Scottish design duo Colin McAllister and Justin Ryan are in Canada filming their latest series, Colin & Justin's Home Heist on HGTV, and we've convinced them to moonlight as columnists for STYLE AT HOME. Here, they dish out their decorating secrets, just for you.
5 bathroom renovation no-nos and how to avoid them
The bathroom's importance should never be underestimated. Often, it's in this smallest room that we get the chance to make the biggest impact. Besides enhancing your quality of life, a great bathroom will also bolster the saleability of your property. When putting together a look during bathroom renovations, think about two elements: convenience and comfort. For convenience, try to create efficient wash, makeup and hairstyling areas; for comfort, establish a restful, well-decorated haven for yourself. No longer just a place to wash and go, our bathrooms can provide sanctuary from the stresses and strains of the outside world. You owe it to yourself to get it right!
Carpets are harbingers of, ahem, fluids, so opt for wipe-clean surfaces like stone or ceramic. The worst case of bathroom carpeting we've seen was in a tiny London home where the owners had gone potty (excuse the bathroom pun) and carpeted the floor, bath panel and even window ledges.
2 Coloured suites
Hell's bells, when will people learn? Bathroom suites can be any colour -- as long as they're white. That means a resounding no to avocado, beige and any offensive pastels. While filming How Not To Decorate, we encountered a bathroom with four different colour schemes: a bath so green it looked like Kermit the Frog exploded in it, a toffee-colour bath panel, a marshmallow pink toilet and, to top the lot, a navy sink with golden taps. When pressed to explain the error of her ways, our style-challenged homeowner proffered that on the lookout to save money, she'd bought (in various stages) sanitary wares through local newspaper ads -- regardless of colour. Stick to white, and introduce colour via tiling, flooring and accessories, instead. Listen to no one who tells you that avocado is back in style!
3 Cheap laminate flooring
Let us tell you about The Weetabix Bathroom. As part of Colin & Justin's Home Heist, we tackled a bathroom renovation in Oshawa, Ont., that initially didn't look too bad. But we discovered a cardinal sin: cheap laminate flooring. You see, those bargain-bin deals are not what they're cracked up to be. Some laminates are little more than a photograph of wood grain glued to compressed fibre board or chipboard. And what happens when you add water? They expand -- just like Weetabix does when you add milk. So take a tip: invest in the best and opt for water-resistant products like bamboo or teak.
4 Toiletries on display
The Bilious Bathroom! Who wants to see your every ailment? Not us! Just before we left our beloved Britain for Canada, we were visiting friends for dinner. In the bathroom, we noticed an open-front cabinet that positively groaned under the weight of tonics, tinctures, pills and potions for all manner of -- mostly unmentionable -- conditions. We actually made our excuses and left. We simply didn't fancy dinner cooked by those potentially afflicted hands. Our advice is simple: mix open storage with closed so your Chanel toiletries will be on display but your hemorrhoid creams won't. It's all about piles of style rather than, well, just piles!
OK, OK -- these days manufacturers offer wallpapers that can live with humidity without any problems. But we tend to avoid papering our bathroom projects as there are so many fab paints on the market that effortlessly deal with hot and steamy areas. The last thing you want is for that glamorous and expensive paper to peel off as soon as you run your first bath. We like to add extra colour and drama with towels, changeable artworks and an assortment of storage boxes and jars, all of which can be rearranged or amended as tastes change.
Image courtesy of HGTV