Bathroom Makeover - Without the Overhaul!

Thinking of updating but don't have the time or budget to gut it and start over?  There are so many solutions that will make your room feel fresh and updated that doesn't involve ripping out drywall.  This also means less dust, which is also a bonus. Take for example this boring, builder's beige of a bathroom (no offence to my favourite contractors, but you shouldn't be in charge of aesthetic decisions - that's just the way it is).   This bathroom screamed "basic model, no upgrades" of the previous homeowners, which didn't suit my vibrant and stylish clients.  

 Original Basic Tub Surround

Original Basic Tub Surround

They had just been through two big renovations (see their beautiful kitchen here) and didn't want the headache of a big reno.  Plus, the floor and shower tile was still in great shape, it was just too beige for my client, so demolishing it would have been frivolous and wasteful.  My suggestion was to replace the bathtub tile only with a proper stone tub surround and panelling detail.  Another issue was the lack of storage - everything sat on the tub ledge which looked temporary and cluttered.   My solution was to add built-ins to one side that sat atop the new stone tub deck. Not only did it add much needed storage, but it warmed up the bathtub area. Throw in a little white subway tile and it's a whole new look!

 New tub surround, panelling and built-in shelves

New tub surround, panelling and built-in shelves

 

Previously it was so empty and cold feeling - who wants to bathe in that environment?   Now it is cozy with loads of visual interest.   We added a new grey vanity and Voila! a whole new vibe.   And all without ripping out a single wall - or floor or shower tile!  If you need help with something like this, feel free to contact me for a consultation - I'd love to hear from you!

A nip here and a tuck there...

It's a debate that many of us have had: Should we sell and find/build a new house OR make the one we have work?  Well, this client decided to stay and fix what they had and I think the results are spectacular.   Plus, I got to work with amazing clients and a wonderful team that made a dream become a reality.   And it all started with Alan from Alan Heron Homes who was tasked with making it all happen.

First order of business: Modernize the exterior and re-locate the entrance.  This is where Will Hudson of Hudson Architecture started to make the client's dream a reality.  The entrance was originally on the side of the house and didn't allow for an inch of entrance space, which was a huge hassle for this family of six.  Re-locating the entrance allowed for a completely different layout on the main floor and the addition of an Ensuite bathroom in the Master bedroom.

 

The new entrance allows space to move. The antique armoire is a family treasure and this location gives it more presence and creates a focal point upon entering the house.  It also sets the tone for the home; mixing old with new; modern with vintage.

Walls came down and opened up the whole main floor.   The open kitchen has loads more storage and the island in a dark grey adds another layer of colour.   These bar stools were a great budget-friendly purchase that the client found online - they can easily be spray painted to change up the look.    

The glass backsplash adds a hit of colour and the gloss finish reflects the surrounding potlights beautifully.

 The soft grey paint that we used throughout the house is the perfect backdrop for displaying the children's artwork.  The almost rustic looking flooring throughout the house is a mid-tone brown that hides wear and tear perfectly.

 

The new Ensuite bathroom had to be squeezed in, as to allow for closet space.  Therefore, the client found the perfect space-saving vanity that set the contemporary tone for the rest of the bathroom.   

It was important to maximize the floor space, so we installed a rectangular drain along the wall and had a curbless shower intalled using the same floor tile as the rest of the bathroom.  The shower door is a fixed panel that helps keep the feeling open.  

Smaller mosaic accents in the shower and behind the vanity elevate the finishes giving the Ensuite a real custom feeling.

 

With four children, the family bathroom had to be hard-wearing and functional.   Each child has their own storage in the vanity and a hook for their own towel.  Anyone with children knows how important ownership can be and this bathroom gives each child their own space. 

The accent stripe in the shower and on the vanity wall adds interest and a hit of pattern to liven things up.

In the end, the client will be able to enjoy this functional, modern and stylish home for years to come.  The house has been given a new lease on life that will adapt to the client's changing needs as their children grow older.  Rather than start from scratch, they were able to create an updated, more functional home that they love from what they had with help from the following team:

Architect: Hudson Architecture

Builder: Alan Heron Homes

Interior Design: Rebecca Purdy Design

Kitchen: Aya Kitchens & Bath

 

The most challenging bathroom design...(and not because of the clients!)

Bathrooms are pretty straight-forward as far as layout and planning.   Things tend to be in standard places because they work there - sometimes there isn't any point to re-inventing the wheel.  If it works it works. Recently on "Leave it to Bryan" I was faced with the most challenging bathroom yet and given the 4-week timeline the pressure to figure it all out was ON.

Here is a plan of the existing bathroom (smallest family bathroom I have ever seen!):

The challenge was incorporating a separate bath, shower, large vanity and storage in such a confined space that was limited by the stairs.   The only option was to go long and narrow.  Here is the plan I proposed:

In order to combat the bowling alley feeling, or long corridor, I proposed dividing the bath and shower and putting double pocket doors right in the middle.  

 

The space is so long and narrow that it was impossible to take and overall picture of the space.   Therefore, have a look at the left side of the bathroom:

And now the right:

Another trick was to use frosted doors.  This isn't always ideal in a bathroom settting, but, they are right in front of the vanity so privacy wasn't as much of a concern. This allowed the light from the bathroom to spill out into the hallway.  In taking more space for the bathroom, we also stole the only other window from the adjoining laundry room and stairs, making it quite dark.  The frosted glass doors helped eliminate this problem.

The clients were hoping for marble throughout, however our budget (although healthy) did not allow for this once the structural issues and building costs were calculated.  Therefore, I suggested marble mosaic accents with an inexpensive tile for the main tile which is how the stripes in the shower came to be.  By using more stripes in the inexpensive tile we were able to save money and create a fabulous focal point.  It is definitely one of my favourite showers (plus I'm partial to stripes).

All in all, the homeowners were thrilled with the result and now have a bathroom fit for the whole family.   In fact, they wrote a wonderful testimonial for me when the job was done.   It's always nice to help great people get what they want in a renovation.   Thank you Ian and Jacqueline for being such great clients!