Take your bathroom from drab to fab with these easy decorating ideas!
Bathroom and kitchen renovations are known to give homeowners the biggest returns on their investment when they sell. But whether you’re doing a big renovation or just looking for ways to update your current bathroom and whether you intend to sell or not, these ideas for beautifying your bathroom will pay big returns in your overall satisfaction with your home. And you don’t have to have a $50,000 budget to do it. These affordable upgrades will add some serious style to your home without breaking the bank!
Renewal Divinity Small Mirror
What a difference something as simple as a mirror can make. The right one can transform the look of your bathroom and give it an updated, more stylish feel in an instant. The frame is made from hammered aluminum combined with beveled glass and can be hung vertically or horizontally, depending on your preference and the shape of the space you’re working in. Renewal Divinity Small Mirror, Wayfair, $380.46.
Flush Mount Bathroom Lighting Fixture
When renovating, it’s important to consider your lighting options for the type of space you have. So before you head to the lighting store, figure out whether it’d be best to go with flush mount, track lighting or sconces. No matter what you choose, illuminate your bathroom with a stunning light fixture that ties your bathroom’s whole look together and adds an appealing amount of sparkle and shine! Boasting a shiny chrome finish and a laser-cut inspired design on the lamp shade, this flush mounted lighting fixture will bring effortless elegance to your bathroom and is a simple way to take the look of the entire space from drab to fab! Flush Mount Bathroom Lighting Fixture, Multi Luminaire, $349.
Aroura Tile White and Gold Wallpaper
If you’ve always loved the look of wallpaper but have shied away from using it in the bathroom, it’s time to reconsider. Wallpaper has come a long way and today, there are lots of options on the market, many of which are suitable for moisture-rich environments. This gorgeous wallpaper has a mosaic pattern that mimics the look of tile and has a washable finish for easy clean-up. Aroura Tile White and Gold Wallpaper, Graham & Brown, $50/roll.
Metro Basket Weave White and Cobalt Porcelain Mosaic Tile
Flip through the pages of your favourite design magazine and you’re sure to see plenty of bathrooms boasting this contrasting basket weave tile to dramatic effect. Get the look for yourself with these tiles – but may we suggest opting for the white and cobalt colour combo as a subtle alternative to black and white? The rich cobalt will add a decidedly chic and unexpected look to your bathroom. Metro Basket Weave White and Cobalt Porcelain Mosaic Tile, Home Depot, $7.98 each.
Gleaming Brass Bath Collection
Upping the style quotient in your bathroom doesn’t get any easier than this! Swap out your existing vanity vessels for these truly chic options. The full set includes a soap dispenser, tumbler and tray, all in a beautiful brass finish. Gleaming Brass Bath Collection, Anthropologie, $22-$36.
Dot Medallion Shower Curtain
Looking for a quick and easy bathroom update that won’t break the bank? How about a new shower curtain? This 100% cotton curtain is made in India and features a modern medallion motif in a soothing colour palette of watercolour inspired shades of blue and grey. With this one simple addition to your bathroom, you’ll add an air of tranquility that will turn your bathroom into the oasis you always dreamed of. Dot Medallion Shower Curtain, West Elm, $29.99.
A condo design featuring traditional details and sculptural furnishings
When Kim Calabrigo moved from a large family home to a condo, she quickly learned that bigger isn't always better.
A peaceful sanctuary in the heart of a downtown core: That doesn’t sound like too tall an order, does it? That’s what Kim Calabrigo sought when she sold her traditional Craftsman-style home in suburbia and moved to a condo in metropolitan Vancouver. Bringing no furniture with her, she was truly starting anew.
Kim’s first-ever solo home purchase offered her the opportunity to decorate exactly as she pleased. “I wanted a tone-on-tone look, mixing classic and modern elements with an edge,” she says.
Coming from a big traditional 4,200-square-foot home and moving to a smaller builder-basic 1,100-square-foot two-bedroom condo, Kim found space planning challenging. She wanted to maintain the most floor space possible while maximizing seating so she could entertain friends and family as easily as she used to.
Homeowner Kim Calabrigo's decorating wish list included sculptural furnishings, soft pink accents and traditional details.
To maximize seating in her new condo, Kim had a nine-foot-long sofa designed to run the length of the living room wall.
Opting to put a chaise against the living room's floor-to-ceiling windows keeps sightlines open and offers Kim a comfy place to take in the picturesque view with her morning cup of tea.
Though the space is open, the dining area is easily delineated by its standard banquette and oversized pendant light featuring white and peach beads and a rope-wrapped frame. "At night, the diamond motif casts beautiful shadows on the walls and ceiling," says Kim.
"I've embraced the less-is-more aesthetic and added interest by mixing old and new, shiny and matte, smooth and textured, organic and clean lined," says Kim. "I don't depend on bold colours and patterns."
Femininity reigns in the master bedroom, from the tall tufted headboard and layered wrinkled linens to the mirrored nightstands and petite vase of flouncy pink peonies. Massive windows mean that Kim can watch the sun set from the comfort of bed. Does it get any better than that?
In the master bedroom's built-in office nook, sparkly silver wallpaper subtly offsets the layers of cream, white and gold on the shelves. The palette is echoed in the frameless print of an 18th-century Venetian palazzo ballroom, resulting in a vignette that's the perfect mix of new world and old.
A kitchen boasting restaurant-design pedigree
Trendy meets traditional in this family home built from scratch.
Homeowner Tanya Krpan (pictured here) saved on accessories by loading the family room sectional with an assortment of ready-made toss cushions.
Tanya isn’t afraid to play with negative space, as seen in the home’s grand entryway. “Normally, you’d expect a mirror or big piece of art hanging above the wainscotting,” she says. Leaving the wall blank and layering small pieces on the console allows the millwork to shine.
Black casement windows and decorative accents create contrast in the neutral space. Tanya scored the vintage coffee table when her office was being redecorated.
The family room’s classic-cool mix feels right for a young family.
The kitchen, of course, is the true star of the show. Tanya’s restaurant-design pedigree shines through in the room’s floor-to-ceiling tiles, mix of open and closed storage and high-end appliances. She opted for white Shaker-style cabinetry and warmed up the space with a walnut island and brass hardware statement lighting and fixtures.
Another bistro-inspired touch was her choice of dark honed-limestone tiles for most of the main floor. “The tile grounds the space since there’s an abundance of white everywhere,” Tanya explains. “And it’s proven great for hiding dirt.”
Everything in the Krpans’ home is designed for everyday life and entertaining, from the large sectional in the family room to the round tables in the dining room and the kitchen’s eat-in area. “It’s more social to sit at a round table,” says Tanya. “You see everyone’s faces.”
Cabinets with glass doors allow Tanya to display her favourite serving pieces and special glassware. She had the back of the kitchen cabinets tiled to highlight this focal point of the kitchen.
Tanya and Jure – with their sons, Ivan, 3, and Cruz, 2 – have recently welcomed a baby girl named Belle.
The living room’s crisp white, grey and black scheme gets an energy boost from fresh greenery, pops of pink and plenty of pattern – check out the Moroccan-style rug, the ikat-print and chevron-patterned toss cushions and the graphic stool fabric.
To offset the costs of the more expensive permanent elements, Tanya was meticulous with her decorating budget. She incorporated secondhand pieces, such as the family room coffee table, and sourced inexpensive art for the living room mantel. Affordable colourful accessories add youthful edginess to the living spaces. “I love the femininity that the splashes of pink add to the living room and family room,” she says. “Plus, by the time I got to the decorating, I was living with three boys!”
In the dining room, Tanya likes the juxtaposition of the modern Sputnik-inspired chandelier with the traditional coffered ceiling. The artwork was a DIY project Tanya and Jure painted together on her 30th birthday.
Though this house has been well loved for years, there’s a sequel in the works: Tanya and Jure are in the process of building a new home. “We’ll keep some of the same elements but go a little more modern in the kitchen,” says Tanya. We’ll definitely stay tuned.
Where to buy affordable fabrics online
There are a lot of people who are obsessed with shoes, artwork or the perfect lamp. And then there are those of us who can't get enough beautiful fabrics - whether they're patterned, printed, silk, cotton, linen or lace, we're all in for buying a yard here and a panel there, either for a project we have in mind or just to hoard away until the perfect opportunity to use it arises. In Canada, though, it's sometimes hard to fulfill this passion, as many of the beautiful materials you see in magazines are available only to designers, and ordering from international sites can include prohibitive shipping and customs charges. But there is help. In the past few years there has been a surge of online fabric shops opening up across the country, full of affordable, practical and whimsical delights. Here, we've chosen a few of our favourite sources to satisfy that textile craving.
Where to buy affordable fabrics online
Double Decker Fabric, doubledeckerfabric.com
Dorienne Fairbanks, the owner of calgary's Double Decker Fabric, credits her children with providing the motivation to start her online shop. "I had all these projects to create but couldn't find the fabrics I wanted," she says. Drawn to prints with both retro and modern whimsical appeal, this lover of textiles fittingly sells collections from Michael Miller Fabrics and Riley Blake Designs.
Fabric Spot, myfabricspot.com
"I'm an all or nothing kind of person," says Markham, Ont.'s Karen Chan, owner of Fabric Spot. Selecting whole collections from designers like MoMo and Heather Ross, Karen believes in giving customers the choice of colour- ways and coordinates to personalize their projects. Organic fabrics are a priority for Karen. "Fabric is what's against our skin," she says. "Given the option, how could I not choose to sell organic?"
Fridays Off Fabric Shop, fridaysoff.ca
"I call myself a fabric curator," says Toronto-based Alanna Banks, owner of the year-old Fridays Off Fabric Shop. "I don't buy full collections - only the prints that jump out at me first, even if they're outside my comfort zone." So far, so good for Alanna, whose inventory always includes stock from modern designer favourites like Lotta Jansdotter and Tula Pink, among others.
Tonic Living, tonicliving.com
Sometimes the fabric just finds you. For Janine Morrison, founder of Tonic Living, the light bulb moment came nearly 15 years ago, when she acquired a lot of vintage fabric for her home collectibles eBay store. Now Tonic Living is one of the heavy hitters in Toronto, with an amazing array of accessible geometrics, florals, solids and prints from the likes of Waverly and Dwellstudio for the decorating market.
Warp & Weft, warpandweft.ca
Owner and former designer Esmari Taylor approaches purchasing wares for Toronto's Warp & Weft the same way she buys new furniture or shops for shoes: "I look for things that are timeless and have integrity." she's succeeded with her inventory from lines as diverse as Cloud9 Fabrics, Design Team and the Victoria and Albert museum. A devoted sewer, Esmari also sells notions from Merchant & Mills and Sajou.
Pictured fabric prints (above)
1 Anna Maria Horner Field Study cotton Fine Feathered in Ghost, Fridays Off Fabric Shop, $9/metre.
2 Braemore linen Sakura in White Tea, Tonic Living, $30/yard.
3 Joel Dewberry Bungalow Cotton Hive in Pink, Warp & Weft, $11/metre.
4 Carina Gardner Evening Blooms cotton Evening Wallpaper in Gray, Double Decker Fabric, $14/yard.
5 Lotta Jansdotter Glimma cotton Flowers in Rosy, Warp & Weft, $12/metre.
6 Waverly Chinoise Chic cotton Peaceful Temple in Porcelain, Tonic Living, $20/yard.
7 Leah Duncan Tule cotton Natie Fringe in Celeste, Warp & Weft, $14/metre.
8 Charley Harper certified organic cotton Upside Downside, Fabric Spot, $17/yard.
9 Valori Wells Designs WIsh cotton Treasure in Patience, Fabric Spot, $11/yard.
10 Natalie Lymer Enchant cotton Birds in Green, Fridays Off Fabric Shop, $10/metre.
11 Michael Miller Fabrics Retro cotton Lunch Box in Red, Double Decker Fabric, $13/yard.
Toss cushion fabric patterns
1 Tula Pink Acacia cotton Raccoon in Sky, Fridays Off Fabric Shop, $9 per metre.
2 Carolyn Friedlander Botanics cotton 14258 in Charcoal, Warp & Weft, $15 per metre.
3 Patty Sloniger Les Amis cotton Socks the Fox in Dusk, Double Decker Fabric, $13 per yard.
4 Dwellstudio Vreeland cotton in Aquatint, Tonic Living, $23 per yard.
5 Leslie Shewring Palos Verdes II certified organic cotton voile in La Venta, Fabric Spot, $17 per yard.