A desire to replicate the vibe of their favourite hotel in Elounda, Greece, was fundamental to the redesign of the Kakoudakis family’s pair of bathroom redesigns.
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Both an ensuite and a family-shared bathroom were on the overhaul list, with a desire to create aesthetics in each that were both timeless and luxurious. There was also a desire to integrate an assortment of smart-tech devices – think intuitive lighting and speakers that would make shower-time a lot more entertaining.
Here’s what they did.
The project in a nutshell:
The property: A detached five-bedroom house in Warlingham, Surrey
Who lives there? Anthony and Jenny Kakoudakis, their son George, and their black Lab, Bella (who is strictly banned from the bathrooms, naturally)
The designer: Jenny Kakoudakis and Melinda Kiss of Keyhole Interiors
“The ensuite was dated and lacked storage,” explains homeowner Jenny. “It was cramped, too, with both a bath tub and a shower cubicle,” she says.
The family-shared space presented an assortment of issues; “the corner had a floor-to-ceiling storage unit, for example,” says Jenny, “it wasn’t painted correctly, it wasn’t accessible, it had exposed pipes inside it – it was just shocking.”
Enter designer Melinda Kiss – who interiors blogger Jenny first discovered via social media – who was tasked with adding a contemporary and practical new sheen to the spaces. The biggest challenge of the project? Good old-fashioned time.
“We worked on a very tight schedule,” Jenny tells us.
She says: “The renovations were coming at a time when both Anthony and I were changing jobs and, to add to the pressure, it was also the start of a new school year, too.
“We gave our contractor literally two weeks per bathroom, and allowed another week at the end for some finishing touches for both.”
The key to making those tight deadlines work was making sure materials were ordered in advance; “for anything we needed additionally, we made sure the orders were placed as soon as the need was realised to avoid wasting time,” says Jenny.
The ensuite is now a deliciously light, airy haven; “the space feels big as the light bounces off the white walls (painted in Little Greene’s ‘Shirting’), as well as the tiles and the mirror,” explains Jenny. Clever tiling completes the look, she added: “The front bath panel is covered in small marble metro tiles.”
She continues: “The wall surrounding the tub has larger marble tiles.
“Wood effect porcelain tiles warm up the wall that holds the shower mixer and shower head, whilst the wall behind the sink features the most elegant marble herringbone mosaic.
“When I first told people I was going to mix marble with wood-effect tiles, I got a very mixed response – when people saw the results, however, the reaction was completely different and entirely positive.”
Black brassware adds a sophisticated, modern finish, with the colour extending to details including the towel shelf, bathrobe hooks and even the mirror; “it’s the black taps that everyone is commenting on,” says Jenny, “your eye is immediately drawn on them and they are so easy to use – we really got it right with Methven.”
Products are tucked out of sight, with smart, easy-access storage allowing the space to feel minimalistic and maintained.
The family bathroom, meanwhile, is “what you’d call modern and edgy,'” Jenny tells us.
She says: “The look of the black metal frame of the Methven shower enclosure has completely transformed the space.
“The relocation of the sink next to the window (so we could have finally hang a mirror above it) was also desperately needed”.
The lack of storage throughout both bathrooms was a fundamental issue that frustrated the family; however, “this has now been solved,” says Jenny.
“In fact, we’re going to order another of the tall cabinets by VitrA, as we’re so happy with the quality of the vanity in the family bathroom,” she says.
The inclusion of wall-hung storage also helps to make the rooms feel larger, too.
Clever lighting has allowed the family to max the practicality of their bathrooms. “No one likes bright lights first thing when they wake up,” Jenny confesses.
She adds, “The new light fixtures mean we can start getting ready in the very early morning, whilst gradually turning up the light.
“I start by turning on the beauty mirror, and after a few minutes, turn the pendant lights on.
“They’re good enough for me to put my make-up on and their warm light is easy to the eye, too.”
Jenny’s closing advice for other homeowners who are preparing for a bathroom redesign? Create the space you want and need, rather than the space you feel you ought to have. “It needs to perfectly fit your lifestyle and needs,” she says.
She continues, “Design your bathroom around the feeling you want it to give you.
“Pay attention to the little details, like the taps and the shampoo niches.”