PHOTOGRAPHY: VALERIE WILCOX
STYLING: LAURA GOARD
Take a clean, white canvas and add accents of gold. For designer Laura Goard, that was the key to transforming a cramped 1980s bathroom into a spa-like contemporary retreat.
From its dated wallpaper to its oppressive grey and burgundy tiles, the original space was confined and cluttered. “It was a very awkward space,” says Goard, senior designer at Square Footage Inc. in Ajax, Ontario. “The whole corner of the bathroom was taken by a giant Jacuzzi tub. The space was divided; it didn’t make a lot of sense. There was also a walk-in closet with a lot of weird angled walls. And there was no door — so no privacy!”
The homeowners hoped for light, space and better storage. “The main goal was to update and brighten the space,” says Goard. The refit was made easier by the fact that the home is a bungalow with an unfinished basement, so there was no barrier to rearranging the plumbing.
The first step was the removal of dividing walls, which were taking up too much space, to gut the walk-in closet and to move the closet entrance to the side facing the new bathtub. “That allowed us to put in that nice tall cabinet for storage, and we also put in a laundry hamper,” Goard says.
The key to the redesign was the choice of the Bistrot line of porcelain floor tiles from Céragrès. Although the palette is restrained, at 19 inches square, they’re big and bold, with a plank design that’s installed to resemble a basket-weave pattern. “That was definitely the inspiration for the look and the feel of the bathroom,” Goard says. “It’s a unique tile, and that was a jumping-off point. It was great when we had the design meeting and [the clients] fell in love with it; it was exciting.”
After that, “Everything else just fell into place,” she adds. “It was such a beautiful tile, with that light, whitewashed feel, that warm look where that natural cognac colour shows through. The tile has an Old-World feel; we played on that by using gold fixtures on the cabinetry and the lighting.”
From the antique brass Etoile robe hooks from Anthropologie to the on-trend geometric Morris Medium lantern in gilded iron, and antique-brass Bryant sconces from Circa Lighting, touches of bright metal offer an up-to-the-moment statement with traditional charm. •
Square Footage Inc.