Bathroom renovation: White on black
Designer Ingrid Oomen paid homage to the heritage of this 1930s Toronto home in the redesign of one of its bathrooms. Here, she tells us how she did it.
STYLE AT HOME What was your master plan for this bathroom renovation?
INGRID OOMEN The space had two doors, which I found awkward and unnecessary. So I decided to close one of them off in order to have the room function as a second upper-floor bath rather than an ensuite.
SAH Is there anything special about the bathtub or shower?
IO I had the faucet mounted to the wall in the centre of the bathtub as opposed to over the drain at the end. I also opted for exposed shower fixtures to reference the traditional nature of the old home.
SAH The vanity looks one of a kind. What did you do here?
IO I converted a dressing table into a bathroom vanity by removing the mirror and customizing the drawers to allow for the plumbing fixtures. I painted the wood white inside and out, and added a Bianco Carrara marble top and chrome caster feet. I also silver-leafed the brass parts of the hardware for a completely cohesive look.
SAH What is your favourite feature in the space?
IO The vanity is my favourite. It took a lot of time and effort to transform it
to what it is now, and I’m very pleased with how it turned out. It’s a well-made piece, and the scale fits the space perfectly. I’m happy that I was able to repurpose it with great success.
SAH Explain your tile choices for the walls and floor.
IO Since the original bathroom had cream subway tiles on the walls, I wanted to use the same material but in white with a marble mosaic detail to add a touch of playfulness. For the floor, I chose black marble basketweave tiles (with white centres), rather than the reverse combination that was previously there, to create a more polished, luxurious feel in the space.
SAH How did you create such a pleasing balance using a strict black and white colour scheme?
IO I went with a black and white basketweave marble tile floor to ground the white ceramic subway tiles on the walls. I also used a marble mosaic with the subway tiles for a hint of black to connect the walls to the floor.
SAH What style were you going for?
IO I wanted the bathroom design to reflect the look of the original space in this 1930s house, so I stuck with the existing classic black and white palette, as it never seems to fall out of fashion.
SAH The bathroom has an authentic vintage aesthetic. Are any of the fixtures original?
IO The bathtub is original to the space, but everything else is new.