Designer Spotlight: Nancy Marcus | Marcus Design

Hi everyone! Hope you’ve all been having a great week so far ūüôā

After weeks of thinking I evaded this fall’s flu, it finally hit me. I spent the past two days in bed, but I think the worst is over. When I get sick, it hits hard and fast, but it usually passes¬†within a few days (luckily). Needless to say, I’m looking forward to the weekend and two full days of relaxation. I’m also working on the final project for the Colour Theory course I’m taking (and absolutely loving), so that will keep me nice and busy!

Today, I’m introducing a new segment on my blog:¬†Designer Spotlight! This segment will feature local and international designers who inspire me, make me look at design through a new lens, or are doing something totally awesome. For my first post, I’m showcasing a Canadian talent based in Vancouver, BC: Nancy Marcus.

I’ve been following Nancy Marcus¬†of Marcus Design Inc.¬†for about four years now.¬†My first ‘connection’ with her was Vancouver (she’s based there, I was born & raised there); the second was that I found her, and her blog, to be approachable and relatable. She started design blogging as a hobby and an outlet while working towards her PhD in Biochemistry (I know right??), and has been growing her brand steadily ever since. Lots has changed in her life since I started following her – she took on a full home renovation, became a mom, and is in the midst of her second full¬†home renovation. She’s got a great eye, aesthetically pleasing (and frequent!) blog posts, and clearly an amazing ability to¬†handle multiple projects at a time.

This year, she was one of 20 designers taking part in Calling It Home‘s One Room Challenge, and she blew her room out of the water (the room turned out to be a bathroom; no pun intended). We loved tuning in weekly to see the transformation, and want to share it with all of you as a source of inspiration!


This particular bathroom belongs to one of her family members who offered up the space in exchange for an amazing makeover, though there were a few requirements in place: getting rid of all the tiles, removing the platform style tub, adding window coverings and installing a seamless shower. The pre-reno bathroom can be seen below!




She created a mood board for her clients, which showcased different finishes including tiles, linens, furniture, bath/shower, and accents that would allow the space to feel elegant, timeless and bright. Once she received the go-ahead, demolition began!

Demolition is one of the most exciting but also potentially stressful parts of the renovation process. On one hand, you’re stripping the space down to a blank canvas in which your future masterpiece will be built; on the other, you never know whats behind, under, or inside the materials you’re bringing down. This is typically the first stage where your budget can be affected. Find a surprise behind those walls? You can guarantee you’ll be paying to rectify the issue. One thing I believe when doing full gut jobs: if confronted with an issue that needs fixing, it’s better to do it properly the first time than to use a ‘band-aid’ fix ¬†and potentially run into bigger issues in the future. When putting together budgets, be sure to include an amount for contingencies in case¬†any unforeseen issues arise.


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Custom Shower Dimensions   


In order to achieve the desired airy, fresh, soft white & grey marble look, Nancy selected 4 (four!) different tiles: porcelain tile for the floor and shower walls, basketweave for the floor inset, small hexagon Calcutta for the shower inset, and moonstone mosaic for the shower floor. She does a perfect job of showing that you can mix and match tile styles by selecting different shapes and sizes while keeping continuity through similar colours.



See the dark greyish sheets in the pattern? Nancy switched these ones out for sheets that better matched the beige/white/light grey scheme of the rest of the tile inset.


Nancy’s Week Four blog post was when things really started to take shape! The gorgeous claw-foot tub went in, the glass walls for the shower went in (with a few small adjustments in the crown moulding in order to account for the glass) and the vanity went in! She also posted a few before pictures to remind us how far the bathroom has come – a¬†very long way!




Week Five and in the home stretch! Now that the major items have been installed, its time to get the finishes in place. The gorgeous Quartz countertops were installed on the vanity, the sinks and faucets went in and the perfectly selected vanity mirrors were hung! Plus, the delicate and romantic Roman shades were installed over the windows Рwe love the colour she chose!




Let’s all take a moment to remember what Nancy’s One Room Challenge space looked like pre- her magical touch. The bathroom was difficult to keep clean, was not conducive to relaxation, was¬†way too full of pink and brown tile, and didn’t do much other than serve it’s basic function as a bathroom to the homeowners. Nancy took on a big challenge by selecting the master bathroom as her canvas, but did she ever do it justice!!


Ready for it…???





how perfect is this Milton & King wallpaper drawer liner??

Nancy transformed what was once a dark, dated and difficult to clean bathroom into a stunning tranquil escape. By using warm neutrals (whites and light to mid-tone greys) and different textures and patterns of tiles, she was able to create a bright, airy retreat that exudes sophistication and timelessness. The clean lines of the shower and vanity, pared with the gorgeous, rounded clawfoot tub marries modern and traditional styles perfectly. We love that she chose blue as the accent colour; it adds a pop of colour and freshness while drawing the eye to each corner of the room.

Now excuse us as we go dream about creating this look in our own bathroom!


Have you seen a One Room Challenge before & after that you love?

Feel free to share with us for a chance to be featured!

xo P

All information & photos in this post were sourced from Marcus Design Inc.

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