Dated bath­room needs

Winnipeg Free Press - Section F - - HOMES - PSMMES TRAVIS

Dear Deb­bie: It’s time to ren­o­vate our ’50s-style bath­room but how far do we go? We will be mov­ing in two years or so. The tiles are in great shape but green with black trim. Bath­tub is green. I’m a re­tired cab­i­net maker, and think­ing of in­stalling a new van­ity with white rect­an­gu­lar­in­set sink on top of a green crackle glass coun­ter­top and red­dish ma­hogany cab­i­nets. I don’t like the look of painted tiles. We re­ally en­joy your tal­ent and would value some guid­ance on how to pro­ceed on a mod­er­ate bud­get. Hank

Dear Hank: The dilemma of the green tiles and bath­tub is a com­mon one found in homes and apart­ments built in the ’50s. If you can’t re­place the tile and tub, then turn the tables and paint the walls in a colour that will dom­i­nate more than the green. I went full out dra­matic dec­o­rat­ing a bath­room in an apart­ment where re­place­ment was not an op­tion. The glossy fin­ish re­flects the light, mak­ing it the­atri­cal but not too dense. I broke up the monotony of the green by paint­ing the grout black as well.

How­ever, since you own the house and have the skills to do some of the work your­self, I would opt for a ma­jor reno. Re­move the tiles and tub. The glass top counter and wood cab­i­netry you de­scribe in­di­cates a de­tailed con­tem­po­rary sense of style that you should fol­low. Re­place the bath with a walk-in shower.

Re­search what you can do with glass tiles. The va­ri­ety in tiles is amaz­ing, truly art on the wall. En­joy per­son­al­iz­ing this room; you will be de­lighted with the re­sults, and it will be a big sell­ing fea­ture when the time comes.

Dear Deb­bie: We are dec­o­rat­ing our 14-year-old son’s bed­room. He chose a football mu­ral, which hangs on a wall with his football tro­phies. That wall is black, other walls teal blue, with grey metal­lic sil­ver trim. The dresser and desk are sturdy oak in warm gold tones. What would you sug­gest to re­fin­ish these pieces to suit a teenager? Thanks for any ideas. Karen

Dear Karen: I have al­ways been fas­ci­nated at how teenagers and some pre­teens grav­i­tate to­ward black as a favoured bed­room colour choice. My first re­ac­tion is no, that’s too dark and dis­mal for a grow­ing child or young adult’s room. But I’ve learned that the dra­matic, the­atri­cal na­ture of black and other very dark hues is the very rea­son they are drawn to it. Black makes the colours and shapes around it pop; think of black pic­ture frames, the­atre cur­tains, or a black leather couch.

Your teenage son’s room has a good amount of black in place, and the metal­lic trim is suitably fu­tur­is­tic. Continue the theme by paint­ing the dresser and desk black. Use a high and low paint sheen for con­trast. An­other op­tion is to ap­ply a grey colour wash or solid gray to the fur­ni­ture, and paint the tops high-sheen black. You could use black­board paint on sec­tions of the dresser and desk draw­ers so your son can la­bel or draw, eas­ily erasable as he grows.

Be­fore you paint, pre­pare the sur­face of the wood care­fully. Clean and sand to rough up the smooth sur­faces, and ap­ply a high ad­he­sion primer de­signed for slip­pery sur­faces. Deb­bie Travis’ House to Home col­umn is pro­duced by Deb­bie Travis and Bar­bara Din­gle. Please email your ques­tions to house­2home@deb­bi­ You can fol­low Deb­bie on Twit­ter at www.twit­ter. com/debbie_travis, and visit Deb­bie’s new web­site, www.deb­bi­

Glossy black walls give a dra­matic up­lift to a dated bath­room.

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