Blog Archives

In the Shower: Full Size Slabs

If budget is not an issue and you want an amazing feature in your bathroom. Check out what installing a full slab of stone looks like.

Would you choose this one ….

via Houzz

Architect: Tom Cole
Interior Designer: Robyn Scott

Or this Azul Mazauba Quarzite?

via The Granite Gurus

Or … a large slab of backlit onyx in this Kiawah Island home …

via Houzz and Charleston Home & Design Magazine

Or what about Calcutta Marble …

via The Granite Gurus

I’m personally a fan of the backlit onyx.

What would you use in your bathroom?


Vintage Lighting for a Powder Room

I’ve been working on a project for the past month or so and the homeowner loves the idea of vintage lighting with Edison bulbs.

We went with this beauty for the three pendants over the kitchen island:

For the powder room I looked at a variety of options and thought I’d share with you some of what’s out there:

The space is pretty small so size was a key factor.

Here are some spaces with vintage inspired lighting:


black accent lighting in bathroom.




What do you think? I find people either really like Edison-style bulbs or really don’t like them. I’m a fan – but in the right space of course!

Potty Talk: Wall Hung Toilets

Yes, I’m talking toilets today. Not exactly the prettiest thing in a bathroom to be sure but it is certainly the most functional and, well … you get the point!

I am working on a project right now where the architect specified a wall hung toilet for the powder room. It is the first time I have come across a wall hung toilet in a residential application so I thought I would share with you a little about wall hung toilets.


Wall hung toilets are a practical choice when space is an issue. They can save you anywhere from 7″ – 9″ inside the room as the tank is housed in the wall instead of sitting on the floor. The particular space I am working with is a powder room that has been created out of an otherwise dead space under the stairs.



In addition to the space saving advantages wall hung toilets can create a modern look to a bathroom.



Duravit carries wall hung toilets and Toto has a wall hung toilet as well.

Duravit Happy D

Toto Aquia

While wall hung toilets have a very practical application they do come with a higher price tag and are more labour intensive to install. There can also be challenges when plumbing repairs might be required as the tank is built into the wall and not always easily accessed.

Despite the disadvantages, wall hung toilets can make an otherwise ordinary bath fixture come to life.








What do you think? Do you have a wall hung toilet in your house?

Getting My Shape On: Hexagon

One of my favourite shapes these days is hexagon.

In case you have forgotten your shapes lessons from grade 2 … a hexagon is a shape with 6 sides all the same length.

Hexagons are everywhere in home design. From light fixtures to floor tile to kitchen backsplash to wall art.

I used a hexagons marble tile mosaic recently to add detail in a client’s master bathroom reno.

Check out some other places hexagon shapes can be found:

And one of my favourite hexagon shapes of all …

Do you like hexagon too?


all images via here

Herringbone, Herringbone

Herringbone is popular these days. From outdoor patios and walkways, to hardwood floors to tiles in a bathroom or kitchen. It’s everywhere and it’s gorgeous!

Herringbone is a classic way to add visual interest through pattern. It’s creates a sense of movement for the eye.

This patio seems bigger than it really is with a herringbone pattern.


Check out these gorgeous herringbone hardwood floors. They create a linear quality that really moves the eye through the room.





Tile in bathrooms or kitchens are just asking for a herringbone pattern. Be it for the floor, backsplash or shower area it just adds that extra wow element.

Here is, Style at Home’s Erin McLaughlin’s kitchen backsplash.


A Tommy Smythe designed kitchen featured in House & Home.


A herringbone pattern can take a simple tile and a monochromatic colour scheme and add that extra little bit of Zip.




And, finally, since it is moving into patio season … this just teases me and makes me want to run outside!

via from here

Do you like Herringbone patterns?

Have a seat … in the shower

I am currently working on a bathroom renovation for client’s who live in a wonderful Victorian house. Everything about the house is amazing. Soaring ceilings. Detailed mouldings and tall windows.

The master bath, however, needs some TLC.

We’ve nailed down the design plan and are looking to start construction in mid to late August. There are a couple of details to be finalized but one in particular is still being debated.

It’s the throne … and I’m not talking about THE “throne” but rather the shower throne. Where do you sit down or rest your toes to do whatever you need and want to do in the shower?

I had originally specified a teak fold-down shower bench like this one …

via moi

I chose the fold-down bench instead of a built-in bench for a few reasons.

One was to maximize space in the shower area.

Also, a bench that is built-in can be at a higher risk for water leakage (this shouldn’t be a problem with a good contractor but any time you build a cavity that need tiling and a marble slab on it you run a risk).

The third reason was to help manage the budget. Building a built-in bench or having a custom slab of marble cut requires more labour and material to install.

The fold-up teak bench is economical, cost conscious and just looks damn good.

Here’s a shot of a teak bench in another bathroom …


I’m all for sharing a balanced perspective … so here are a few shots of bathrooms with built-in bench seats …

Or what about this one? You could have a nap in here ….


Here’s another bench seat …


Another option is to have a custom slab made and installed as a bench seat ….


And finally, another option is to extend the adjacent tub deck into the shower area …


If it was your shower, what would you prefer? Fold-up, built-in or custom slab?

Master Bathroom Do-Over?

Looking back on our two-storey addition to our house I can honestly say that I am very happy with all the decisions that we made – from design, to functionality, to construction materials and finishings – it came together more or less as planned. BUT …

I wish we had done things differently in our master bathroom. There I said it … can I call a master bath do-over? It’s not that it’s ugly. It’s not that the layout is poor. It’s just well, plain, perhaps too pinky beige and maybe a bit blah.

If I was to do it over again here are a couple of photos that would inspire me:

This has a calm serene feel (love the wet room idea and the tiles!) …

Or this (it would be like showering outdoors) …

Before I show you pictures of what it actually looks like (which really isn’t all that bad!) let me share with you what I’d do differently next time. Call it the benefit of hindsight …

1. Radiant Heating on floors (mmm … toasty toes in winter – also helpful for stomach flu incidents but I digress)

2. A deeper, more contemporary looking bathtub like this:

3. Add more architectural detail to the walls like this:

4. Tiles with a little less (read: none) pinky beige in them like these …

Floor in client's shower area

Tile sample via Tile Shoppe

I figure in the scale of a renovation that lasted six months where we added a main floor family room, mudroom, powder room, redid the kitchen, new flooring throughout the main floor, added a master bedroom and bathroom, converted a bedroom into a 2nd floor laundry room, updated the kids bathroom and painted the entire house getting one thing sort of okay (the master bath) is not too bad). I’ve am currently working on my third bathroom renovation for clients since starting my business so I have a keener sense of what’s out there in bathrooms!

Here’s a peek at our master bathroom …

The house's original bathtub (c. 1915) that I freshened up with a coat of paint. Set under the window it's like bathing outdoors.

Toilet with towel rack above - it faces the tub which means you can look outside while, um, sitting

Vanity & shower area

Have you renovated or redecorated your home? Is there anything that you’d “call a do-over” given the chance?

Images via here, here, here, here, here and moi.