After a challenging divorce, Palm Beach resident Kerrie-Anne Stone made the bold move to purchase the most dilapidated house on a great street six years ago with a view to renovating it. “I moved back to my home state of Queensland and into the house with my two kids after a lengthy divorce and wondered how I was going to make this little ugly duckling a home and at the same time get by as a single mother,” she says.
With the help of her father, some DIY and getting trades in when she could afford to, Kerrie-Anne slowly renovated rooms in the home before finally landing on the ensuite a few months ago. “The house had slowly transformed into something we were happy to be in but we had the ensuite left,” says Kerrie-Anne who was far from satisfied with the original space. A time capsule from the 1980’s, it featured mismatched tiles, a broken shower screen and a water-damaged vanity under an ageing window.
Determined to turn the space into a haven however, Kerrie-Anne decided to leverage her recently completed Diploma in Interior Design and focus on the layout, function and aesthetic appeal of the room. “Using my skills from my interior design course, I drew up three plans I was happy with using Sketchup,” says Kerrie-Anne who visualised her designs in 3D to optimise the use of space. A significant part of improving the flow and feel of the bathroom, she decided to extend a little into the adjoining room to increase the ensuite’s size.
Working within a tight budget she faced many challenges including narrow dimensions and a lack of natural light as well as the need to accommodate a vanity, compact bath, double shower and French doors that lead to a private courtyard. “It had to fit all the things I wanted to turn the space into a beautiful and serene ensuite and all on a budget,” says Kerrie-Anne who spent nights scouring the internet for inspiration, how-to videos and discounted materials in the lead up to the renovation.
Savings were made by doing most of the labour herself – she plastered, tiled and painted with her dad’s help. “I sheeted the walls and ceiling with my father’s help and built niches and the shower bench using online videos for guidance on my own. It really wasn’t easy,” says Kerrie-Anne who did an excellent job crazy paving the floor too.
Bargains were also found including a slab of granite on Facebook Marketplace for just $400; Kerrie-Anne was going to use it as a benchtop but it was old and unfortunately cracked at the stonemason so an affordable solution had to be swiftly found. “I desperately wanted natural stone for the benchtop however I also wanted a handmade element. I ended up rendering a piece of melamine using a fine coat render and coloured pigment from Dulux and it came in under $80,” says Kerrie-Anne.
The overall result is a space that exceeds Kerrie-Anne’s expectations; the ensuite’s handmade qualities, material choices and array of of colours and textures has transformed it into something quietly luxurious. The travertine floor, contemporary curved mirrors, classic tapware and soft natural light through sheer curtains all combine to great effect. “I seem to take a deep breath every time I enter the space without realising it. As I walk from my bedroom into this serene space, I’m greeted by natural, honest materials that feel earthy and durable. It’s really been transformed in terms of mood and functionality.”