He renovated his Riverdale home to promote. However now he loves the makeover

Why not renovate my indifferent home in Toronto’s leafy Riverdale neighbourhood, promote it for prime greenback, purchase a fixer-upper within the nation and make investments the revenue in order that I by no means should work once more?

That was the plan, however now I like the makeover so much, I don’t want to move out.

THEN: The pre-reno bathroom's 8-by-8-inch tub and floor tiles, and disused tub screamed early-'80s and the shower was a squeeze for one adult.
NOW: David Lasker in his remodelled bathroom with a new soaker tub, oversized shower and wall tiles with a non-glare finish.

The upgrades — costing $81,000 for supplies, labour and upgraded lighting plus further electrical retailers in each room — had been executed in the course of the pandemic. My priorities were to create a separate basement apartment, put in an ensuite bathroom in the principal bedroom, and find a graceful way to stow my big double-bass vertically instead of laying it down on the living room floor where it takes up a lot of space. (I was principal bass in the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra.) As well, I wanted to and add back-to-back rows of shelving in the centre of the basement to relocate some of my 23,000-LP vinyl collection from upstairs.

Plus, the primary toilet on the second flooring was drastically in want of an overhaul. It was essentially the most tired-looking room in the home, since doing an improve within the kitchen.

The toilet’s burgundy ceramic tiles on the ground and across the unused whirlpool tub, screamed early Nineteen Eighties. The bathe was a decent squeeze for one grownup. The sliding, mirrored closet door, trimmed in a brass end, had been seemingly filched from a finances motel.

Now the brand new toilet lifts my spirits with its thermostatic bathe sufficiently big for 2 and with jets fore and aft, plus a rain bathe and wand; a heated flooring and towel rack; a thermostatic tub faucet; and a floating vainness.

COVID lockdowns, trucker blockades and persisting supply-chain disruptions meant shopping for provides on-line from picks in inventory. So … whats up Amazon, Tub Depot, Residence Depot, Ikea, Lowe’s, Rona and Wayfair.

That dictated my alternative of end — polished chrome: eternally common, available — for steel toilet gadgets such because the towel rack; bathe jets, door body, towel racks, toilet-paper holder and tub faucet.

THEN: The main bathroom with its bullnose-edge laminate sink vanity, burgundy floor tiles and fake-paneled door was looking tired.
NOW: Extra bracing helps the wall support the vanity's 100-lb. marble top. The mirror "floats" on a shadow box to match the floating vanity.

I hate glare. This drove my alternative of frosted-glass sconce lights flanking the mirror, the recessed ceiling lighting and the matte, faux-burlap end for the porcelain tiles on the partitions. A daring sample that appears nice on a showroom pattern will get exponentially bolder as its space will increase. So, I made a decision in opposition to Calacatta or Carrara marble, say, with their honking large, darkish veins on a light-weight discipline. In addition to, they’re cliché. For a loo, because the late Ontario premier Invoice Davis stated about his authorities: bland works.

Nonetheless, I wanted a color pop someplace and opted for the vainness prime and backsplash. Caesarstone had performed a starring position in my 2013 kitchen renovation, however for the toilet, I wished the true, pure factor — not man-made quartz composite. Having settled on a cool color palette for the partitions (inexperienced for the tiles and pale-blue paint for drywall), I wished a complementary, warm-toned stone for the vainness.

Googling stone suppliers within the GTA, I stumbled upon a fabric I’d by no means seen earlier than: Classic Royal Crema marble, at Marble Development in North York. Its butterscotch random swirls create an phantasm of three-dimensional depth. The product was marked down as a result of the quarry in Spain had closed and solely eight slabs remained, including exclusivity and snob enchantment to the acquisition.

My 45-square-foot slab was shipped to Stone Artwork in Harmony, the place they reduce holes for the vanity-top sinks. The leftovers furnished the bathe curb and area of interest, a brand new tchotchke shelf atop the hearth extension in the lounge, and a brand new wow-factor work floor for the workplace desk in my third-floor man cave. And right here I’ll pay tribute to my renovators, Mike Peck of Toronto-based Silverfox Renovations and Alan Martin, my accomplice in David Lasker Pictures when he’s not busy with building. I’m nonetheless amazed that they might shlep that 300-pound marble desk slab up the steps.

New flooring for the toilet and bathe was a straightforward alternative: penny-round tumbled porcelain tile, essentially the most slip-proof floor cash should buy. Your toes latch onto the circles even when the tiles are soaking moist, making it bodily unimaginable to slide.

Within the renovated main bedroom, tall, slender rectangular kinds predominate. They recur within the sliding barn door with translucent panels in entrance of the ensuite toilet, the floating cabinets and the slender mirror I hung beside the cabinets. Riverdale residents typically set out used however completely good gadgets on the sidewalk. The mirror is an objet trouvé I conveniently noticed in entrance of a neighbour’s home simply because the reno completed.

A back-to-back shelving unit down the centre of the basement provides more room for a 20,000-plus collection of records.

Alongside the second-floor hallway, a brand new closet was constructed between the master suite and foremost toilet in house discovered by Alan. As properly, the closet was given a waterproofed flooring, and plumbing, electrical and exhaust connections for a stacked washer and dryer that can allow the upstairs and basement to perform as separate items.

Contained in the ground-floor bulkhead housing the hearth, Alan put empty house to make use of by inserting a brand new platform and recessed area of interest. His innovation does double responsibility by liberating up actual property on the lounge flooring whereas displaying my circa 1790 Tyrolean bass as an exquisite sculptural object. When the dread day involves promote the home, shelving will fill the area of interest.

For now, my bass reposes close to an oil portray by my artist father (Joe Lasker’s works can be found at Liss Gallery in Yorkville) depicting my 18-year-old self and that very same bass that was a high-school commencement current from my mother and father. I at all times get the urge to apply for gigs, this season with Oakville Chamber Orchestra and Ontario Philharmonic, every time I stroll by this nook of the home, a shrine to continuity and alter.

David Lasker is predicated in Toronto and president of David Lasker Communications. Attain him at david@davidlaskercommunications.


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