The spike in Canadian real estate prices over the last couple years has many homeowners opting to renovate rather than move. In 2016, one-third of these reno plans focused on a bathroom, according to this Financial Post report.

Six of these bathroom makeovers have won interior decorating and design awards in the Canadian Decorators’ Association’s Decorating & Design Competition. Entries were submitted by firms from across Canada for the two bathroom categories: bathrooms under $30,000, and over $30,000. Bronze, silver and gold medals were awarded for these six stunning bathroom renovations:

“Elegant retreat” by Pia Hugglestone Design of Mississauga, Ont.

The homeowners wanted to create a practical bathroom that felt luxurious but inviting. They wanted to keep the wide-open feel of the bathroom that they were used to, but create a separate area to house the toilet and get more storage. The existing corner tub was never used and a larger shower was more practical so the room was re-designed without a new tub. The new larger shower was re-positioned closer to the large windows to provide a bright open showering area, the existing toilet was closed in for privacy, and heated floors were installed for comfort. The two vanities were replaced by one larger vanity that easily accommodates the couple when using the room at the same time. Finally, a new storage cabinet was added to house linens and a laundry hamper.

“Easy breezy bathroom” by Margaret Struthers Interiors of Navan, Ont

This reno was the solution to a poorly laid-out bathroom where the toilet was the focal point and the tub took up most of the space, leaving little room to maneuver. The solution: more space, light and style. More space, light and style The bathroom was in desperate need of more space, light, and style. The skirted toilet is tucked away in a modest position, while the little vanity (the inspiration for this makeover with its white exterior and frosted glass doors) takes centre stage. A deep soaker tub and porcelain tiles lend elegance. Long linen drapes, contemporary wallpaper and white fixtures create juxtaposition between hard and soft lines.

“Ensuite transformation” by Toni Brockway Interiors of Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont.

The clients, busy professionals with two young children, were frustrated with their dysfunctional, dark master ensuite. Mornings getting ready for work were a disaster.  The whirlpool bathtub was never used and took up precious space, while the one-sink vanity necessitated scheduling turns at the sink. The shower felt confining, and the single linen closet (the only one in the house) had difficult-to-access deep shelves.

A marble-like porcelain for the shower walls and that was the starting point for the colour scheme: a monotone palette of soft greys. A two-sink vanity and custom floor-to-ceiling cabinets solved traffic and storage challenges. Added touches include a bench covered with the same quartz as the countertop, and chrome finish on all elements in the space.

“Ensuite with bling” by Wow Great Design of Pointe-Claire, Que.

This dark, dated bathroom with its massive never-used corner tub, cramped shower, zero-storage pedestal sink, and toilet squished between the wall and the tub was ripe for a reno. As the designer points out, even the door was in the wrong place! From the chandelier over the tub and the glittery vanity lights, to the custom-designed mosaic tile insert in the shower, the new bathroom has glam that the owner adores. It is also customized down to the very last detail (notice the tall pull-out to the right of the sink).

“Contemporary spa bathroom” by Evelyn Eshun Design Inc of Toronto, Ont.

This bathroom was designed for a teenage boy and, occasionally, his grandparents. The wish list for this bathroom was long: more light and storage, separated shower and tub, and a masculine, contemporary look—without knocking down walls. The makeover includes a small freestanding tub with the faucet mounted on the wall to save space, and a shower area for a large shower with rainhead and handheld shower options. Italian tiles and a custom walnut vanity set the tone for this spa-like room. Note design details like the upper cabinet discreetly placed between the mirrors, and the consistency in the wood grain.

“Breathtaking bathroom” by Breathe Interiors of Etobicoke, Ont.

What began as an unfinished basement has blossomed into a stunning spa retreat for these homeowners who wanted a space to unwind after a day on the nearby ski slopes. The surrounding farmland was the decor inspiration and led to material choices like local stone and reclaimed barn wood, the the aesthetic was modern. The project began with moving in-floor plumbing, building, insulating and soundproofing walls and ceilings, and creating different ceiling heights. Construction included many custom-built details like the two vanities, benches and back supports for the sauna and steam shower.

This annual Decorating and Design Competition, now in its 23rd year, is open to all Accredited and Student members of CDECA. The entries are evaluated by independent judging panels spread across Canada.