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Innovative, creative and functional design elements to incorporate into your new project.

This selection of Australia’s most innovative, functional and creative design elements is sure to inspire your own kitchens and bathrooms. 


Taking cues from the home’s bushland surroundings, Robinson Architects designed a nature-encompassing bathroom complete with shade deck and privacy screen. The screen, made of Merbau timber, creates a visually striking element to the bathroom both inside and out. From the exterior, the room lights up like a lantern at night. Internally it provides amazing views while maintaining privacy, shade and an extra sense of space – a sliding door can open the room to the deck, or it can be closed for a more intimate setting. This home is in the running for a 2014 Australian Institute of Architects Award. Robinson Architects (07) 5442 8566, www.robinsonarchitects.com.au; www.architecture.com.au.


Statement tapware is an element that can heavily influence overall
design aesthetics. This bathroom’s copper tapware is an ode to the
post-war period. Its rustic appearance blends well with the spotted gum timber and lantern tiles of the bathroom vanity, and as a result creates
a style synonymous with modernist housing. The copper, wood, green and white palette also hints at earthy undertones that connect the room to the adjacent garden and outdoor landscape. This home is in the running for
a 2014 Australian Institute of Architects Award. Matthew Eagle Architect
0415 773 267, www.mearchitect.com.au; www.architecture.com.au. 


For many, nothing is so irritating as a cluttered kitchen, so to have to include stairs in a kitchen design would be nothing short of disastrous. Thankfully, this kitchen plan is space-conscious and works with the stairway rather than against it. The stove is tucked neatly below it, while a pantry and cool room are hidden behind a door. This ensures that only the most important features of the kitchen – the sink and stove – are exposed. The materials and colour palette for the kitchen match that of the stairs, allowing them to blend seamlessly into the overall design. This home is in the running for a 2014 Australian Institute of Architects Award. Max Pritchard Architect (08) 8376 2314, www.maxpritchardarchitect.com.au; www.architecture.com.au.


With its owner a skilled carpenter, it’s no surprise that this home should be clad in timber finishes. This style translates into the kitchen, which has a central L-shaped island bench-cum-bar table, materials that mirror the exposed studwork of the house, and stainless steel surfaces. The solid timber used in the kitchen clearly matches the wood used to construct the outside alfresco area, which is separated from the kitchen by large glass sliding doors. This home is in the running for a 2014 Australian Institute of Architects Award. Kieron Gait Architects 0401 631 811, www.kierongait.com.au; www.architecture.com.au.


Every homeowner wants to incorporate aspects of environmentally conscious design into their homes. One of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to mimimise energy consumption is the use of natural light. Here, a skylight provides most of the illumination for the bathroom during the day, aided by mirror-back tiles that line the shower walls, and a west-facing window next to the bathtub that catches end-of-day rays. This home is in the running for a 2014 Australian Institute of Architects Award. Lumen Studio 0422 305 099, www.lumenstudio.com.au; www.architecture.com.au.


Townsend + Associates Architects decided that building upwards would be the best way to harness the natural light from the northeast, given the southwest angling of this home’s existing bathroom. A 5m-high ‘tower’ element creates a dramatic internal space above the bathroom, and features remote-controlled awnings that allow the owners to naturally ventilate the bathroom when required. A white colour palette with minimal wooden fixtures adds to the depth of the room, and gives it an open-air feel. This home is in the running for a 2014 Australian Institute of Architects Award. Townsend + Associates Architects (02) 6257 7033, www.t-a.com.au; www.architecture.com.au.  


This kitchen has a palette of blue-greys and dusty pinks, inspired by the apartment’s bayside location. It has a natural grey stone benchtop and splashback, with washed timber flooring and cabinets. The marbled benchtop is softened by the addition of grey fabrics and accessories, and light wooden furniture, with rough edges nowhere to be found. The mix of pastels with grey creates a light and airy feel, enhanced by the smooth texture of the table and chairs. This home has been shortlisted in the 2014 Australian Interior Design Awards. Mim Design (03) 9826 1266, www.mimdesign.com.au; www.australianinteriordesignawards.com.


Adding personality to a room can be as simple as incorporating your favourite colour into its design. The clients of this East Fremantle residence wanted blue to imbue their bathroom, but needed the finished product to be within their budget. A simple palette of aqua-blue glass tiling and white glazed tiles allows pops of colour to fill the bathroom, showcasing the clients’ colour choice without it being too overpowering or bold. This home is in the running for a 2014 Australian Institute of Architects Award. Matthews and Scavalli Architects (08) 9316 0531, www.mandsarchitects.com.au; www.architecture.com.au. 


The clients of this home required a kitchen designed specifically to deal with a large number of people. To accomplish this, it was decked out with durable stainless steel units that can be moved around into bench combinations to suit a number of different situations. The polished concrete floor has an industrial, commercial-kitchen feel, allowing for easy cleaning while matching the room’s metallic palette. The only colour used within the kitchen is the red in the stools, which contrasts with the raw finishes of the benchtops and floor. This home is in the running for a 2014 Australian Institute of Architects Award. Max Pritchard Architect (08) 8376 2314, www.maxpritchardarchitect.com.au; www.architecture.com.au.


Australia is all about the great outdoors, and it’s clear that our lifestyle has a huge impact on the way our interior and exterior areas are designed. Base Architecture decided to fuse together kitchen with alfresco by installing a long Macaubas-stone benchtop that runs unbroken from kitchen through to the outdoor decking area. A large Tetris-style sliding door has been designed specifically to fit around the bench, and seals tightly to ward off bad weather and the elements. The door slides away when the passage needs to be opened, stacking into a fully recessed cavity. This home is in the running for a 2014 Australian Institute of Architects Award. Base Architecture (07) 3352 5899, www.basearchitecture.com.au; www.architecture.com.au.


Wooden cladding is normally reserved for exterior walls and floorboards. Here, Derive Architecture & Design uses Forest Stewardship Council spotted gum wall cladding to partially line this bathroom interior. Selected for its high-quality durability, the cladding matches the spotted gum timbers used on the exterior of the home. Over-scaled mirrors and two roof lights help reflect light around the windowless room, and enhance the bathroom’s natural colour palette. Material choice reflects the home’s coastal location, and was carefully selected to provide continuity and longevity to the skin of the house. This home is in the running for a 2014 Australian Institute of Architects Award. Derive Architecture & Design (02) 4969 3565, www.derivedesign.com.au; www.architecture.com.au.


Nearly 3000 dry pressed bricks make up the feature wall of this open-plan kitchen in Ipswich, Queensland. The visual drawcard acts as the structural spine of the home separating the kitchen, living area and alfresco from the owners’ private rooms, and embraces passive design principles by harnessing the bricks’ high thermal properties to naturally heat and cool the house. Its rustic appeal is carried through the kitchen thanks to the exposed timber rafters that the wall supports. This home is in the running for a 2014 Australian Institute of Architects Award. Aardvarc (07) 3844 4009, www.aardvarc.com.au; Thirdson Construction 0403 431 430,  www.thirdsonconstruction.com.au; www.architecture.com.au.


In this Wright Feldusen Architects-designed bathroom, riverside views were made possible thanks to a narrow skylight and adjoining window. The architects carefully planned the positioning of said windows, allowing the occupant to view the stars during an evening bath, or to enjoy the blue sky and clouds in the day. The bathroom floats in a cantilever that is pushed out from the main structure, presenting unobstructed views of the river that adds to the space’s sense of openness while ensuring that the room itself is hidden from prying eyes. This home is in the running for a 2014 Australian Institute of Architects Award. Wright Feldhusen Architects (08) 9384 6611, www.wrightfeldhusen.com;


One of the easiest ways to style a room is by starting with the basics: use white to cover all the surfaces, then insert splashes of a statement colour to liven up the room. Drawing from mid-century modernism, Klopper and Davis Architects chose yellow to be this kitchen’s signature colour. The yellow walls and grooves of the kitchen cabinets create a linear composition that leads to matching furnishings and decor of the home, while the black decal of a man and his suitcase above the oven is a playful addition that reflects the client’s light-hearted persona. This home is in the running for a 2014 Australian Institute of Architects Award. Klopper and Davis Architects (08) 9381 4731,  www.kada.com.au; www.architecture.com.au.


This bathroom was created to specifically cater for its Japanese client’s daily bathing ritual. The bath is sunk into a teak timber platform that sits raised off the floor to heighten the experience of bathing. The view from the sunken bathtub is perfectly framed thanks to large glass doors that open for ease of ventilation. The use of sustainably grown timbers for cladding and screening contributes to solar protection while creating privacy and shelter from wind. This home is in the running for a 2014 Australian Institute of Architects Award. Tanner Kibble Denton Architects (02) 9281 4399, www.tkda.com.au; www.architecture.com.au. 


Wood has been used for millennia to construct, clad and furnish homes, and is proven to withstand the test of time. That’s one of the reasons why solid Australian timber was used extensively in this kitchen and throughout the home. The wood complements the landscape surrounding the home, connecting the kitchen with the outside environment. Continuing the use of natural materials, the kitchen has raw copper handles that link back to the exterior cladding. The black and white geometric splashback infuses modernity into the overall design, breaking up the minimal finishes of the wood and the black cupboards. This home is in the running for a 2014 Australian Institute of Architects Award. Auhaus Architecture (03) 5254 3335, www.auhaus.com.au; www.architecture.com.au.


This Darwin bathroom design embraces a love for the great outdoors. Thanks to an exterior area adjoined to the house, clients are able to enjoy bathing under the sun and the sky within a protected refuge. The occupant is able to dictate the amount of privacy with the use of clear, opaque and metal louvres. Acting as a light well, the external bathroom pulls light into the internal dressing areas, which can be cut off from the elements by a glass door. A restrained and natural palette of timber, stone and porcelain creates a relaxed ambience, and a large pot plant helps to transport the owners from indoors to out. This home is in the running for a 2014 Australian Institute of Architects Award. DM2 Architecture (07) 3012 9522, www.dm2architecture.com.au; www.architecture.com.au.  


from one room to the next. In this kitchen, that idea of connecting rooms with each other is taken to another level, thanks to a cut-out void that sits directly above the island bench. The void has a dual purpose: to act both as a natural light source between the ground floor and the first floor, and as a chimney, allowing the space to be ventilated by opening the skylight overhead. This home is in the running for a 2014 Australian Institute of Architects Award. Cumulus Studio (03) 6231 4841 or (03) 6333 0930, www.cumulus-studio.net; www.architecture.com.au.


Concealed areas are a great way to maximise space. The wall of inbuilt cabinets on the right of this kitchen forms part of the storage space, but also includes the electronic hub with laptops, stereo, modem and more. In the corner of the kitchen, sneakily disguised as another kitchen cabinet, is a hidden door to a staircase to the upper level. The black palette and shiny contrasting island bench help draw attention away from these space-saving elements. This home is in the running for a 2014 Australian Institute of Architects Award. Iredale Pedersen Hook Architects (08) 9322 9750, www.iredalepedersenhook.com; www.architecture.com.au.


Statement walls are an easy but effective way to transform a bathroom design from bland to grand. Pink handmade peacock tiles by Onsite are used here to brighten up a predominately white-surfaced room. The different-coloured tiles add an element of texture to the space, and work well in making it seem larger than it is. The colour also softens the harsh white marble that would otherwise make the room a white box. The result is a simplistic, modern design with added pizzazz. MCK Architecture & Interiors (02) 9211 4146, www.mckarchitects.com.


A kitchen is considered to be the heart of the home, but it can also be a creative hub, too. Pendal and Neille Architects turned this kitchen into a play haven for artists and kids, by making its back wall a giant chalkboard – a place for messages, lists, schedules, murals and doodling. Blackboard paint was coated onto a metal sheet, which was then wrapped over MDF fixed wall panels. The board injects a feel of fun and reckless abandonment into the room. This home is in the running for a 2014 Australian Institute of Architects Award. Pendal and Neille Architects (08) 9388 3349, www.pendalandneille.com; www.architecture.com.au. 


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