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© Copyright 2006 Work-4 Projects Ltd.
Royal Plush

By Judy Penz Sheluk








When it comes to beautiful bathrooms, homeowners are willing to ante up.

In last year's Interiors issue (September 2006), we reported that "the bathroom has become much more than a place to shower and shave; it's a place to unwind, relax and meditate after a stressful day." To find out what has changed since then, we consulted Crystal Collinson, owner of Collinson Interiors, a design firm based in Toronto. As a guest designer on HGTV's Home to Go and a member of the Greater Toronto Home Builders Association (GTHBA), Collinson also advises custom and production builders on upcoming trends and practical solutions.
"A spa-like retreat is still number-one on most homeowners' bathroom wish lists, and they are willing to spend $7,000 and up to make their dreams come true," says Collinson. "Topping the list is a separate shower stall with all the bells and whistles, including body jets, rainhead, in-shower seating and wall-mounted faucets. Bathtubs are all about the long, luxurious soak, and while spa/jetted tubs are still big, claw foot tubs are definitely making a splash. If space doesn't permit a separate shower, it's important to play up the comfort elements and add touches of glamour.

Creating the Look
Urban Chic: Quartz countertops in fun and funky colours and mosaic tiles with artistically placed glass tile insets add a contemporary edge. These elements work especially well in the condo market.
Country Casual: Furniture pieces with an antique-like aesthetic are all the rage, especially in traditional housing. Consider converting an antique dresser into a vanity for a one-of-a-kind look. Adding an antique mirror keeps it authentic, but builder beware: If you're installing an antique mirror, you will almost certainly need to have the glass replaced. A full-length vintage wardrobe (popular before houses were built with bedroom closets) can make a unique linen/storage cupboard. Rub oil bronze finish faucets complete the vintage visual.
Putting on the Ritz: Glamorous fixtures used to be reserved for the dining room or living room, but designers are now adding glitz with non-traditional bathroom lighting, such as chandeliers over the bath tub or elegant wall sconces.
Perfect Powder Rooms: The type of sink will determine whether you're going for contemporary, classic or traditional styling. Select the vanity, mirror, fixtures and lighting based on the vessel. This is one room where function can follow form; it's all about creating a great first impression.
Colours: Warm neutrals - creamy whites, taupes and brown-based beiges (avoid yellow undertones) - are still number one. Cold neutrals - brown-based grays and blue-based whites - are making a comeback, especially for homeowners looking for a clean and contemporary look. Play up cool colours with vibrant countertops and accessories.

Hot & Cold
What's Hot: Heated floors; large, brick pattern tiles (12in x 24in); natural stone such as granite, travertine, and marble; glass tile insets; brushed stainless steel, stainless steel and gold-toned faucets; wall sconces.
What's Not: Medicine cabinets; full-length vanity mirrors; shiny countertops, floors or tiles.
New Trends: Porcelain floor tiles; freestanding linen cupboards; rub oil bronze faucets; countertops without lips or ledges.
In the Never-Quite-Made-It Category: Heated towel bars. So far, the comfort element isn't quite enough to offset their less-than-glamorous design.

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