The Blog

Modern and fresh design for fun, stylish, busy people

calgary, alberta


Designing a bathroom to sell – Where we saved and splurged to create the ‘WOW’ factor

July 11, 2018

I'm Caireen, Owner and Principal Designer at Shift Modern Home, lover of wallpaper, tiles, gin, Formula 1 Racing and potatoes. Who's with me?

Hello & welcome

Top Categories




read more


Project - Luxury Condo Living in 550 square feet

How to Choose Exterior Colours

Our Best Tips for WFH Successfully

read post

read post

read post

Popular right now


designing a bathroom to sell.jpg

We are in full swing here at No. 740, with the house pulled apart with various renovations and updates, but as of today, things are starting to go back together.

If you’re not sure what I’m talking about check out my last post to find out exactly what we have got ourselves into as we prepare our home to sell.


Today I’m chatting about the design plans for the bathroom and where we have saved and splurged to create a room that will ‘wow’.



Let me remind you how the bathroom looked at the beginning of last week:

Small bathroom Before.jpg

Small Bathroom Shower Before.jpg

Yikes! Not sure that anyone will be thrilled to buy a turquoise tub and matching tile these days!

Ok, let’s get down to the nitty gritty!



There have been a few spaces recently that have caught my eye, and served as inspiration for this bathroom.

With these images I was drawn to the black, white and natural wood toned palette, the simple lines and understated graphic feel. And that black ceiling is divine. I also like the decidedly modern look that is still warm and inviting.

I have been drawn to colour blocking recently too. (If you follow me over on Pinterest, check out my WALLS board. It’s full of creative ideas!)

Pretty interesting eh? Somehow I wanted to incorporate this idea, but in a non-colour version. Anything too bold would scare my buyers off. Read on to find out what I came up with.



This is a hardworking space as it serves as the main family bathroom as well as the powder room for guests. For the demographic that will buy this house I need it to appeal to young couples as well as families, so it needs to feel fresh and modern, while being practical and durable.

And, as house prices in this area sit just below the average for the city of Calgary, I need to be careful about the finishes I select. No marble here as I simply won’t see the return on investment.

To manage the renovation costs we opted to keep the plumbing in place. Ideally I would have relocated the toilet adjacent to the vanity; instead I’m focusing on making it all look cohesive and beautiful so that a buyer won’t notice you open the door directly onto the toilet. Fingers crossed on that one!



I know this is the bit you love to see. Here is where I landed with the finishes:

2018-06-21 14.08.58.jpg

Pretty great eh? I’m just a tad excited…

To manage the costs I opted to go with chrome fixtures, (always the least expensive finish), white subway tile, and a tub from a big box store. The vanity, vanity faucet and toilet are being re-used, but these are also from big box stores.

Much as I like the patterned floor tiles that are popular at the moment, I wanted to avoid a strong pattern on the floor. This neighbourhood is still pretty conservative, and I didn’t want push back on the permanent elements. I opted to keep all the fixed elements neutral and quiet, and went with the lightly textured graphite hexagon floor tile which will add a subtle pattern to the room.


The splurge is the custom shower curtain in a Genevieve Gorder fabric from Tonic Living, which I justified as I can take it to our new home. This pattern brings much needed energy to the mix. I love it!

And I have to share these darling robe hooks that arrived in the mail yesterday:

hexagon hooks.jpg

Gah. Can’t say enough about these! Love, love, love them. Again, a bit of a splurge, but so statement making in a good way that will ensure buyers will just have to buy the house! Yep, it all hinges on these little hooks! Haha, just kidding.


Let’s talk subway tile for a minute

I think this hardworking and inexpensive little tile gets a bad rap these days. I know it’s used a lot, but it is such a versatile shape it lends itself to many pattern variations. Grid, herringbone, vertical, horizontal – you get the gist.

And here is what I came up with for my non-colour colour blocking! 

This is where it is at, pre-grout.

2018-07-10 17.18.49.jpg

I am so pleased with this. Just the right amount of interest to make it unique. What do you think?


This room should be complete by the weekend so follow me over on Instagram or Facebook for some sneak peeks of the finished bathroom prior to the professional photos. You know I won’t be able to contain my excitement!

I’ll be sharing more updates on the rest of the house here also, so be sure to sign up below so you don’t miss my next article!

Thanks for stopping by!



Caireen Kennedy Designer - Shift Modern Home.jpg

Hi, I’m Caireen, a down-to-earth, approachable designer ready to help you shift your home from blah to ooh-la-la.

Most days you can find me at my desk with a pile of samples, a cup of tea and a tape measure close at hand. I have a thing for modern, comfortable spaces inspired by the mid-century aesthetic.

To follow along with my various projects sign up below for my weekly-ish articles, and like, comment and join in on the fun over on Pinterest, Facebook and Instagram.

I can’t wait to meet you!


+ Show / Hide Comments

Share to:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

See what other readers are loving right now.

Our Most
Popular Posts

don't miss

Our most popular download for a reason.
We share 5 exterior paint combos to take your house from forgettable to the best on the block.

Five mid-century inspired exterior paint combos 


For more of our latest projects, tips, insights and behind the scenes action, follow along on instagram at @caireenkennedy. Be sure to DM and say hello!

The Blog

© shift modern home 2024
design by tonic
photos by lindsay nichols photography + photo 4 design


modern + fresh interior design for fun + stylish  people

Calgary, Alberta + BEYOND