says Lena.
While plain white, rectified tiles make the ensuite and bathroom spaces look and feel larger it’s the timber accents that prevent the spaces from feeling too clinical. “Blackbutt timber veneer was used for the vanities to inject warmth and continue the flow of timber furniture throughout the home,” says Lena.
The ensuite is accessed through the couple’s walk-in-robe which had a fabulous makeover too – the large oval mirror echoing the curves found in the vanity basins and bath in the adjoining room. “One of the clients is well over 6-foot-tall, so the oval mirror was custom made by us. It was drawn up based on the client’s height, moulded out of steel, sand blasted and then powder coated in matt white. Given the weight of this mirror once finished, we then had to install a stud in the wall behind so that it could be secured properly,” says Lena.
The clients’ globetrotting lifestyle played into the design choices in the walk-in-robe. “Being constantly on the go and travelling the globe, there were many design considerations incorporated for this lifestyle, such as the lower storage robe drawers which also double as an area to place luggage and pack for the next morning’s flight,” says Lena.
Photography: Lauren Bamford | Styling: Esme Parker
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