Riverdale Reno

Riverdale Reno: Progress

On a recent site visit for this project I was so pleased to see how all of the details of this renovation have come together.  Creating two new luxe bathrooms out of one large outdated one has been part of an extensive transformation process for this Victorian semi in Toronto.  You can read an overview of the design brief and view before and after floor plans of this second floor reno project here.   As I mentioned in that first post the design vision for the master ensuite space took a dramatic turn in direction from the initial concept meetings.  I had come up with a floor plan solution that my client approved in no time but deciding on finish materials was a much slower process and one that really pushed me to embrace some details and finishes that I wasn't entirely confident about.

Bathroom concept design sketch by Carol Reed Interior Design.

From the beginning the homeowner had a very clear idea of all the features he wanted IN his bathroom however, he didn't have as clear a vision of what he wanted the space to *look* like when it came to colour of materials and finishes.  This sketch above was something I prepared for him to help him visualize the new space and this then really helped him pin point what he didn't want.  This was definitely the look he wanted in his Guest Bathroom, lots of white marble on the floors and walls with a walnut vanity.  But for the master,,,he immediately decided dark and and sexy was the direction he wanted to take, further to that, he wanted a dramatic ledgestone feature wall.  This is when as a designer,,,,you truly have to tune in to what your client wants and not be blinded by your personal preferences.  You need to always be open to new concepts and directions and then use your expertise to filter and edit, not dictate.  Clearly this room nudged me in a new direction but I thoroughly embraced the opportunity and I am completely thrilled with the results.  

As you can see from these photos, this is quite a departure from the initial sketch.  The dark stone on the floor and the dark ledgestone on the tub wall is a striking contrast with the white marble used for the counter and tub deck and on the shower walls.  This photo above was taken just after the custom tv-in-mirror was installed.  The warm tones of the custom walnut slab tub panel and vanity is stunning against the grey.  One of the great features we kept from the old space was a skylite which floods the room with lots of natural daylight.  I think all the white marble, the mirror and the daylight beautifully balance all the dark grey. The homeowner and I are still on the hunt for the 'perfect' light fixture.

Even though there was a lot of different materials going on, including 4 different stone materials, I used them in a very monolithic way - each one of them used singularly and in an uninterrupted pattern.  The floor is a large rectangular tile laid in an alternating offset, the wall tiles are long narrow rectangles laid in a brick pattern in rows of alternating heights, the ledgestone is very thin long pieces of horizontal split face stone panels installed from wall to wall.  In designing this bathroom , there was a lot of consideration paid to mixing various patterns, mixing smooth with rough, light with dark, large with small.  In building it, there was an incredible amount of skill required in order to seamlessly integrate all of these different materials and details together.  Not for the faint of heart.

The master bedroom got a mini reno too.  New carpet, new trim work, new paint and an entire new wall of closets now on the left side of the bay window.

The guest bathroom was not quite as far along as the master ensuite.  On this day the custom walnut wood frame for the mirror was about to be installed.  We are also awaiting a pair of tall french windows that will be outfitted with polished chrome cremone hardware. : )

Here's an older progress pic of the guest bathroom shower under way.  Again, a departure for me with so many different tiles being used.  The mini cararra 'chiclets' on the floor are my favourite!  Outside the shower the bathroom floor is finished with extra large, slab like, cararra marble tiles.

The guest bedroom has seen a lot of changes too.  Starting with a new pair of french doors and a juliette balcony,,,new carpeting, trim work, paint and hardware.  Its a small space but its jamb packed with luxe details.  A new upholstered bed was the first of the new furniture to arrive.  This will be flanked with mirrored night tables and a pair of antique alabaster lamps.  We've got some gorgeous graphic fabric picked out for the draperies and hits of bright coral coloured prints for the bed. 

Its been a long process but this house is almost ready to welcome its first overnight guest, but I've forewarned my client that they just might never want to leave! ; )  

All photos by:   Carol Reed

Riverdale Project: A Second Floor Reno

Early stage conceptual concept for the master ensuite.

This semi detached victorian in Toronto's Riverdale neighborhood had seen many updates and renovations over the years and more recently the main floor and the backyard had been transformed to reflect the modern clean aesthetic of my client, a single male, who has called it home for 6 years.  The second floor however was still stuck in the early 80's and in need of a complete overhaul.  The challenges of planning a renovation for this floor of the house, including converting one large bathroom into 2 bathrooms, had stalled him for years... until he finally decided to call me in to help!  

Second Floor Plan - Before.

The existing floor plan definitely had some undesirable classic 80's features like a ginormous jacuzzi tub, glass block windows, shared bathroom access and lots of 45 degree angles.  The goal was to take this one huge bathroom and covert it into 2 and update all the rest of the finishes and fittings throughout the floor. 

Second Floor Plan - Proposed

After presenting 4 different layout options (including ones with double sinks and freestanding tubs!), this was the winning floor plan that my client opted to go with.  This plan ticked everything on his wish list and then some - a four piece private ensuite and a spacious 3 piece guest bathroom with custom vanity and walkin shower, complete with new french style tall windows.  In the process of planning 2 bathrooms where there once was just one, it's important to try to utilize existing plumbing locations as best as possible and this layout was also very favorable to those conditions.

The ensuite in this floor plan isn't huge in sq ft but its loaded with features.  A contemporary built-in tub is the focal point of the new ensuite and the walk-in shower has a true seamless design with a sleek recessed trough drain.  Since my clients been waiting (and dreaming) of this new ensuite for so many years, its also chock full of some luxury details - there's loads of stone tile, recessed LED floor lights, a chromotherapy tub and yes, even a tv in mirror.  

Some of the other changes to the floor plan involved reworking the door into the master bedroom, flipping the closets to the opposite wall (which works so much better) and eliminating an unused built-in nich in the guest bedroom.  In addition to the bathroom overhauls, the second floor is also getting all new doors and trim work, lighting, new glass staircase railing, new wood stair treads, new hardwood and carpet flooring and new french windows and juliette balconies.

Early stage conceptual concept for the master ensuite.

 When I first started planning this reno my client wasn't completely sure what direction he wanted to go with the bathroom finishes, he knew in the guest bathroom he wanted light white marble and a walnut vanity, but in the ensuite he was really uncertain.  I prepared this very quick conceptual sketch to give him a reference point for discussion.  It assisted with him in visualizing his new layout and how the different materials and finishes would relate to each other.  In this sketch I was envisioning x-large white marble floor tiles that met a marble slab tub front which continued up behind the tub - he definitely wanted wood on the tub front so I switched this to walnut,,,, the side walls would be long linear cut marble tile (the linework of the tile doesn't show in this image).  Immediately upon looking at this, he formulated a clearer vision of what he wanted for the finishes, even though it was quite different than what I had rendered. Let me just say, where we ended up was dramatically different than were we started but it was a wonderfully collaborative process.

After many many months and what has been the longest bathroom reno of my career (including 3 months waiting for plumbing fixtures, 4-1/2 months waiting for tile!!) the entire second floor is finally about 95% complete. I can't wait to share some of the progress photos in upcoming posts and sneak peeks of the finished spaces.

I should mention the above plans are simplified views to illustrate the before and after layouts for this blog post only.  A complete detailed construction drawing package (permit ready) including elevations and all material and fixture specs was prepared for this project and necessary for such an extensive renovation.  A concept sketch and a layout view is only the beginning!

All drawings by: Carol Reed