Bathroom Tranquility: Two Renovations that Bring Nature Indoors

The bathroom is a functional room, and in most homes, space is at a premium. However, in a new build or renovation, there can be a lot of room for self-expression in what are usually among the smallest rooms in the house.

If there’s one thing we’ve seen in our Expert Advice designer features, it’s that inspiration can come from anywhere. For example, when we featured Calgary’s David Crosson, he told us that a client’s entire bathroom design sprang from a beloved toilet-paper holder (Click here for more on that).

Barbara Wahler, a Designer based in Bowen Island, BC and one of  Robinson’s design partners, has recently been taking inspiration from the natural surroundings of the homes she’s been working on.

If you’re looking to update your bathroom, and want to give it unique character, sometimes the perfect design is waiting just beyond the walls.

Here we feature two projects that show you how to bring an element of nature into your bathroom design.


Forest Bath

The original bathroom had a large, unwanted tub, a small pre-fabricated shower and minimal vanity space. The fittings and finishes were dated and the space was dark. The general feeling was cluttered and claustrophobic.


The homeowners wanted to transform the bathroom into an open, airy, tranquil space with a large shower, plenty of vanity surface and more natural light.

The inspiration for this bathroom was just on the other side of the exterior wall, where there is a beautiful treed area. From there, it was a matter of bringing that forest theme inside.

bathroom renovation forest

Reve 39″ Lavatory Sink — Kohler
Zendo Brushed Nickel Lavatory Faucet — Riobel

The first thing needed was more space.

By relocating the master bedroom closet to an adjacent space, they were able to increase the size of the bathroom.  Then to add the perception of space, Barbara added a window that runs the full length of that wall, bringing in natural light and a view of the forest.

The window runs straight through the back wall of the shower to create the feeling of showering in the forest.

The vanity mirror which runs along the full length of the opposite wall reflects the forest through the window and gives one the same feeling when standing at the sink.

In your home, you may need to create space to achieve your dream bathroom by shifting things around and expanding walls, and a qualified designer can help you plan that part of the project.


Bath by the Sea

In this project, there were similar issues to the Forest Bath. The original bathtub was small and carved into a tight space by the odd placement of fixtures and fittings. As with the Forest Bath, the fittings and finishes were dated and the space was dark. The bathroom also felt cluttered and needed a refresh.


Located in the picturesque Howe Sound in British Columbia, this home is on the edge of a cliff overlooking on three sides. The master bath was tucked into an interior space with only a partial view. There was no opportunity to expand the view but the homeowners wanted to bring the feeling of the waterfront setting into the space.

Like with the Forest Bath, Barbara and the homeowners decided to reconfigure the master bedroom closet to add square footage to the bathroom. Even with the added square footage the space was still small and in a bathroom, every bit of space counts. The design of the tub and shower area was key to having an open and airy feel to the space, while still getting the functionality of both a bath and a shower.

The open and connected configuration of the tub and shower also put emphasis on the element of flowing water in the space for that beach-like feel. The look is completed with the pebble-like tiles in the shower and floor surrounding the bath.


Make it Yours

Inspiration can come from anywhere, and even in a smaller room like the bathroom, there’s still room to make it yours. Whether you do it on your own or hire a Designer like Barbara, the important thing is to create something that will bring you joy for years to come.

Renovating can be a stressful process, and the experts at Robinson Lighting & Bath Centre can help you narrow down the choices to find something that’s specifically you. Designing your dream space should be fun and easy, so if you’re ready for a transformation, call or visit your local showroom to find out how we can help make it a reality.

This post was written in collaboration with Barbara Wahler, an interior designer based in Bowen Island, British Columbia, serving clients in the lower mainland of British Columbia. With over thirty years’ experience, Barbara takes special care to make sure every inch of space is used to its full potential in your home. You can see more of her projects on Houzz here, some of which she partnered with Robinson Lighting & Bath Centre to create.