Create your dream bathroom with these simple design solutions.
Powder rooms, basement bathrooms, outdated ensuites... With design trends ever-changing, it can be difficult to find a home with your dream space. But breathe, there is still hope! With a few savvy design solutions, you can make your bath the sparkling haven you dream of.
Photography by Ashley Capp
1 Problem: My basement bathroom can get quite damp and I’m scared of water damage on the walls.
If you’re without a window in your below-ground bathroom, keep water damage at bay by installing a fan and tiling the walls from floor to ceiling.
Photography by Stacey Brandford
2 Problem: Our main floor powder room is teeny tiny and feels more like a closet.
Make that small space shine like a diamond with a few glam updates. Paper the walls in a fun pattern, go bold with artwork and add some shine with brass scones. It will feel less like a closet and more like stepping inside a jewelry box!
Photography by Donna Griffith
3 Problem: The faucets in our bathroom send out water full force, making my environmentally-conscious blood boil.
Put that water pressure on hold by changing out your current sink faucet with a spout faucet and trading in the showerhead for a spa-like rain shower.
Photography by Barry Calhoun
4 Problem: The master bathroom is pretty bare bones – as my haven at the end of a long day, it’s not very inspiring.
Give that master bath some love with a few touches of old Hollywood glam. Centre the room with a sparkly chandelier, pair a white ruffled shower curtain with vintage glass hooks and trade in your vanity mirror for a gold framed stunner.
Photography by Angus Fergusson
5 Problem: A soaker tub is an absolute must for me but my husband is more of a shower man – we just don’t have space for both!
Who says you can’t combine the best of both worlds? Enclose the soaker tub in a tiled space with a rain showerhead for a European style wet room.
Photography by Donna Griffith
6 Problem: There’s not a lot of surface space on the bathroom vanity – my skin and beauty products just make it seem cluttered.
Corral your favourite creams and beautiful perfume bottles on a vintage silver vanity tray and tuck the rest beneath the sink in organized baskets or clear containers.
Photography by Donna Griffith
7 Problem: I love the rich look of marble in the bathroom but need something to fit my budget.
You can still get the look of marble without the hefty price tag. For a magazine-worthy bathroom, cover your shower walls with porcelain marble-look tiles, a more affordable option available in slabs or subway tile.
Photography by Michael Graydon
8 Problem: My shower window looks directly into our neighbour’s house.
To keep your bathroom aglow with natural lighting whilst also maintaining privacy, frost the windows or change the panes out for textured glass.
Photography by Stacey Brandford
9 Problem: Our bathroom has entirely open shelving, but I don’t like to keep things like toilet paper and other toiletries on display.
Tuck the toilet paper and toiletries away in baskets, clearly labeling them so guests don’t need to go hunting for anything that needs replenishing.
A spacious and stylish white kitchen flooded with natural light.
A spacious and stylish white kitchen flooded with natural light.
Vancouver designer Joanna Vagelatos updates a spacious family abode by adding tons of texture.
The house was beautiful the way it was. “A lot of people thought we were crazy to change it,” says homeowner Tanis Hill. “But it didn’t suit our style.” With sage green walls and an abundance of dark wood, the home was more heavy and masculine than Tanis and her husband liked. “Our aesthetic has always been light, airy and whimsical,” she says.
The couple purchased the 11-year-old French Provincial-inspired abode four years ago, when they were expecting their third child. “We actually put in an offer from the hospital room,” says Tanis. (Their children are now 7, 5 and 4.) In addition to light-filled wide open spaces and stunning architectural features, the 6,760-square-foot house in an established West Vancouver neighbourhood offered a convenient, tranquil setting ideal for raising a family – it’s four blocks from the beach and close to community centres, and there’s a babbling creek running through the backyard. “We picked this place for the children,” says Tanis.
To update the interior and give it a bright, casual Rachel Ashwell-esque vibe, the homeowners enlisted Vancouver designer Joanna Vagelatos, who now runs JV Design Group but was with The Cross Decor & Design when she worked on the home. During the six-month cosmetic renovation, Joanna transformed the space by painting the walls and millwork in soothing neutrals and replacing the Brazilian cherry hardwood floors with slightly greyed white oak. This created an airy backdrop for the cozy mix of natural fabrics and traditional and vintage-style furniture, as well as Tanis’s chandelier collection (“I love chandeliers – I own 10 of them!” she says).
But it’s the variety of textures and finishes that gives the home’s white, grey and linen palette interest and warmth. “You don’t need to add punches of colour for impact,” says Joanna. For instance, a weathered wood table keeps the dining area invitingly informal; linen and lace give the master bedroom a romantic yet unfussy feel; the chic crystal chandelier and pretty vanity chair enhance the all-white ensuite’s luxurious look; and custom-made burlap toy bins lend softness and uniformity to the playroom (“Plus, they won’t scratch the millwork like hard woven ones would,” says Joanna).
Indeed, the soothing space was decorated without ignoring practicality. “We did everything with the children in mind,” says Tanis. From the virtually indestructible leather covering the kitchen island stools to the stunning unadorned floor-to-ceiling windows (“I don’t have to worry about kids and cords,” says Tanis) to the durable hardwood floors, the house is a veritable indoor playground. “Once the makeover was complete, the kids got on their plastic toy cars and ripped around the rooms – it was their way of christening the place,” she says.
Transforming the kitchen meant replacing the dark granite countertops with honed quartz, spraying the dark wooden island white, adding extra cabinetry for a wall oven and panelled fridge and installing oversized wrought iron chandeliers. White cane-backed stools with grey leather seats match the chairs in the adjacent dining area.
Elements like the muted-toned bean bag chairs, subtle grey foam mats and a white-painted vintage piano provide the functional family playroom with a lively style that’s still sophisticated.
Tanis (pictured here with her three children) inherited the loveseat from her grandmother. The open shelves with burlap toy bins help keep the play area orderly.
The existing freestanding bathtub and marble floor in the ensuite were softened with fleur-de-lys lace café curtains and a linen-covered vanity chair.
A white caned bed frame enhances the master bedroom’s romantic French-inspired look. “It’s a place where we could layer lots of linen and lace,” says Tanis. An oversized chandelier suits the scale of the space and complements its delicate vintage vibe.
A decorative olive branch objet paired with an old hardcover and fresh blooms makes for an enchanting bedroom vignette.
Bergère-style armchairs paired with a scroll-leg pedestal table and cowhide rug define the sitting area in the master bedroom.
The interior’s neutral palette continues to the outdoor living space, which is accessible from the kitchen and dining area via white-painted French doors. “There are three sets of French doors on the back of the house,” says Tanis. “And when they’re all opened up, they reveal a beautiful setting.” Tanis and her husband love to spend time here relaxing.
The rustic stone fireplace, driftwood-toned coffee table and resin wicker sofas with linen-hued cushions give the covered lounge area an indoor-outdoor feel.
Stylish toss cushions and throws add to the outdoor sitting area’s cozy vibe.
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.
Cheeky bathroom wall print
9 stylish and pretty accessories that prove it doesn't take an expensive renovation to refresh the look of your bathroom.
You don’t need to undertake an expensive renovation to give your bathroom a facelift. Cheap and cheerful updates are easy with just a few new accessories – from countertop canisters to pretty paint colours. Give your bathroom a makeover with any of these ideas that will take your space from drab to fab in no time at all!
Every bathroom needs a canister or two to hold unruly items like cotton balls, Q-Tips, hairpins, or even bath salts. These white ceramic ones are up to the task but what we love most is the sweet detail sitting atop each. The small canister features a small crab on top, the medium has a whale and the large size canister, an anchor. Nautical Animal Canisters, West Elm, $15-$23.
This handmade wall art print is printed on high quality photographic paper using archival inks. Not only do we love the cheeky reminder to keep those wet towels off the floor, but we love that this typographic print is also available as an instant download so you can hang it in your bathroom tonight, if you like! Bathroom Decor Wall Art Print, Prints of Heart on Etsy, $9.50.
One of the easiest and most inexpensive ways to really transform a space is to paint it. Farrow & Ball paint in Tessa’s Green is an ideal colour for the bathroom, channeling a deeply calm and tranquil vibe – perfect for your own personal at-home sanctuary. Farrow & Ball Paint in Tessa’s Green, Farrow & Ball, price varies.
Adding colour and pattern to the bathroom is a quick and easy way to infuse your space with new life. This 100% cotton shower curtain boasts a beautiful Victorian paisley design that dates back to the 1860s and will add instant charm to your bathroom. Beale Paisley Shower Curtain, Pottery Barn, $59.
Your bathroom needs hand wash anyway, so why not choose something that’s going to amp up the room’s style at the same time? Beautifully packaged and delightfully fragranced, this hand wash is made with a blend of botanical extracts and finely milled pumice to give hands a gentle exfoliation. Your hands will feel smoother and your bathroom will look prettier with this perched on the countertop. Reverence Aromatique Hand Wash, Aesop, $51.
Keep your bathroom smelling pleasant and fresh with this diffuser set that will not only fill the space with a fragrant aroma but will look great on display, too. Combining the zing of grapefruit with the more woodsy notes of fir oils, the resulting scent is refreshing. The best part? This handcrafted product is 98% natural, made with plant extracts and botanicals. Barr-Co. Fir & Grapefruit Scent Diffuser, K. Hall Studio, $52.
If you’re blessed with a bathroom large enough to accommodate floor accessories, this schoolhouse wire basket will add both form and function to your space. Designed to resemble a vintage schoolhouse wastebasket, this piece is the perfect catch-all for towels or other bathroom accessories like loofahs and soaps. Schoolhouse Wire Basket, Restoration Hardware, $99.
The best kinds of bath mats are the ones that you can launder each week with the bath towels to ensure that they stay clean and fresh. These organic cotton bath mats are specifically designed to allow air to circulate, ensuring that they dry fast and stay fresher longer. Available in a rainbow of colours, you can easily switch up the look in your bathroom, just by swapping out the bath mat. Coyuchi Air Weight Bath Mat, Bluefly, $38.
How adorable is this tabletop vanity organizer? Perfectly compact for a small bathroom countertop, this handy little item will help to keep you and your things organized and easy to find. No more countertop chaos! Available in a sweet mint green, it’s made from a combination of metal, beechwood, plastic and mirrored glass. Tabletop Vanity Organizer, Anthropologie, $58.