Updating older homes can pose a number of challenges, depending on the era and architecture. Just ask homeowner Mia Hempey and designer Janise Saikaley, who took on transforming the main bathroom of a ‘60s-era home into a luxurious 2019 retreat.
The older home design didn’t include an ensuite and the main bathroom was quite small and dated. Mia had done several renovations over 17 years of living in her Beaverbrook home, mostly with Janise’s help. So, when she decided to attack the bathroom she knew who to call.
“Mia reached out and said she wanted to pretty up her home and redo her bathroom,” said Janise, principal and lead designer of Uproar Interiors. “It’s my favourite enclave of Kanata. They’re beautiful homes with a very ‘60s vibe.”
But the bathroom was only about 6 × 8 feet, so the designer had an idea for Mia: “Why don’t we turn this into a laundry room and turn the fourth bedroom into a main family bathroom that is so much more functional for the size of the house?”
“I really agonized over giving up that fourth bedroom,” said Mia. “But I decided that for that one day a year that I use my guestroom, I’d get much more use out of it if it was turned into a fabulous space I would use all the time.”
Janise wanted to make something spacious and luxurious with a fabulous shower, a spectacular soaker tub, and more functional space. She painted the walls, ceilings, and trim all in Farrow & Ball’s Great White and Modern Emulsion. “It feels like you’re in a cloud,” said Janise, “very delicate and soft.” She added a touch of delicate pink to an antique chair—which she gave as a gift to Mia—with ROMO fabric and Farrow & Ball Wevet.
Visual texture was added with Farrow & Ball Helleborus wallpaper behind the bath, with a flush chandelier from the Electrical Plumbing Store for extra sparkle and plumbing fixtures from Preston Hardware. The room now has gorgeous and functional custom cabinetry that Janise designed and had made in charcoal black. She also continued the elegance of the bathroom with a custom mirror.
All bathroom tiles are from Ceragres; one of Mia’s favourite features of the room is the heated floor, intricately laid with a generous application of Carrara marble. The finishing touches were white linen drapes from JAB and beautiful Portuguese towels. “Spend money on those things that you use every day and take your time and find quality items,” advised Janise.
As the COO at a law firm, being able to relax in comfort when she comes home is quite a treat for Mia. “I come home and have a bath, and then I have a bath again before I go to bed,” she laughed. “So, it’s worth every penny considering I never went into the spare bedroom before. And how could you not be a big fan of baths when you’ve got chandeliers and heated floors? It’s very luxurious after a long day at work.”
Having a laundry upstairs is a treat as well. “Janise also convinced me to move my laundry room up from the basement to the second floor,” said Mia, adding that it’s a “life-changer” especially with boys who create a ton of laundry.
“Janise wanted to do the whole laundry room in wallpaper, which I hesitated about, but she inspired me to go with it,” said Mia. “She said, ‘Mia, it’s going to look like a little jewelry box.’ And she’s right, it’s quite beautiful.”
In her professional life, Mia is used to making a lot of big decisions every day, but she was comfortable handing over the reins to Janise for the project. “I have an idea of what I like, but I’m happy to outsource the work to experts. And with Janise I know I can completely trust her judgement.”
“Nine times out of ten the client has some idea of what they want—especially given all the design info we now have access to online,” said the designer. “But our job is to pull it all together. At the end of the day, I just love seeing a client get real enjoyment out of the space we’ve designed.”