Tag Archives: Bathroom Reno

Quick Bathroom Makeover that wont' Break the Bank

Quick bathroom makeover ideas that won’t break the bank

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Quick bathroom makeover ideas that won’t break the bank

by Madisyn McKee

Looking to refresh some spaces in your home? Consider these bathroom makeover ideas that won’t cost you an arm and a leg

It’s common knowledge that there are two things you can renovate in a house to increase its value; the kitchen or your bathrooms. There is no coincidence that they are also the two most expensive rooms to renovate.

While you could easily shell out thousands to replace your bathroom and give it an upgrade, you don’t have to. There are lots of options that can make it look like a completely new space. Here are a few:


This is probably the most obvious and the easiest in terms of upgrades for a bathroom. Finding the right paint for your room can make all the difference. Choose a colour that suits the room.

Light colours work best for smaller rooms that can often feel dark. If you plan on using white or light features for your bathroom, consider a darker, warmer colour. Greys, blues or greens are the most common colours for bathroom spaces.


A relatively easy change you can make to the bathroom for a few hundred dollars is the vanity. Often it’s the size of the vanity that will determine the choice you should make. You should also consider how much storage space you’ll be looking for. If you are not a person that holds a lot of items in your bathroom, a simple vanity will do.


Adding in a simple lighting piece can make a big difference in a small room. Look for a statement piece like a beautiful chandelier to really brighten up the room and add to the overall aesthetic. Just be sure to use your existing light sockets, otherwise your costs can add up if you have to bring in an electrician to make some changes.


The great thing about a bathroom makeover means there is less square footage to have to worry about. If you are handy, consider adding new tiles around the bathtub or even the walls. New floor tiles can set you back only a couple hundred dollars but change what the room looks like entirely.

Little touches

Don’t underestimate how much the little things can make a difference. Updating the colours of your towels or shower curtain can change the way a small room like the bathroom looks quite a bit. Consider adding statement pieces like a gold or brass faucet. Adding shelves in the room can make a great place for other statement pieces without taking away from usable space.

For a few hundred dollars you can easily changes what your bathroom looks like and give it the refresher that it needs.

Madisyn is a freelance writer and social media obsessed traveller based out of Toronto. Always looking for her next adventure but glued to her phone, you can contact her at madi@therestlessworker.com or visit her at therestlessworker.com


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Return of the Black Bathroom

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Return of the Black Bathroom

Tis the season to begin planning next year’s home renovation projects. If a dream bathroom renovation is on your wish list, you’re probably pouring over photos of gorgeous spaces. That means there’s a good chance you’ve noticed that black bathrooms are quietly making a return.

From walls to accents, faucets, fixtures, and sometime all of the above, black is back. Here is a look at some of the ways that you can incorporate the black bathroom trend into your next renovation.

The Ultimate Attention-Getting Toilet


Nothing makes a statement about your commitment to the black bathroom trend like adding a black commode. However, don’t add just any black toilet, when you can conserve water and enjoy a style upgrade at the same time.

Kohler’s Kathryn Comfort Height one-piece compact elongated 1.28 gpf toilet with AquaPiston® flush technology allows you to save water with every flush, while the finish in Black Black™ is a definite attention-grabber.

Show Stopping Faucet


Going black with your bathroom faucet is always a bold move, since it’s such an atypical look. However, it’s also a great medium commitment way to embrace the black bathroom trend since installing a faucet isn’t as invasive as switching out the fixtures. When you install a black faucet, it creates a striking contrast against an otherwise light-coloured bathroom.

High Profile Lighting


Whether black all over or just the hardware, black lighting fixtures make a stunning first impression in your bathroom. The look is sleek and very different.

Fabulous Flooring


Black patterned bathroom floor tiles are having a pretty big moment right now. Weère seeing them in magazines, on our favourite home design shows, and all across the internet. This is a very graphic, bold look, that shows best against a white wall, and paired with an unexpected pop of colour.

Wow Factor Walls


For the ultimate ode to this inky shade, try swathing your bathroom walls in black. You can successfully use black paint in a room without make the space feel oppressive. Try framing it with white molding, add some gorgeous statement lighting and definitely experiment with accessories.


Some of our favourite powder room looks incorporate a healthy dose of black. Here is a look at some spaces that do this trend well.


The black is very present in this space, but not overpowering.  Painting a vanity black and adding black lighting allows you to embrace this trend without a big-ticket commitment.


Think you can’t go black in a tiny space? Think again. The black hex flooring and exotic black wall paper work together to create a sensual space that feels open and spacious.


Black toilet, black hex tile, black sink …bravo. This is a truly elegant space, especially with the tile feature wall, greenery and gold accents. Very nice.

*Article courtesy of EiEiHome


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Spa day: High-end bathroom renos can require some extra planning work

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Spa day: High-end bathroom renos can require some extra planning work

For many contractors, bathroom renovations are their bread and butter. For one, as people’s tastes change over time if you do a good job the first time, you could end up with repeat business every five or 10 years. Often, the work is a simple touch-up, swapping out some dated fixtures and tiles, and repainting the walls.


But some clients want a complete spa-like experience at home and are willing to take over dens and smaller bedrooms to achieve their goals. While potentially lucrative, these larger bathroom renovations require some careful planning.

For starters, you’ll likely need to extend or run new water supply lines to the new fixtures and connect the drain for each to the stack.


Many modern fixtures also often require electrical power supply. Kohler’s DTV+ system, for example, uses a waterproof touchscreen to control the showerhead, body sprays, steam settings, and built-in audio. The interface connects to a controller via a supplied 25’ cable that should be hung with a drip loop. The controller itself plugs into a standard outlet.


An in-home sauna is another luxurious option. Once framed, you’ll want to insulate the walls, floor, and ceiling around the sauna and cover it with foil vapour barrier to reflect the heat back inwards. In addition to framing the room itself, you’ll need power supply for the lights, thermostat, exhaust fan, and heating cable (or natural gas if you’re going that route). You’ll also need dedicated ductwork for the exhaust.

While long-popular overseas, bidets are slowly but surely making inroads here in Canada. Kohler’s C3 units are retrofit seats that can convert an existing toilet into a working bidet, complete with heated seat and warm-air fan for drying. The unit plugs into a dedicated GFCI receptacle. If one doesn’t exist within 12” of the basin, you’ll need to add an outlet.


Mirrors and vanities may also require wiring. Kohler’s lighted Verdera medicine cabinet has built-in LED lighting that can be connected to a dimmer switch. There are also two electrical outlets on the inside for small appliances such as electric razors and toothbrushes. The company’s Tailored Vanity series includes an optional three-plug outlet that mounts inside the cabinet.


To maximize space and add a stylish look, one increasingly popular option is a wall-mounted toilet such as Kohler’s Veil. The nice thing about this model is that the tank mounts on an adjustable bracket that fits between the wall studs. If your client is considering a Veil toilet, keep this in mind when running your other plumbing, wiring, and ductwork in the wall cavity.


If you are tearing out walls to combine existing rooms, you may need to reroute some of the ductwork so you don’t end up with hot and cold pockets in the newly configured room. Also keep in mind that adding additional fixtures and opening up walls may mean the existing exhaust fan is undersized. Check the unit’s CFM rating to see if you need to upgrade it.


Finally, if they’re going to go to all this trouble, your client will likely also want heated floors. Heated mats hardwired in place directly below the tiles are the simplest option. But for long-term savings, homeowners might want to consider a hydronic system.


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Design: The New Look of Brass

Design: The New Look of Brass

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Design: The New Look of Brass

by Linda Mazur

What’s hot in bathroom finishes? Believe it or not it’s brass.

This is not the shiny yellow brass of decades past, but unlacquered brass that highlights a beautifully aged, slightly antiqued finish. After making an impressive resurgence in popularity from their peak in the 90s, brass fixtures are among the hottest trends now in bathroom design, with today’s styles showcasing a warmer, more sophisticated vibe, than bold brass of decades past.

Unlacquered brass has an attractive look and feel all its own. Its warm, less formal than polished nickel, less typical than chrome. This unparalleled finish is organic, and is sometimes referred to as a “living finish”. Due to the absence of the lacquer, this durable solid brass finish is allowed to naturally age over time and develop a beautiful patina of colour and texture unique only to itself.

As a designer, I find that this ever-evolving finish is beyond adaptable. When designing bath spaces I find I’m drawn to the unlacquered brass finish for bathroom fittings and accessories. It offers sophistication, old world charm and yet modernism. It can be used in an upscale setting, more rustic inspired spaces, or if you’re creating a more bohemian vibe.

One of the hardest working elements in any bathroom are your faucets; they sustain a large amount of daily use and abuse. As such, choosing the right one goes beyond simply looks. You should consider functionality, durability. Look to ensure that the finish will last and look as beautiful as the day it was installed. As obviously functional bathroom fittings and accessories are, they can also be considered the finishing touches or “jewellery” to your bathroom renovation. Making the right selections can be the difference between a moderately successful bathroom design and renovation, or a truly remarkable one.

When looking for beautiful bathroom fittings and superior quality, one company that always delivers is Victoria + Albert. Their impressively designed faucets are made using traditional techniques with high quality materials. Here you will find transitional styles that boast a graceful combination of classical traditionalism with modern lines, to one of my personal favourites, the Florin collection, that captures the essence of the Art Deco aesthetic in a fresh new way. You are sure to find a look to enhance your bathroom designs, while perhaps entertaining their latest unlacquered brass as the finish.

The faucets and fittings are the “crown jewel” of any bathroom renovation.


Follow some of my important design tips;

  • Decide early on if you are wanting counter top mounted faucets or wall mounted faucets as critical to your plumbing rough-ins;
  • Lavatory, bath and shower faucets and fittings do not necessarily need to match in style as many different looks can complement each other, however the closer the combination of styles the more pleasing the overall look;
  • Do your research select the best quality faucets your budget permits to ensure longevity and durability.

Linda Mazur is a nationally publicized designer and Principal of Linda Mazur Design Group.

With almost two decades of experience this in demand multi-disciplinary design firm is known for creating relaxed stylish spaces and full-scale design builds within Toronto, the GTA and throughout Canada.




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Can Modern be Traditional?

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Can Modern be Traditional?

Written by: Shelanne Jennings-Augustine of Dockside Magazine

Taking style concepts to a whole new level

Tranquility, simplicity and elegance: they’re three words that most of us would love to use when describing our homes. But in reality, many of us are struggling to find the right style that can transcend both time and trends.

Streamlining and simplifying your style choice while keeping some character can have a profound impact on our state of mind and ultimate look. And more and more designers are applying that wisdom to the fixtures and furnishings in our homes, rejecting singular design ideals for a more accurate reflection of our hybrid-styled lives.

“We all want to come home to a space that makes us feel at ease,” says Rick Cooke, manager of The Water Closet. “Kitchen and bath suppliers are taking note of that.”

You don’t need to live in a designer’s home to take advantage of this trend: from Delta to American Standard, the best plumbing fixture manufacturers offer modern yet traditional designs that can be used in any home, no matter its style.

Crisp lines

Whether using hard, straight edges or a concept that’s completely curved, transitional designs often rely on striking shapes, rather than patterns and loud colour schemes, to make an impact.

“When you’re remodeling your kitchen or bathroom, these blended designs are a great way to go,” says Rick. “They simplify the space without making it boring, while fitting most design styles.”

For those leaning towards the straight-edged, hard-lined look, Rick suggests looking for fixtures like the Ara tub filler by Delta.

“The Ara Line is all about architectural simplicity,” says Rick. “They have very simple handles and open-trough spouts, and can be ordered in a number of finishes.”

For those who prefer rounded silhouettes, Rick suggests freestanding fixtures, like the Florence tub by Produits Neptune, that allow their shape to shine. “The Florence tub features luxurious lines and a lower basin that makes getting in and out an ease, while offering a modern and minimalistic look.”

A new line available at The Water Closet, DXV’s Oak Hill collection, encompasses both sharp edges and rounded silhouettes perfectly and ties in the latest must-have Satin Brass finish.

“This new DXV luxury line really answers all types of design needs with its four distinct design movements — Classical, Golden Era, Modern and Contemporary — that can be used separately or mixed together,” says Nick Nano, showroom representative with The Water Closet. “It really is a fun line that we’re proud to carry.”

Natural elements

If you’re intrigued by the simplicity of modernity but aren’t willing to give up traditional designs completely, consider one of the many modern looks that are accessorized with wooden details.

“Brizo has a beautiful modern line called LITZE that’s available in chrome and teakwood,” says Rick. “It’s an unlikely pairing but the combination of the warm teak with the cold, smooth chrome looks amazing.”

For the texture of wood without the warm tone, Rick suggests looking for products that feature muted, cool wooden tones.

“One of my favourites is the Park Central vanity by Fairmont Designs,” says Rick. It’s a white and chrome structured vanity with muted wooden drawer fronts. “The wood is almost grey, but it adds texture and depth to the unit.”


If you’re not ready to change your already traditional style, but want to add modernity to your master bath, the easiest way is to look at plumbing and bath features that make life easier.

“Take the ActiClean toilet by American Standard,” says Rick. “It has a clean, crisp design, but it also features technology that keeps it clean, so you don’t have to.”

The toilet is equipped with a cleaning cartridge that releases a powerful cleaning liquid into the bowl whenever the toilet’s cleaning system is activated.

“No one likes to clean the toilet,” says Rick. “With the ActiClean, you really don’t have to. Just press a button and it’s done. It’s a whole other level of luxury.”

thewatercloset@desco.ca  www.WaterCloset.ca


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Enhancing the Flow of Life

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Enhancing the Flow of Life


There’s something rejuvenating about a day at the spa. Whether it’s the plush robes, the warm steam or the soft scent of aromatherapy oils – the environment has a magical way of unraveling the stress of our everyday lives.

Few of us can go to the spa as much as we’d like to. But, thanks to new innovations from the leaders in bathroom plumbing and fixtures, you can bring many aspects of the spa home.


“Bath technology has come a long way in developing residential spa products,” says Rick Cooke, manager of The Water Closet in Orillia. “They now do more than ever before. It’s really incredible.”

Just like in a spa, these products relax the body by engaging many of our bodies’ senses.

“Take a product like ChromaSteam by Mr. Steam,” says Rick. “It will turn your regular shower into a steam shower that can be infused with aromatherapy oils and adjustable coloured lighting, which can be set to match your mood.”

For those that like to relax to music, Mr. Steam also has a water-resistant shower speaker system called AudioWizard. “It can be used with or without the steam shower system to wirelessly play any digital music files from a smartphone,” says Rick.

Once you’ve found the right water temperature, Mr. Steam’s iTempo Plus technology remembers the temperature digitally for your next steam shower.

“Even baths have been given an upgrade,” says Rick. “From volcanic limestone tubs from Victoria + Albert that have natural minerals, to tonic massage baths from Produits Neptune that envelope you with champagne-like bubbles. Other baths can include heated back rests to cushion and soothe your shoulders and back.  There are so many options on the market to ease your body after a busy day.”

Warm Comfort

Spa-like comforts extend past showers and baths with in-floor radiant heating and towel warmers.

“One of the best towel warmers we’ve seen is from LaLOO. This isn’t a closed box that you need to reach into for a towel. It’s literally a towel rack that will warm your towel or robe to 81 degrees in a matter of minutes,” says Rick. “These electric warmers are wonderful. When you’re not using them to warm your towel, they can warm blankets for cold days or hanging delicates to dry.”

Add luxury

The best way to complete a spa-like bathroom is with luxurious finishes, says Rick. “Rose gold finishes are very on-trend this year. They’re a great way to warm up a colour palate while adding that extra level of luxury,” says Rick.

Another classic way to add opulence is by selecting fixtures that feature crystal accents.
“The RSVP bathroom faucet by Brizo is a great example of a simple way to add some sparkle,” says Rick. “If you’re not ready to change out your faucet, you can update your cabinet and vanity hardware with crystal handles like those from Lukx.”

They’re small details, Rick says, but they make a basic bathroom feel extravagant.


Contact info:
85 Commerce Road, Orillia


Photo by: Chris Thwaites Article by:  Shelanne Jennings of Dockside Magazine


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Master Ensuite & Powder Room Renovations by DE5IGN STUDIO

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Master Ensuite & Powder Room Renovations by DE5IGN STUDIO

The owners, Patricia Lovett-Reid, the chief financial commenter for CTV and her husband Jim Reid approached us to redesign their master ensuite bathroom and powder room. The building is only a few years old however, the spaces were starting to look a bit tired and contained material selected by the builder. The client’s project requirements were to provide more storage for their toiletries, proper lighting for makeup application and a shower with a rainhead above. Not only that, but a space that would be cohesive with the other spaces in their home. As well as a space that would be contemporary, abstract and international.

We solved the storage issue by designing a custom white floating vanity with lighting integrated underneath. This vanity has four drawers with no handles to create a minimalistic appearance, two on each side, with dividers inside for compartmentalizing ones items. Sitting on top of the vanity we chose a white Cesearstone countertop with two undermount porcelain basins. Instead of having the faucets on the countertop we thought it would be better installed on the wall to create more room on the countertop. Directly above in line with the edges of the vanity, is one long brightly backlit mirror that gives off enough lighting for make-up application. Then there is the seamless white porcelain flooring that resembles marble, leading into the walk-in shower with a rainhead above. Just outside the shower, all the flooring is heated so you never have to step out of a warm shower onto cold tile. Inside the shower we have a shower niche clad in mosaic, a handheld spray and a linear drain along the wall. To enlarge the space and make it appear brighter, we decided to use long and narrow white porcelain tile on all four walls. This tile is made to replicate the look of marble. There are four different types of finishes on the porcelain wall tile to create interest. Some are matte, some are textured and others are polished. In regards to the bathtub, we intended to have a freestanding tub however, we couldn’t move the drain and therefore, clad the existing tub in Cesearstone.

In addition, to the master ensuite bathroom, the client wanted to upgrade their powder room. This space is sure to impress any guest that comes over, with the textured wall covering that resembles linen, white hexagon mosaic floor tile and a floating white vanity with lighting underneath. The powder room has a custom vanity with the same white Cesearstone countertop as seen in the master ensuite bathroom. The only difference is that we ran a piece of slab above the countertop/behind the wall mounted faucet to protect the surrounding wallpaper from moisture. Directly above we placed a backlit mirror which gives off the perfect lighting for makeup application. Both spaces are equipment with water efficient toilets and chrome finishes.

It is obvious from first glance that exquisite craftsmanship has gone into its creation and now our clients and their guests can enjoy the newly renovated and designed spaces.



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