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    • The Outside In


      The Outside In- By Rebecca Stephens (Interior Designer)

      It’s time to renovate your bathroom. While it may only be a small space this needn’t be a difficult task. Exploring your options using exterior elements provides a great opportunity to be creative.Incorporating natural elements into your bathroom design can transform your bathroom into a larger and more appealing space bringing the outside in.

      The four key elements you need to remember while renovating your bathroom are movement, relaxation, recovery and nature. Movement is a key design aspect that ensures you save space where you can while directing colour and light throughout the room. Relaxation and recovery focus on the feel and atmosphere of your bathroom. This can be achieved using colours and finishes to portray a comforting and soothing feel that enhances the senses through texture and smell. Moreover it is nature that provides the vibrant and fresh atmosphere that is key to any bathroom.

      There are many ways to enhance the natural elements into your bathroom design. Natural light plays a crucial role in this as it can portray a larger space through the use of floor length windows. These will allow the beams of natural light into your bathroom creating a greater sense of size. However if a window in the space isn’t an option it is important to consider the role of indirect light within the space. Furthermore to increase the perception of size within a bathroom a wall-hung vanity is the best option particularly in a small room as it creates a floating effect, which means there is more overall space available. The use of glass within a bathroom is a valuable tool particularly to open up shower areas. Try incorporating light colours and finishes throughout your bathroom and give these touches a strong feature finish such as timber paneling. The use of timber in your bathroom design creates a warm and inviting environment. Consider earthy light finishes which are a great choice for bathrooms as their naturally relaxed feel creates a sense of bringing the environment indoors.

      Utilising textured finishes creates a realistic tactile feel that enhances the senses and draws your eye into the space. Creating a feature wall is an excellent option to distinguish your bathroom space and adds a wow factor as well. Adding feature tiles, be it within the shower space or on a feature cabinet above a basin is the perfect way to add your own personal textured touch.

      Now for the final and most enjoyable part of your bathroom design: the decorating. This stage allows the chance to highlight and enhance the standout features of your bathroom design. Select simple elements to enhance the natural feel of the space. Try incorporating nature by adding plants to give your bathroom a vibrant fresh atmosphere and be wary of overdoing it with too many candles or vases. It is important not to forget to include all the senses as this will give the room a more complete feel. Consider smell, touch, thermal temperature, pressure, relaxation, balance and self-movement.


      Happy Renovating and enjoy creating your new and improved bathroom!

    • Bathrooms, Bathrooms, Bathrooms....

      Bathrooms, Bathrooms, Bathrooms....

      One of the biggest things I find that is lacking in a lot of new bathroom renovators is inspiration and creativity. I’ve come across many new renovators that are either overwhelmed or intimidated by the whole process and their creativity gets stifled along the way.

      Personally I think creativity and individuality add that special touch to a bathroom design. You don’t need to spend a small fortune to come up with a bathroom design that is beautiful and creative, you just need to think outside the box and add your own personal style and finesse.

      So today I wanted to focus on providing a bit of inspiration in the visual form. I have scoured hundreds (ok maybe thousands) of images to hopefully spark a bit of creativity that you know you have somewhere deep inside.

      Outdoor BathroomSource http://designtraveller.tumblr.com/post/1454029979

      There is something to be said about a natural setting but I wouldn’t go down this road if you have nosy neighbours, although, I have heard about some amazing new glass products that provide instant privacy at the click of a button.

      Bathroom 123Source http://wwwartecgroupinc.blogspot.com.au/2011/03/fort-worth-historical-bathroom-remodel.html

      I love the uniformity of the antique post cards framed on the wall and you can never have enough places to hang towels. The beautiful number detail on the towel hooks really adds a nice touch.

      Bathroom Window BathSource http://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/1748885/list/Designer-s-Touch--The-Master-Bathroom

      Often lighting and windows are overlooked or don’t take centre stage as part of the design process. I adore how the bath is the focal point of this bathroom and you can never have too much storage.

      Bathroom SymmetrySource http://www.houzz.com/photos/1367677/Mid-North-Residence-contemporary-bathroom-chicago

      Understated elegance and symmetry is a great recipe for a successful bathroom renovation.

      I highly recommend wasting a few hours online to get a well needed boost of inspiration and bring out your creative side. There’s nothing wrong with borrowing a few ideas and making them yours. You’ll be surprised by what you find.

      For more information on bathrooms and bathroom renovation contact Bourne Bathroom & Kitchen Centre.

    • The Benefits of Ascot Bathroom Vanities

      bathroom vanitiesThe Benefits of Ascot Bathroom Vanities

      I have no doubt that you’re all aware of the importance of a bathroom vanity. Not only is the vanity unit a major focal point of the bathroom but it is also essential for all important bathroom storage. Making the right choice for your bathroom vanity can also be a great way to save space in the bathroom.

      In today’s market place, there are so many options when it comes to selecting your vanity and it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the range of choices on offer. You can have cabinetry custom made or go for something completely unique and different by fashioning an old antique into a new custom vanity. However, there is another way to get a stylish vanity without going down the “custom” road. Ascot has a huge selection of vanity units that are a great alternative. The added bonus is that you can visualise how it will look in your new bathroom without having to stretch your imagination too far because you get to see the finished product.

      Impeccable Finish
      If you’re after an impeccable finish on a modern and stylish vanity then the range from Ascot is definitely worth a look. They have options to suit just about any bathroom layout, from small to large, single basin or the increasingly popular double basin option, Ascot has it covered.

      Space Saving
      When available space is tight, then a space saving vanity unit is a must have and Ascot have a range of wall hung floating units that create the illusion of extra space and provide a streamlined finish to create a modern and minimalistic feel to your bathroom.

      Modern Design
      The designers of the Ascot range have thought of everything. They somehow manage to combine good looks and practicality seamlessly together to create beautiful bathroom storage in a single vanity unit.

      Speaking from experience, most new bathroom renovators that come into our showroom are thinking that a custom made vanity is their only option. Many are pleasantly surprised when they see the extensive Ascot range and realise a vanity unit is a great alternative to getting something custom made.

      When it comes to bathrooms, to me, there’s something very peaceful and appealing about a completely clutter free bathroom bench surface. Selecting a well designed vanity unit makes it easy to create your very own bathroom sanctuary.

      For more information on bathroom vanities contact Bourne Bathroom & Kitchen Centre. You might also like to read How to add Personal Style to Your Bathroom Vanity.

    • The Bourne Top 5 Bathroom Renovation Mistakes

      Bathroom Renovation MistakesIn my line of work I deal with people who are renovating bathrooms on a daily basis and this is a job that I truly love. Renovating a bathroom is an emotional journey and to see the looks on our clients’ faces when all of the pieces come together and they get to appreciate and enjoy the finished product is, to say the least, very rewarding.

      However, the journey for some is more of a nightmare and I’ve heard my fair share of bathroom renovation horror stories and let me tell you they are very scary. So today I want to share just a little bit of our experience here at Bourne. We want to help those of you about to embark on your very own bathroom renovation to avoid some of the more common and costly mistakes.

      The Bourne Top 5 Bathroom Renovation Mistakes

      Mistake #1 DIY Will Save Me Money

      One of the biggest mistakes by far is a combination of enthusiasm and lack of skill. This is a surefire recipe for disaster. Tradespeople are exactly that “trades” people and they spend many years learning and perfecting their skills. They work in qualified and respected professions and are paid for their workmanship and skill level. So if you’re thinking about taking up tiling in order to save a few bucks then think again – you’ll save more money in the long run if you get the job done by a professional in the first place.

      Mistake #2 Planning Is For Beginners

      In those famous words of Winston Churchill “He who fails to plan is planning to fail”. This couldn’t be more relevant for anyone embarking on a bathroom renovation. Doing your homework and all of the necessary preparation is critical for success and a good bathroom plan is a must.

      Mistake #3 I can Scrimp on Quality and Save

      The bathroom is one area that you don’t want to scrimp on quality. The average life span of a bathroom is 10+ years so you really need to invest in quality fixtures that will stand the test of time. The bathroom is also one of the most used rooms in the house so it’s inevitable that you’re fixtures and fitting will be put to the test. If you scrimp on quality then chances are you won’t save in the long term.

      Mistake #4 More is More

      When it comes to selecting colours and decorating your new bathroom I’m a firm believer that less is definitely more. When you renovate your bathroom one of your goals is to increase the value of your home. Chances you won’t be there forever so it’s important to consider the style and colour scheme so that this works in your favour if and when it comes time to sell.

      Mistake #5 I can Change Things as I go
      If you’re thinking this way then be prepared for a major budget blow out. I cannot stress enough the importance of planning so that you don’t become tempted to change things on the fly.

      So there you have it folks, I hope that by highlighting some of these common mistakes we can help you avoid them.

      For more information on bathroom renovating contact Bourne Bathroom & Kitchen Centre.

    • A Few Things You Didn’t Know About Bathtubs

      bathtubA Few Things You Didn't Know About Bathtubs

      We all know bathtubs are a great way to soothe away aches and pains, so today I thought I’d cover off a few things you didn't know about bathtubs.

      Bathtub Facts

      • The physics of displacement was discovered by Archimedes while he was soaking in a bathtub
      • Bathtub Gin received its name as the bottles were too tall to be topped up with water from a sink so they will filled in the tub and the gin was even sometimes distilled and fermented in a tub
      • It’s against the law for donkeys to sleep in bathtubs in Arizona
      • Gisele Bundchen gave birth in a bathtub
      • Exactly at the equator, water is more likely to go straight down the plug hole than rotate in any direction
      • On the Titanic more than 700 third class passengers had to share only two bathtubs
      • About 365 people drown in their bathtubs each year (bath safety is critical!)
      • The average bathtub holds approximately 200 Litres of water
      • Marilyn Monroe reportedly bathed in champagne and it took a whopping total of 350 bottles to fill the bathtub
      • Italian luxury bathroom manufacturer Devon & Devon recently produced a gold coated bathtub coated in 24 carat gold leaf and features brushed gold Flora feet (price upon request)
      • It would take 17,000 McDonalds strawfuls of water to fill a standard bathtub
      • The longest Monopoly game played in a bathtub last 99 hours
      • Mike Tyson reportedly spent $2 million on a bathtub for his ex-wife

      While the above is simply a list of random, but interesting, little know facts about bathtubs to brighten up your day, there is one thing we know for sure... a bathtub is a great place to relax and unwind from the stresses of everyday life. There is even a long list of health benefits we can all experience from this one simple pleasure (but I might save that list for another day).

      If you’re renovating your bathroom selecting your new tub is one of the most important decisions you will make. The bath is often the focal point of your new bathroom so it’s critical that you make the right decision. In my opinion quality counts, so I think you should buy the best quality that your budget allows.

      To help with your decision making process you might like to read our guide to choosing the perfect tub.

      For more information on bathtubs contact Bourne Bathroom & Kitchen Centre.

    • Is a Luxury Bath Really Worth Over $5,000

      luxury bathIs a Luxury Bath Really Worth Over $5,000

      There’s no denying it, a gorgeous and inviting luxury bath really is the holy grail of any new bathroom renovation and there are now more designs than ever to choose from. A statement freestanding tub is a real show stopper and definitely becomes the single point of focus for your new bathroom.

      How Much is Too Much to Spend on a Luxury Bath?

      But how much is too much to spend on a luxury bath? There is a particular bath in our showroom that is quite something to look at. Every single day numerous clients always ask that one crucial question. How much is that one? When I say the price out loud the response is usually the same.... Silence, often open mouthed silence, while they digest that large sum of money, then there is the follow up question (usually from the person controlling the budget)... Is a luxury bath really worth over $5,000?

      I have to say though, when it comes to Victoria & Albert’s range of volcanic limestone baths, the Toulouse in particular, without a doubt is worth the money. The Toulouse truly is a luxury bath in every sense of the word. It is the crème de la crème of premium baths with its French inspired double-ended design. Victoria & Albert uses QUARRYCAST material which is rich in natural volcanic limestone and the added bonus is it’s warm to touch and exceptionally easy to maintain. Personally I think the Toulouse is one of the most elegant baths I’ve seen. Thankfully though, Victoria & Albert are aware that not everyone has the budget for one of these beauties so they also offer a wide range of other, equally beautiful and not quite as expensive, baths.

      This is really good news because we all know how important it is to stick to your budget when renovating your bathroom (and how easily and quickly you can exceed it if you get carried away). When it comes to selecting your new bath, my advice would be to get the best quality you can afford. Victoria & Albert are the leading luxury bath manufacturer and understand that quality counts if you want your new bath to stand the test of time and continue to maintain its beautiful appearance after many years of use. The Victoria & Albert range includes some of our best selling baths, so if it’s beauty and quality you’re after then you can’t go wrong.

      For more information on selecting your new bath, contact Bourne Bathroom & Kitchen Centre.

    • Wonders of the Modern Toilet

      Modern ToiletWonders of the Modern Toilet

      We all rely on the faithful toilet to perform its role without question. It’s often a bathroom fixture that we take for granted and don’t really think about unless of course it’s not working as it should. Today I want to get you thinking toilets and give you a glimpse of the future.

      It still amazes me that we can find beauty in an object that has such an unpleasant function. But it’s not surprising when you look at the range on offer from the biggest brands in the business such as Caroma, Villeroy & Boch, and Fowler. My own personal favourite is the Seido Icon Series II Wall Hung Suite from Fowler. I’ve included a photo so you can see what I mean.

      Thomas Crapper (yes that really was his name) spent his life increasing the popularity of the toilet in England back in the late 1800’s. I don’t think he ever could have imagined some of the features in the toilets that we see today.

      Cutting Edge Toilets

      There are a few newer developments of the modern toilet that some of you may not be aware of. Here at Bourne we’re on the cutting edge of all that is new in loos so we have put together the following list of new developments for you:

      The Soft Close Toilet Seat
      Hailed as a modern marvel, the soft close toilet means all those men out there that have a habit of leaving the seat up no longer have an excuse. A quick flick of the seat, and it lowers gently without a sound. It also means no more slamming or broken seats, if you have small children who always seem to be in a bit of a rush.

      The Sensor Flush Toilet
      Sensor technology is now a more common sight in a number of public facilities, especially in airports and shopping centres, so I guess it won’t be long before we see these features being introduced into residential bathrooms. Sensor technology is also great for all those germaphobes out there (you know who you are).

      Auto Opening Toilet Seat Lids
      Yes there are even toilet seats that automatically open and close when you enter or leave the room.

      Toilet Seat Warmers
      Great for colder climates, seat warming toilets are a real added luxury.

      Beyond Belief
      If any of you have been to Japan, you will know there are certain toilet features that need to be experienced to be believed. Yes there are even toilets out there that have built in speakers, make fake flush sounds to cover up any embarrassing noises. There are even toilets that have special integrated sensors to monitor blood sugar levels. Who knows, maybe this will be the way of the future?

      For more information on modern toilets visit Bourne Bathroom & Kitchen Centre.

    • Bath Selection for Maximum Use

      bathtubBath Selection for Maximum Use

      If you’re anything like the rest of us you love to soak in a beautiful deep tub filled with bubbles and luxuriate in the warmth, peace and tranquillity but rarely find the time to do so. We all lead such busy lives that we seldom find time to indulge in some of life’s most simple pleasures. This leads me to the topic of today’s blog which is about bath selection for maximum use. Let’s face facts, no one wants to fork out a large sum of money for a gorgeous fashionable bath that they never use.

      Things to Keep in Mind When Selecting Your Bath

      When you’re embarking on your bathroom renovation there are a few things to keep in mind when selecting your new bathtub to increase the chances of it getting used a little more frequently.

      Choose a Bath You Absolutely Love
      Select a bath that looks inviting and has a real wow factor that stops you in your tracks every time you look at it. Chances are you won’t be able to resist and you’ll find yourself making the time to enjoy it.

      Positioning Your Bath
      Be sure to get some valuable expert advice in deciding on your final bathroom layout. You want to make the most of your available space and ensure your new enticing bath is the focal point of your bathroom. This way you’ll be reminded that you invested in a little luxury and will continue to be encouraged to use it.

      Keep It Clean
      In selecting your bath make sure you consider how easy it will be to clean and keep clean. Go for clean lines and a durable surface that just needs a quick wipe down in order to keep it looking clean and inviting.

      Keep All Your Bathing Necessities on Hand
      Have a selection of your favourite bathing products both on hand and on display so that when the opportunity arises all you have to do is fill up, jump in and enjoy.

      Install a Lock on Your Bathroom Door
      This would have to be one of the easiest and cheapest ways to ensure your new bath gets maximum use. It’s a great way to ensure you are able to lie back, relax and enjoy the experience without any unwanted interruptions. It also means that if you’re tempted to spend a little extra time indulging in your new found luxury, you can!

      In summary, if you want to make the most of your new bath, be sure to have it as the focal point of your new bathroom and keep everything on hand so you can add a little well deserved luxury to your life.

      For more information on selecting your new bath, contact Bourne Bathroom and Kitchen Centre.

    • How to add Personal Style to Your Bathroom Vanity

      bathroom vanity imageHow to add Personal Style to Your Bathroom Vanity

      If you’re bored with the standard run of the mill bathroom finishes and are looking to inject a bit of style and personality into your bathroom, then a good place to start is with your bathroom vanity.

      Let’s face it, some of you will be a little more blessed with instinctive style and creativity than others and some people just need a bit of a confidence boost to find their inner design mojo. I know I’ve said this before but if you’re in doubt and having an ideas crisis, a good place to start is by flicking through the pages of any home design magazines. You could also scour the internet for bathroom vanity images. There are some amazing blogs out there for plenty of inspiration and Pinterest also has a sea of images on almost any topic.

      A Few Ways to Add Personality to Your Bathroom Vanity

      A beautiful mirror is a great way to add a style statement to your bathroom vanity. Contrasting styles such as a large vintage mirror teamed with a modern contemporary vanity is a great way to add depth and create a focal point for your bathroom.

      Another way to add a personal touch to your bathroom vanity is to use a unique tile as the splashback. There are a huge range of options available so you’re bound to find one that fits with your own personality. A popular choice at the moment are graphic tiles or Italian glass mosaics and a few clients are even opting to add a bit of bling for something a bit more dramatic.

      There is a considerable choice available in tapware today with an extensive range of styles and options for the most discerning tastes. A great way to boost your creativity when it comes to tapware is to visit your nearest bathroom showroom to look at the various displays. You can then decide on whatever catches your eye.

      Vanity Unit
      The vanity unit is a critical choice in your new bathroom as it is always such a key focal point and often a jumping off point for the overall style of the room. Options include custom cabinetry, refashioned vintage dressers, wall hung units, or something completely outrageous and imaginative.

      Styling Items
      Simple styling items such as your soap dispenser, glass jars, ornaments, towels etc. are a relatively inexpensive and inventive way to add your own personal touch to your bathroom vanity. However, I’m a firm believer in the ‘less is more’ approach to styling so I tend to go for quality over quantity.

      Whatever your style, weather it’s chic, classy, kitch, vintage or a combination, there are so many ways to add your personal style to your bathroom vanity so don’t forget to have some fun in the process.

      For more information on bathroom vanities, contact Bourne Bathroom and Kitchen Centre.

    • Saving Space in the Bathroom

      BathroomSaving Space in the Bathroom

      Saving space in the bathroom is a common problem that many of our clients face when embarking on their renovations. It’s one of the challenges we most frequently come across especially when it comes to bathroom planning.

      So here are just a few ideas to help you make the most of your available space when planning your bathroom renovation.

      Bathroom Space Saving Ideas

      An over bath shower is a great option to save on space and maintain the functionality of being able to shower and have a nice relaxing bath in your new bathroom. While most people would agree this is not the ideal scenario, it’s sometimes the best option to save space and create a great overall first impression.

      Wall faced or wall hung toilets with concealed cisterns are another great way to save on space and provide a more streamlined open looking bathroom. Not to mention the fact that they hide all of the ugly bits like the plumbing and cistern. Let’s face it, the toilet is not the most attractive bathroom feature so the less we see, the better I say.

      A very cost effective way to create the illusion of space and make your bathroom look bigger is through the use of light colours particularly on the walls. Pale colours reflect light and will make your bathroom appear brighter and more spacious.

      A floating vanity mounted on the wall will increase floor space and add to a more streamlined look.

      Another good way to maximise space is to install a sliding entry door to the bathroom. The most effective way to use the internal bathroom wall space is to install a concealed sliding door which will add a much more pleasing aesthetic. It will also provide more functional wall space for fitting towel rails.

      Multifunction fixtures such as mirrored cabinets are also a great idea to help you make the most of your available space.

      Beautiful and functional storage solutions are a great way to add some style and personality to your new bathroom and help save on space. There are so many creative and different options available so you can have a bit of fun in the process.

      One of the things I learnt over the years is that when it comes to bathrooms, less is definitely more. In my opinion there is nothing more tasteful than a well thought out and designed bathroom that has style and simplicity at the core.

      For more information on how to save space in the bathroom contact Bourne Bathroom & Kitchen Centre.

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