We caught up with one of our most recent #lovemyamber winners, Katrina Lowe, who purchased her tiles from our Amber Orange store. She talked us through the transformation of her home and winning bathroom renovation. We found out what inspirations and factors guided Katrina’s design decisions.
1. What sparked your decision to renovate/build, and what were the main elements you set out to achieve?
I started to worry that my growing teenagers would start to need more living space. I have always wanted to make sure they felt the home was built for them and they to love it just as much as my partner and I. When planning our renovations we set out to make the bathroom one of the focal elements. It was important to make it more energy efficient, but also we wanted an open floor space so our family can use it to relax and wind down. It has also improved flow throughout the living area so our family can relax and occupy the house with ease.
2. What inspired the design? Did you begin with a vision, or did the design evolve throughout the process?
Surprisingly, our design evolved throughout the process. We went into the development motivated by contemporary design. However, after we added striking feature pieces within the bathroom and it has now become more a mashup of contemporary and modern industrial.
3. How did lifestyle and family inform the choices you made?
As we are a busy family on the go, the choices we made were massively influenced by my familys busy lifestyle. We spend a lot of time getting ready for work in the bathroom and getting the kids organised so we wanted to ensure it was practical and easy to maintain in the future.
4. With so much choice available for indoor and outdoor tiling, what ultimately lead you to Amber? And can you describe your Amber experience?
As we starting looking into tiling it was important we could find a supplier that was supportive and provided guidance because we were owner builders and did our own tiling. We loved the extensive range at Amber, the store in Orange has a well set up showroom and extremely helpful staff with a great lot of experience. At one point in our journey, Amber had a particular style of tiles that inspired us to make better choices in our bathroom.
5. What is the best advice you can offer first-time renovators?
Our advice would be; make sure you do your market research and ask lots of questions because it is important to evaluate all your options. Dont settle on liking something at first sight and stop looking around because absolutely loving your choice is crucial on something as big as a renovation.
6. What would you say your 1 rule with transforming a small space would be?
Keep it simple. When working with a small space it is best not to overthink it. Keep the designs focused on flow and functionality. If something spectacular and out of the ordinary captures your attention, play with adding bold pieces after the basic elements are achieved.
7. What was the biggest learning from your reno/build?
Being our own boss in this process and having a lack of experience in building we found it hard to properly predict the timeline. From start to finish, it took much longer than we were recommended due to us doing it ourselves.
8. Were there any hacks or tips that you learnt from your small space reno that you would love to share?
We think it is so important to understand the balance between functionality and aesthetics. Having a small space in our bathroom be the major constraint, it was crucial to focus on how we could take full advantage of every corner. If you want a particular area like the bathroom to have a stylish and functional flow it is vital to keep that in mind.
9. How long did the whole process take from planning to completion?
Well, it took us longer than most project time expectations because we did it ourselves on our time off. Overall, it took us around 18 months.