North Raleigh News

Wake Forest father wins national contest for bathroom renovation

Designers Mark and Theresa Clement brainstorm with Brian McEwen, right, about ideas to renovate McEwen’s master bathroom in his Wake Forest home.
Designers Mark and Theresa Clement brainstorm with Brian McEwen, right, about ideas to renovate McEwen’s master bathroom in his Wake Forest home. mhankerson@newsobserver.com

When Brian McEwen comes home from work, he’s greeted with his young daughters’ favorite things: pink ponies, pink dresses and pink glitter.

It’s hard for McEwen to escape all things pink in his house, and that’s not likely to change any time soon. His wife, Adriana, is pregnant with their third girl.

McEwen, who lives in Wake Forest, wanted a place in their home to call his own. So he entered a national contest in hopes of winning $30,000 to remodel his master bathroom.

He wrote to Dove, a personal care company that hosted the contest, about how he needed a get-away from princesses and dolls.

“I dreamt of sports softly playing in the background of my behind-the-mirror TV in my cave of cleanliness,” McEwen wrote.

Dove selected him as the winner out of 20,000 applicants. He received a bathroom design consultation, Dove men’s products and the $30,000.

Professional home experts Theresa and Mark Clement went to the McEwen home to check things out. The Clements are regulars on the DIY television network and were designers on the Food Network’s “Save My Bakery” last year.

McEwen said he normally doesn’t mind his wife and daughters taking over the house.

“I love my girls, and I love my family,” he said. “If they wanted to put pink polka dots all over the bathroom, I’d probably give in.”

But Mark Clement said that’s exactly what they wanted to avoid – McEwen defaulting to what his wife and daughters like rather than examining what he wanted.

“Men tend to edge ourselves out,” Clement said. “(All of a sudden), everything’s pink and you’re like, ‘Where did I go?’ ”

After digging for some of McEwen’s preferences – his favorite color, favorite band and hobbies – the Clements decided on a nautical theme for the bathroom.

They suggested using elements of natural wood for decorations. They also said a new shower and vanity would completely change the look of the small room.

While the project was all about Brian, his wife was pleased with the suggestions.

“We have similar style, but the kids have taken over our life and now we have no style,” Adriana told the Clements during the consultation.

The Clements left the couple with examples of fabrics, colors and decorations.

Now it’s up to the McEwens to create a nautical-themed oasis.

Brian knows the effort will pay off.

“I have an uncle who has three girls and he told me, ‘Brian, the only way you’re going to survive is with your own bathroom.’ ”

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