Team Power Smart

Summer 2013

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form + function » local view Dive In You might just get lost in Cantu Bathrooms & Hardware's 25,000-square-foot showroom. It's one of the biggest of its kind in North America with more than 30 bathroom vignettes. There's an arresting stainless-steel wall of hardware accessories from delicate crystal to elaborate embroidery-like handles and knobs; art-like installations of huge apron-front sinks (almost as big as a condo-sized tub) and statement-making tubs (almost as big as a condo-sized kitchen) made of materials that range from polished marble to hammered brass. Curvilinear wall-mount toilets espouse utilitarian elegance. A toilet-paper holder is so sleek it's like a picture frame for a roll. One ceiling-mounted faucet hangs over a stand-alone sink like some organic liquid metal droplet. Piece after piece elicits oohs and aahs. That's the goal here – to show the possibilities in bathroom design. Owner Michael Bull wanted to create a gallery space. And, says Cantu Sales Manager Shelli Auclair, "This is his masterpiece." The building itself is a showpiece, inside and out, a converted warehouse with lofty ceilings, skylights and exposed, whitewashed beams. An original Toledo scale still sits amidst all the bathroom pieces, left in place like some art installation with its "No Springs – Honest Weight" motto (and it still works . . . you can weigh yourself while meandering, if you're so inclined). In the centre of the gargantuan space is the "Wet Zone," where you can actually test drive showerheads and faucets. Better yet, there's a fully functional spa room that clients can book and spend an hour in, testing out tubs, showers, steam rooms and so on – it's shopping in a swimsuit. After spa-ing it, clients can get down to business in a sleek boardroom. It's a high-tech, design-savvy, all-in-one bathroom wonderland. "We're a destination," says Auclair. Indeed. Whether you're an armchair style maven or looking to find practical ideas for an upcoming bathroom project, this is a go-to spot for bathroom inspiration and aspiration. Cantu even has its own team of design consultants to help guide you through the unlimited choices – from tiles to ornate sinks (thoughtfully displayed like gorgeous bowls on tables throughout the space). After all, there are more rain showerheads than you can count here. Dive in and get wet. – Barb Sligl FOR MORE on Cantu Bathrooms & Hardware visit Cantu's gallery-like showroom features its own spa room WOW FACTOR The Goccia ceilingmounted faucet from innovative Italian brand Gessi, designed by sculptor Prospero Rasulo to resemble a water droplet, is a high-impact mix of form and function. From $2,034. FUNKY + FUN The "Camouflage" amoebalike hooks from busk + hertzog can be mounted in a variety of ways to create whimsical, 3D art in the wet room. From $192. COLOUR POP Add some serious hue to your hardware (like lipstick red or juicy orange) with "i Balocchi" taps from highdesign Italian company Fantini. Bonus: you're supporting the 100 Fontane: Fantini for Africa project that brings drinking water to Burundi. From $972. 8351 Ontario St., Vancouver PHOTOS Tracey Ayton 14 | BC HOME & gArdEn July/August 2013 p14-15_LocalView.indd 14 13-06-07 11:32 AM

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