Neutral Bay, NSW: Tiny townhouse three bathroom renovation

Tiny ensuite renovation, Neutral Bay

“Alistair, principal of Secret Design Studio, provided a design which Ken Dobson, builder, executed.

At the beginning of his design intent Alistair wrote “I feel that after a lot of work that these three bathrooms demonstrate Shibui [Japanese]. There is no direct equivalent … words that combine to give a sense of its meaning include simplicity, elegance, beauty, functionality, restraint, reserve and refinement …. The common factor is that something Shibui looks effortlessly simple, even inevitable, however it takes much labour and refinement to make it so. ”

Three winters on that is true and I am still thrilled with design and its execution, regularly complimented by friends and fully satisfied with the investment.

For a main bathroom, an ensuite with shower and a powder room, each small and without natural light, Alistair used architectural features including ledges and partially lowered ceilings with concealed lighting and both room and mirror lighting to abolish “boxiness” and “flood” with adjustable light. In this and with equal care for the ventilation and plumbing work (now neither seen nor heard) and for the specifications and finishes (which look great and wear well), Alistair brought a breadth of experience, a depth of knowledge and respect for budgets and timetables.

Working remotely with words and pictures over the Net from Melbourne to Sydney, liaison between architect, builder and client was quick and clear. The plans, drawings and specifications were accurate and detailed, such that I left the builder for holidays for 2 of the 6 weeks of work, and lived at home in between. There were no surprises, but quite a few and continuing delights!”