What to ask before hiring an Interior Designer

At my firm, Sanura Design, we love educated clients – and curious clients. An integral part of our process is ensuring our clients have all the information they need- and that includes knowing the design process, permit process, construction process, and everything in between.

So… what do you need to know before you hire me or another design professional?

1: Personality isn’t everything- but fit is really important

Interior design is an incredibly personal job- especially when designing your home. As your interior designer I know things like: what’s in your bedtime table, how you arrange your undies, what you have for breakfast, and your morning bathroom habits. Most of which I bet your friends don’t know. That means when you search for an interior designer you’re searching for someone you can be open with, and work with in their professional capacity. How do you know your interior designer is right for you (after checking qualifications, experience, etc)?  How do you know you’ll be friendly with someone?

2: Are they qualified?

Have a good look at what you’d like to accomplish for your project and what your goals are. Are you simply freshening a space by changing furniture, paint colours, lighting fixtures? That’s something you can hire an interior designer OR decorator for. Are you moving walls, changing your HVAC, electrical, etc, adding an addition, or generally altering your actual home in some way? That’s where you need a qualified professional- a registered interior designer is a regulated profession in Ontario where you know exactly what we need to know to earn our title of “interior designer” and we answer to our organization when we aren’t standing up to our code of ethics. Other design professionals do have extensive experience in renovations and may have a comprehensive skill set, if you hire someone like this the next step will be a very important one.

3: Check their references

Whether you’re hiring us, another registered interior designer, or another design professional, a very important step is asking for and checking a few references. You’re looking for past clients that have undergone similar work to your project, and a bonus can sometimes be hearing from other professionals, like contractors or consultants. You want to have a personal conversation with them and get a good idea for what their experience is like, exactly what the person you may be hiring did for them and what challenges came up. You need to check multiple references as this gives you a much fuller picture of who you’ll be working with.

4: Are they insured?

That’s their problem right? Professionals who do good work don’t need liability insurance- they never get sued.
Incorrect! Liability insurance isn’t just to cover a professional from unhappy clients, it’s also to cover the project from unforeseen circumstances- like a defective product, an incorrectly installed finish, or the incorrect product being installed (among many many other things). Mistakes happen, even with the best professionals, and true professionals carry this protection for themselves, their employees, and their projects.

5: Do they have a contract?

Contracts are incredibly important to your renovation. Both your contractor AND your interior designer should have detailed contracts for you to sign. For an interior designer they should include things like: fees/payment schedule, scope of work, details for breaking the contract, and clarify each sides responsibilities- to name a few. These contracts protect YOU the most- and I can’t emphasize that enough. If something goes wrong during the project and you didn’t sign a contract- you have no options and no protection. The longer and more detailed your professional’s contract is, the more confident you should feel in hiring them. This means they’re openly laying out exactly how they work and ensuring you understand the full process before you sign up for a project with them. A good professional is also always willing to go through their contract with you in detail to help you feel more comfortable.

Whew! That was a technical one. I’m sure I missed something (we don’t want an essay on the subject!), but it will serve as a great rule of thumb to ensure you get the right professional for your project.

Do you have any questions on what the qualifications of a registered interior designer ARE or would like to find one in your area? Check out the ARIDO website.

If you want to chat with us about your project and see if we’re a good fit for you? Get in touch with us.

This post first appeared on Sanura Design | Full Service Interior Design.

Why should I hire a Registered Interior Designer?

Hiring a qualified Interior Designer for a project is an important step, no matter the size or budget, whether you are renovating an existing space or building a new one.

ARIDO Registered Interior Designers in Ontario have extensive training in designing interior spaces. They are skilled and experienced through a rigorous path that includes a four-year degree in Interior Design, supervised work experience under a qualified Interior Designer, and the successful completion of the North American Interior Design exam, NCIDQ. This is similar to other professions like Architects, Lawyers, and Engineers.

Interior Design is about much more than just the way a space looks. Through the interior design process, a qualified Interior Designer can help you realize your goals and make the interior environment functional, accessible, and attractive. They also ensure that the design of your space complies with all regulatory and legal requirements such as Ontario Building Code (OBC) and accessibility standards.

A qualified Interior Designer ensure building permits are submitted correctly, and the design is implemented properly by a contractor or construction team.

Interior Designers specialize in one or more sectors, from residential to corporate/commercial interiors, stores and restaurants, schools, public spaces and more. If you’re in an interior space in the province, especially a public one, you can bet an Interior Designer was involved.

What is a Registered Interior Designer?

The Association of Registered Interior Designers of Ontario (ARIDO) is the professional association representing Interior Designers in Ontario. Only registered members of ARIDO are authorized to use the designation ARIDO and the title Interior Designer in the province. All Registered Members are required to:

  • Comply with the Ontario government’s qualification and registration requirements under the Ontario Building Code
  • Maintain professional liability insurance
  • Participate in ongoing regular professional development
  • Comply with a professional Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice

If your project with another individual takes a turn for the worse, you may not have much recourse. However if your project with a Registered Interior Designer runs into issues, you can rely on their expertise to address them, or alter the design so contractors and construction teams can build it properly.

The Association also has a Complaints & Discipline process for members which addresses these issues. It is rare for these processes to be called upon, in 2019, there were no active Complaints or Discipline cases open.

Find a Registered Interior Designer in your neighbourhood on the ARIDO Directory.

Low Ceilings and How to Decorate Around Them

This is such a popular question on the channel and if you live in an older home or an older apartment, you might have to deal with low ceilings. They can make your space feel cramped and squat, maybe even dark and boring.

But don’t worry, there are some tricks you can use to make your low ceilings look higher and make your spaces feel more balanced and so much more interesting.

Vertical Elements

One of the most frustrating things about low ceilings is that they can make your room feel squat. The best way to change that feeling is to focus on vertical elements because they draw the eye upwards. Elongating the walls is key. And it’s all about optical illusion!

Colour Palette

One of the best ways to make a room feel larger and taller, is to use a light or pale colour palette. Light colours reflect more light and make your space feel airy and spacious. Keeping the colours homogenous will help your eye to easily move around the room and less of a focus on the short walls. You can use light colors on the walls, ceiling, floor, and furniture for that light and spacious feeling.

And there are so many tips and tricks to painting wall and crown mouldings that will help minimize the look of your low ceilings.


Where absolutely necessary, use recessed lighting. Recessed lighting can create a smooth and even illumination that can make your ceiling appear higher.

You can also install wall sconces or floor lamps that direct the light upwards to help distribute more light on the ceiling which will make the space feel lighter and taller.

You can use pendant lights that drop down from the ceiling in places like above a kitchen island or a dining table or a bed. Don’t avoid using pendants in these areas. Instead, take into consideration your low ceilings and the size and scale of your pendant lights.

So here’s your takeaway…
Low ceilings can be a challenge but the key is to elongate and emphasize the vertical aspects of the room. Add stripes, add tall curtains, add vertical accessories… All of it in a way that emphasizes that upward feeling. Look for ways to lighten and brighten the room, making eye-catching horizontal features less striking, less obvious. And then choose lighting that is well proportioned, especially pendant lights. With these important design tricks, you’ll be able to enjoy the illusion of a better proportioned room and make your spaces feel more balanced and better designed, despite a low ceiling.

For more wonderful content by Olga Gomes, ARIDO check out her YouTube channel!

What are Registered Interior Designers qualified to do?

The work a Registered Interior Designer completes will differ from project to project. Remember that an Interior Designer is different from an Interior Decorator.

An Interior Decorator may style a space to make it look fashionable and beautiful, a Registered Interior Designer will address form and function in a project and consider your vision, your lifestyle, and your budget.

A Registered Interior Designer is qualified to create designs for an interior space, apply for a building permit, create plans for plumbing, electrical, space planning and more. Anyone can call themselves an Interior Decorator, which does not require the same level of technical training.

In Ontario, the title ‘Interior Designer’ represents an educated professional who has met the high standards for education, work experience and examination to gain Registered Membership, as defined by ARIDO.

Some examples of the work an Interior Designer can complete for you:

  • Apply their knowledge of interior design, sector and economic trends, legal and regulatory requirements to the design of your interior space
  • Prepare preliminary design concepts that are functional, meet your budget, and are aesthetically pleasing
  • Develop and present final design recommendations
  • Prepare working drawings and specifications for interior construction, space planning, materials, finishes, furnishings, fixtures, and equipment
  • Prepare contract documents and administer bids on behalf of the client
  • File for the required Building Permits with the local authority
  • Collaborate with other practitioners who offer professional services in the technical areas of mechanical, electrical, and structural design as needed
  • Manage the interior design process, including strategic planning, project planning, budgeting, and schedules
  • Understand, document and analyze your needs and goals as their client
  • Review and evaluate construction during implementation and coordinate completion of project with consultant team
  • Complete a final walk-through with the client to ensure the project is completed properly

The Project Team

Interior Designers may also work as the Lead Consultant or Project Manager for the project on your behalf. They are trained and experienced at retaining and working with other consultants or suppliers who may be required to complete the project:

  • Act as Project Manager on your behalf to manage the project teams through all phases of the project
  • Advise on the branding and communications of the features of a space
  • Undertake feasibility studies on potential facilities and coordinate with real estate professionals where needed

The list of specialists an Interior Designer may retain, or assist you in retaining, includes:

  • Accessibility consultants
  • Acoustical consultants
  • Architects
  • Art consultants
  • Audio visual/technology solutions consultants
  • Building code consultants
  • Communications, branding, and graphics consultants
  • Contractors and/or construction managers
  • Cost consultants
  • Filing and record systems suppliers; storage and display systems suppliers
  • Furniture and fixtures suppliers
  • Lighting consultants
  • Market analysts
  • Mechanical, Electrical, communications, and/or Structural Engineers
  • Merchandising and visual display consultants
  • Real estate consultants
  • Relocation consultants and moving companies
  • Security consultants
  • Signage and/or wayfinding consultants

Kitchen Design Trends for 2024

I am excited to share with you some of the hottest kitchen design trends for 2024. Trends in kitchens are kind of slow moving, and it’s not easy to change out the look of your kitchen from one moment to the next. But if you’re planning to renovate your kitchen or just looking for some inspiration, then you’ll want to pay attention!


The first trend is all about colour. In 2024, we’ll see more creative and exciting color schemes that reflect our personalities and moods. We’re looking for warmer and more nourishing shades, earth tones, jewel tones, rich colour.

But if you’re having a hard time deciding on what colours to use in your future kitchen, then look to green. Green is one of the most popular colours moving into 2024 and it’s been a popular colour for the last few years. Green is such a satisfying colour, perfect for a kitchen. It pairs beautifully with wood tones and since warm wood grain is such a big trend, it adds that touch of warmth to your kitchen as well.

Eat-in kitchens are becoming more popular, as opposed to open concept trend which is losing popularity

Eat-in Kitchen

The next trend is rethinking the layout and functionality of your kitchen. Open concept kitchens are losing popularity in 2024, as people crave more privacy and separation in their homes. Instead, we’ll see more eat-in nooks, communal seating and larger islands to allow for as much seating as possible. It’s all about sharing time with family and friends in the heart of the home. Kitchens aren’t just about cooking. They’re about enjoying the meal with one another.

Wood grain

So we’ve talked about colour being a big trend but the other big material for kitchens is wood grain. A few years ago, wood kitchens starting making a come-back but instead of going all wood for your kitchen, the bigger trend (or at least the trend that seems to be holding on) is to combine wood elements into your kitchen and mix it with other painted finishes or other materials.
Wood is a versatile and timeless material that can be used for your cabinets, countertops, floors, or accessories.

This kitchen features wood grain kitchen cabinetry, and continuous counter and backsplash.

Continuous Counter & Backsplash

The next biggest trends is the uninterrupted counter top and kitchen backsplash. This isn’t exactly new but it’s definitely becoming more and more popular.
The most popular material for this look is quartz because it’s easy to clean and it comes in large slabs for that seamless look. However, I love this trend when it’s used with statement marble or stone as Mother Nature’s artwork is on full display.

Curved Details

And finally the last of the trends that I’m loving for kitchens in 2024 is all about curves and rounded edges. If you saw my last video on interior home design trends for 2024, you’ll have seen that curved furniture is still a big trend for our homes. This is especially true for kitchens and kitchen cabinetry.
Curved kitchen islands are a great way to soften the edges and corners of the island as well as other curved details like fluted surfaces.

So here’s your takeaway…

The key to these latest kitchen trends is that kitchens are becoming more of what they’ve always been… The heart of the home. And this new heart is warm and inviting and full of character. No cookie cutter kitchens! The latest trends in interior design reflect our desire to want warmer spaces, with more colour and more personality and this is especially true for our kitchens.

For more wonderful content by Olga Gomes, ARIDO check out her YouTube channel!

Home Trends for 2024

It happens every year. It’s totally normal. Things just change. Nothing stays the same. You might love one or two of these trends. You might hate one or two of these trends or all of them, in fact… But I guarantee, you do not have to adopt any of these trends unless you want to. Guaranteed.

I love showing you all the changes in design but that doesn’t mean I like them all… I have my own love/hate relationship with trends!

A Permanent Home Office

Working from home has become more common and even popular in recent years, especially due to the pandemic. And although some homes have always had a room dedicated to an office setting, many of us are going all out to create a space that feels more permanent, more intentional and even more design-worthy since we’re spending so much time working from home.

I love the idea of making that home office really feel like it’s part of your own personal space, or reflecting your home’s overall look. In the past, we’ve been relegated to our work interior and it’s brand aesthetics… But now, your home office is an extension of you! You can design it any way you like. Special wall treatments and great colour are a great way to motivate you, day in and day out. With video calls being such a big part of our online work day, designing an office that looks great and reflects your own aesthetic is important!

Mid-Century Modern

One of the design styles from the past that seems timeless and ever-popular is mid-century modern. And it’s still such a big trend!
With it’s sleek lines, organic shapes and focus on functional design, it’s everything that we love about Scandinavian and Japanese aesthetics. So while I love the idea and concept of mid-century modern and I love some of these iconic pieces, I’m less inclined to love the trend of a whole space designed around this one style.

Character Rich Rooms

A big trend is character rich rooms. These are spaces that are unique to you! They look like they evolved over time and were not just purchased straight out of a catalogue.
This is definitely not the kind of interior that matches. It’s an interior full of memories, full of eclectic pieces, full of personality. And it’s all about you. So yes… Let’s have more of this trend!

Curved Furniture

Curves are everywhere. Curved sofas have been on furniture showroom floors for a few years and that will continue. Curvilinear and flowy furniture, rounded shapes – all of this can now be seen in chairs, coffee tables, rugs and cabinetry.

Although I think some spaces are perfect for a curvy couch… Most of us don’t live in spaces that make this type of couch the perfect choice. But I love curved furniture and curved cabinetry. I think it adds an unexpected shape to something that tends to be more basic and square.

Joyful Interiors

This trend is unapologetically fun. It’s all about joy and creating a space that radiates positivity and energy. It’s bright colours. It’s bold colours. If you’re someone that loves bold and vibrant colour, this trend might be for you. The key to this trend is to mix colours that are evenly weighted in their intensities. They all stand out together.

Colour Drenching

And here’s another colour focused trend… It’s called Colour Drenching. And it looks exactly as it sounds. Pick a colour and drench your room in that colour. This monochromatic look is has been used to make spaces feel seamless, allowing rooms to feel larger and unspectacular details like radiators to disappear into that colour. The idea is to treat every surface with the same colour. It takes real commitment!

The latest trends in interior design reflect some of our deep desires. We want warmer spaces. We want more colour. We want more fun. We want to be closer to nature. We want to showcase our own personalities. One thing that never changes… Design does not stand still. It’s always changing. And the best trend for you and your home is the one that best reflects you and your taste. So here’s to our love/hate relationship with trends!

For more wonderful content by Olga Gomes, ARIDO check out her YouTube channel!

Why hire a Registered Interior Designer?

I’m Sonia, the Founder and Principal Registered Interior Designer at Sonia Rose Design. The Interior Design profession is still quite young and this industry is often misunderstood. So, I’d like to take a moment to provide my best answer to the question, ‘Why hire an Interior Designer’? My hope is that by the time you are done reading this, you will understand the benefits of hiring an Interior Designer and how our role comes into play in your next project!

Let me start by defining the differences between an Architect, Interior Designer and Interior Decorator…


Interior Designer Vs. Interior Decorator Vs. Architect

A question I hear time and time again is ‘An interior designer is the same as an interior decorator right?’ This is a common misconception, there are certainly overlapping skills, and each profession has a place in our design industry, however, there are fundamental differences between them. I have listed out the main skillsets (amongst many) each profession offers below for full transparency:

Architect – specializes in the design of the structure of a building (exterior) and has extensive knowledge of building practices and code. They must have knowledge of safety regulations, legal requirements, permit submissions and policies. They are also capable of designing the interior.

Interior Designer – I like to refer to my profession as Interior Architecture rather than Design, because we specialize in the interior ‘Architecture’ of a building, and consider a broad range of factors including both functional and aesthetic aspects. These include items such as; functional space planning, building code knowledge and execution as well as design theory and practices.

We take the exterior building envelope into consideration with all of our designs and will work with the Architect (if one is onboarded / required) to ensure the interior speaks to the exterior. We are also trained and capable of ‘decorating’ the interior environment. See below for a breakdown of the differences between ‘Designers’ and ‘Registered Interior Designers’.

Interior Decorator – specializes in the decoration of an interior and their primary focus is on the aesthetic aspects within a building or room. Projects that don’t require structural work or repairs are typically a good fit for an interior decorator.

It is important to understand what you are looking for and hire someone with the pertinent skills to execute your project effectively. Often all 3 professions are hired for a complete new build project.

When selecting a designer for your project, ask yourself these four questions to help you decide what type of design professional(s) you will need to hire!

  1. Is my project an aesthetic facelift?
    • Hire an interior decorator or interior designer
  2. Is my project an interior renovation?
    • Hire an interior designer
      • Your interior designer will let you know if you need to hire any additional consultants, such as an architect, structural engineer, etc.
  3. Is my project an interior renovation and exterior upgrade?
    • Hire an interior designer and architect
  4. Is my project a new build?
    • Hire an interior designer, architect and potentially an interior decorator

What is a Registered Interior Designer?

There are ‘Designers’ and there are ‘Registered Interior Designers’ like myself. ‘Designers’ could be anyone from a decorator to a home stager or stylist, it could also be someone who studied and received a degree in interior design, but hasn’t yet taken the exams to call themselves a ‘Registered Interior Designer’.

Those of us who have chosen the route of becoming a ‘Registered Interior Designer’ have undergone extensive training after graduating from the bachelor of interior design program. We have in depth knowledge of design elements and principals, building code, construction methods, functional space planning and project coordination.

The process to becoming a Registered Interior Designer has a number of steps. After earning a Bachelor of Interior Design degree (BID), we are required to write and pass three separate exams to earn the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) certification, the North American standard of qualification for interior designers.

With this certification, we obtain extensive knowledge in building systems, codes, construction standards, contract administration, professional practice and project coordination. We then become Registered members of the Association of Registered Interior Designers of Ontario (ARIDO) and optionally Interior Designers of Canada (IDC). We are then able to proudly call ourselves ‘Interior Designers’!

So Why Should I Hire an Interior Designer?

Research & Guidance

Your interior designer is there to manage the project from start to finish, coordinating with yourself, onboarded consultants and contractor. We help you set goals and expectations for your project and define a clear path in which we will move forward. Interior designer’s are responsible for coordinating your budget, timeline, interior architecture (space planning), specifications, etc.

It is the interior designer’s job to maintain a smooth process and keep your project on track with the estimated timeline and alleviate you from the many day-to-day questions that come with any interior renovation.

Design Expertise

Interior designers are able to effectively communicate their designs through a multitude of mediums, such as; inspirational imagery, sketches, 3D views, rendered elevations and plans, and the list goes on. Our knowledge of materials, finishes, equipment and, in particular, lighting, is an important aspect to consider when thinking about hiring an interior designer.

We have been trained to understand lighting levels, colour temperature and lighting types to effectively illuminate your space to create that ‘wow factor’. Throughout our professional experience, we have gathered information about manufacturers that back their product and are worth the investment, and we have made connections in the industry to provide you with expert suggestions to create your dream interior.

Technical Skills & Documentation

It is incredibly important to have a complete and accurate set of drawings to pass along to the contractor and subtrades when construction commences. Interior designers have been trained to effectively communicate design and construction details with the trades and provide a comprehensive drawing package to allow the initial design concept to be executed properly.

These drawings are coordinated with all pertinent consultants to ensure the information presented aligns. Without a tight set of drawings, there will inevitably be chaos!

When to Hire an Interior Designer?

The earlier the better. Interior designers (like myself) are able to offer valuable insight in terms of interior planning in relation to the building envelope. If you are working on a new build, it becomes even more important to include us in the beginning , at the same time you are hiring your architect and contractor. By allowing all consultants to coordinate with one another at the start of a project, the risk of error and missing information will drastically decrease.

For example, working on the exterior planning in tandem with the interior planning allows room to make changes as needed prior to the construction on site. This provides an opportunity for all consultants to coordinate items such as; column placement, ceiling heights, window and door locations and dimensions, locations of plumbing, HVAC, etc. If these elements are not properly coordinated, it can have a dramatic effect on the interior layout and function of the final space.


An interior renovation is a large investment of both your time and money, however, having the right people by your side will make all the difference. The key takeaways are:

  1. Start by investigating your project needs in order to select the appropriate design professional
  2. Interior Designers will answer your day-to-day programming needs and more with our niche knowledge in functional space planning and code
  3. You can trust us to guide you in the right direction in terms of the finishes and materials selection and overall design concept
  4. Interior Designers will provide you with a complete and accurate set of working drawings for effective communication to the contractor on site
  5. Always bring an interior designer in at the beginning of your project!

Best of luck in planning your future project and I hope to hear from some of you as you embark on your exciting journey!

For more articles like this one go to Sonia Rose Design blog.

Welcome spring with these easy home decorating ideas

The birds are chirping, the sun is shining and the weather is warming up! Which means… Spring is finally here!

In today’s video, I’m sharing some spring decorating interior design tips that will make your home feel fresh and inviting.

Bring all of Mother Nature’s energy into your home for a fresh new vibe. Start with a beautiful bouquet of your favourite flowers and use those colours as your jumping off point for your Spring colour palette – I’ve got 3 beautiful palettes to help you get started.

Decorate your whole home! It’s not just pillows on your sofa. Look for ways to lighten up your spaces with colour, mirrors and accessories. Bring out your own everyday objects and move them from one room to another for an instant change of atmosphere.

Spring is all about renewal and energy… So bring that mindset to your home’s interior and you’ll get a little “spring” in your step too!

For more wonderful content by Olga Gomes, ARIDO check out her YouTube channel!

These Are The Biggest Interior Design Trends in 2023

It’s a new year and that means we’re seeing new trends in interior design. Today’s home design style is actually very individualistic as we mix styles all the time. Trends help us define our own personal style!

You can make your home look and feel like it’s ‘on trend’ even if you don’t go all out and change everything about your current interior design. These days we’re looking to make an impact with oversized lights, moody colours and glammed up spaces. We’re loving the decorative details of Art Deco and traditional architectural elements like arches and alcoves but also wanting soothing palettes and spaces dedicated for wellness. We’re all looking for something that will make our homes truly reflective of our personalities, and trends help us do that.

This video highlights the 7 biggest home trends and how you can incorporate some aspects or some pieces into your own home for a that up-to-date look.

Here’s to all the latest trends!

For more wonderful content by Olga Gomes, ARIDO check out her YouTube channel!

An Interior Designer’s Guide To Bathtubs and Showers – For Your Luxurious Bathroom Design

Keeping clean has never been more luxurious and spectacular. The primary bathroom, in particular, is the second most popular room to be renovated after the kitchen. Visual appeal, functionality, and unique design elements are the key ingredients to a luxurious bathroom experience.

Tubs and showers are a great way to make your unique statement. Here are some tips that Interior Designers think you should know:


The new attention grabber is the free-standing tub. A sculpture that bathes you in comfort. It appears to float, taking less space than a built-in bathtub and easier to clean. 

Free standing tub in the centre of the bathroom placed under the window, with a shower on one side and the vanity on the other
Modern bathroom with a free standing tub in clean lines in white against a gray and black finishes on the floor and walls

Studying these tips for your unique bathtub experience not only makes you feel great, but it will also look great too.

 Bathtub Tips:

  1. Tub Size: Not only does it need to fit properly into the space, but it also needs to fit your body size. For example, a taller person requires a longer bathtub. And, a small tub will have a tall person hugging their knees to their chin. Which would not be very comfortable at all.
  2. Statement Lighting: Add that wow factor with statement lighting over your bathtub! Make sure your fixtures are rated for damp or wet locations. Place the switch on a separate circuit.
  3. Light Colour Temperature: 2,700K to 3,000K provides a warm, cozy atmosphere. You want to look your most attractive self even if you are the only person in the bathroom.
  4. Dimmers: Varying light levels can be pre-set to the timing of your choice. Light levels can be low to relax or placed to full brightness so that you can clean the bathroom. Place the switches on a separate circuit.
  5. Bathtubs Need Space: Three inches or more against a wall is necessary to clean around a freestanding bathtub. The handle of a mop will need to reach around the back so that you can clean it from all sides.


The shower is where you stimulate your senses. Glass shower enclosures have eliminated thick tiled walls allowing for more space. Glass doors can roll or hinge effortlessly.

There are items people don’t tell you about until it’s too late. I think you’ll enjoy learning about these handy pieces of knowledge.

Curbless shower installation

 Shower Tips

  1. Curbless Showers: Curbs virtually disappear with a curbless shower system such as Schleuter Kerdi-Line Systems. They make shower kits that provide the necessary waterproofing membrane and floor sloping for drains. Note: Linear drains, which are 2” deep long troughs, lie beneath the floor and need to run in the direction of joists or be carved out of a concrete floor.
  2. Body Sprays Everywhere: Water can rain on your head or jet you from three sides. Be careful when selecting body spays. Make sure that they accommodate all members of the family, both short and tall. While body sprays can be adjusted to suit your needs, jet spays can be very powerful and you could end up with a mouthful of water or overstimulating sensitive body parts. You may want to install a grip rail too.
  3. Large Tiles: Large-format tiles, quartz stone or Corian are now used for seamless shower walls, eliminating the need for those pesky, hard-to-clean grout lines. Ask your contractor if you have enough room to get these large tiles up the stairs or in an elevator before installation.
  4. Shower Floor Foot Grip: Shower floors need small tiles for foot grip and safety to avoid slipping. Specify a darker grout colour that coordinates with the tile. Grout always gets darker over time, so you might as well pick a colour you like.
  5. Shower Light Fixture: Install a waterproof light fixture overhead for safety. (Yes – you can still install an overhead shower.) Make sure it’s on a separate switch
  6. Place the light fixture on a separate switch and with NO dimmer.
  7. Shower Benches: Benches are useful for a quick sit down during a long shower and also to perch your foot while shaving your legs.
  8. Steam Showers: Steam showers are a wonderful way to relax and detoxify. It is nature’s magic therapy. The mechanics can be installed within an enclosed bench with an opening to the side for access. Remember: The perfect steam starts with selecting the right size steam shower generator.


Special Touches

Here are two items that can make your bathtub and shower experience even more luxurious and accommodate your practical needs too.

  1. Heated Floors: Made more affordable and doable with Ditra-Heat-E-Kit by Schluter (our go-to guys). It has a ¼” profile that minimizes the thickness of the finished tile floor. Remember: Minimal floor material height is necessary when renovating an existing bathroom.
Heated floors installation photo

2. Wall Niches. Scavenge space from wall cavities with niches. Wall niches can come in stainless steel, quartz stone or tile. Not only are they a decor element, but they also make all items more accessible. Remember: A slight slope is needed to drain water.

Wall niche installation
Wall niches before installation
Neutral bathroom in a more traditional style in beige and cream palette, with a free standing tub and a shower that has a wall niche


Educate Yourself – Knowledge Is Power

What do you want or need from your luxurious bathtub and shower? 

Many of the top bathroom fixture suppliers have very educational websites that will answer many of your top questions. You’ll get lost in all the knowledge that you need to know prior to selecting products and before construction starts. 

Bathtubs and showers are just two of the elements that you need to explore so that you can create your very own unique and fabulous clean and healthy bathroom experience.