Renovation & Design

Bathroom makeover promises serenity now

This bathroom features CIL's Surrey Beige and Ivory Sampler, colours that mimic the calming feel of a sandy beach.

Looking for a calming getaway at the end of the day? A serene bathroom might be the answer.

CIL paints recently launched a Pinterest bathroom contest called Search for Serenity to discover what decor items Canadians associate with serenity, and allow consumers to share their ideas on how to create a bathroom oasis. The grand prize is paint for a bathroom makeover, a consultation and a serenity gift basket, with secondary prizes of paint or gift items.

"Like it or not, everyone spends a fair amount of time in the bathroom," said Alison Goldman, brand manager for CIL, a brand of PPG Architectural Coatings. "It's the perfect opportunity to be alone, recharge and emerge refreshed - and how much more so when the space is designed to maximize relaxation?"

As part of the contest, which runs until Oct. 6, CIL will provide a range of serene colour scheme ideas and post bathroom images that build on the theme. "The goal is to help people take a step back in our fast-paced world, identify and share images of relaxation items they'd love for their bathroom," said Goldman.

The bathroom photograph that accompanies this column boasts CIL's Surrey Beige and Ivory Sampler, which mimic the calming feel of a sandy beach. A lot of cabinetry for storage, in a light finish, helps keep the room uncluttered and provides a tailored look. The oversized bathtub and double sink vanity offer a feeling of luxury. The symmetrical design of the vanity and lighting offer a streamlined look that is calming to the eye. Glass blocks in the large window above the tub offer diffused, natural light and practical privacy without the need for fussy curtains. Diminutive artwork allays visual distraction while still maintaining a personal touch.

Creating a serene bathroom can be easier than you think. Goldman offers this advice for starters:

Flush away clutter: It's easy for toiletries to pile up, especially in a shared bathroom. To create a truly calming retreat, remove all visual distractions such as countertop clutter, crowded open shelving and busy wall displays. Invest in storage units or decorative boxes to stow away health and beauty products, which, in turn, will calm the clutter and help reduce stress levels. Use open shelving and cabinets for accessories like potted plants, scented candles, or fresh linens and towels. Complete the decor with one or two soft watercolour paintings featuring calming scenes.

Splash on colour: Sand and sea tones like ocean blues and earthy neutrals are good choices for a bathroom because they mimic the feel of a relaxing beach. With less wall space than other rooms, bathrooms are a perfect place to try deeper shades of colour, especially medium-tones that deliver a spa-like effect. Monochromatic tone-on-tone colour schemes also help create a cozy oasis. The look can be brightened up with colourful towels, fresh flowers and accessories. Some of CIL's top serene colour schemes include Granite Grey (00NN 37/000) and Bamboo Shoot (25YY 81/177) sand, Sonata (30RR 30/103) mauve and English Meadows (10GY 58/105) green, Ivory Sampler (30YY 58/178) taupe and Surrey Beige (30YY 36/185) mocha brown, and Silver Trophy (30BB 53/012) medium-grey and Tulle White (50BG 72/006) light grey.

Unplug: To be able to truly unwind consider modelling your bathroom after your own personal happy place. Draw inspiration from a favourite travel destination, whether it's a tropical paradise, a cozy ski chalet or even your own backyard. Choose reminiscent colours and accessories. Even scents can be revived through a display of decorative soaps and lotions.

"Another element that should be unplugged in the bathroom is electronics, and not just for safety reasons," said Goldman. "We spend our days in a demanding environment of cellphones, emails, computers and other tech gadgets," she said. "To truly experience the tranquility a bathroom oasis can bring it's important to log off and take the opportunity to unwind." Soft music should be the only exception to this rule.

More information about the Search for Serenity Pinterest bathroom contest can be found at


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