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Nature calling

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An Adelaide owner with a love of serenity turned to Desyn Homes to produce a one-of-a-kind bathing experience.  Photos: Fotovision

Kerryn Ramsey

Content Writer
Many homeowners fantasise about having a bathroom that blurs the lines between outdoor and in. One Adelaide homeowner was happy to realise this possibility when she worked with the Desyn Homes team. The sumptuous sanctuary with bespoke elements and high-end fittings offers a 180-degree light-filled view of the home's manicured lawns and verdant garden. It certainly gives new meaning to the phrase 'bringing the outside in'.

The bathroom was designed by the Adelaide architecture and planning company Williams Burton Leopardi. When it came to the build itself, a large amount of planning was required to ensure all design aspects were fulfilled. 

'The use of so much concrete proved a challenge,' says Andrew Purchase, construction manager of Desyn Homes. 'It started with the full-length custom strip drain. Due to the polished concrete finish, this needed to be set into the slab prior to pouring.'

Access to the vanity and bath for plumbing and electrical proved challenging, given that the concrete-access panels were designed and fabricated during the build. 

'The installation of the 750-kilogram bath was another big challenge,' says Andrew. 'We had to navigate it through the home towards the end of the build, using a manual crane. We also had to add a hand-held showerhead and mixer even though there was no walling, only glass.'

The Desyn Homes team not only solved these complex issues but also won the recent 2021 HIA Australian Bathroom of the Year. According to the judges, it 'showed great ingenuity in integrating the design into an older home'.

As Tiffany Duffield, Desyn Homes marketing coordinator says, 'We felt this project had real potential – the big point of difference was the striking design and the bespoke fit-out.'

Winning the gong during the virtual awards night was a unique experience. 'It would have been amazing to collect this award in person at the Gold Coast, but we made the most of our 10-person-per-household restriction and celebrated into the night.'

The company, first run by Shane Agelis, launched back in 2002 as Agelis Constructions. The business name changed to Desyn Developments in 2005, offering development services to clients. The title then merged into Desyn Homes in 2010, focusing on private clients and architectural builds. Now under the helm of general manager Shaun Walker, the company has a team of 14 with over 100 regular subcontractors.

The Desyn Homes team values the HIA awards, especially since they have taken home eight awards over the past three years, including South Australian Home of the Year in 2018. 'This was a very proud achievement,' recalls Tiffany. In addition, Desyn Homes was a finalist for the recent national HIA Australian Townhouse/Villa Development of the Year in Somerton Park.

'We see great value in investing the time into the HIA award applications each year,' says Tiffany. 'Firstly, it creates an opportunity for our team to receive the formal recognition they deserve via an industry association. This is great for morale within our boutique team, both in-house and onsite. 

Secondly, the recognition we receive on a state and national level assists our brand in gaining further confidence from the public in a constantly evolving industry. Our brand relies on word of mouth and reputation. Having the backing of the most reputable industry association continues to take our reputation from strength to strength.'

One of the reasons why Desyn Homes has scored so many accolades is its sense of adventure. They are prepared to solve the most complex issues to provide a stunning result. The award-winning bathroom is a perfect example as they needed to ensure the homeowner felt comfortable with walls made of glass.

'There was definitely nervousness from the client's end,' recalls Andrew. 'Her concerns were mostly surrounding privacy when the bathroom was illuminated in the evening. However, she knew exactly what she wanted in terms of custom windows, and we worked with window designer and fabricator Think Detail to achieve this. We undertook a lot of research during the build, particularly into the glazing and lighting.'

The bathroom boasts bespoke items that add a sense of luxury to the space. With the custom vanity unit and bath made by Concrete House, the tub features inbuilt electric heating that keeps the water at optimal temperature. The custom vanity mirror has an inbuilt demister that prevents any fogging.

'Given the large-scale windows, it was difficult to add a hand-held shower head and mixer. This was achieved by designing and installing a custom fabricated shower column,' explains Andrew. 'This also acts as a shelf for soap, shampoo and other items.

The ceiling is a work of art, housing a 500mm x 500mm shower rose within the bulkhead. Even the bulkheads are cleverly used to conceal exhaust fans. The ceiling was finished in Level 5, and rather than flushing the joints only, the entire ceiling has been flushed and painted black. 

Despite all the difficulties, the build was completed in six months, all on time. While Desyn Homes has found fulfilment winning the prestigious award, the owner is undoubtedly finding her own satisfaction in this one-of-a-kind bathroom.




2021 HIA Australian Bathroom of the Year


Design Homes


Desyn Homes


Royston Park, South Australia


Flooring: Polished concrete, salt and pepper
Tapware faucet: Stommen Zeos basin mixer swivel 
Shower: Stommen Doccinox 500x500 ceiling matt black rain shower and Strommen Zeos Raw polished copper shower rail
Glass: Double glazed with custom black steel frame; Grey Reflective glazing to the outer panel of glass 
Bathroom unit with sink and bath: Custom black concrete by Concrete House
Lighting: Khaleesi pendant; Larz black wall lights
Window designer and fabricator: Think Detail Steel Windows & Doors