Ideas and Inspiration

Bathroom Basics

Guy Jones 

Have you ever known someone who just seems to get it oh so right when it comes to renovating their bathroom. They seamlessly design & execute their choices so effortlessly that it leaves the rest of us pining a luxurious retreat to call our own.

Bathrooms tend to come second, or even third in the home renovation pecking order. Focal points of the home, such as kitchens, lounge areas & outdoor living areas take priority in 80% of GRJ Homes' work and it often has me (slyly) slipping clients beautiful images of refurbed suites & hardware in a last pitch attempt to awaken the renovation beast inside them.

It usually works.

There is something magnificent about a bathroom that screams "NO I will not just be known for the wet towels on the floor and chipped dated tiles & tapware, I will be loved for my elegance, modernity & flawless design"...(now before you think I've gone off the bandwagon in thinking bathrooms can really say all this (of course they can't!)...imagine what yours would say IF it could).

Your prep for the perfect bathroom design starts here. We often get asked "how do I make the most of this space" and without the proper tools or knowledge, turning the old into new can seem like a slam dunk into the (waste) basket.

Tip 1: I've said it before & I will 1000 times more - RESEARCH. This is the absolute, don't hold back, think you've got it... well check again, most important task you must do. PRIOR to renovating. It will ensure you have the bathroom of your dreams at a price you can afford, your principal contractor will know from the get-go what they need to do to make it a reality & you will be endlessly happy with the finished room (did someone say ensuite next?!).

Tip 2: To bathe or not to bathe? Baths have taken a back seat in past years, mainly due to space & proportion issues, but have recently taken the design world by the bubbles and are back in a big way. Free standing, claw footed, colourful...the humble bath has done a backflip & a huge range of design features & styles are available for your choosing. This is a sure-fire way to make a big impact on your room. But...if space is not on your side, don't worry, you have one less item to choose (ahh... relief) & can get stuck into your shower design. Frameless, framed, drop down, step up (sounds a lot like a dance move from the 80's...), I am amazed by the simple, modern, sophisticated shower designs that are popping up and are available at any budget.

Tip 3: Getting back to the 80's, does anyone remember what their bathroom, or mum & dad's actually looked like? Now, I'm going to give a little shout out to my parents, they are stylish, they like nice things, they take pride in their home & furnishings, but their bathroom three decades ago was horrendous. Correct me if I'm wrong, but everything from that era seemed to be of, well...salmon colour. You will be pretty safe in 2032, if today you choose neutral colours & tones that are easily adaptable to your (or future owners) tastes and social trends. I'm all for a bright splash of blue or green in a bathroom, but I choose to do this through towels, artwork & plants, not through laying chartreuse tiles over 95% of the room. Take note.

There you have it, my Top 3 tips for renovating your bathroom. If you would like to get into the nitty-gritty stuff, please contact us, we would love to have a chat about updating your personal space into a luxurious retreat.

I'll leave you with some design inspiration to get you started -enjoy these beauties.


Sophisticated & ultra-modern design.

Loving the tapware & accessories.

Simple, modern, functional, elegant.

Dark grey, timber & white.

Vintage modern.

Clean & functional, love the high mirror.

Great proportions.

A classic GRJ Homes makeover

Large enough for the largest of families

Inspirational Interiors

Guy Jones 

If you are living in Sth East Queensland you may have noticed that it's been slightly (ok...extremely!) wet lately. The heavens have definitely opened and we are copping a soaking.

Rather than complain & fret that we are being held up with our building projects due to this weather (we are on the tail end of Qld's wet season after all!), I am relishing in the fact that we are able to spend a little more time trawling through our favourite blogs & interior design sites and we are going a little ga-ga over the amazing concepts that are being put together all over the world.

I'm currently loving natural, light filled spaces with an abundance of beautiful, raw textures and amazing fittings. Industrial pendant lights in kitchens and living areas are amping up the wow-factor and are a super easy way to turn drab into fab. Why not consider combining different textures to create depth and interesting focal points to a room - stone benchtops, tiled & timber floors & natural timber accents are our most popular client requests for 2012 and with so many variations available to suit your personal style & taste, choosing your interior finishes has never been so easy.

So... I would like to dedicate this post to all things beautiful INSIDE the home - let's face it, if like us soggy Queenslanders, you are spending more than your fair share of time indoors, you want it to be beautiful.

A haven.

After all, home is where the heart is, so why not pour your heart and soul into me, you'll love it.




Find more inspiration for your renovation here

Getting started on your dream renovation is just a few clicks away. Contact us today to begin discussing your ultimate living space renovation options.

What are you loving when it comes to inspirational interiors? Leave a comment, I'd love to hear what is getting you excited about the indoors!


Guy Jones 

Hi there!  Welcome to the very first instalment of the brand new GRJ Homes blog, where we will share ideas & inspiration to help you make the best possible decisions when it comes to your property.

 Right now you’re possibly thinking along these lines…’a tradesman blogging?, surely not??’…or worse, you’re yawning & about to divert to another page...eek!


To clear a few things up before we get stuck into the fascinating stuff, my name is Alice & I am the other half (yes, some would say better) of GRJ Homes. I have the super important job of keeping YOU up to date with what is happening with all things building-wise through my husband Guy’s building company, GRJ Homes Pty Ltd.

We have the privilege of having some of the best resources on hand when it comes to MAKING YOUR BUILDING DREAM A REALITY, so whether you are looking to renovate or re-build, perhaps you are a first home buyer or investor, or like me, you may just LOVE all things informative & easy-to-understand when it comes to building, stick around & I will try and make this blog as interesting & relevant as I possibly can – and of course there will be some pretty pictures & helpful advice thrown in too.

Let’s kick things off with a biggie – THE TOP 3 THINGS TO CONSIDER BEFORE RENOVATING

It’s an exciting (and often quite daunting) time when you kick off a dream renovation to your property. Ideas and possibilities (not to mention paint colours & floor coverings) seem endless and there is a huge sense of ownership over the project. You want it to be perfect.

Read on.

A perfect project comes from perfect prep (homework basically). Without making you feel like you are back in high school & about to get detention because “the dog ate my homework/I left my bag on the bus Miss” it is vital to the outcome of your dream home renovation that you get a few things right from the get-go.

Number  1:  BUDGET BUDGET BUDGET…This is the singular most important aspect you need to have in place before commencing a renovation. Ideally you already have an idea of what you would like renovated & how you would like the finished room/house to look. By drawing up a budget of what you can realistically afford you are on the right foot from the start.  Speak with your banks mortgage/ loan manager to discuss what your options are in regards to borrowing the funds if required and ensure your new repayments will be practical if your borrowing against your existing mortgage.

Alternatively speak to your accountant or financial planner and ask them to help you out with an initial plan/proposal. Don’t have one? Chris from Headland Accountants is the man to see for all your financial Q&A’s.

Having a solid budget in place & avoiding the temptation to waiver from it (they are reallllly beautiful tiles though aren’t they…) will also ensure your principal contractor can work with you to get the best possible finish at a price you can afford (don’t sweat it if you can’t afford the soft closing toilet seat – no one will really notice in the long run!)

Summary – get realistic, informative, accurate financial advice & a project budget in place BEFORE commencing your renovation.

Number 2: CERTIFICATION, DRAWINGS, PLANS & COUNCIL APPROVAL…Prior to your chosen Builder drawing up a contract to commence works on your renovation, you will need to source any relevant documentation that applies to the works. These are usually in the form of Council Building Permits (see your local council for more information) or Certifications to commence Building/Renovations.

“State government regulations require that you obtain a building permit before starting on any building work, including renovations, alterations or additions, and before erecting retaining walls, carports or installing swimming pools.

A building certifier is responsible for assessing whether proposed building work complies with all relevant provisions of the Building Act and associated standards. The building certifier who issues the building permit must also carry out certain inspections to determine if the building work complies with the approval.

While a building certifier can provide general advice about compliance of building work with the legislation, they are not permitted to design the building or carry out any of the work. You should therefore get specialist advice on building applications from the appropriate design professionals.”    

You can also choose to enlist the services of a draftsman to assist with the nitty-gritty side of design layout & planning – lets face it, you don’t want to be left wishing you had, when too late you realise that wall that seemed like a good idea just doesn’t work in with the final finished design…oops (kind of a big deal!)

If you’re struggling to get your head around all this ‘technical’ stuff, relax…this is what we are here for. We are professionals at it, and we are on hand to do the running around/deal with the bureaucrats/ find the paper trail for you – so put your feet up & get back to thinking about those amazing floor coverings you saw last week…

Summary: Check, check & check again or… contact us to ensure all of your required documentation is in order BEFORE works commence. 

Which leads us to the third and final point to consider:

THE ALL IMPORTANT FINISHES OF INTERIORS & EXTERIORS…I am a bit (ok a lot) of a self proclaimed ‘finish junkie’. Nothing makes me happier than seeing a great finish on a project. By ‘finish’ I mean the well thought out design & execution of a floor covering/paint colour/tile job/window placement/bathroom design/outdoor living area…the list is endless & this is simply because so much of this part of a job comes down to the client, their personal tastes & how they wish their living space to ‘look’.

 I thrive on it. And it scares me a little too.

Choose well & your home will be a haven, somewhere you will be proud to sit & reflect on what an enjoyable & satisfying experience it was to renovate (no buying off the plans with this gem...YOU did it & it looks great!)…

Choose poorly & it will stare you in the face like…well a big ugly stare-y thing…day in, day out.

You better but on a brave (super smiley) face because you’re off to see your bank manager to ask for an overdraft to fix the orange & purple terracotta wall tiles, set off by the acid lime green floor & if any $$$ is left over, you may be able to fix the adjoining bathroom with pink & yellow polka dot features…(I understand that this is just my opinion & if you have chosen these colour combo’s for your renovation & they are working a treat, power to you!!)

Summary: Research, scour mags/designers blogs/home reno sites, entrust a honest soul with tastes similar to yours, spend lunch breaks/weekends/after hours colour matching & eliminating until you feel  10000% happy with your decisions & remember if it doesn’t ‘feel’ right, there is probably a good reason why.

So there you have it, 3 easy steps to consider that will hopefully save you time, money & possibly your sanity –

 I'd love to hear about your renovation experience, so please leave a comment below…and if you are thinking of getting the ball rolling (not to be confused with a swinging wrecking ball!) contact us today to discuss YOUR DREAM HOME RENOVATION.