Elana Safronsky, Managing Editor
Thursday, June 9, 2011 9:43 PM EDT
Real people, renovating. Renovation unfolds in perpetuity all over the world, but most of it happens right next door, at my neighbours' house. My neighbours are a major source of envy for me. Ever since they figured that renovating is more cost effective than selling and buying a bigger home (I've seen them through two gorgeous babies) they've been methodically going at their 3-unit home, converting it into a single family dwelling with a basement income suite.
They've basically ripped out their first and second floor and installed themselves a new kitchen, first floor powder room, beautiful floors, stone fireplace, Berber carpet throughout the bedrooms and now a second floor family bathroom with heated floors and an ensuite laundry that makes me feel like a bad person, because I want it to be mine, and not theirs.
But I crack on. We can't always get what we think we deserve. What you can always count on me for, however, is a nosy report of how any given renovation went over, including the gory details. So without further ado, I bring you my neighbours' phat (the kids use this word to mean 'awesome') family bathroom.
This here is not their old second floor bathroom; it's mine. But their old bathroom, which used to function as their 'main floor powder room' when their living took place on the second and third floor of their house, looked almost exactly like this one, only with emerald accents (gorgeous, not).
My (Elana's) bathroom
Reno Credit: Danylo Luciw, General Contracting & Building
Elana: Big bathroom -- you need all that space?
Neighbour: Because of the layout of the house, it made sense to use all that space for the bathroom. It is about three times the size of our old bathroom, which was tiny. Also keep in mind that it is not just a bathroom, but one half is a laundry room.
E: Laundry in the bathroom? Why?
N: Why not? Laundry on same floor as bedrooms - where clothing is removed and put on - is some kind of gorgeousness. It has been a dream of mine for some time, not having to trudge up and down all those stairs, from third floor to basement, carrying heaps of clothing. Other that the shower, it is my fave part of the whole thing. It is so convenient, that even my husband does some loads now. (GASP)
E: No tub? Why?
N: We have one in the upstairs bathroom [3rd floor]. Do not need two.
E: Inspiration? Direction/style? Fights with the spouse?
N: We have reno'ed two kitchens and one bathroom before, so we knew the drill. We did look at some magz and such for inspiration but mostly we just went to the stores we both knew we liked and started looking for tiles and a vanity that we liked. We were pretty focused and did it all quickly. The previous [3rd floor] bathroom we designed around the vanity, this one we used the tiles as a jumping off point, which we both loved. Danylo, our contractor, was a big help in this field. We have worked with him before and he knows our style -- we lean toward more modern. We debated things like should we get a vanity with or without legs, how large it should be -- two sinks vs one -- and so on, but no real big fights, since luckily our style is similar.
E: Biggest successes of the new bathroom?
N: Rain shower, laundry and heated floor, in that order. Still on the fence about the heated towel rack.
E: Any regrets?
N: That we did not make the laundry cabinets white. The vanity cabinets are from IKEA, and the laundry cabinets are from the same place as our custom kitchen. The tone of the wood used in the two different cabinets is slightly different in hue and it irritates us (one has a slightly pink hue to it).
E: Any advice for others embarking on a similar reno?
N: Ummm, do your homework? Think about what your dream bathroom entails, try to match it to the reality of your space and situation and then figure out which parts are worth splurging on and which are not.
Windows: Anderson Windows from Dundas Wood Windows.
Tiles: Floors, Mare Marrone; walls, Mare Bianco, honed limestone, from Stone Tile.
Heated towel rack: H20 Bath and Plumbing Supplies
Shower: Custom glass, installed by The Shower Guys
Vanity, mirror: Ikea
Vanity taps: Taps
Toilet: Home Depot
Washer & dryer: Sears Outlet Mall, Toronto
Lighting: Living Lighting, Etobicoke, ON
What do you guys think? Would you have done anything differently?