Personal LuxuryPublished on March 8, 2020

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  • Floating tub
    Photo by: Mark Holleron

  • Mixing metals
    Photo by: Mark Holleron

  • Gold fixtures
    Photo by: Mark Holleron

You may not have access to panoramic ocean views or cityscapes, but that doesn’t mean your bathroom can’t be the one secluded space in your home to seek out when you’re craving the utmost in rest and relaxation.

As bathrooms transform into places of luxury and sanctuary, there are some details that can make all the difference when designing and executing the bathroom of your dreams. When creating the ensuite bathroom for the 2019 CHEO dream home, Ottawa interior designer Tanya Collins was aiming for understated elegance. But she asserts that it doesn’t necessarily have to be expensive, it simply has to look that way.

CHEO bathroom

With an aesthetic of coastal luxury, the CHEO dream home exudes beach vibes without getting trapped in an excessively kitschy feel. “The whole look of the house is a coastal palette. It’s very fresh with light colors,” says Tanya, who adds that bringing marble and bling into the ensuite bathroom takes it from standard to luxurious.

“We used a porcelain that looks like marble. What is impressive is that we used 4 by 8 foot slabs of tile for the walls that surrounded the whole bathroom. It’s a very luxurious look when you wrap walls in marble, plus there are very few grout lines.” However, Tanya warns that although she cut costs by substituting porcelain for marble, there is a labor cost to installing such large tiles and this job took four men to haul and install.
Tanya further explains that you can elevate your bathroom’s atmosphere simply by upgrading the lighting. “Around the mirror of the vanity I used sconce lighting in a satin-gold finish. Then I used a chandelier pendant centered over the freestanding tub that mimicked the same material used in the sconce lighting.”

In order to enhance a bathroom’s functionality and elegance, she notes that a vanity is essential. “This vanity is completely custom; I designed it to look a little more classic. It’s a blue-gray color and I added some crystal knobs with gold backing.”

For the fixtures, Tanya explains that she made things interesting by mixing metals. “In this bathroom there are chrome faucets mixed with gold finishings. The tile I selected had warm and cool tones, so that’s why the mixture of metals is successful.” With both a free standing tub and an oversized custom glass shower, a quick scrub or a long and soothing soak are both feasible.

The aesthetic of the bathroom is so important says Tanya. “People’s lives can be pretty stressful and hectic and I think they’re looking to their homes in general, and of course bathrooms, to unwind and relax. They want all the bells and whistles you might have in a luxury hotel, but with more of a personal touch.”

What’s Hot Now

Nathan Kyle, senior designer at Astro Design Centre, says that typically luxury bathrooms are synonymous with honest materials, “like marble being true and natural stones being true.” However, he adds that material like true brass and gun metal can get quite expensive. So, for a luxury bathroom look on a conventional bathroom budget, Nathan suggests substituting materials that “look like the real deal but are, in honesty, simply a good imitation.”

According to Nathan, this could look like porcelain that imitates marble, plus it has a virtually zero maintenance factor to it, unlike marble. He also advises bringing in decorative lighting, such as wall sconces that are more typically seen in a dining room.

“Taking away the utilitarian aspects of what a bathroom normally looks like ups the ante on that luxury side of things,” says Nathan, who is also seeing bathrooms with more furniture pieces. “The trend is going back to decorative vessels for sinks. For the longest time people were stepping away from this, but it’s surging back into being included in master bathrooms.”

Nathan states that they’re seeing more people who want to be proud of the spaces in their home, and are willing to spend that money on something that gives them the necessary aesthetic. “The bathroom is a sanctuary—a home spa in fact. They get to enjoy it and are not just doing it for resale.”


Hollie Grace James

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