The girls’ bathroom is situated conveniently between their two bedrooms, although it was initially the ensuite only to the larger bedroom. We added another door so that both girls could use it. It’s a pretty and feminine bathroom that I hope they will use and enjoy as they get older, but as they are still quite little they mainly use our bathroom downstairs or the bath in the kids’ bathroom. I think they’ve only showered in here twice in the last year!IMG_6544



The bathroom was divided into two rooms, one you entered from the bedroom with the vanity and mirror then through to the shower and loo in the adjoining room.  This made it pokey and cramped. There was only one window and the room is on the western side of the house. So it was dark and dingy in the morning, and covered in these ghastly wall to wall beige tiles with pink grout! Not to mention the horrendous pink vanity. I had great delight in watching this one be demolished.

Can you believe I took this photo on the day of our first inspection. This was how the wealthy couple’s housekeeper who was living there rent free in their absence had prepared it for sale inspection. Incredible!
IMG_9492Removing all the walls tiles meant that the walls would have to be replaced, which of course adds to the cost. But we had no other choice. I thought about using shiplap on the walls but instead used V-joing paneling on the new ceiling, which had to be replaced because of the walls, cornices and architraves all going.

We also knocked down the wall separating the two spaces, so that it was opened up into one larger bathroom and allowed the light from the only window to flood the room. It was a vast improvement.IMG_4958

I kept all the plumbing in the same spot again as a cost saving measure as much as anything else. Being on the second floor, it would have been a hassle to relocate plumbing and meant ripping up the floor.
There is a bulkhead that runs along the southern wall above the shower recess which encases a steel beam, so that had to stay. We just re-boxed it. The brick wall you see below is in fact the chimney going up from the room below.

The room was sheeted in Villaboard,  a sturdy concrete fibre product ideal for bathrooms, with the new V-joint timber ceiling, cornices and timber skirting added. I thought about paneling the walls, but decided on the ceiling here instead and to add detail and interest with the tiles.

I don’t worry about using timber in bathrooms, as I prefer not to tile the walls particularly for traditional bathrooms such as mine. As long as you have a timber product that is suitable for wet and moist areas and it’s properly sealed and painted I am confident using it.IMG_5046

I have had words with a few builders over the years who baulk at using timber skirting or not tiling the entire bathroom from top to bottom, but I always stand firm and get what I want because it’s entirely possible. Just do your research.

We added another door into the second bedroom but because of the layout of the bathroom and the bedroom cupboards, both had to be cavity sliders. They aren’t my first choice, but the only thing that worked in this case.IMG_5050

As with the other bathroom, we added underfloor heating. A must in the Southern Highlands.IMG_5185

It was months of deliberation over which tiles to use. Again so many choices if you look beyond our shores and consider importing them yourself. In the end I opted for the grey marble subway tiled in a herringbone pattern with contrasting white grout. The plain 30×30 marble Calcutta honed tiles as in the other bathroom, and the same honed marble hexagon mosaic I used in the downstairs powder room. It is always more cost effective using larger quantities of the same tile.IMG_5241

I quite like the use of different tiles, sizes and patterns in a bathroom. I think it creates decorative interest and can look fabulous if done well. The small marble mosaics are a good choice for wet areas such as a shower recess, because the smaller tile and more grout makes it much less slippery.IMG_5242IMG_5440


IMG_6406I don’t really remember how I came to decide on a pink and grey Dior inspired bathroom for the girls, it’s not really a colour combo that I have a particular fondness for, but it just kind of happened. I guess once I had chosen all the grey, there were only a few colours I could use to compliment it that suited two little girls.

I was going to use pale blue, but I thought I needed a change and to make it pretty and girly for Poppy and Amelia. But this room also doubles as a guest bedroom and bathroom, so I wanted it feminine and soft but not childish.
IMG_6410I’m not a big fan of pink, particularly the shades of pink often used for children’s bedroom fabrics and bedlinen, but found this very pretty fabric in the new Schumacher Country Collection which appealed. I used the same fabric in the blue colour way for our sunroom.  It has a lovely dove grey and darker grey in the design, with the soft dusty pink and off white background. So it was a good match I thought.
IMG_6411The V-joint ceiling turned out really well, it’s a lovely feature. The walls are a very light grey.IMG_7395The vanity was bought ready made from Schots in Melbourne. I use their vanities a lot because they are one of the few companies who design classic and traditional vanities that aren’t too French or Federation fussy, that are reasonably affordable and come with marble tops and basins included.

IMG_7400IMG_6539Again for tapware I repeated the chrome to match the hardware in the bathroom. I think this is fine for kids. The basin is small and simple. I liked that the marble top had pronounced veining, so that I was able to pick up the grey and use it repeated in the tiles. It also hides watermarks, scratches and etching you inevitably get with marble.IMG_6418IMG_6553I repeated the same wall sconces I had used in the other kids’ bathroom for this ensuite and the same pivot mirror. For details see the previous post on the Kids’ Bathroom.  But I recovered them in leftover fabric from the roman blind. This is always a challenge with a patterned fabric because of the conical shape of the shade, but it wasn’t too tricky on this small one.
IMG_6419I used the same semi-frameless shower screen as before. I prefer them for this style of bathroom and they are less expensive than frameless and the chrome frame matches the tapware. The herringbone works well with the hexagon in the shower recess.

There was very limited wall space in this bathroom, so a heated towel rail was the only option to provide several rungs for towels. I was lucky enough to find the perfect shade of soft pink towel too.IMG_7393

I bought these pretty prints from Michelle Grayson at Sprout Gallery and added the pale pink stitched ribbon around the edge, and framed them in these lovely silver frames from Pottery Barn. 


27 Responses to Girls’ Bathroom Renovation

  1. Gallerie B says:

    Beautiful Mel, you have done a lovely job.

  2. Sara says:

    It looks so beautiful Melinda, so simple yet so perfect. I love all your transformations in all the rooms you do, you make it so comfortable and inviting, and like I always say to you, you make it look so easy xx

  3. Cathy Gill says:

    It looks so pretty as your rooms always do. I’ve just finished my kids bathroom and did the same hexagonal tiles on the floor, but white round penny tiles in the shower. With teenagers I was paranoid about fake tan products staining the marble, hence the white penny rounds rather than the hexagonals. So wish I had checked out the schots site.
    I’m sure they will enjoy it in the years to come.
    If you ever need frosted film, just let me know.

  4. FLT says:

    Your renovation is lovely. That said, your comments about a housekeeper who may not be able to afford a gut renovation of a bathroom took me aback. If I’m misunderstanding and she just staged the bathroom, maybe that’s not her talent. Very odd blog commentary.

    • Melinda says:

      I think you misread and misinterpreted what I wrote. The house was owned by a wealthy couple who lived in London, and the housekeeper (I use that term loosely) was staying there with her teenage boys and countless animals looking after the house for free rent. It was her job and obligation to the owners to have it clean, tidy and well presented when open for inspection by prospective buyers. Every time we went there, the kitchen was full of dirty plates and dirty cookware in the sink, the beds were all unmade, there were piles of laundry on the floor and all over the beds, there was dirty underwear, tampons and toiletries spread all over the bathroom bench tops, the floors were not swept or clear, the place smelt of dogs and horses, with piles of muddy boots all over the floor. I don’t think it takes of lot of skill to make a house presentable for sale and nowhere did I imply that she should have done a gut renovation. Hope that clarifies things.

  5. Jean Rowland says:

    As with everything you do – perfection! Very subtly pretty and elegant

  6. Lucie says:

    What a fabulous transformation! Sure beats the pink grout

  7. Rebecca says:

    I can’t believe the bathroom was left like that for an open!! They could even just pop everything under the bench top. I would expect a teenager to present it in a more appealing way, let alone someone who was professionally responsible. You have done a magnificent job. I love the fabric, not too girly, I’m sure the girls will use it one day! You are creating such a beautiful home ~ Rebecca

  8. Anne says:

    What an amazing transformation, well done! Your girls and guests are very lucky to have such a beautiful bathroom. Love the grey and pink combination, can I ask what the light grey paint colour is – it seems perfect, not to dark and not to light!

  9. Tracey Brancourt says:

    Love, love, love the bathroom. is there nothing you can’t do? You have such an eye for detail and colour. I can’t wait to see more!!

    • Melinda says:

      Thanks Tracey, how’s the new house?

      • Tracey Brancourt says:

        Going slowly. Hasn’t helped that I’m spending this week at our house in Portland and then away for the weekend. Hopefully next week will be better. When things settle down I’ll be in touch. Definitely need your help!!

  10. MaryBeth says:

    It is an amazing transformation. I was wondering about the floor drain. In my neck of the woods, we must have a shower curb of about 2-3 inches. So you have a visual break and a step over to get in the shower. It is terrible. So looking at yours I see no curb and a couple floor drains. Do they all connect together? Do you ever have any problems with floor flooding? Sorry for so many questions but this is so fascinating to me, I have renovated 13 bathrooms and never done this application. MB

  11. Calli Cannon-Gault says:

    Love the girls bathroom. Can you tell me where you got the silver canister from? I adore it, as I do the entire vignette. 🙂

    • Melinda says:

      Thank you Calli. My husband bought it in a store called Brissi in Bath, UK, it’s actually a tea caddy but looks pretty anywhere! It’s now in the kitchen full of tea bags!

  12. Sarah says:

    Delightful bathroom for little girls and guests alike! What were the paint colours you used for the walls and window trim/ceiling as it looks like the perfect grey – not too blue – and a white that compliments the marble? Thank you very much!

  13. Aquila Salta says:

    Melinda thank you for sharing! What a lovely article and the photos are amazing too! I love how you put together these information on “Girls’ Bathroom Renovation”. Easy to read, very relatable and great tips! Can’t wait to read more!

Please feel free to leave a comment, I'd love to hear from you