Beautiful bathroom curves

Beautiful bathroom curves

Last week we shared some of our favourite curving kitchens from the KBDi Designer Awards of 2020. This week we’re showing off some soft-edged bathroom spaces, where Australia’s best designers have used curves with great effect.

This award-winning bathroom by Perth’s Kyle McGregor (Lux Interiors) is an organic-oasis. From the custom-round skylight to the gently curving wall, and from the oval-shaped mirror to the cylindrical basin, the bathroom is a soft-edged delight.

This heritage home had some outstanding architectural features and was an excellent example of 1900s craftsmanship. Sydney designer, Darren Genner CKD Au (Minosa) was determined to create a space that would reflect the home’s history – with a dramatic twist. A custom-curved vanity is an ultra-contemporary contrast, but its artful execution pays homage to the history of the house. The carefully detailed bulkhead reflects the curving archways throughout the grand residence, and lighting emphasises the organic forms.

Melbourne’s Sally Wilson reinvented the constrained space of this typical 70s bathroom, creating a homely oasis for her client’s family of five. The gently curving wall is clad with stunning marble tiles, with its soft edges replicated in the curved bath.

New South Wales designer, Gavin Hepper CKD Au (Concepts by Gavin Hepper) created a curvaceous haven in this 80s era abode. The designer softened the edges of the custom vanity unit, repeating the curved feature in the basin and bath selections. A curved shower wall adds drama to the space, while at the same time creating a glorious cove within the shower recess.

This dynamic waterproof wallpaper was the starting point for Sydney’s Donna Allen. The curving lines of the design inspired the detailing of the vanity and mirrors, and the organically shaped basin and bath are a perfect match.

Have a favourite of these five? Share your comments below.

Linear and point shower drains

Linear and point shower drains

While they may seem an insignificant detail in bathroom design, drain grates can have an enormous impact on the overall appearance and workability of a shower space.

A poorly selected drain grate can cause all manner of issues for your client. The cosmetic qualities of particular styles may be apparent, but cleaning concerns and drainage inefficiency are often not discovered until the shower is being used regularly.

While there are many different products on the Australian market, there are essentially only two types of drains used in domestic shower applications:

Linear Drains

Also referred to as strip drains or line drains, linear drains are – as the name would suggest – long and narrow, and available in a range of lengths. They’re most commonly located along the wall parallel or perpendicular to the shower entrance (depending on where the plumbing has been aligned). The floor ‘falls’ in a singular direction towards the linear drain, allowing shower water to flow efficiently to the waste.

In some instances, installing the linear drain at the threshold of the shower will prove advantageous. While this takes a little more planning from the tiler (with falls required from within the shower and from the surrounding bathroom area), it does eliminate the need for a raised threshold. If your client has mobility challenges (through age, injury or disability), this may be an option worth considering.

Linear Drain Pros

Directing fall to a linear drain requires fewer tile cuts than would be necessary for a point drain. This makes it an ideal option for large format ‘hero’ tiles.
Fewer cut tiles mean fewer grout lines: if your client is wary about keeping grout clean, this may help them make their decision.

On the subject of cleaning, a linear drain that can be easily removed will appeal to homeowners with long hair or spoilt fur-babies (are your clients planning to wash their dogs in the shower?).

Linear drains with tile inserts received 57% of votes from KBDi Members when they were asked to nominate their most-often used drains. Members love the clean, seamless aesthetic lines of this option, as you can see in the examples below.

Linear drain with a tile insert (bathroom designed by Paul Coulson, QLD)

Linear drain with a tile insert (bathroom designed by Sari Munro, NSW)

Linear drain (in shower) and point drain (main floor area) with a tile insert (bathroom designed by Sonja McAuliffe, ACT)

Linear drain with a grate (bathroom designed by Alan Nasrallah, GIA Bathrooms & Kitchens, VIC)

Linear Drain Cons

A linear drain may not be suitable where existing plumbing cannot be relocated from a central area to a wall.

A poorly specified linear drain may not allow for the volume of flow required in an open or double shower. Ensure that the specified drain meets the flow capacity of the shower/s.

Linear drains with grate inserts (as opposed to tiles) may seem harder to clean for some clients. Ensure that you specify the highest quality stainless steel version to allow ease of maintenance and long-term appeal.

Point Drains

Point drains are traditionally located in the centre of the shower area. The floor in the shower recess must fall towards the (generally) 100mm square or round drain from all directions (i.e. from all four walls/screens). This fall allows the gentle funnelling of water into the drain, but may require significant tile angles and cuts to ‘meet in the middle’.

Point Drain Pros

43% of KBDi members use point drains in most of their projects, predominantly with a tile insert. They cited cost efficiency and ease of cleaning as their primary reasons, and we consider both of these factors to be ‘pros’ for the point drain.

Point drain with a tile insert (bathroom designed by Eliesha Paiano, NSW)

Point drain with a grate (bathroom designed by Teresa Kleeman, VIC)

Point drain with a tile insert (bathroom designed by Teresa Kleeman, VIC)

A high-quality, well-designed, removable unit is essential: always consider the finish (grade of stainless steel) and flow capacity, and consult with your plumber to make the best decision for your client.

Point Drain Cons

As indicated above, your tiler may need to make significant cuts to get the appropriate fall to a point drain. If you’ve picked a premium large format tile, consider how these cuts may compromise your design.

It’s not surprising that you’ll get what you pay for when it comes to point drains. If a low price means a compromise in quality, remind your client that they’ll lose that cost efficiency if they’re replacing the unit in a couple of years or less.

Have your own opinion about drainage grates and inserts? We’d love to hear your thoughts – feel free to share below.

About bathroom basins

About bathroom basins

We recently surveyed our Members about their bathroom basin preferences. As we hoped it would, the survey proved that there is no ‘one size fits all’ solution when it comes to vanity vessels. Basins have varying aesthetic and practical values, and all come with a list of pros and cons. In this feature, we’re breaking down the basins our Members use most often.

Above bench basins took the lion’s share of votes for favourite basins: the sculptural values of a well-made basin can add a sense of drama to a space (as perfectly demonstrated in this award-winner by Darren Genner CKD Au).

New South Wales member, Cate Liedtke, selected an above counter basin to cleverly replicate the vanity detailing in this super-smart bathroom.

Under bench basins took second place, with designers citing a long list of pros for the classic sink selection: ease of cleaning, optimum bench space and – most notably – flexibility and control of bench heights make the under bench basin a stayer. This beautiful bathroom (by NSW designer, Tameka Moffat) illustrates all of these qualities.

The under-counter basin in this bathroom (by Melbourne’s Teresa Kleeman) allowed a family-friendly bench height, well-placed wall taps and ample bench space.

Inset basins prove the perfect in-between for many of our members. The additional vertical volume offered by an inset basin adds the element of drama we like in above bench basins, without complicating the overall height of the vanity and mirror above. This beautiful space by New South Wales member, Sari Munro, is an excellent example.

His and her inset basins suit the country styling of this Adelaide Hills beauty, designed by Janine Izzo.

Integrated basins are an excellent solution for many applications. With their ultra-streamlined appearance and absolute ease of cleaning, the integrated basin was a popular choice amongst KBDi members. Melbourne’s Kia Howat (GIA Bathrooms & Kitchens) chose a solid surface integrated basin for this stylish space, and it works a treat.

Brisbane’s Darren James CKD Au, CBD Au (Darren James Interiors) made a striking statement with this custom stone vanity top. The seamlessly integrated basin allowed the palette and patterning of the Chambord Grey limestone to take centre stage.

A semi-recessed basin is an ideal solution for a bathroom with size constraints. WA designer, Kerrie Richardson CBD Au (Lux Interiors) had limited space to play with in this powder room, but a semi-recessed basin saved the day.

We’d love to know why you lean towards (or avoid) particular basins. Share your wisdom in the comments below.

Features and benefits of solid surfaces

Features and benefits of solid surfaces

As we look for ways to impress and service our clients, it’s essential to be informed about the features, benefits and design considerations of a wide range of products. With an in-depth knowledge of surfaces and materials, you’ll be better placed to extend your design potential in kitchen and bathroom design. In our new Design Bulletins, we’re helping you build a bank of references to start your material investigations. In this month’s product highlight bulletin, we’ve partnered with Austaron Surfaces to outline the features and benefits of Staron® Solid Surfaces.

The Bulletin summarises how solid surfaces can be used in all kinds of kitchen and bathroom applications. It outlines the key considerations you need to make when designing with solid surfaces, including support and structural requirements, designing with pattern and selecting colours. Most importantly, this handy cheat-sheet sets out the compliance and warranties associated with the product, making it an invaluable resource for all good designers.

Members can access this Design Bulletin (along with our full suite of Technical and Business Bulletins) in our exclusive Members Portal. Simply click on the Members Portal tab at the top of your screen and log in to your account. (If you’ve not yet registered for an account, this process is straightforward: simply complete the details where prompted and we’ll set you up.)

Not yet a KBDi Member but keen to learn more? Complete the form below and we’ll be in touch.

KBDi Video Conference | Producing A+ Plans

KBDi Video Conference | Producing A+ Plans

Thursday | 11 June 2020 | 4pm AEST

Having worked in cabinetmaking, design and drafting for over a decade, Aaron Meyer (Meyer Vision) has experience at both ends of the concept to construction journey. Aaron knows how clear and concise technical drawings can eliminate design fails and avoid on-site hassles, and he’s eager to share his top tips for producing plan sets that meet and exceed Australian Standards.

You’ll also hear from KBDi Corporate Partners, PYTHA 3D CAD, during this session. Pytha’s tech team will be on hand to answer any queries you have about the software, and you’ll learn what they’re doing to support their existing customers during this challenging time.


About the Presenter

Aaron Meyer entered the industry as a cabinetmaking apprentice in 2009. He loved his time on the tools, but was soon drawn to the technology used by his Adelaide employers, Workspace. He became proficient in PYTHA 3D CAD, and developed a great appreciation for the practical attributes of this concept-to-completion software. 

A move to Brisbane in 2016 allowed Aaron some new opportunities in a high-end design studio, and it was in this workplace that Aaron’s proficiency in producing high quality plans and outstanding 3D renders was taken to a whole new level. With a keen interest in design and an excellent eye for detail, Aaron is keen to share his knowledge with KBDi Members.

Watch the recording

Whoops, this video is for members only. If you have a membership, please log in. If not, you can definitely get access! Become a KBDi Member here.

Jolie handles are the details that make the design

Jolie handles are the details that make the design

‘The details are not the details. They make the design’.
Charles Eames

This quotation sits front and centre in the office of Two Tease director, Kevin Tuersley, and is a perfect reflection of the quality hardware on display in his adjoining showroom. The Crows Nest studio is home to a stunning range of cabinet and architectural hardware, and designers with a great appreciation for ‘the details’ will be awed when they step inside.

The ‘Jolie’ range of cabinet handles will catch the attention of kitchen, bathroom and furniture designers.

The brand was developed by two design-savvy visionaries who saw a gaping hole in the handle market for unique, high-end hardware.

Belgian, Ben Evens and Dutchman, Ferry van Herwijnen, combined their industry experience and passion for design to bring an exceptional solid brass range to the market. Their commitment to quality is evident at every stage of production: each piece is created using traditional sand-casting methods with the highest standard of precision machinery, at the hands of world-class artisans. Products are cast and forged, milled and drilled, pitted and lacquered under the watchful eye of the Jolie team, and identified with the ‘J’ insignia.

With finishes like Old Silver, Aged Bronze, Secret Aged Gold and – of course – a timeless Black, and a comprehensive suite of architectural collections, you’re sure to find the perfect ‘jewels’ to crown your interior designs.

Most importantly, you’ll know that your stock will be immediately available from the well-stocked Sydney showroom, or airfreighted directly from Belgium within seven to ten days.

Kevin is eager to welcome KBDi designers to his Crows Nest studio. Contact Two Tease today to arrange your personal viewing.