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How luxe materials and a unique layout sets this ensuite apart from the rest

Designed as a series of considered spaces, this ensuite gives functional design a stylish name. Read on to find out how designer Darren James turned practical pieces into special design moments

When it comes to luxurious bathroom design, a generous open-plan space is what usually first comes to mind. However, the design of this ensuite by Darren James of Darren James Interiors proves that bigger isn’t always better. 

By creating a series of small yet deliberate spaces, James has completely reimagined the traditional layout of an ensuite. This allowed James to maximise the functionality of the footprint and while maintaining a luxe feel.

“Our aim was to provide the clients with the most functional layout possible – maximise the space and storage whilst specifying new finishes to breathe a new identify into the space,” James explains. 


The clients, a busy working couple from the lush suburb of Chapel Hill, Brisbane, wanted a full redesign of their master ensuite and walk in wardrobe.

What James decided to do was take a staggered approach to the layout. Full height cabinetry, which takes design cues from the walk in wardrobe joinery, runs the full length of the bathroom. A wall then slices through the middle of the room essentially splitting the space into two zones. The two vanities sit on one side of the wall with the toilet and shower tucked away on the other.

A rich material palette of American oak timber, veined natural stone tiles and brushed nickel accessories creates a luxurious, retreat-like atmosphere for the couple.

“With an exquisite level of detail and high quality finish throughout, this bathroom truly is luxury like no other,” says James.

"With an exquisite level of detail and high quality finish throughout, this bathroom truly is luxury like no other"

The main design feature of the bathroom is the tiling. Used throughout the ensuite, simple, white mosaics bring a classic feel to the space while the detailed stone tiles add drama and intrigue. A powder coated bronze flat bar acts as a dado line where the two tiles meet.

“The juxtaposition between the organic nature of the mosaics and the deep detailed veining in the large natural stone tiles creates a truly unique feature to this bathroom,” says James. 

The wall tile design runs around the entirety of the ensuite – forming both the wall divider and the shower stall. This creates a cohesive look and achieves a visual connection between the separate spaces, which essentially makes the room feel bigger.

Sitting either side of the doorway that goes through to the shower room and toilet, the custom-built vanities are designed as mirror images of one another. Constructed from Black Japan Timber joinery and rounded Portsea Grey Limestone benchtops, their organic forms feel sculptural.

“The curved forms in the space create a contrast against the linear elements of the design, such as the mirror cabinets, custom glass shelving and wall tile split,” says James. 

Storage and functionality were integral elements of the design brief, so James designed integrated cabinetry for both the bedroom and the bathroom. Made from Dark Brown Cape Elm, the cabinetry adds to the luxe, moody feel of the suite.

James says the wardrobes feature storage solutions for every need and automatic lighting adds another layer of ease and comfort. “LED sensor lighting has been built into both wardrobes, under vanity and niches for ultimate functionality and control.” 

This bathroom is an artistic meeting of form and functionality. From the moody material palette to the interesting layering of spaces, this ensuite design does luxury living in a unique way. 

Credit list

Benchtop
Portsea Grey Limestone Honed from CDK Stone
Taps
Circa Wall Basin Set 200mm in Brushed Nickel from Sussex
Toilet
Nest Floor Mount Toilet Pan with Pila Slim Seat from Rogerseller. Apollo by Rogerseller Flush Plate In Wall with Floor Pan in Brushed Nickel from Rogerseller
Flooring
Fiandre Just Cementi White from Artedomus
Lighting
Flos Glo Ball in White - Warm White Globes from Euroluce. Volta Wall Light Short in Black from Lights Lights Lights Delt Lite Midispy Trimless on Dimmers from Inlite Knee Deep. Fixed Downlight in White from Caribou
Awards
Trends International Design Awards (TIDA) Bathrooms – Winner
Vanity cabinetry
American Oak Timber with x2 Black Japan Stain Vanity Nikpol Dark Brown Cape Elm Wardrobe Carcass
Basin
Corian Eneregy 7720 Basin in Glacier White from Corian
Shower fittings
Flow Dual Shower Rail with Integrated Water Inlet in Brushed Nickel from Rogerseller
Accessories
Eccentric by Rogerseller 850mm Towel Rail, Paper Holder, and Robe Hook all in Brushed Nickel from Rogerseller
Tiles
Portsea Grey Limestone tiles Honed from CDK Stone Inax Sugie Series in Hanten from Artedomus
Drapes
Sheers in Pepe Penalver Alive Brisa 06 by Westbury Textiles - Manufactured by Decorators Workroom

Designed by: Darren James Interiors

Story by: Australia TIDA Bathrooms

Photography by: Cameron Murchison

27 Sep, 2020

For more than 30 years, Trends has promoted great home design ideas through its print, digital and online media.The Trends International Design Awards – TIDAs – take that involvement to the next level with the search for the best kitchens, bathrooms and homes across a number of the countries where Trends has a presence.


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