Q & A with Harmony Behr
Why did you need a new bathroom?
We moved into our home six years ago with the intention to eventually renovate both the kitchen and bathroom. They were both functional but very dated. The kitchen was the first cab off the rank and with two very young children at the time, it was a big job! So, we held off on the bathroom until now. The old bathroom was not in keeping with the rest of the updated house with terracotta coloured tiles and a bit of an Aztec theme. We also found that functionally, it hadn’t been well thought out. It had a huge vanity, little space around the toilet and the shower was right next to the door. So, not only did we want to modernise the colour and fixtures, we also wanted to change the layout of the space to make it more user friendly for our family.
What were the key features that you wanted for the new bathroom?
More space around the toilet, additional storage, a bath and separate shower were must-haves for us.
How did you collect your inspiration?
I started following designers and bathroom brands, like Caroma, on Instagram and created a bathroom reno album on my phone to save images in. I did the same on Pinterest which has millions of images for inspo!
I also visited the Caroma on Collins showroom to view the products I liked online, in person. Sometimes images don’t tell the full story. For example, for our vanity, I’d decided on one I’d seen online (not Caroma) and was about to order but at the last minute, decided to make the hour-long journey to see it in person. And I’m so glad I did! The quality was awful and I would have been very disappointed had I purchased it!
How would you describe the look of your new bathroom?
“Modern Coastal” was the look I was going for: think timber, neutral colours, textured tiles.
Which Caroma products did you use?
We chose Caroma tapware, bath, basin, toilet and accessories. The tapware and accessories are from the stainless-steel Titan range. When I saw the range at Caroma on Collins I instantly knew it was right for our coastal bathroom. I like that it’s not highly polished like chrome, it’s a bit muted and definitely brings a luxe feel to the room.
For the bath, I had my heart set on a freestanding one but after my consultation with Mimi at Caroma on Collins, we changed it to a back-to-wall Aura bath, which works so much better in the space and size of the room. Mimi was awesome in really showing me how it would work. It also means less cleaning for me!
We used a large above counter basin from the Classic range. It’s 600mm which is large but as our vanity is 1500 mm, a smaller one would have looked too small. Again, Mimi was really helpful bringing this to my attention and showing me how much better the vanity would look with a larger basin.
What was your biggest restriction? How did you overcome it?
The size of the room! I always thought it was quite a large family bathroom, until we listed all the fixtures we wanted to include, so we had to be mindful of our choices. We overcame the size restriction by being clever with our choices, like selecting the back-to-wall bath instead of freestanding, changing the direction the door opening to allow more room for the toilet and vanity and also by recessing the storage such as the custom-built shaving mirror.
Did you stick to your budget?
Pretty much, although there were a few additional costs I hadn’t accounted for. For example, we ended up putting in a new window as the old one was really old and we thought louvres would be a good option.
What is the most important piece in your bathroom and why?
The bath! For our family with young children it’s definitely important. I also rate the Cleanflush toilet massively! It means so much less cleaning, which is always a plus in my book.
What do you love most about your new Sanctuary?
Where do I start?! I love all of it but my favourite part would have to be the stainless-steel look of the Titan tapware range. It really helped achieve the relaxed, coastal theme we were going for. I also love the Aura bath, whilst it’s not huge in length, it’s nice and deep which means we can all enjoy it. And I’m so happy with my feature wall tiles from Tile Cloud, they add texture and interest to the room without overpowering everything else.
What are your three top pieces of advice before starting your bathroom renovation
Don’t be afraid to change the layout of your old bathroom if it makes the room more functional. It doesn’t or shouldn’t cost as much as you think and is definitely worth it.
Do loads of research and save images from all different sources so you know exactly what style you like before committing to anything. And beware of trends that may date easily!
Take the time to see & touch the fixtures, tiles and lighting you are interested in. Things look so different in person and you may end up seeing something that would work better than what you thought. Caroma on Collins is fantastic! You can see the fixtures in actual bathroom settings rather than a wall of taps and toilets. And, the design team there are a fabulous resource to help plan & choose what you need to make your bathroom exactly the way you want it.