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My favourite room: Rebekah Higg's green bathroom 

A ton of grunt work turned this eyesore into a one-of-a-kind oasis.

Host of DIY Mom, Rebekah Higgs' jadeite bathroom channels boho bliss - MATT MCMULLEN
  • Host of DIY Mom, Rebekah Higgs' jadeite bathroom channels boho bliss
  • Matt McMullen

The story

The green bathroom was a pretty big eyesore, it probably deterred a lot of people from buying the house—a lot of people looked at it and it was on the market for a really long time. It had this custom green square tub, which was really bizarre, a shower and this thick tile all over the walls. Initially I thought, let's gut the whole bathroom, but when I decided to put on an extension I had enough space to do a master ensuite and shifted my money from renovating the green bathroom to the extension.

I asked several tile people if it was possible to chip away—there was a pattern on the top of the tile—and they were all like no, that's impossible. I thought, "there's got to be a way to do this." It was very time consuming, but in the end that ended up saving me a lot of money. I was able to get the pattern off that I wanted to and salvaged enough solid green tiles that I could replace anything that I chipped.

I ripped out linoleum flooring and put down a two-by-two porcelain tile that has a marble look. The dimensional juxtaposition of the big tile and the small tiles simplifies the space so that you can play with the green and make it work. I kind of like the colour green and I think it's coming back in a big way.

  • Matt McMullen

The details

I was able to save a little bit of the vintage flair, those really good quality wall tiles, you don't get that quality from 70 years ago anymore, and the radiator grates. I just put beadboard on top of the old wallpaper, and I found that modern shiplap look would give it a kind of bohemian style. The final decorating of the bathroom—finding those fun green towels from H&M Home and hanging baskets from Independent Mercantile and weavings that Mimi [Audellynn] made for me—gave it that bohemian vibe and made it that fun space. When I walk in there, it's just a bright bathroom, it makes me smile.

  • Matt McMullen

What makes it your favourite?

It's such an uplifting colour! Even in the winter when you walk into the room you feel like you have a little bit of spring in your life. Plus, the shape of the tub, it's such a great space. My daughter plays in it for such a long time, and the chandelier gives it a little bit of glamour. It is just a nice happy bright space and has that south-facing sun all day long. —interview conducted and edited for space and clarity by Allison Saunders

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Vol 26, No 52
May 23, 2019

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