PHOTOGRAPHY: SARAH DAGENAIS
LUXURIOUS, SPA-LIKE, ELEGANT: Those are the qualities people usually aim for with a bathroom makeover. When they have an active toddler and another baby on the way, they add a few more adjectives to the list: practical and low-maintenance.
Homeowner Marilene Champigny learned that she was pregnant right around the time she and her partner were planning updates to their La Prairie home. She wanted to make sure the family bathroom would stand up to daily use by two adults and two children, and she gave interior designer Gatline Artis carte blanche to create a space that would be functional but wouldn’t sacrifice style.
To achieve the look and warmth of wood panelling, but without the need for any special care, Artis chose wood-patterned porcelain wall tiles to place behind the tub and over the sinks. “You can splash it with water; it’s something with really easy maintenance,” says Artis, associate designer at Entre 4 Murs. She used a contrasting white diamond-shaped tile behind the vanity and medicine cabinets and extended that into the shower, to create an impression of size. The floor tiles were carried up the far wall, some of them cut into smaller sizes.
White bathrooms with wood have become popular, Artis says. “Clients are looking for light and natural materials, touches of wood. These are elements that are coming up, they’re very contemporary,” she says.
Marilene’s partner was able to do some of the renovation work himself on weekends, and those savings allowed them to splurge on fixtures. “We went with good quality materials,” Marilene says. “We know that kids can be very hard on a house.” There was one item in particular they fell in love with that hadn’t been on their original wish list: the wall-mounted toilet. “When we saw it, wow,” she says. “We think it adds something. We couldn’t go back to a regular toilet.”
To create space for the plumbing, the Entre 4 Murs designer suggested building a half wall under the window that also hides the pipes for the tub’s faucet.
There are two things that really impress Marilene about the redesign: its refined look, and how practical it is, especially when it comes to storage. “It’s very well thought out; there’s some everywhere: the medicine cabinet, the large drawers, the cupboard in the corner,” she says, adding that there’s enough of it to hold all the towels and bathroom supplies they need. The ledge behind the sinks under the medicine cabinet is a great place to keep toothbrushes, she says, and it extends into the shower and can be used there for other toiletries. There’s enough counter space to put down the hair dryer, and enough floor space for everyone to be in there at the same time.
“It’s great in the morning when we get ready,” she says. “We don’t trip over each other.” •
Entre 4 Murs