Kitchens & Bathrooms

See the before and after as this bathroom is taken from dull and dreary to monochrome chic

With its oversized mirror, matte black fixtures and bespoke cabinetry, this guest bathroom in The Springs has been transformed into a calming retreat

The before and after from the stunning bathroom renovation in The Springs, Dubai

“Above all, a bathroom should be a calm and serene space,” says Karen Pissarra of Dubai based interior design studio Design K , who recently finished renovating her Springs 14 villa from top to bottom.

“When it came to the guest bathroom, the starting point was the oversized round mirror with its black metal frame in a matte finish. I simply fell in love with it and, as such, it became the impetus for the design of the bathroom.”

Teaming a cool palette of black, white and grey (with a flash of greenery), the bathroom has a functional yet stylish design, with its wealth of natural light and fuss-free finish boosting its chic credentials.  

Bathroom renovation monochrome bathtub towel and wooden bath side stool, photography by Natalee cocks
Just what you need for a relaxing soak in the tub

All the matte black sanitary-ware was sourced from BAGNODESIGN on Sheikh Zayed Road. “Many people are currently opting for this finish for their bathroom fixtures, from taps to showerheads.”

But some finishing touches can be relatively hard to find here in the UAE, if you don’t know where to look. “I had to source the black matte door handles for the villa from the UK,” says Karen. “But there are now some suppliers in Dubai who are offering a similar type of product.”

Karen called upon City Palace Furniture in Jebel Ali to make the bespoke, handleless cabinets. “I’ve been working with them for eight years and rate their work very highly,” she explains. “I love the tongue and groove look of the doors and the handleless aesthetic adds freshness.”

The shower space is now brighter and more open

The matte ceramic basin was also sourced from BAGNODESIGN – “it feels so much nicer to touch than glossy ceramic, in my opinion” – as were the simple yet stunning rectangular matte wall tile, while the mosaic floor tiles were bought from Casa Mia

“It’s quite a small bathroom, so the colour palette offers the illusion of space,” says Karen. “The glass panel used for the shower is frameless, adding to the open look and feel.” 

The biggest challenge of the entire project was adding the honed finish marble countertop. “It came as one big slab and when marble is transported this way it can be easy to chip. Unfortunately, when it arrived there was some damage so the supplier needed to source a new piece, which added some extra time to the schedule.”

black rimmed mirror above sink with plant and Aesop hand soap, bathroom renovation photography by Natalee cocks
A simple design with stylish touches makes this bathroom look sleek and modern

When it came to the accessories, a few choice Aesop products, a black hand towel and a potted plant for a touch of greenery were all that was needed to make the bathroom well and truly guest ready.  

“Even though it took a little longer than expected, I am very happy with the end result, featuring all my hand-picked fittings and fixtures,” said Karen Pissarra 

The handleless bathroom cabinets were custom made by City Palace Furniture in Jebel Ali. (call 04 881 2273)

Select accessories that elevate the look. These Aesop goodies enhance the theme perfectly

Create a calming space

Want to turn a bog standard bathroom into a calm and soothing retreat? Interior designer Karen Pissarra talks us through the basics…

Make a mood board

Prepare a mood board for the look and feel you want to create, and then research and draw up a list of all the different items you need to buy. If you’re seeking some specific pieces that are essential to the look, they may take up to eight weeks to order. And if you miss the boat, you may end up having to settle for something less than perfect. 

Design around existing plumping fixtures

It’ll be much easier if you keep the plumbing in the same places. If your design really doesn’t allow for this, bear in mind that it’ll take more time and money to relocate. 

Get your tiling right

Tiling the floor? Insist the existing door frames are removed so that the it’s laid properly below the door frame and not retrofit around it. 

Always check for waterproofing

Always check that the waterproofing sealant has been applied correctly and check it as you progress. Even a small nick in the waterproof membrane with a tiller’s trowel will compromise its integrity and may result in a leak.

Photography by Natalee Cocks

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