Renovating a Bathroom in a Historic Home

In this project we renovated bathrooms in a 100-year-old house in Ascot. The house had dated and unsafe bathrooms. We stripped the main bathroom down to its original frame and put it back together based on the traditional design of the historic home.

Like many heritage homes in Queensland, the Ascot property had limited space. After our initial site visit, we decided to increase the floor area of the bathroom to turn it into the ideal space based on the owners’ preferences.

The Bathroom Renovation Process

Due to the age of the house, it had some serious structural damage. We had to completely re-level the floor and move the walls to increase the available space. An architect redesigned the room to include a separate shower area that eliminated the need for a shower screen.

We maximised the storage space in the bathroom by adding custom-made mirrored shaving cabinets. We installed floor to ceiling subway tiles and increased lighting to make the room look larger. We also installed custom cabinetry with top-mounted basins and Caesarstone benchtops. High end tapware from Reece Plumbing was installed.

Tips for Renovating a Bathroom in a Historic Home

Historic homes and traditional Queenslanders are beautiful but can be a challenge to renovate, especially when you need to take into account modern design preferences and preserve heritage features. Bathrooms particularly can pose issues with old plumbing and fixtures making the room unsafe and unappealing. Below are some tips that you should consider when renovating bathrooms in historic homes:

  1. Check for Permits

Before doing any renovation, you should first consult a local town planner to find out if any building restrictions apply. You should also find out if the property is part of any heritage or historical registers. You may need additional permits before the bathroom renovation can begin. Vos Design can assist with this process.

  1. Check for Asbestos

Many older homes may contain asbestos in the building material. Before the renovation process, you should ask an expert such as Vos Design to identify any asbestos and arrange for its safe removal.

  1. Combine Old with the New

The best thing about historic homes is that you can blend old and new design elements. It’s important to get the mix just right. Vos Design can work with you to effectively incorporate modern materials with a heritage-inspired look.

  1. Salvage What You Can

If you wish to preserve the heritage style of your home, you may like to consider salvaging some elements, or using reclaimed materials. Old cabinets or tiles could be used as an accent in the updated bathroom.

  1. Maximise Space

Some historic homes, such as the one in Ascot, have very small bathrooms but expanding the floor area is not always an option. You can consider building shelves or cabinets into wall spaces that are between studs. You can also use a vanity cabinet with storage space underneath the sink basin to make the most of your available space.

If you own a historic home or Queenslander in the Brisbane area and are thinking of renovating its bathroom, contact us today! We will gladly accept the challenge of turning the old space into something new without deviating from the original design of the home.