I love designing bathrooms. There is something so personal and luxurious about them. For this project the client drew on this gorgeous retro image to describe the look and feel she was after.
My client was looking for a spa-like quality in her main bathroom, but didn’t want to feel as though she was standing in a “beige box”. Travertine was the perfect choice to transform her 90s bathroom into a relaxing retreat. This beautiful stone is a versatile material that can be used all over the home in walls, flooring and benchtops.
Floor to ceiling travertine is particularly effective in bathrooms, providing a seamless, elegant dressing for the room.
Floor to ceiling travertine brings calm and elegance to a bathroom space, as seen in this design by Mim Design
I was inspired by this look, but wanted to introduce more personality and texture to my client’s space. Here’s how I created the ‘Stone Haven’ scheme.
I love the combination of stone, white and timber. For the vanity, I recommended a floating stone top with one row of slim oak timber drawers beneath it. Being tall, my client didn’t want drawers running vertically down to the floor, so this design suited her perfectly.
Storage was provided through ceiling-high mirrored cabinets.
Slim-line timber drawers like these for the vanity, without the base and with 100mm stone top to match the stone bath. Double basins will be fully integrated, i.e. not just under-mounted, but seamlessly carved out of the stone top.
I sourced both vein-cut and cross-cut samples for my client from Marble & Ceramic Corp. They decided to go with vein-cut travertine in 600 x 300mm tiles, a beautiful choice when installed floor to ceiling.
Vein cut travertine Cross-cut travertine
From Marble & Ceramic Corp, Alexandria
I wanted to bring some relief and contrast to the expanse of travertine. The Muro 41 artisan tile in Milk White is gorgeous to touch – soft, chalky but robust in hand-made porcelain, it will provide an ideal textural feature on the vanity splash back and one wall of the shower.
The Muro 41 artisan tile in Milk White from Di Lorenzo
The bath was always going to be a centrepiece of the room. Rather than white acrylic, we sourced a beautiful stone bath in Off White from the Natural Stone Bathroom. I love the egg shape and broad rim of the Picasso stone bath. Make sure you check out stone options before buying an acrylic bath – you may be surprised how cost-effective they can be when you buy direct from a manufacturer.
I noticed my client and her husband weren’t really “towel hangers”. Towels were draped over the door and shower screen, even though they had a towel rail. Designing is not about creating a perfect space – it’s about creating a perfect space for your clients and how they function day to day. I wondered whether they would really use a traditional towel rail. Luckily, they loved the idea of not having to hang, and will be installing these gorgeous Muuto oak wall hooks instead. Again, the timber provides textural relief and interest to the travertine walls. Hamman style towels complete the look.
I confess I am not a fan of traditional bath mats – they rumple easily and can end up looking like a tea towel on the floor. I prefer small flatweave rugs or runners for a cleaner look. In this space, I specified a sheepskin mat for the floor, together with simple accessories for the vanity and timber stools for greenery, candles and bath products.
Now, we just have to wait for the building works to proceed, custom pieces to be ordered, measured and made, bathroom to be stripped and roughed in and then the final install. This can take a few months. The waiting and the doing is always the hardest part, but I feel my clients have a good base to work with and will be able to bring their vision to life.
Let’s talk travertine
Travertine is available in two cuts:
1. Vein cut, where the striking veins are visible.
2. Cross cut, which highlights the material’s natural spots and grooves.
Both cuts are highly effective as floor or wall tiles. They come either honed or polished, and can be filled or unfilled.
Here’s how the different cuts look installed.
Vein cut shows the naturally occurring lines in travertine
Cross-cut produces a swirly or cloudy effect.
It’s important to use the correct installation and care methods with this material, because travertine tiles are porous and will pick up stains if not properly sealed.
Well looked after, a travertine bathroom will last for years and provide a beautiful sanctuary for retreat and relaxation.