Toronto designer Margie Doyle White homes in on hy­drangea to trans­form a lack­lus­tre mas­ter bath­room in the city’s Cab­bage­town ’hood into a serene oa­sis.


A Toronto designer homes in on hy­drangea to trans­form a lack­lus­tre mas­ter bath­room into a serene oa­sis


says Toronto designer Margie Doyle White. In fact, it was a fab­ric swatch that in­spired the look of Raewyn Fahlen­bock’s now im­pos­si­bly pretty mas­ter en­suite. “Up­hol­stery – whether in an arm­chair or a Ro­man shade – lends soft­ness,” ex­plains the designer.

“The over­sized hy­drangea print fab­ric that cov­ers the bath­room’s slip­per chair is one of my all-time favourites,” says Margie, who used it here to pro­vide a comfy perch at the makeup van­ity. “It dic­tated the over­all mood of the room.” Which is a good thing, be­cause be­fore Margie ar­rived, the 300-square-foot space was in a re­ally bad mood. “It had no sparkle, no colour, two sin­gle van­i­ties placed oddly far apart and a shower stall,” she says. No­tice­ably ab­sent: a tub. “While her hus­band prefers a shower, Raewyn loves to in­dulge in a re­lax­ing bath, so we knew that had to be in­cor­po­rated in the re­design.” So, ev­ery­thing was ripped out for a clean (pun in­tended) start.

Be­cause the room is long and nar­row, Margie aimed for an ex­pan­sive feel. “I didn’t want the tub and shower stacked on one side. I wanted to make the room feel wider than it is.” So she es­tab­lished sym­me­try by plac­ing cus­tom van­i­ties – one with hisand-hers sinks, the other a makeup sta­tion – on op­po­site walls, vis­ually widen­ing the space. This set-up is echoed in the place­ment of the spiffy new show-stop­ping tub, which is po­si­tioned op­po­site the shower. “These are all big items,” says the designer, “but placed this way, they bal­ance one another out.” That el­e­gant bal­ance runs

through the room’s colour palette, from the pale wall paint that re­calls the mag­i­cal light of dusk to the mix of watery-hued tiles in un­ex­pected ap­pli­ca­tions, par­tic­u­larly the mo­saic ones used in the niche above the dou­ble-sink van­ity. “These del­i­cate beau­ties were a huge splurge!” says Margie. “They look like in­di­vid­u­ally ap­plied mo­saics, but they’re ac­tu­ally sheets of tiles that are ap­plied like wall­pa­per.” Luck­ily, their bud­get­bust­ing price tag was tem­pered by the af­ford­able piece that started it all – a pretty flo­ral fab­ric swatch that cul­ti­vated a bou­quet of a bath­room.

“A beau­ti­ful free-stand­ing tub with a chan­de­lier above it is my idea of a dream bath­room,” says home­owner Raewyn Fahlen­bock. This ves­sel style was cho­sen not only for its gen­er­ous size, which is su­per con­ducive to long soaks, but also for its sil­hou­ette.

A tra­di­tional Ro­man shade adds some con­tem­po­rary colour, pat­tern and tex­ture to the space and com­ple­ments other soft fur­nish­ings, like the slip­per chair (shown on the next page) and a stack of fluffy white tow­els.

DE­SIGN, Doyle De­sign Group,; CON­TRACT­ING, rec­tan­gu­lar MIR­ROR, Her­itage Build­ing Restora­tion Group; Dimpse 277 WALL PAINT, Far­row & Ball; VAN­I­TIES, New Look Ren­o­va­tions; FAUCETS, Dupont Plumb­ing Sup­plies; FLOOR TILES, WALL TILES,...

ABOVE “Hav­ing a makeup van­ity in the bath­room is an in­cred­i­ble bonus,” says Raewyn. “It gives me my own space and of­fers so much stor­age for all my girly things.”

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