We caught up with our most recent #lovemyamber winners Veronica
King and Michael Cummings, who purchased their tiles from our Amber Hornsby store. They talked us through the transformation of their home and winning bathroom renovation, and what inspirations and factors guided their design decisions.
“I wanted neutral tones that gave a sense of calm, like staying at a nice hotel.”
What sparked your decision to renovate and what were the main elements you set out to achieve?
As soon as we bought our house we knew we had to renovate the bathroom fairly quickly. It was quite dilapidated, there was some water damage from a leak and tiles were falling off the wall in parts. But worse than that; the vanity was fire engine red…with a matching toilet cistern and seat, if you can believe it! I’ve never ever in my life seen another red toilet in existence.
So when it came to the renovation I wanted something that neutral and gave a sense of calm, like staying at a nice hotel. Understated and simple but definitely not basic. We are not ‘bath people’ so we decided to make a luxurious walk-in shower the feature, and skip a bath all together.
What inspired the design? Did you begin with a vision or did the design evolve throughout the process?
I am a massive Pinterest and Instagram stalker, so had earmarked my favourite images to inspire the project. I knew I wanted a feature wall with mosaic tiles (specifically in a ‘kit kat’ shape) so I collected lots of images of bathrooms using them for reference.
A good friend of ours is an architect and kindly came up with a design that would best showcase our chosen tiles, and we took it from there.
How did lifestyle and family inform the choices you made?
The fact that our two girls had outgrown the bath and we were pushed for space to fit both a shower and bath separately made us decide to skip the bath altogether and focus on a walk-in shower.
Having two daughters and myself with only one bathroom in the house meant we needed a double vanity with plenty of storage, so we opted for a shaving cabinet and vanity with big drawers.
With so much choice available for tiling what led you to Amber?
We had been looking for a specific tile I called the ‘kit kat’ shape, so when we found them at Amber we decided to go in store and see them in the flesh. Whilst browsing, Elisha our salesperson pointed out a similar style that we ended up falling in love with, and had to have.
Elisha was so great to deal with, not pushy and very patient. She kept us up to date as the tile we wanted was out of stock, but due to be delivered very close to our deadline. In the end they came early which was such great news.
What is the best advice you can offer first time renovators?
You can never be too organised! Keep all your paperwork within reach because you will be referring back to it all the time when liaising with trades.
Also keep all your inspiration images on your phone so you can whip it out any time to show people what you mean—a picture paints a thousand words.
What would you say your number one rule for transforming a small space would be?
Keep your colour scheme neutral and light, and tile all the way up to the ceiling. We did both and it feels so much bigger than before.
What was your biggest learning from the reno?
We definitely made mistakes that we won’t ever make again—like ordering a window in a rush before finalising the design, which we didn’t end up using. And make sure you have all your plans set in concrete before starting anything!
Were there any hacks or tips you learnt from your small space reno that you would love to share?
I think keeping everything quite neutral, and not going crazy incorporating too many trends would be my tip. A small space feels bigger with less visual noise.
How long did the whole process take from planning to completion? About 3.5 months.