Kitchen & Bath - Bathroom

Bathroom renovation: An inexpensive refresh

An ingenious facelift and a fresh new colour scheme transformed a small second-floor bathroom into an elegant and functional spa-like retreat.

While photographer Virginia Macdonald absolutely loves the colour blue, she doesn’t love it on a toilet, a bathtub or a vanity sink. Unfortunately, she had to put up with just that in the cobbled-together second-floor bathroom design of her 1930s semi in the trendy Toronto neighbourhood of Leslieville for 10 punishing years – literally, punishing. Thanks to the hip-wader tub (awkwardly deep due to a step in front), “I couldn’t take a bath without having to do some serious yoga and gymnastics at the same time,” says Virginia.

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A practical makeover: The before
When she finally got around to transforming her only upstairs bathroom into the sophisticated and relaxing oasis she’d pined for, Virginia knew just who to call on for help: good friend and Style at Home contributing design editor Samantha Pynn, who was delighted to come to the rescue. A major expansion, or even a plumbing switch, was ruled out pretty quickly. "I dont spend that much time in here," explains Virginia. "For one or two people, it was big enough. I wanted a drastic makeover but without having to knock down walls."

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