08/14/2012 05:36 EDT | Updated 10/14/2012 05:12 EDT

A Bed and Bath From Scratch

Candice Olson

In order to shorten their extremely long commute to and from work, Barb and Evan moved out of the suburbs and into the city. But the economics of this move meant they had to trade in their brand new, spacious digs for a 100-year-old row house that needed lots of work. To save money, the intrepid couple decided to don their safety glasses and sledgehammers and do it themselves. But after a year had gone by, they realized they had bitten off more than they could chew. Their house was still in shambles and they had run out of money, ideas and patience.

The weary twosome asked me to come in and help them out -- before they changed their minds about the house and ran screaming back to the 'burbs. They hoped I could finish off their bedroom so they could get some sleep -- and have at least one room in their home completed. So I gathered together my crew and geared up to create a fabulous bed and bath.


The couple wanted their third-floor bedroom to be an open concept space with a bright, airy loft feeling. They had gutted it with that in mind, but the shell of a room lay unfinished in a heap of dust and debris. So the first order of the day was drywall -- a lot of drywall. I created walls and ceilings, and lay down a sub-floor covered with beautiful dark vinyl that has the look of wood.

Once the basics were in place, I chose a colour palette for the space. When searching around for inspiration, I found a box labelled "Barb's favourite fabrics." In it, I discovered a gorgeous sage and gold cloth that gave me the jumping off point I needed for the paint, fabrics and tiles.

I then got busy dividing the loft into two zones: a bedroom and a bathroom. I separated the two areas with a wall of closets that provides storage, privacy and soundproofing. In addition, I closed off the smaller entrance to the bathroom with a series of woven panels on a track system that will slide across the space when privacy is needed.

In the bedroom, I put in a king-sized bed with a chocolate brown upholstered headboard. For some added warmth and ambience, I put in gorgeous linens and throw pillows in a variety of textures and colours. And, for a touch of romance, I installed a beautiful crystal chandelier above the bed.

In the bathroom, I created one little closed off space for the toilet, but left the rest of the space open. In this open area, I installed a gorgeous old-style tub with cast iron feet (after I reinforced the floor to accommodate this 700-pound beauty); a glass-enclosed shower, complete with solid white quartz walls and a feature wall in a beautiful green rippled tile; and a stylish vanity with a quartz countertop, a stunning sink in a gold and green paisley pattern, a mirror and two sconces.

After adding a variety of accents and accessories, this third-floor bed and bath was complete. With some high-end fixtures and finishes, a mixture of textures and colours, and some creative space planning, Barb and Evan got the loft space they desired. Now, with their bedroom renovation woes behind them, the couple can finally get a good night's sleep -- and start dreaming about finishing the other rooms in their house.


A Bed and Bath From Scratch