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From Habitat magazine - issue 20

The rest of the house may be neutral, but in the bathroom it’s another story.

Grey and yellow bathroom
The sculptural form of the bath looks superb framed by a wall of Resene Gravel.

"I'm a mother so I don’t mind mess, but I definitely don’t like clutter,” says designer Peta Davy of the house she shares with husband Joe and their children.

The dwelling is a new build; the first time Peta has had free rein to explore her own desires, despite a successful career designing interiors for other people. “Just to keep things simple, the rest of the house is all white,” she says. “But in the bathroom it’s a different story. We used Resene Gravel for the main areas and then splashed out with a vibrant yellow: Resene Wazzup, for the basin and toilet areas.”

Peta explains the interesting theory behind this particular decision. “I do like very bright colours but not if I have to live with them all the time. I figured that in a toilet – as a rule – you’re there for a relatively short time and won’t tire of the paint colour.

“It gets guests talking too, and most of them seem to like it!”

The black basin in the children’s bathroom recess was a treasured find from a sale at Robertson Agency in Mt Wellington, Auckland. “It’s not actually very practical because it tends to get covered with toothpaste, but I just love the look of it.”

In line with her minimalist ethos, Peta has all the typical bathroom clutter carefully stowed away in mirrored cabinets. This one has fluorescent lights above and LED lights below making it a design feature in its own right.

Bathroom entry
Bright yellow bathroom walls
Entry: While the rest of the house is neutral, a glimpse into the bathroom shows that here, colour rules.  Vanity: The children’s vanity area is fun and bright in Resene Wazzup.

She suggests that potential builders or renovators always keep an open mind, as early plans can often change along the way. “I had intended to enclose the bath in a cradle but when it was first installed I found I loved its shape so much, we simply left it.” The sliding door and wooden floorboards are all made from tawa, and were rescued and restored by Joe, who recycles timber for a living. “These bits are from a demolished state house in Glendowie. They were rejected for other jobs because the grain was too dominant, but for us they were perfect.”

Top tip: Don't spend all that time and effort getting a bathroom looking as stunning as this one only to have it turn dingy with mould. Use Resene SpaceCote Low Sheen with added mould inhibitor Resene MoulDefender to keep your paint looking good.

Accessories: Shower head: Paterson Trading. Basin: Robertson Agency. Timber: Tawa. Design: Peta Davy, Yellowfox.

pictures: Tessa Chrisp
words: Louise Robertson

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