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Design Ideas from 10 Real Life Toronto Bathrooms

We zoom from Mimico to Moore Park, sourcing fresh and clean design tips from the city’s most inspiring lavatories


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Photo by Naomi Finlay

1 Don’t be afraid to mix wood and stone. For the founders of branding agency Concrete, architect Angela Tsementzis designed a concrete home with dramatic cantilevers. Inside, slabs of travertine (from Marble Trend) in the bathroom add to the house’s stone-cold beauty, while engineered white oak flooring and custom cabinetry by O’Sullivan Millwork provide a sense of warmth. Another soft touch: the vanity mirror with built-in lighting, which delivers a beauty salon-esque glow. Meanwhile, a floating Corian sink doubles as a blocky, Donald Judd-esque sculptural element.

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Photo by Naomi Finlay

2 Section off areas for different activities. While it’s part of a sky-high corner condo unit downtown, this bathroom maintains a feeling of airy intimacy with floor-to-ceiling linen curtains and a smart layout. Personal spaces are hidden out of sight behind a partial wall: a toilet is tucked around one corner, while a walk-in shower sits behind the other. Next to the Corian soaker, an Edwardian statement chair acts as a place to rest a towel or as a seat for a significant other engaging in a flirty tub-side convo.

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Photo by Naomi Finlay

3 Go graphic. The Dufferin Grove home of design darlings Matt Carr (design director of Umbra) and Joyce Lo (co-director of the Drake General Store) is as playfully modern as you’d expect. Masterminded by design studio MSDS, their bathroom uses hardware store tile and bold black grouting to create a clean grid that recalls blown-up graph paper. Bonus points for their concrete Home Depot pendant’s doodle-like power cord.

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Photo by Arnaud Marthouret

4 Emulate a serene Scandinavian spa. By raising this Parkdale Victorian’s bathroom up a step from the attached master suite and installing a barn door to close it off, architecture firm The Practice of Everyday Design establishes the all-white space as its own distinct environment. Coupled with the room’s crisp greenery and clean-lined fixtures, the architectural move positions the Nordic-style loo as a true retreat. The bathroom’s half-wall shields the shower – clad in gorgeous sky blue tile.

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Photo by Cindy Blažević

5 Compose Chiclet-sized tiles into an artistic statement wall. Can’t decide on which colour of tile to go with? Try combining lots of tiny ones to mosaic-like effect. That’s what architect Vanessa Fong and industrial designer Ryan Taylor did for the second-storey kids’ bathroom in their renovated Edwardian. Knowing drapes or blinds would be overwhelming next to such a busy composition, the industrious duo instead opted to maintain their privacy by giving the room’s window a subtle frosted treatment.

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Photo by Naomi Finlay

6 Treat the entire space as a wet room. With herringbone floor tiles and walls covered in large stone slabs (both from Tiles Plus), this crisply-tailored Parkdale home’s master bath is fully waterproofed – the better to accommodate the his-and-hers rainfall shower heads installed side-by-side in the ceiling. The heated floor slopes to a linear drain to keep feet toasty and the sink area dry.

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Photo by Naomi Finlay

7 Use barn wood to introduce some cabin-style coziness. Rather than just adding a single hit of rustic wood to his sunshine-filled Mimico home’s bathroom, Stylegarage managing partner Neil James used the material all throughout the space. Rough-hewn wood features include a staircase leading to a rooftop patio, a sliding door installed to conceal a water closet, and two storage platforms. An animal rug adds to the lavatory’s warm forest retreat feel.

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Photo by Lisa Petrole

8 Separate bathing and washing spaces with an unconventional room divider. This texture-rich family home in Forest Hill’s master ensuite consists of three separate yet connected rooms. From the bathtub, you can see through a laser-etched mirror’s sinuous transparent lines to the vanity next door. Art by Thrush Holmes hangs on the opposite wall.

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Photo by Naomi Finlay

9 Link your bed and bathroom with a partial wall. BlackLAB Architects co-principals Joe and Sarah Knight designed the master suite of their Etobicoke Tudor revivalist home to serve as a luxurious parental retreat. The middle of the room has a double vanity in walnut, a stone-tiled walk-in shower, and a gorgeous soaker tub while the sleeping area hides in front.

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Photo by Scott Norsworthy

10 Place shelving strategically to provide plenty of space for toiletries. Dylan Horvath’s top priority with his St. Clarens Avenue home renovation was creating an ultra-durable family home ready to withstand wear and tear. Architect Wanda Ely met his needs with a timelessly modern super-thin sink wide enough to accommodate the morning rush. The subway-tiled room’s setup forgoes under-sink storage in favour of maple shelving with routed slots for storing toothbrushes, towels and other supplies at kid- and adult-friendly heights.

Looking for more ways to refresh your loo? Check out our guides to jet-black, bright and bubbly, high-glam, Scandinavian spa-like and scene-stealing standalone bathroom designs. Plus, find even more inspiration in our faucet, showerhead and tile roundups.


Categories: Spaces
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