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  • Downstairs Bathroom - Before
  • Downstairs Bathroom - After
  • Upstairs Bathroom - Before
  • Upstairs Bathroom - After

Colin and Justin : a tale of two bathrooms

Two looks for one? No problem! Upstairs, because of sloped ceilings, we embraced a traditional vibe with luxurious marble aesthetics, inspired by five-star hotels like The Savoy in London. In our basement, however, we yearned for a pared-back aesthetic.

Downstairs: The birth of bleak chic

Let’s look first at the basement space and consider what we discovered: fungus and black mould. Not to worry! Fungus doesn’t faze us! We removed the rotten 2”x2” lumber, replaced the framework, covered everything in thick polythene then applied new drywall. The sidewalls were clad with affordable white subway tile and large concrete look slabs were laid on the other two walls and floor. Bleak chic was born!

After visiting a local concrete fabricator and supplying a sketch, we waited just one week before our blocky poured shower structure materialized. Taps and fixtures add gloss and glamour, while the glazed panel carries on the look. Final layering comes courtesy of $15 bulkhead lights, fluffy towels (from our own line at HomeSense) a circular mirror from Ikea and Gypsy Potter hand-thrown vessels. All things considered, ‘bleak chic’ isn’t even remotely stark. Sure, it’s measured, but it’s also warm and inviting. But how would our transformative plans work upstairs? Let’s see…

Upstairs: Soaker tubs and upscale elegance

Short on space for a shower stall, we positioned a soaker tub ‘pushed’ towards the right-hand side, which enabled a massive showerhead to drain perfectly into the bath below. Cladding in Caesarstone creates a seamless vision, while a fixed glazed panel (tempered, of course: safety is everything) completes the look.

A redundant TV stand had the perfect height and shape to be repurposed into an interesting vanity. But first it was time for a little ‘dermabrasion’ with wet and dry sandpaper followed by two even coats of grey paint. After positioning a new chrome knob, we added a slab of surplus Caesarstone (drilled to accommodate sink and taps) for a swish new surface. With the floor sanded and varnished - and new vanity lighting added – our work was complete. And we breathed a sigh of relief.

So one house, two very different bathrooms, each realized after careful planning and meticulous installation. While each room is the diametrical opposite of the other, both work equally well as part of our lakeside hideaway.

-by Colin and Justin