Sustainable House Day 2014

Open the door to sustainable living by touring some of Australia’s most environmentally progressive homes on show at Sustainable House Day. This Sunday, 14th September, you have the opportunity to tour an amazing array of everyday Australian homes all built and created around the ideal of reducing their footprint on the earth.

By partaking in Sustainable House Day you can tap into local knowledge to learn how to successfully integrate renewable energy, recycling, and other sustainable practices into your home and lifestyle. This unique event is a valuable resource for anyone looking for inspiration, ideas and the key to sustainable living.

Homeowners, sponsors and local sustainable groups look forward to sharing their knowledge with you, plus I'll be volunteering at the Harrisdale home in WA for the day. There are homes and gardens open to the public throughout Australia. You can find more information about each house and its features on the webpage. This is a national event, but since I'm volunteering here in Perth, I've just highlighted a few WA ones below.

Carla & Bens House, part of #Sustainable #House Day 2014.
{Carla and Ben’s House, 128A Roseberry St, Bedford WA}


Bathroom... After

Hello lucky readers! The bathroom transformation has occurred much faster for you than for us - a day rather than two weeks. The only thing we are waiting on is the frameless shower screen so we can make full use of the yummy new shower head, but I didn’t want to keep you waiting. I’ll give you a quick run down on the work, then get into the good stuff - the before and after photos!

Work started early on a Monday morning. Dad, hubby and I got stuck into ripping off the wall tiles. As with most old houses (with the added bonus of previous owners who have attempted DIY renovations themselves) the wall structure was no longer (if ever) level or square. There was also the unhelpful surprise of most of the wall sheeting coming off with the tiles. The flooring didn’t fare any better - also ripping half up with the tiles. Previous work scraps had been tossed in the wall cavity - I like to think for reuse as insulation - and a few little creatures had been making there nests around the bath supports. On Tuesday the plumber started his work relocating the bath, shower and vanity fixtures and putting in the pipes for the new toilet (yay!). Once that was completed, we could start on sheeting and patching up the walls, floor and front of bath. Waterproofing was painted over all surfaces and allowed to dry (time for a well deserved bevie break). The rest of the week was spent cutting, tiling, painting and cleaning out dust and debris, in time for the plumber to finish up and fit off the following week. For a more visual step by step of the process, you can check out my
Instagram page. You can also read more about the bathroom ‘Before’ the renovation here.

Drum roll…. the finished product! What do you think? We are very happy with it, of course, and I catch myself walking past the door quite slowly now just to admire the view. In fact on seeing this post, hubby commented that he can’t even remember the bathroom before, even though it was only two weeks ago. Purged.

#Bathroom #Renovation Before and After - See more before and afters on the RSD Blog
{The Sandon Bathroom - Before and After}

#Bathroom #Renovation Before and After - See more before and afters on the RSD Blog
{Bathroom Vanity and Toilet - Before and After}

Here’s a summary of a few of the changes and features we have in the new and improved Sandon House Bathroom.

The vanity was moved closer to the bath to allow for the toilet, but still enough room for the much larger bath (we went from a 600mm to a 820mm wide - much more user-friendly). If we had an OH&S inspector in-house, they would definitely approve. You can read more about the troubles I’ve had with the narrow old bath in the previous post. The bath is not only wider, but taller. It took a few goes to get used to stepping over it, but it’s very handy with keeping small children from toppling over and into it. Plus during one of my habitual, long relaxing soaks, I don’t have to have the water full to the brim to actually be covered and stay warm.

#Bathroom after the #Renovation - See more before and afters on the RSD Blog
{The finished product}

Our second toilet - hooray! On plan it looked like a bit of a tight squeeze, but we have since found that there is more than enough room and it is quite a comfortable space. It’s still quite precious and we are not used to having the second option, but I’m sure that will end soon. The seat is soft-closing (the slowest we have ever seen actually - almost ridiculously so), which helps prevent slamming noises becoming a child wake-up-call in the middle of the night.

#Bathroom after the #Renovation - See more before and afters on the RSD Blog
{New Mizu Vanity and Toilet from Reece}

We added a tile shelf high enough to keep expensive shampoos from becoming very expensive bubble bath, as well as far enough away from the shower head to be a pool collector. I find them a great idea when you don’t have the building room to put in alcoves or set-in shelving. As long as you keep it simple, it allows the featured items to stand out without becoming a feature itself. We added an extra towel rail from before and made them double. Not necessarily for two towels, more for the aid in drying. My husband finally gets a towel rail of his own, as opposed to the hook on the back of the door where it never really dries. At the moment the kids towels hang on the back of the door, but we allowed space for another towel rail to be added if and when we need it (big enough to hang bath sheets because once you go up from towels to sheets, you can’t go back!)

#Bathroom after the #Renovation - See more before and afters on the RSD Blog
{New huge bath and surrounds}

I chose white wall tiles and a white vanity for brightness, simplicity and longevity. Even though we haven’t changed the skylight, the white reflects the light much more and creates a connection with the outside that belies its central location. The concrete-style grey porcelain floor tiles also give the space a neutrality that is much easier to style and change with soft furnishings and accessories. I had chosen a sleek minimal bath spout, but on further thought, we swapped it for a gooseneck swivel style so that we can run the bath and get it out of the way when the kids are in there, avoiding bumped heads. The Shower diverter mixer was placed far enough left that you can easily turn the water on without getting sprayed, and high enough that the kids shouldn’t be able to play with it for a little while longer. You may notice that I haven’t chosen very ‘designer-y’ fixtures. This bathroom for us is a family bathroom, and with two growing boys that will undoubtedly test the strength and endurance of the fixtures, we went to the budget end of the market. Fixtures are items that are easy enough to replace in a few years, so our money was directed more towards the items that are more difficult to change, such as the bath and tiles.

#Bathroom after the #Renovation - See more before and afters on the RSD Blog
{Bright white large-format tiles allow us to play with colour}

Having said that, after years of low pressure and uncomfortable showers, the selection of the shower head was quite important. My husband wanted a good soaking while I wanted to make sure that it was still water-efficient. We found our compromise in the Halo shower head from Reece and so far soooooo good.

Halo Showerhead from Reece. #Bathroom after the #Renovation - See more before and afters on the RSD Blog
{Halo shower head from Reece}

If you would like me to post the plans, let me know - but photos are more fun, right? If there is anything that you want to ask about the project or specific products please do. I am more than happy to have conversations about it in the comments section below or over email.

FYI - Some of the items pictured and their sources:

NB: Everything was chosen by me for personal reasons (i.e. budget, aesthetics, efficiency, etc) and not gifted by the supplier. I am not endorsing or advertising these products, simply using them in my own home.

I hope you enjoyed this exciting little project with me. Time to plan the next one! (Sorry honey)

xo Romona

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