Todd Talbot, the host of Love It or List It Vancouver, creates a master bathroom in Lions Bay with an unconventional twist.
For years, the master bathroom in Todd Talbot’s Lions Bay home was a bit of a secret.
The Love It or List It Vancouver star and his wife moved in mid-renovation with a baby, and then life—long days shooting a hit TV show, then another baby—put renovations on hold. With half the house in progress, the family lived in the other half, and lower-priority projects, like the couple’s dream master bath, were pushed down the to-do list. “I just basically hung a door and then we lived without that room for like…five years,” laughs Talbot. “No one could tell because I put a door on—so we’d just leave that door closed.”
But the hobby renovator always had a design in mind, and when his schedule opened up again he enlisted Vancouver designer Jamie Banfield to help strategize the much-needed storage for his 72-square-foot master bath. Where Talbot had envisioned a flat back wall, Banfield suggested stealing eight inches for two banks of shallow cupboards. This meant either stopping the storage at the shower, or running it through the shower along the whole wall. “We decided to take the more complicated version,” says Talbot.
Getting the shower glass cut perfectly flush to the cabinet banks and back tile, sealing the wood so it wouldn’t warp or get mouldy—they were both design challenges. But they paled in comparison to one grand experiment: convention dictates stone is for countertops and wood is for door fronts, but the duo did the opposite. The extra weight from cabinets and a vanity in Caesarstone meant pieces had to be milled so thin that pulling out drawers wouldn’t break the hinges. Each press-and-pop door in the cabinet banks needed three hinges each just to carry the weight. “It was a challenge,” says Talbot. “Jamie, the guys at Colonial Cabinets and I, we just made it up as we went along.”
In the end, Talbot’s unique West Coast modern bathroom gave him everything he wanted: heated floors (in and out of a transitionless shower), industrial-chic touches (Talbot now has the same Waterworks faucet as Kanye West) and a window that lets those in the shower discreetly watch the ocean. “It’s a little high for my wife,” reveals Talbot with a laugh, “because I made it just for me.”
Designer, Jamie Banfield Design, Vancouver, jamiebanfield.com. WaterWorks RW fixtures and tile, Cantu Bathrooms and Hardware, Vancouver, cantubathrooms.com. Caesarstone stonework, Colonial Countertops, Victoria, colonialcountertops.com; Paragon Surfacing, Vancouver, paragonsurfacing.com; Jade Stone, Calgary, jadestone.ca; Atlas Granite, Edmonton, atlasgranite.ca. Window, Long Life Windows and Doors, Vancouver, longlife.ca. Shower stool and wood detail, MTH Woodworks, Vancouver, mthwoodworks.ca. Custom cabinets, Troico, Vancouver, troico.ca. NuHeat flooring, Pacific Rim Flooring, Victoria, pacificrimflooring.ca; Ames Tile and Stone, Vancouver, Calgary and Edmonton, amestile.com.