As holders of purse strings in all our projects, we have final veto when it comes to spending or saving. Across three continents, and throughout perhaps twenty different TV series, we call the shots when it comes to design dollars dished. As such, we enjoy all the glory when our mathematics go to plan, but, conversely, we must ‘own’ any shortfalls.
When it came to Sunday’s ‘Cabin Pressure’ bathroom, we remained on point at every single stage, helped along by a crash course in cash saving DIY plumbing. Hey, having spotted a plumbers van further up the lake, we simply knocked on the door and barged in.
The house is question belonged to an adorable retired couple who watched, in wonder, as we mastered the joys of U bends, toilet flange and, erm, plumbers grease. Blimey: it took two hours but we learned what we needed to know. Come on: we’re nothing if not resourceful. And besides… it was easy.
Easy? Okay, so we fibbed about that last bit. Back at the ranch we ended up in a veritable frenzy of poop shoots, toilet water and ringbolts whilst valiantly trying to fit an American Standard loo in the formerly gloomy space. So were the dollars saved worth the attendant stress? Tune in and find out!
Dirty business attended to, we started to think style and elected to make a huge statement. First job was to bash out the old tub to clear the room. ‘Borrowing’ floor space (previously occupied by a hallway cupboard) resulted in an almost square footprint which was much easier to retool with shower on the rear wall and vanity area positioned at a perfect right angle.
Next, we challenged Steve from Churko Electric (www.churkoelectric.com) to prepare for a Nuheat under floor heating element. Impervious to water ingress, and safely concealed below tile, the warmth this system emanates is astounding. We elected to add a Dimplex baseboard heater for particularly frosty days and the heating combo assures warmth as required.
Steve’s expertise brought so much to the mix – he didn’t just work to our remit, he made valuable suggestions at every turn to make the project run smoothly. Shouldn’t we think about independently controllable lights in the shower stall? Auspicious positioning of thermostatic controls? How about dimmers for the wall sconces? As a local in the Haliburton community (and a plane owning pilot to boot – did someone say ‘up, up and away’ in a subsequent episode!?) Steve has proved a fantastic addition to our team.
To add verve, we elected to change the shape of the existing window. A long transom was decided upon, and, positioned in the shower stall, it allows natural light to flood in without compromising modesty. Courtesy of a waterproof wood look Venetian by Select Blinds (chosen to compliment our Western Red Cedar ceiling: a recurring Plan B style note) fitted into the rebate, natural illumination can be controlled as required.
Everything going to plan, we battled a patch to Saltillo (www.saltillo-tiles.com) For the stall floor we opted for chevron mosaic – to minimize slip issues – with a drop in rectilinear drain from The Shower Grate Shop. But on the main wall areas and floor we went into honeycomb heaven. Wow! Installed by Trunorth (they do all our cottage country projects, both on screen and off) the hexagons certainly make a statement!
Shower fittings are sexy black by Rubinet (www.rubinet.com – they’ll custom code using any colour: pink, green, yellow, whatever) and, teamed with matching faucets set into a long, Unikstone sink (www.unikstone.ca) arranged on a steel base (with heaps of wonderful open storage) they help our bathroom come alive.
Above the sink, Steve installed Rejuvenation lights (www.rejuvenation.com) and, detailed as they are in jet tones, they’re a lovely partner to the associated taps and shower wares.
Appraising these before and afters, we remain flushed with success. Sure, the bathroom job was a biggie – but we feel thoroughly ‘invested’. Especially given that we know the project’s every twist, turn… and U bend. Prepare for designer deluge, come Sunday!
About the Author: Colin and Justin are interior designers, style commentators, Hollywood celebrity interviewers and lifestyle gurus.