Francine Girard is the proud winner of the "Win Colin & Justin's advice and $1000 for decorating!" contest. Here are Colin and Justin's advice and ideas for her.
I would like some advice on remodeling my bathroom: I plan to remove the closet to install a separate tub and shower. I also need more storage space. Finally, do you have any decorating tips?
Francine Girard, Québec
Hi Francine – great to hear from you and well done on winning the RONA contest. We hope we can be of some help with your bathroom reno and have put down some ideas – the first section is about general layout, with the second and third sections are two colour schemes using marble as the central feature. Marble tile is so fashionable at the moment and its classic style will endure for decades, so your bathroom will ooze glamour and not become dated.
If you can leave the existing services as is, you save money as a plumber does not have to redirect water supply and drainage. Your bath, sink and WC all seem to be well positioned, so leave them where they are. Knock out the cupboard on the left as you enter and drywall it from the hallway to increase the footprint of the bathroom and provide enough room for a shower. This won’t be expensive as the water supply is in that area already.
Remove all the wall and floor tiles and make good the walls to receive the marble tiles.
Paint ceiling satin finish white.
Try to install two bathroom safe flush spotlights in the ceiling – in white to blend into the ceiling - one over the bath and one over the shower cubicle and make sure you wire for two wall lights to sit on either side of your bathroom sink mirror.
Remove the small window curtain and use frosted glass film to add privacy and retain light. You could cover both window panes or frost to half or a third height for a modern look.
Remove the coloured fittings (WC, bath, toilet roll holder etc) and replace with clean white ones – the colour will come from elsewhere. Tub or wall mounted bath taps will add to the glamorous feel.
Try to colour code your baseboard heater to the new tile colour – that way it will disappear into the background and not be so dominant.
Features: a built in stone vanity sink with storage shelf, full size mirror section, a walk in shower for fast turn around and a built in soaker tub for a long, languid bath.
A Night On The Tiles
This project was inspired by the grandeur of traditional five star hotels with quality elements coming from layout, wall finish and our floor to ceiling toffee marble. An all round finish like this looks fantastic and is also amazingly easy to keep clean, with the waterproof edges fending off spillages and bacteria. Use a rectangular tile to stretch the feeling of space and break it up with matching mosaic on the floor to add a non slip element.
Rather than simply hang a mirror, glaze the section above the sinks with a giant unframed mirror. This looks expensive but doesn’t need to be and the good news is that your local glazier will come around to your home, measure, cut and hang the mirrored section leaving you free to gaze on lovingly…
The shower has an almost invisible appearance thanks to the straight lines of the clear glass box that forms the cubicle. Using clear glass on finishes increases the feeling of space and adds to the sense of cleanliness. This could be custom made or your could buy an off the shelf enclosures for a fraction of the price of bespoke.
Fixtures and Fittings
Visible spend items like taps and light fittings really add to the overall design. Here, the square cut nature of both is inspired by the Art Deco period but is brought bang up to date thanks to everything else around. Pick up the metal colour of these in your choice of accessories – we added candle sticks galore for extra opulence.
Features: a standalone vanity sink with storage shelf, built in wall pocket storage, a walk in shower for fast turn around and a free standing traditional tub.
Ways With Wall Tiling
Grey marble tiled bathrooms are luxurious and timeless and look wonderful when you use similar tiles on both the walls and floor for a uniform look. Try breaking up the slabs of tile with mosaic banding or a mosaic non-slip ‘mat’ as we did with this floor. Using the same tile on floor and walls creates an ‘infinity corner’, a trick that will help your smallest room feel that wee bit larger.
We used 12” x 24” Carrera marble tiles and this larger product actually gives the impression of a much bigger room as well as simplifying the lines across the floor. The direction in which you lay them will have an effect on space too – use horizontally as shown here and the effect is widening, use vertically and a narrowing effect will occur. Don’t be afraid to use a larger tile in a small room.
ANY Colour… As Long As It’s White!
Sinks and WCs should always be white – don’t get hung up on faddish coloured suites as they’ll quickly turn sour when you want to change up your décor further down the line. So keep with the classics to love your washroom for longer. We were inspired by the sink and chrome taps to use a matching white and chrome finish for the storage jars, toothbrush holder and bin, etc; this gives the finished project a professional air and adds extra design continuity.
There are loads of great sink shapes out there at prices to suit all pockets which means you really can make a big statement without breaking the bank. The large rectangular trough we specified has a great big bowl for face washing etc and the lean shape serves to further elongate the feeling of space. A smaller sink would have looked a bit lonely in this area. The ‘Villa’ vanity from RONA would work for this look, or for a unit with more storage, try ‘Sutton’, also from RONA.
When hanging a wall mirror, try to position it so you can have lighting at both sides. Wiring should be planned for and installed before the tiling – so get your measurements bang on. Overhead lighting can cause shadows and won’t properly light up your face as well as side lighting will.
If your bathroom walls are of dry wall construction then chances are you can find pockets where there is space for you to create wall pocket storage as shown next to the sink. Your handy partner or contractor can make boxes from MDF and then ‘float’ these in the drywall so that they can be tiled along with the rest of the walls. If this is too much, the add simple wall shelves and storage boxes to get things off the floor – the circulation space will give the impression of having much more space.