Transform your bathroom into a restful retreat

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Linda White • • Especially for Postmedia Network

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March 15, 2021 • • 36 minutes ago • • Read for 4 minutes • • Join the conversation Natural wood furniture, as presented in this bathroom by Michelle Berwick Design, is celebrating a comeback this year.  SCOPE OF DELIVERY Natural wood furniture, as presented in this bathroom by Michelle Berwick Design, is celebrating a comeback this year. SCOPE OF DELIVERY

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Wet rooms and floating washbasins are among the hottest trends

After months of social distancing, wellbeing and cleanliness come to the fore and affect the role of the bathroom of our home. More than ever, we want relaxing retreats with easy-to-clean surfaces.

“The bathroom is becoming more of a luxurious retreat than a functional space,” says Sandra Mendes, Senior Designer at AyA Kitchens, of the spa aesthetic. “The trend is towards light and airy rooms.” Think wall-mounted vanities, open shelves for lavish towels, freestanding tubs or glass-enclosed wet rooms that bring bathtub and shower into one room, and luxurious items like wall-mounted towel warmers.

Especially when family members are together around the clock, the bathroom becomes a “place to relax, to take some time from your busy day and to regroup,” says Michelle Berwick of Michelle Berwick Design in Newmarket. “Our customers want a more luxurious and spa-like feeling in their bathrooms, which are equipped with large bathtubs, shower benches and underfloor heating.”
Here are some of the hottest trends:


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Walk-in showers. “A walk-in shower gives a luxurious feeling and enables a barrier-free life,” says Kate Davidson of Kate + Co Design Inc. in Oakville. Durable and easy-to-clean porcelain countertops are a popular choice for shower walls and offer the dramatic, veined look sought after by many, she adds.
Berwick has noticed a trend towards larger showers with benches. “As personal wellbeing becomes more popular, it becomes more and more popular to have ‘the works’ in your shower,” she says. These include steam showers, body jets, rainfall shower heads, and speakers.

Larger layouts. Removing bathtubs to increase the size of the shower and removing walls to connect the bathroom to a closet or dressing area are preferred layout changes, according to the National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA) in their annual study Design trends.

Smart toilets. According to the NKBA, smart toilets and bidets, once considered a futuristic and costly luxury, are taking center stage amid the pandemic. Hands-free functions such as self-closing lids and contactless flushing reduce the interaction with germ-like surfaces. The self-cleaning technology includes bactericidal light under the lid. Clean lines, smooth surfaces, and wall-mount installations eliminate the corners and exposed plumbing of traditional models, making the exterior easier to clean.

Porcelain tiles. Polished marble or porcelain with a non-slip surface are good choices for functional floors, according to Davidson. The NKBA predicts ceramic / porcelain tile will be the most popular this year, followed by luxury vinyl wood planks and stones.


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Clean, calm, minimalist style. Three styles dominate the NKBA study: contemporary, temporary, and organic / natural. In terms of color, white and off-white remain favorites, followed by gray, blue, and beige. The modern farmhouse mood continues.

Natural wood furniture. Natural wood is making a comeback, especially in traditional or transitional designs. Mixing these textures with other neutral colors like white and gray creates an airy palette, reports Mendes.
Davidson has also noticed a trend towards medium to light toned wood vanities. Metal or marble inlays appeal to those looking for a luxurious feel, while a thick apron top is suitable for a contemporary feel. When it comes to finishes, anything goes including brass, black, polished nickel, and chrome. “We recommend limiting the surfaces to one or two colors for a cohesive look,” she says.

Jewel tones. Dark blue cabinets are still popular, but AyA Kitchens expects green to come into the house in a big way. “Jewel-colored paintwork adds pops of color and a dramatic flair without being overwhelming,” says Mendes. “They also go well with other popular trends of 2021 such as natural wood or gray surfaces.”
Quartz countertops. When it comes to countertops, quartz continues to rule, especially in white or light colors, according to the NKBA survey. Traditional white sinks with a base configuration are still in vogue.

Layered lighting, technology. According to Davidson, layered lighting transforms the bathroom, from sconces on either side of the vanity mirror to ceiling lights that surround the tub. LED strip lighting is used under floating vanity tops to make the room appear brighter and more spacious, and is used in closets to make it easier to find, says Mendes. Technology is increasingly becoming mainstream. The NKBA refers to intelligent temperature controllers for the floor and / or shower, water protection technology, motion sensors for lighting and mirrors with integrated internet access.


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Top 10 Renos

Canadian homeowners showed great love for their bathrooms in February, with the loo taking first place in service inquiries on HomeStar, a marketplace that connects homeowners with home service professionals.
According to market reports, the popularity of bathrooms increased by 51 percent year on year. Here are the top 10 most popular national service requests over the past month:
1. Remodel bathroom
2. Repair or maintenance of equipment
3. Repair or replacement of taps, fittings and pipes
4. Remodel the basement
5. Interior painting or staining
6. Professional moving service on site or within the province
7. Air duct and vent cleaning
8. Remodel the kitchen
9. Installation or repair of electrical switches, sockets and devices
10. New windows

Larders not just for kitchens

If you are one of those who struggled to find toilet paper when it was in short supply in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, you may appreciate the introduction of pantries in the bathroom.
“It makes up for lost storage space when using smaller wall-mounted washbasins and is also used in place of linen cabinets that are removed to create larger bathrooms so that double washbasins or separate showers and tubs are possible,” says designer Sandra Mendes. “It’s useful for storing towels, toiletries, and cleaning supplies.”

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