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The Tale of “Contractor, Contractor, Where Art Thou?”

The Goodly Home Owner’s Bathroom Reno, A Transformation into a Princely Space

This is not a story for the faint of heart. Listen well and learn, my children.

Once upon a time there was a goodly homeowner who wished for a beautiful new bathroom. One that would never leak into his living room ceiling, damage his floors and put him out of his home for many a moon, as the current old washroom had.

BEFORE: A tiny space, where the door opened into the tub and grazed the sink counter. Okay for Rumpelstiltskin! Time to re-think, design and reconfigure.

Now, my dears, this is a story known to many unfortunate folk and told again and again, until the cows come home. Moo!

Some folks call a friend to discuss the problem and seek advice. Some call their reliable contractor with whom they have an established working relationship. And some call their favorite Design Fairy Godmother (me!) who comes armed with her magic wand, her happy binder for project management, a great contractor and band of merry men (tradesmen and tradeswomen, that is).

Our goodly homeowner, having gotten advice from friends, decided to be his own contractor. Now, this could work for those at home weaving flaxen cloth, with time to spare for scheduling tradespeople, and project management. However, most have full-time jobs answering to a sometimes grumpy Duke or Duchess who won’t allow the time off.

After many moons, and truly heroic and exhausting attempts at trying to work full-time and organize this domestic disaster, our goodly homeowner, brought in his Design Fairy Godmother, as he could no longer stand the plaster dust, the inactivity, or the black Troll Gob he blew into his tissue at night. Yuk!

The Design Fairy Godmother, blew the plaster dust off her wand, designed a lovely new washroom, called in her Contractor Chieftains, and organized all other tradespeople to demolish, reconfigure, renovate and custom-build The Most Beautiful Bathroom in the Land... Or, at least, on the street.

DURING: And they came with their trusty hammers, crowbars and all other weapons of destruction to tear down what was and to build what will be…

Custom cabinets and a vanity were designed and custom built, with chrome knobs and handles from Restoration Hardware; a granite countertop from ARISTON Marble & Granite LTD; coach and spa lights from Union Lighting highlighted all features; tub and shower faucets, spout and shower heads from Dupont Plumbing added lovely sculptural details; gorgeous glass, marble, and granite wall and floor tiles from OLYMPIA Tiles warmed the space; and a custom mirror and framing of original art from Eclectic Gallery decorated the space with sparkle.

AFTER: A soaker tub with step for bath supplies and storage niche above with glass shelves.
AFTER: A feature wall with glass tiles, half-shower glass and gorgeous contemporary faucets and shower pieces. Custom vanity and mirror, original art photography and tile detail.
AFTER: The original small window removed, transformed into a longer, larger light source created with glass block. Steel blue glass tile combined with a frame of hand-painted glass feature tile harmonize with a black granite (also used in the floor), lining the inside of the window. Granite and marble floor in diagonal pattern creates an optical illusion of more space. Custom cabinetry utilizes all dead space into practical space that's fully functional. Design of all cabinetry inspired by original cabinetry in this 1920’s home.

The goodly homeowner moved back into his Sacred Castle. His first shower, in his spectacular new bathroom was an experience like Nirvana, that satiated his wishes and was his dream come true—and there was still a little fairy dust left behind…


PHOTOGRAPHY by Claire Louise Foster


  • If you can’t take the time to be there all the time, don't try to do it yourself – hire someone competent.

  • If you have a favorite Interior Designer, she/he would most likely have their own professional Goodly Contractor, and tradespeople, and he/she will also project manage. If you don’t have one, contact me… Or say my name three times and I’ll appear.

  • Make sure your Goodly Contractor has insurance and a license. If he comes highly recommended through someone you know, who has actually had work done by him, then you can pretty well be assured of the contractor’s skill, experience and integrity. Ask to see their work.

  • A really good contractor is usually someone you have to wait for. So, be patient and get in line. It will be so worth it!

  • Always get references (at least three), testimonials and see a portfolio of the Goodly Contractor’s work. His reputation is a valuable asset.

  • A Goodly Contractor will give you a proper written estimate, a complete proposal, broken down with a list of all work he will provide you. Should there be additions or changes, the price will also change. Be aware of what you ask for and be very clear of the scope of your job.

  • A professional contractor will never ask you for 50% of the money up front. Initially, it’s about 10-15% for materials up front, depending on the job, so he can get started.

  • Should you be interviewing Goodly Contractors, meet several and get their estimates. Do not take the cheapest deal! A Goodly Contractor will not budge on his price as it is based on facts and professional experience. Choose skill over price – you will be relieved you did.

  • A most important asset for your Goodly Contractor is his ability to clearly communicate with you, the Goodly Homeowner, and his understanding of the value of this. With this in place, few if any misunderstandings will occur, and constant feedback will help to produce a successful renovation and a good working relationship!

  • Now that you have found your Dream Contractor or Designer, stay with him/her as you already know they are great! Get ready for your next Magical Renovation!


© Andrea Carini for Your Sacred Space Interiors. 
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