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Men At Work - Bathroom Reno

4 tips to design your dream bathroom

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4 tips to design your dream bathroom

Photography by Valerie Wilcox

We get it. A bathroom renovation is by no means a glamorous undertaking. No matter what the end result looks like, you can count on an unimaginable amount of dust, loud noises and traffic from tradespeople, who you’ll soon get to know all too well. Despite the stress and costs that come with renovating, we promise you that investing in your bathrooms is worth the headache. Aside from the kitchen, bathrooms are hands-down one of the best ways to increase your home’s value while greatly improving your everyday living.

We tend to appreciate good bathrooms the most on those hectic mornings we’re just trying to get out the door, or those relaxing (and often rare) evenings we take the time to run a bath. The functionality and luxuries of good bathrooms come down to thoughtful design and thorough project management. Here’s a handy guide of what we think you should know before taking on your next bathroom renovation project.

1 Set a budget

Our designers and renovation professionals are always stressing how important it is for homeowners to understand the financials behind the renovation. What can you afford? What can you expect to get from spending that kind of money? Setting a realistic budget early on will help your contractor determine what the budget parameters are for each category required to complete the project. For example, a contractor or project manager will know what percentage of your total budget will need to be spent on different trades, and what can be spent on interior selections. Start by determining what you’re willing to spend and what your priorities in spending are; then be sure to communicate that to your contractor from the start.

2 Determine your scope

Decisions like tearing down walls, rearranging plumbing, or adding more natural light through a skylight or window are bound to increase the cost of your project. The longer it takes to finalize big decisions, the longer the life of the renovation – meaning more money spent. Our professionals agree that an average bathroom renovation will take anywhere from six to 12 weeks, however, much of that is dependent on the scope of work that’s been set and the length of the overall design phase.

As the homeowner, the single most important thing you can do to speed up the design phase is to be quick with approving designs and deciding on interior finishes, fixtures and accessories. Something that people tend to greatly underestimate is the time it takes to choose finishes. Today there are seemingly endless options of everything, so it often becomes overwhelming to commit to one faucet, one tub filler, one shower system, when thousands are so readily available.

Another miscalculation that homeowners often overlook is how long it can take the items they chose and ordered to arrive at their home. Longer lead times can be the result of various things, but it’s often due to items being on back order or the manufacturing process happening overseas that cause orders to take weeks, sometimes months, to get to the jobsite. It is for this reason that our design team always stresses the importance of selecting fixtures quickly and placing orders early on to avoid delays and unforeseeable expenses.

3 Lay it out

Once you’ve determined the budget and scope, you can start playing around with the configuration of the space. Consider how you, or those visiting your home, will use that particular bathroom. Is it a kid’s bathroom that requires a bathtub and height considerations? A main floor powder room or a guest bathroom that will be used by many people. Or maybe, this is your dream master ensuite that you’ve been relentlessly pinning inspiration pictures towards for years. Regardless of which bathroom you’re renovating, maximizing the space and layout to be as functional as possible is of the utmost importance. A fun little exercise to try, that always seems to pay off, is to have your family create a wish list that includes ‘must-haves’ and ‘nice-to-haves.’ Fill out those two sections and present them to your designer and contractor. Lists like these are helpful for everyone involved in the project because they clearly point out the bottom line priorities of the renovation, and what the ‘nice-to-have’ add-ons are.

4 Make it timeless, not trendy

It’s likely that you won’t be renovating your bathroom every few years, so choosing timeless over trendy elements, tends to be worth it in the long haul. Realistically, if your next renovation provides you with a functional bathroom layout and relatively timeless finishes and fixtures, giving your bathroom a little facelift in a few years might be as simple as swapping out sconces or replacing the shower curtain. All this to say, never underestimate the impact that small changes can make to a familiar space that you’ve grown bored of.

Undertaking a bathroom renovation of any sort may seem invasive and overwhelming, but the results will make it worth your while. One way to reduce the stress for you and your family is to hire an experienced Design Build team to take on the project. This will make the experience more enjoyable because you can focus more on the design side of the project (the fun part), and leave the production side in the hands of your trusted contractor.

Jessica Millard joined Men At Work Design Build in 2017 while studying at Ryerson University.

The Toronto-based firm offers integrated engineering, design and professional construction services for addition and major renovation projects on old Toronto homes.

Jessica has been involved in various internal departments within the firm, and is currently the company’s Project Coordinator.


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Build a better bathroom

Build a better bathroom

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Build a better bathroom

Bathrooms are second only to kitchens in terms of which room homeowners most-often renovate, and the amount of money they’re willing to spend on them. The next time you’re ready to renovate a bathroom, keep these five features in mind to elevate your space.

Séura Smart Mirror, courtesy of Séura.
Séura Smart Mirror, courtesy of Séura.

The heat is on

For millennia, builders have used tile flooring in rooms where there’s a high risk of water damage. Whether you opt for slate, marble, or ceramic tiles, the material is impervious to water. Unfortunately, stone and tile are cold to the touch. That’s fine – and actually quite desirable – in the summer, but can be an unpleasant shock during a mid-winter, midnight trip to the bathroom.

That’s why heated floors are becoming a must-have for mid- to high-end bathroom renovations. If your home is heated by hot-water radiators, it’s fairly easy to add a run of piping below the floor before laying the tiles. If not, there are a number of electrical mats that can be installed directly underneath the flooring.

And to take this luxurious warmth to the next level, consider installing a towel warmer. Who wouldn’t want a towel at the ready that feels like it just came out of the dryer when stepping out of the shower? Again, you can buy models that are heated by water from the boiler or via electricity.

Ditra-Heat System courtesy of Schluter Systems
Ditra-Heat System courtesy of Schluter Systems

Reclaim the throne

By now, we all know the importance of swapping out old, high-water consumption toilets for low-flow, dualflush models that reduce the amount of water wasted with each use. And now you can be both eco-conscious and luxurious when it comes to choosing a commode.

Bidets are still relatively rare in North America but once you get over the novelty of them, they are a very hygienic option. Rather than having to take up precious floor space installing a toilet and a separate bidet, a number of companies make combined two-in-one units, or replacement seats that include the washing function.

Still not sold on a bidet? There are a number of other luxurious upgrades you and your family might enjoy – from heated seats and lids that open and close automatically, to built-in nightlights and even speakers for streaming music.

Soak it in

Once upon a time, a shower consisted of a single fixture, hung directly overhead. But with homeowners increasingly seeking a spa-like experience at home, manufacturers started increasing the number of ports and jets for water to shoot out from in the shower. While an overhead “rain” soaker and a hand-held fixture are fairly standard now, the next-level upgrade includes a column of body jets lining the walls of the shower enclosure to literally soak you from head to toe.

Photo courtesy of Kohler
Photo courtesy of Kohler

Divide and conquer

Back in the 1980s, his-and-her sinks were all the rage in master bathrooms. The trend more or less faded away when homeowners realized that 95 per cent of the time they just used one of the sinks, leaving the other one spotless. One of today’s trends takes the separation to the next level: his and her bathrooms. Yes, dual ensuites for the man and woman of the house. Obviously you’ve got to have enough space and a big enough budget to even consider this upgrade, but can you imagine the ease of opening the drawers or vanity without having to wade through your partner’s lotions and creams to find your toothbrush buried in the back?

Add some A/V

Singing in the shower is a pastime for many. But it’s even better when you have something to sing along to. You could simply buy an extra wireless speaker, such as a Sonos or Google Home, but the excessive moisture – particularly during the colder months when the windows are closed – can damage these electronics.

Ideally, you’ll find waterproof, wireless speakers for your audio entertainment. One option is Kohler’s Moxie, which combines a showerhead and wireless speaker in one.

To truly turn your bathroom into a home entertainment centre, consider a mirror with a built-in TV or smart touchscreen so you can catch up on the news and weather, plan your commute time, or update your calendar while getting ready in the morning.

CAPTION: Photography courtesy of Margaret Mulligan

Jim Caruk, Renovation Editor

We look forward to hearing from you and welcome your feedback. Do you have a reno or decor question for our team of experts?

Email editorial@renoanddecor.com


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OD Riobel kitchen faucets

Riobel launches new collection of kitchen faucets

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Riobel launches new collection of kitchen faucets

 OD Riobel kitchen faucets

Riobel has launched an all-new collection of five kitchen faucets available in four finishes (chrome, black or brushed gold and stainless steel) for 2019. These ultramodern faucets are equipped with the new Boomerang pull-down spray system.

The collection comprises Azure (available in three versions: Two handles, one handle, bridge style), Solstice, Mythic, Ludik and Trattoria. All of them come with the new Boomerang pull-down spray system, which allows the sprayer to return to its original position easily, and an ultra-silent braided nylon hose. Depending on the model, the faucets have a single or dual spray (one for rinsing vegetables) and one or two handles to control water volume and temperature. The Azure model may be ordered in the bridge style.

The new Riobel kitchen faucets are available in all authorized Riobel showrooms in Canada and the U.S.

 About Riobel

Based in Montreal, Riobel was born out of a vision of innovation and contemporary style for faucets, shower systems and accessories. Riobel takes an industry-leading and progress approach to design, marrying brilliant function with modern simplicity and elegance.

About The House of Rohl

The House of Rohl is a portfolio of very special decorative plumbing and hardware brands collected from around the world. Each has a unique story that connects family, place of origin and a specialized manufacturing philosophy. Each of the brands has a particular place in the collection: Riobel is “brilliantly modern”; Perrin & Rowe is “quality defined”; Shaws is “handcrafted for life”; Victoria + Albert is “naturally inspiring design”; and ROHL is “authentic luxury for the kitchen and bath.” Together they bring a richness of design and heritage that offer a complete assortment of options for kitchen and bath. The House of Rohl and its portfolio of brands are a part of the Fortune Brands Home & Security, Inc.’s Global Plumbing Group. For more information, visit thehouseofrohl.com

 

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Remnant Warehouse

How to Save on Smaller Projects!

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How to Save on Smaller Projects!

How you can save money – and help the environment by reducing construction waste.

SPONSORED CONTENT

Introducing a new program by Latitude Countertops for significant cost saving when renovating smaller surface projects like a small kitchen, island, fireplace or bathroom.

The Remnant Warehouse was born out of the countertop fabrication firm’s goal to reduce waste. The company created an online inventory with easily searchable remnant pieces of stone and quartz for small project needs.

Today, just more than a year later, the Remnant Warehouse (qrw.ca) boasts more than 2,000 pieces of popular quartz brands such as Caesarstone, Silestone and HanStone, as well as natural stone in all shapes and sizes. Hundreds more pieces are added each week.

What exactly is a remnant?

When a typical kitchen countertop is fabricated, it comes from a full slab of either quartz or natural stone ranging in size from 46 to 50 sq. ft. Since all of Latitude’s countertops are made to custom sizes and lengths, there are always leftover pieces of full slabs which can be used in other smaller projects. These remnants then become available for significantly discounted prices.

Searching the Remnant Warehouse is easy. You can search by colour name, size or brand name, and of course purchasing online is easy. You can also get estimates on fabrication projects using Latitude’s fast and easy Webquotes.

To register for designer and contractor pricing, visit qrw.ca

Features and benefits

The benefits of using qrw.ca include:

  • Saves money and helps environment
  • Fast and easy online searching and secure purchasing
  • Instant online project quoting for designer and contractor customers
  • Remnants are ideal for small surfaces such as vanity and island tops and galley kitchens, fireplace surrounds, table tops, furniture accents, shower walls and surrounds

416-638-8586 | 800-435-9083


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Victoria + Albert

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Victoria + Albert

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Victoria + Albert perfects the brass finish

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Victoria + Albert perfects the brass finish

Some things really do improve over time. After making an impressive resurgence in popularity from their peak in the 1990s, brass fixtures are among the hottest trends in bathroom design with today’s styles showcasing a warmer and more sophisticated vibe than the bold brass of decades past.

Victoria + Albert Baths is pleased to meet customer requests for this exciting trend with a beautiful new unlacquered brass finish that is now available for all Florin and Staffordshire faucets.

Known as a “living finish,” unlacquered brass ages naturally, developing a unique patina over the lifespan of the fixture. The absence of lacquer allows the durable solid brass to gradually darken and reveal subtle undertones of colour and texture.

The evolving look may be used to create a feeling of “Old World” elegance in a traditional setting or to contrast with the clean lines of contemporary decor. If desired, the finish can be maintained in a polished state with the regular use of a metal cleaner. The Florin and Staffordshire Collections are smart choices to showcase this exceptional new finish, each making its own distinctive statement.

The Staffordshire line celebrates “New Traditional” design and its graceful combination of classic styles and modern lines, while Florin faucets capture the essence of the Art Deco aesthetic in a fresh way. Both collections are available in a wide range of faucet designs for the tub, basin and shower, making it easy to create a cohesive look that is pulled together down to the drains and foot finishes on the clawfoot tub. All of Victoria + Albert’s faucets are made in the U.K. using traditional techniques.

DROP-IN TUBS

Victoria + Albert is pleased to announce its foray into the world of built-in bathtubs. “Our aim was simple – to create the world’s best built-in bathtub,” said Jonathan Carter, marketing director for Victoria + Albert. “We wanted to keep the elegance and superior quality that is part of our brand and add to that the ease and practicality of a built-in tub. We couldn’t be more pleased with the end results.”

The two new designs, the Gordano 6032 and Rossendale 6636, are beautiful in any setting, with sophisticated lines and exceptional design flexibility. Both may be installed as a drop-in or under-mount and have four adjustable feet for perfect leveling and easy installation. The tubs may be set into a custom surround built to complement any bathroom decor, making them a smart choice for hospitality settings as well as residential use.

These remarkable tubs have been designed with comfort in mind. Each has a 32° angle of recline and integrated arm rests for a relaxing soak. As with all Victoria + Albert baths, they are crafted from their signature Englishcast material, hand-finished to a glossy white shine. The material is naturally strong, which means that the tubs won’t creak or flex.

MAIN COLLECTIONS

Freestanding baths: The original core product and what it is best known for. There are two collections, traditional and modern, in a wide range of styles and sizes with six exterior paint finishes.

Freestanding vessel basins: Launched to complement the bathtubs. Modern and traditional styles, made from Victoria + Albert’s English cast composite. Designed to be mounted on a solid countertop and available in six exterior paint finishes.

Faucets: Including basin faucets, tub fillers, shower units. All made in England using traditional techniques. The tree collections include modern, traditional and Art Deco.

Furniture: Both countertop units and vanities with inset Englishcast basins. All made in England using traditional techniques and solid hardwoods.

Accessories: Practical things like garbage bins, but also luxurious bath racks and luxury backrests. Notable is the new Kit 40 “intelli-waste,” the self-emptying plug that guarantees flood protection.

Victoria + Albert is a global brand with a worldwide reputation for creating beautiful baths and luxurious, lasting products.

http://vandabaths.com/us/americas/

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A SPA-like BATHROOM – in your own home!

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A SPA-like BATHROOM – in your own home!

Who doesn’t love a long soak in a hot bath? And if that bath is in a totally gorgeous bathroom, that’s like a prescription for relaxation. To create a luxury retreat-like bathroom, here are some tips:

FIRST ADD WHITE

When I think of a spa, white instantly comes to mind. Fresh white walls combined with the beautiful natural light in this recently renovated bathroom are ideal. Here we used my personal favourite white of all time – Benjamin Moore Decorator White. To ensure the room didn’t start to feel bland and boring we incorporated a lot of texture – mainly  in the tiles. We used Daltile’s Octagon & Dot mosaic on the floor, and their Florentine tile on the shower walls. This tile is a glazed porcelain tile that has a marble design printed on it, so it is a great budget saving option. Having a mix of patterns and textures ensures a monochromatic colour scheme like this does not feel boring! We picked up the grey on the floor with the neutral grey in the Auguste vanity by Foremost.

IT’s IN THE DETAILs

Have you ever thought about trim? Well I do. In every room I ever design. Trim can help you to achieve a whole new level of luxury with a material that has a very reasonable price point. To ensure this white room did not feel too plain and basic, we added crown, applied moulding and baseboard in Metrie’s Pretty Simple collection. There are so many options, sizes, profiles available, but if you want to add a level of luxury through trim and don’t know where to start, Metrie has simplified the process with its curated Then & Now Finishing Collections. They take away all the guesswork by presenting coordinated lines. Each moulding element within each Collection has been meticulously designed, so every joint and reveal is seamless. Look at this bathroom – I just love how the trim turned out!

ADD NATURAL, RUSTIC ELEMENTS

All the white in this room called for some contrast, so we incorporated some pieces from one of my favourite retailers, Artemano. This tree stump makes for a perfect perch for a wine glass or book while relaxing in the soaker tub. Artemano’s buying team travels the world in search of modern solid wood furniture pieces, and other home decor accessories that add artistic flair. We also added a small rustic wood shelf for candles adjacent to the tub. These little contrasts give the bathroom a grounded, earthy element. And what spa would be complete without candles? Handcrafted candle holders in natural textures like concrete are definitely essential.

Your Fixture is the room’s JEWELRY

Plumbing fixtures are like jewelry on an otherwise plain outfit- the jewelry makes it fancy. In this spectacular bathroom we used the Ara collection by Delta to bring a bit of a modern edge to this space with its geometric angles and edges, and it took the room’s luxury level up to that of a five star spa. I love the contrast of the modern fixture next to the traditional soaker tub- it makes for such a bold statement!

LUXURY doesn’t have to break the bank

There are so many ways to add luxury to any space – and a bathroom is no exception. This room wasn’t just supposed to be a bathroom – it needed to feel like a spa! So we added as much luxury as possible, without breaking the bank. First of all, we created a custom shower, complete with a bench. This looks and feels grand, but we kept the costs reasonable by using pre-fabricated glass shower enclosures (as opposed to all custom glass) by The Shower House. For a truly invigorating shower, we added body jets on the wall.


A few perfect touches included adding a decorative hamper, modern stool and this leaning towel ladder from Bouclair, which adds a gorgeous visual element and can show off plush, luxurious towels. Quality towels are a must – and I love these striped Turkish cotton towels.
The detail you cannot see – floors heated by the Nuheat flooring system so that even your feet are happy when you get out of the shower or bath.


And the final piece of this puzzle – the soaker tub! This soaker tub has been with the homeowners for years, literally sitting in the garage just waiting for the perfect bathroom renovation. With a brand new coat of Newburry Port Blue, I must say that this tu steals the show.


These tips will help you to create a spa-like oasis in your own home. Remember, creating a spa is all about relaxation, comfort and luxury. And you deserve all that!

Special thanks to the brands mentioned above for partnering with me on this project. Photos by the talented Dann Tardif.

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