In the eyes of Hannah Withy, good interior design involves working to the client’s brief to ensure they are happy. Which is exactly what landed her three awards for the beautiful bathroom (pictured) at the NKBA 2020 Excellence in Design Awards. Metropol catches up with the first-time entrant.
WHAT DREW YOU TO DESIGN, SPECIFICALLY KITCHEN, BATHROOM AND JOINERY?
“I studied a Bachelor of Industrial Design, and I loved doing the furniture design paper. When I finished up, I thought maybe I could combine my love of cooking and furniture design into kitchen design and I just went from there. I’m very fortunate to have discovered that passion at a young age.”
WHAT WAS THE BRIEF GIVEN FOR THE 2020 NKBA AND HOW DID YOU ACHIEVE THIS?
“The client wanted the bathroom to be like a cave. They were an owner-builder so wanted to be able to do a lot of the work themselves. So, instead of doing a huge amount of tiling on the walls I chose a material that the owner was able to install. When the client mentioned the word cave, I instantly thought of the Wieliczka cathedral-like Salt Mine in Poland I had seen on my OE.”
WHAT DOES THIS RECOGNITION MEAN TO YOU?
“I am ecstatic to have my hard work rewarded during what has been a tough year. I am humbled by this award and am so happy I made the effort to enter.”
Classic all white aesthetics will always have their place, but more designers and homeowners are choosing to create some drama in their bathrooms with dark, moody aesthetics to evoke calming opulence in these important spaces.
Bathrooms are as much a place to relax and wash away the day, as they are to reinvigorate and jump start your morning. Darkening the colour tones of this highly functional room can instantly heighten the mood to an indulgent, contemporary feel.
Browsing design books, magazines and blogs reveals moody washrooms fitted with natural and earthy material palettes of dark stone, wood and ceramics teamed with soft lighting and brass finishes.
It was this type of drama which caught the eyes of judges at this year’s Trends International Design Awards, where Christchurch-based interior designer Angelique Armstrong received all three bathroom awards – two of them for moody, masculine designs.
Where such hard surfaces like natural stone or concrete and rough sawn timber may seem oppressive, balance can be maintained with considered and cleverly placed – or manipulated – artificial and natural lighting.
Naturally occurring textures like imperfections, veins and wood grains also help remove any overly industrial harshness.
Reinterpreting a light bathroom space doesn’t necessarily need to mean a complete overhaul, it could include adding concrete-effect paint or panelling, or simply choosing darker tiles and cabinetry.
At Kouzina you will find the best international appliances for your kitchen and laundry, including everything from innovative refrigeration, steam ovens and wine conditioners to washing machines and dryers.
View the range at the stunning new 300sqm showroom on Christchurch’s Victoria Street. The latest addition to the nationwide retailer, which started in Auckland and then Queenstown in 2004. The Kouzina Showroom is an inviting, collaborative space designed to inspire you throughout your project.
With quality international brands including Miele, Gaggenau, Bora, Qasair, Liebherr, SubZero, Wolf, plus others, the Kouzina teams have years of expertise and knowledge to help you find the perfect appliance solution for your home and lifestyle. Kouzina looks forward to welcoming you to the new showroom.
Kouzina Christchurch, 148 Victoria Street. Phone (03) 365 8338 Showroom open Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm, Saturday 9am to 2pm. Kouzina Queenstown, Shop 12, The Landing, 5 Hawthorne Drive. Phone 03 428 2731 www.kouzina.co.nz.
A dark and masculine mood and a rustic French-inspired feminine aesthetic have seen Christchurch’s Armstrong Interiors win three bathroom awards at the prestigious 2020 Trends International Design Awards (TIDA) recently.
Taking out all three categories, the Christchurch-based team, led by Angelique Armstrong, was recognised for innovative design and thoughtfully chosen material palettes, which created a sense of consistency and balance across all three bathooms.
Angelique received TIDA’s New Zealand Powder Room of the Year, New Zealand Designer Bathroom Suite of the Year, and New Zealand Bathroom of the Year awards this month.
She says the powder room and suite were from the same home in Auckland and were completed as part of a full home renovation with a brief to achieve a “dark and masculine mood”.
She achieved this in both rooms with a clever balance of natual materials, lighting and proportion.
CDK volcanic bluestone is used on the walls, giving a unique textured finish with natural colour variations.
CDK Stones’ Myles Spicer says darker tiles is an emerging trend for clients looking for “a moody, soft feel” with a touch of luxury.
He says natural products not only add earthy, opulent textures but can be manipulated to any desired finish.
When it comes to care and maintenance, CDK Stone is the New Zealand agent for German-based company, Lithofin, which specialises in natural stone care, he says.
The master suite also uses CDK Stone Neolith vanities and shower ceramic panels, cabinetry, benchtop and basins, and the powder room uses a fabricated Neolith trough vanity basin.
Reclaimed 150-year-old French oak flooring ties the master suite together, and rough sawn timber cabinetry creates “an organic, moody feel” in the powder room.
The third bathroom recognised in the awards is, “a rustic French-inspired bathroom with a charming feminine aesthetic which balances tradition with modern comforts,” says Angelique.
“We used a traditional neutral-toned palette with feature tiles, enhanced by dark timber shutters, a custom-made solid oak vanity and cupboard, and brushed nickel Axor tapware and shower fittings.”
The wall tiles have an almost distressed and tiered look, achieved with artfully detailed Crea Stories and Crea Ash behind the bath and porcelain Pearl Ret tiles for the floor, all supplied and installed by Brymac Tiles to exacting high standards.
Angelique says she has extreme confidence in Brymac Tiles, and recommends its vast range and quality installation service.
General Manager James Thomson says he always keeps Angelique abreast of new styles.
“When I showed her the Crea tiles a while ago, she took them hostage back to her studio to wait for the perfect job to be used – and this is certainly it,” says James.
“It was fantastic to see the end result.”
Angelique says the overall space is very open and easy to navigate, responding to the client’s brief for easy wheelchair access.
The judges were impressed by the attractive balance of traditional and contemporary elements within a highly functioning setting.
Far more than just a means to cater to personal hygiene, the bathroom is a space we turn to when we need to relax, recuperate and enjoy some respite from the outside world.
As such, the interior should be welcoming and comforting, but the room’s measurements need not be reminiscent of a sprawling spa to serve up an idyllic aesthetic.
For bathrooms that are more akin to cupboards-under-the-stairs, a few tips and tricks are all it takes to prove pint-sized bathrooms shouldn’t have to scrimp on style or comfort.
Eschewing an abundance of noisy wallpaper in favour of a single feature wall will inject a dose of personality into a space without making it feel crowded or claustrophobic.
Whether opting for a mural, a lick of bright paint or a sheet of captivating printed paper, be sure to keep the adjoining walls colourless and sparse to harness the bigger, brighter illusion that white walls bring.
A similar effect can be obtained via the use of furnishings. Incorporate mirrors and glass wherever possible to give the appearance of a larger space, and add flavour via various tchotchkes and artworks that tie in with the captivating hues and patterns found within the feature wall.
The finishing touch? Whether it’s a melange of cacti placed upon the sink or a hanging basket suspended from the ceiling above the bathtub, flourishing greenery will ensure that even the most miniscule of spaces remain welcoming, charming and notably on-trend.
Remember, good things do come in small packages – especially that of the discerning bathroom.
With a little imagination, bathrooms and ensuites can elevate to spa-resort status. We look at how to create a spa holiday experience without leaving home.
The fluffy towel treatment
Invest in the softest, oversized white spa-towels and a basket of rolled-up flannels. A plush new bath mat, the kind to sink your toes into, is a must. White robes and slippers complete the pamper package.
Aloe vera, bamboo plants, orchids and peace lilies imitate exotic spa locations with the healing vibes of nature. Fresh, fragrant flowers will fill the smallest room of the house with their sultry scent.
Whites, soft neutrals and eggshell pastels are synonymous with serenity – and spa sanctuaries. Rather than bold and bright décor, choose shades that slow the pulse. If the bathroom is already black, just twist the theme to exotic.
Under a waterfall
Install a rain-head shower attachment for an under-a-waterfall feeling or a massaging showerhead for relaxing bliss. Let water be the beauty therapist.
Fill glass bowls with bath bombs and pretty soaps, and adorn shelving with beauty products that look too lovely to use. Whisk away those much-less romantic everyday items to the top drawer. Streamlining equals stress less.
Have a fragrant diffuser in a calming scent such as lotus flower or ylang ylang, or tie a bunch of lavender or lemon myrtle under the bath tap or shower head.
Heat and light
Add a dimmer switch to lights, or bathe by scented candlelight. Natural sunlight upon water is therapeutic daytime decadence. Warm the room beforehand to avoid noisy fan heaters spoiling the mood.
Do not disturb
Lastly, lock the door and switch your phone to the soothing sounds of a relaxing, lyric-free playlist.
When building or renovating, tapware choices should be exciting.
Far from just a functional plumbing imperative, taps are rising in the design stakes. They’re top styling statements in themselves. And while there are always trends in tapware, homeowners should be true to their individual tastes.
Edward Gibbon Retail Manager, Lesley Storm, believes if there’s a desired overall look or feel to a room, then taps, basins and sinks play a crucial part. Plumbing styles have the power to impact and personalise a design scheme.
“We guide people through the process of honing in on exactly what it is they want and what will work for their home project,” Lesley says. “For instance, if a client wants a certain metallic finish to be adhered to, we can find a range which offers that shade and effect throughout all the accessories they’d want in bathrooms, kitchens, laundries and powder-rooms.”
Such details may not be immediately obvious when starting out with the process of tap, basin or sink choice.
Lesley adds that planning ahead is definitely a good idea. Some vanities or plumbing elements could take up to three weeks from ordering. She says customers often come in with floor or wall-tile samples, which is ideal practice applied to seemingly minute decisions about things like exact shade, gloss or matte surfaces on tapware. In the end, every attention to both function and aesthetic detail pays off of in greater pleasure for the long term.
Every turn of the tap satisfies when function, shape, colour, material and finish are perfect for the room. Metallics are really popular right now, Lesley says, with black and chrome still popular perennial choices also.
Decoding Tap Talk: Taps are sometimes categorised as classic, contemporary, modern, modern-classic, and pictures tell much of the aesthetic story. The choice isn’t just between metallic colours, but black, white, glass, matte, shiny, satin finishes, even porcelain details. Then there are other considerations to ask about, like water usage/volume, size and placement of taps in relation to basins/bowls, plus the potential to fit filters.
Top Tap Tip: Choose heated towel rails when you choose your tap style if they’re to co-habit. Not all bathroom supply companies manufacture heated towel rails in all shades, but a shape or colour match may be possible. Also, consider the form of your taps alongside that of other accessories. Do they echo each other? Are they minimal and simple, or nostalgic and detailed?
If you are after premium quality tiles to give your home distinctive flair, then look no further than the 100m2 Giovanni Tiles selection studio at 3 Lester Lane, just off Dean’s Ave, which holds a selection of more than 1000 premium tiles.
A tile selection studio that recognises the growing interest from homeowners and construction companies alike, Giovanni Tiles has a dedicated team of friendly experts in colour and style to assist you with all your requirements, from tile selection to free measure and quote, and delivery right to your door.
All tiles in the selection studio are sold under the Giovanni brand and sourced from leading tile manufacturers worldwide. “We import our tiles direct which cuts out the middle man, so our prices are very competitive,” Giovanni Tiles owner, Garey Burgess says.
Giovanni Tiles supplies only premium quality porcelain tiles. They feature the latest colours, fashion and textures for every home or commercial environment and, being porcelain means they are durable and keep their as-new look for many years to come.
The selection studio features extensive areas of tile samples from mosaics, to floor and wall tiles, for both interior and exterior environments. Available in all sizes, this gives customers the best possible idea of what tiles are available, and if they don’t have it, they will find it for you!
Giovanni Tiles is able to source other tiles direct from manufacturers and holds more than 40,000m2 on site at all times, so they can deliver to you when you require them.
For more information or to view the comprehensive range, visit
giovannitiles.co.nz or phone 03-423 1696.
Combining state-of-the-art technology with creative expertise, Matt Wilson and the Rocktops team are specialists in handcrafted stone products. Supplying and installing granite, marble, engineered stone and Neolith, the company can produce anything from bathroom vanity tops, kitchen, pantry and laundry benchtops, to fire hearths, table tops and BBQ areas.
Working directly with the public, housing companies, interior designers and specialty joiners, the team focuses on a ‘quality over quantity’ approach, says Matt, who took ownership of Rocktops in 2012 after managing the business for many years. “We provide handcrafted detail and extra attention to quality, priding ourselves on the time and care we put into each client’s tailor-made projects.”
With a new workshop based in Waltham, Matt has more than 15 years of experience in the industry and attributes valuing customer satisfaction and standing by all workmanship as essential to the company’s success. Whether your custom project is large or small, the Rocktops team can bring your vision to life and make your statement in stone.
Visit rocktops.nz or phone 03-348 9490, 022 620 8684 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.