We got chatting with Renee about her recent bathroom renovation featured on her Instagram page @Coastal.Hills.Haven. She transformed the bathrooms in her Brisbane home into a classic luxe meets coastal bungalow. Surrounded by warm hues and texture, this bathroom was created with our Newport matt square and subway pattern paired with the Paddington White Terrazzo look tile for the floor.
What spaces did you renovate?
Two bathrooms and one separate toilet (3 rooms) plus the patio at the same time (drainage, concrete, deck, cladding, landscaping).
What motivated you to renovate?
Our bathrooms were late 90s originals. They were ugly, uncomfortable and impractical. Although, we didn’t change the layout of either during the reno (we just made better choices).
Were you living here at the time of your renovations?
Yes we stayed in our home and renovated both bathrooms at the same time to save on trade costs (i.e. plumbers coming out twice for the same job). This meant we had no shower for 6 weeks so we made one at the side of the house by connecting a 5m hose and garden multi-spray setting nozzle which had a “shower” setting. So we still had a hot shower, just outside in the yard.
How would you describe your style?
I think our style is quite unique and definitely not everyone’s taste. I ran a poll on Instagram once and now my bio describes our style as “minimalistic, coastal, scandi”…which were the most common responses.
Talk us through the process you took in the planning stages of the renovation!
I started my Instagram in May 2020 so started saving and screenshotting pictures from that point on. I spent a lot of time working out what we wanted then created a mood board on Canva. I just picked things I liked from other people’s homes and combined them into one. Big inspirations were @the_coastalbarndream @sarahs_day @skipandjonny @ohana_beachhouse
Renee's Mood Board
Were there any delays? How long did the renovation take?
I tried to get organised early with supplies given the delays across all industries over the last year. I had to wait about 9 weeks for our concrete basins and about 6 weeks or so for the wall tiles we weren’t willing to compromise on (Newport pattern matt white). I then locked in a start date and schedule with our builder based on the ETA for those items. We had a very short 1 week delay with our tiler – first choice was on leave, second choice injured his back on another job, third choice completed the job but cost us $900 more and really dragged the process out (didn’t show up some days).
What was the most challenging part of the renovation? Did anything go wrong? How did you adapt?
We had a really great experience, which I credit to our builder and the trades he works closely with. Any issue we ran into was fixed without a fuss. The most challenging aspects for us personally was painting the three rooms in one day – primer and two top coats. I was very lucky a grateful to borrow a paint gun from Go Industrial to make that possible. Also oiling 48l/m of single timber decking boards every night after work for over a week was very testing. How did we adapt – we had no choice haha.
Were you juggling a career as well as overlooking the renovations?
Yes I am a fulltime lawyer. I was very lucky to be able to work from home 3-4 days a week for 6 weeks, particularly on days decisions needed to be made or jobs needed to be done before and after work hours. It was a lot to juggle (and a lot of early mornings and late nights) as we also got engaged on Christmas day and planned our wedding at the same time as the renovations (June wedding).
Did you and your partner or family butt heads over the design at all?
No, through the selection process I would make sure we both agreed on a decision. He did want different mirrors ($700 oval LED strip), and we went with $40 Kmart arch mirrors spray painted brass.
Did you come into the TileCloud showroom to look around at tiles? Did you order samples?
I ordered samples online twice. I just wanted to be certain that I didn’t want to go more “bold”. Although our wall tiles are white with white grout, the boldness come from the random pattern (no pattern at all) of the Newport mixed square and subway tiles. I think our Paddington White Terrazzo look floor tile was a safe choice.
Why did you choose TileCloud / What did you enjoy best about the TileCloud experience?
I had my heart set on the Newport Pattern Matt wall tile. I liked that I was able to get advice and example “real life” pictures of grout choices with our chosen tiles. It made the decision much easier.
Any advice for first time renovators?
Start small if you want to do certain aspects yourself like demo or painting. We started by painting our bedrooms, demolishing our walk-in robe and building an IKEA pax system (easy DIY). Only do bigger things such as waterproofing and tiling yourself if you are confident. Mistakes at that stage are expensive to fix.
You can keep up the Renee's home renovations on Instagram: @coastal.hills.haven