Designer Tips: Petite Perfection

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Designer Tips: Petite Perfection

A diminutive master bath retreat is packed with style and storage

Photography By Stephani Buchman

When I set out to design a contemporary home with classic touches in mid-town Toronto, space planning was a key factor in ensuring that we met all the clients’ requests in this 2,500-sq. ft-home. I worked closely with the homeowners to lay out all the interior walls, including the master bathroom, leaving us with a smaller-than-average master bath. The goal in this space ultimately was to pack as much function and style in this master retreat, despite the smaller size.


A master bath is a space that often must accommodate two people at the same time, and offer enough storage for double the toiletries, towels, and bathroom knick-knacks. Having a vanity that accommodates two sinks makes sharing a lot more friendly. The centre bank of drawers is functional and deep. Each side of the vanity has ample room and interior dividers, as well as electrical outlets for storing products and charging toothbrushes and shavers, all simultaneously, keeping the mess off the counters and inside their compartments.


The adjacent tall cabinet allowed us to work vertically. Besides not overcrowding the space, open shelves double the towel storage, and offer a pleasant visual while soaking in the tub. The oversized mirror spanning the width of the vanity and the height of the ceiling was another classic trick that was implemented to expand the feel of the narrow bathroom. Nevertheless, the mirror was adorned with two sconces taking the look from builder basic to glamorous.


Maximizing the details was crucial to ensuring the bathroom didn’t feel heavy and overcluttered. The vanity was raised off the ground by six inches on a contemporary tapered leg making the vanity feel lighter and airier than using a traditional toe kick would. Also seeing the tiles carry through under the vanity helps open up the space and gives the impression of more depth. Similarly, in the shower we implemented the same concept. By having a floating bench seat, rather than a boxed out bench, you can appreciate the beautiful marble chevron-patterned tiles, all while making the shower feel more spacious.

Vaulting the ceiling and popping a skylight was the last detail that was executed to affect the overall architectural envelope. By increasing the ceiling height, we were able to play with the dimension of the space and stretch it vertically to get the most impact without borrowing any additional footprint from the adjacent spaces.


In this master suite, we wanted to create a wow factor, we offset this feature to one side of the bathroom. By anchoring the free-standing tub directly under the picture window, we developed a beautiful focal wall, cladding the walls around the windows in an ever-so-subtle, grey-glass mosaic tile that gives off a beautiful shimmering and pearlized reflection. As a result, the light bounces around in the space, while adorning the accent wall with a luxurious texture. An accent tile is the perfect way to create a focal wall, and in this case, framing the picturesque view around the window.


The finishes were key to the success of this bathroom. While deciding to pass up on the everso- popular white-on-white palette, the homeowners were still adamant about the space feeling light and bright. Opting for various shades of grey and silver, this colour scheme offers a fresh and bright feel while providing a sense of warmth.

Small spaces can sometimes be discouraging and perplexing at first glance, however, the challenge and excitement comes from mixing innovative and classic methods to enhance the space, all while maximizing your needs and infusing it with a whole lot of style.

SOURCES TILE IN SHOWER, WALLS AND FEATURE WALL: Olympia Tile; SCONCES: Royal Lighting; VANITY/ MILLWORK: Dvira Interiors; HARDWARE: Richelieu; MARBLE: Calacatta Marble fabrication, Precious Stone; PLUMBING FIXTURES: Taps; PAINT: Benjamin Moore: OC-54 White Wisp

Dvira Ovadia is the principal designer of Dvira Interiors, a Toronto-based celebrity and award-winning designer who appears regularly on HGTV. For more information, visit dvira.com


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