Decorating & Design

June 22, 2011

Ask A Designer: Main Floor Bathroom

Q. We have a three-piece bathroom on our main level. I’d like to take the focus off the bathtub and use it mainly as a powder room, but we have a guest room on the same floor, so we need to keep the tub (I use sliding grasscloth panels to hide it). I like cork flooring and need a new sink, mirror and lights (all contemporary). And what colour should I paint the walls?

— B.W., Ameliasburgh, Ont. (To submit your own question, see our Ask A Designer™ page.)

A. I love the way the grasscloth screens hide the bathtub (not shown), giving your three-piece bathroom the look of a two-piece powder room — clever idea!

Comfortable underfoot and nonporous, cork is a great bathroom flooring option. Interiors Only has a 12″ x 24″ tile in a range of colours; Imperial Black Walnut (shown) will add the right amount of depth and sophistication to your bathroom. Unlike the typical corkboard colour, it’s quite warm — it almost looks like wood — and will complement the tone and texture of your dividing screens.

In a small space, you can be daring with your wall colour, like in our inspiration shot. A brilliant jewel-toned blue like Monique (CL 2185D) (shown) from General Paint will provide stunning contrast to the new cork floor and your grasscloth panels.

The Chalkstripe vanity (shown) from Kohler mixes square lines, traditional beadboard-style detailing and a keyhole-cutout handle to give it a modern edge. And the white will break up the blue walls.

If you decide to replace the grasscloth panels, use a striped fabric complementary to the wall colour, like this one from Designer Fabrics (shown), to make a tailored shower curtain. In the meantime, bring pattern in with a set of Hammam Stripe hand towels (shown) from West Elm.

Switch out your tile-framed mirror for the Ming (shown) from Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams. Its slightly Asian-inspired satin brass frame will warm up the room and have a sculptural effect on the wall. Lastly, flank the mirror with a pair of Thomas O’Brien Hulton sconces (shown) from Circa Lighting. The crystal backplates will add a nice hit of sparkle. I hope these pieces will give you the modern look you’re after — good luck!

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1. Vanity, Kohler. 2. Towel, West Elm. 3. Sconce, Circa Lighting. 4. Cork tile, Interiors Only; paint, Monique (CL 2185D), General Paint; fabric, Designer Fabrics. 5. Mirror, Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams.

Author: Cameron MacNeil

Tracy Shumate (cork tile, fabric); Patrick Cline (inspiration room); Hilary Thomas (room design).