Tag Archives: Bathroom Renovations

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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Anastasia Rentzos discusses issues with kitchen and bathroom renovations

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Anastasia Rentzos discusses issues with kitchen and bathroom renovations

An unexpected life experience such as breaking your hand can change the way you interact with the space around you. In this video Anastasia discusses the potential issues you can encounter when designing and renovating a kitchen or bathroom and the importance of hiring a designer to create a healthy, safe and beautiful living space.


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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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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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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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