Homes

Shining bright

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Alex Fulton turned three bathrooms into two – adding a whole lot of colour along the way.

You started out with three bathrooms and ended up with two. Was there much spatial shuffling to get what you wanted? A bit! Originally we had an ensuite – and now we don’t, but our girls do. And the two main bathrooms were practically side-by-side, so one had to go. The first was at the end of a long hallway and separated a small TV room from the kitchen and dining spaces.
We decided to take that bathroom out to create one big open-plan area. The second bathroom was a long, thin one which we expanded, stealing space from an alcove in the living room.

You opted to design an ensuite connecting your daughters’ rooms, rather than keeping the one you had off the master bedroom. Why was that? We’re not really fans of ensuites and were happy to give ours up so that the girls could have their own shared space. It also meant that this bathroom can be used as a guest bathroom as it’s got external access. It just made sense.

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Talk us through your design process in the main bathroom: We wanted to mirror what we had done in the girls’ bathroom – with a double sink and customised door handles. But I wanted the accent colour to be different and that beautiful bright burnt orange was just the ticket. The orange was inspired by the Laminex Solid Surface 100% acrylic Neon Orange benchtop, which I colour-matched to Dulux Hot Embers and sprayed to make it look like a floating orange sculpture. The orange is also highlighted by a vintage poster I bought online from Melbourne-based Vintage Posters Only. It was a huge punt buying online, but the oranges
matched perfectly. Yellow and royal blue were also in the colour palette but used in smaller doses like in the Muuto pendants, wall dots and the Hay Design towels.

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And what about the girls’ bathroom – with a shower at one end and sliding doors from their bedrooms at the other, plus an exterior door to fit in, how did you decide on the spatial arrangement? The exterior door was to give the girls access to the outside spaces and pool area as well as providing a bathroom that guests and wet people could use instead of traipsing through the house – and it works a treat.  As far as the spatial plan for the rest of the layout, well that really was all about accommodating the other key items for any girl’s bathroom: a large mirror and double sink. Our architect Chris Nott was happy to work with us to help fit all our requirements in. The colour palette for both bathrooms is clean and fresh with pops of colour added in the details.

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How did you choose the feature pieces? For the girls’ bathroom yellow was always front of mind. I wanted a yellow ‘box’ at the end of the space, with the rest of the bathroom largely white. I added a few other colours like Dulux Boyzone for the heated towel rail and a trio of colours for the footstools to add playfulness to the space. This room has been called the Lego Bathroom because of these elements and the oversized handles I designed. We love it.

If design is in the details, what were the finishing touches in these spaces? Just because a space is a bathroom it doesn’t mean that it should lack personality or not contain items that make your heart swell. I like things that make me happy and oversized paper fruit and a display of coloured toilet paper will do that every time I lay my peepers on them. Case in point is the disco ball pendant hanging over the toilet in the main bathroom, with changing LED colours – I mean, how can you not smile or crack a disco move when that turns on!

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What does a well-designed bathroom mean to you? Someone once said a good bathroom should be a place you feel good being naked – I love that! Badly designed bathrooms disappoint me the most. Bathrooms should be fun, comfortable and just like the rest of your house – containing treasures, collectables and colours that make your house your home.

What songs are the Fultons singing in the shower? How did you know! We love having music through out the house and the bathrooms are no exception. We are George FM-heads and we are not ashamed to admit that we live-stream dance music into most of the rooms in our house. The bathroom has most excellent acoustics! The disco ball gave us away, didn’t it?

GET THE LOOK: MAIN BATHROOM Fredericks and Mae worry beads, $135, douglasandbec.com. Muuto wall dots, from $40; E27 pendants, $129, bauhaus.co.nz Poster from a range at vintagepostersonly.com. Hay Kaleido trays, from, $45; Hay towels, from $44, simonjamesdesign.com. Armadillo & Co Daisy Weave floor rug, $625, afdstore.co.nz. Marimekko towel from boltofcloth.com. Tim Webber Yellow Notch mirror, $395, afdstore.co.nz. Icon+ white tapware, astrawalker.com.au. Customised cabinets designed by Alex Fulton Design and made by Nazareth Joinery.

GET THE LOOK: GIRLS’ BATHROOM Yellow and white hexagon tiles, POA, academytiles.com.au. Icon+ white tapware, astrawalker.com.au. Towel, AU$59; framed teatowel, AU$69, from castleandthings.com.au. Muuto E27 pendants, $129, bauhaus.co.nz. Marimekko hand towel, $29.99, boltofcloth.com. Le Funk multi-coloured plastic stools, $185 each, poynters.co.nz. Customised cabinets designed by Alex Fulton Design and made by Nazareth Joinery.

Photography Jim Tannock