Retro Blue tiled bathroom. Designed to looked like it was original to our 1944 house track
The retro bathroom remodel we have been working on, kind of off and on for the last year, is finally finished! Scroll to the bottom of the post if you want to see before pictures. Our reinvented early 1940’s bathroom included walling up the doorway to the laundry room, lots of framing, braking through the opposite wall and opening it into our bed room, jack hammering out part of a concrete slab under the floor to make room for drains, insulating, updating all the electrical & plumbing, adding venting, adding the cast iron tub, moving the sink & toilet, and laying lots of tile. Along the way, we tried to make it as green as we could afford to do. In retrospect, it was appropriate that we picked “black and blue” for the color scheme since a lot of muscle aches, bruises, sleepless nights, and frustration went into doing almost all of the work ourselves. It is the color of pain. However, now the bathroom is a pleasure.
We finished just before school started, but we have been so busy with other things, I neglected to show it off on my blog, let alone give any tours to friends. I was planning to show it off after I got around to giving it a few decorative touches, nevertheless, here it is “As Is”…
This was about as much as I could fit in one photo of the vintage black and blue tile bathroom since it is so small.
Looking in from the bedroom to the vintage black and blue tiled sink cabinet
The vintage toothbrush holder came from B & W Tile and matched the rest of the black and blue tile counter top.
1940’s Streamline drawer pulls/ handles on the sink cabinet
Porcelain black duplex outlet cover was chosen to blend in with the rest of the tile and black liner trim. We were able to find duplex covers, but finding the kind that fit the double GFCI outlets was the hardest thing to find for the whole project.
Pair of 1930s Black Streamline reproduction porcelain light fixtures from Rejuvenation lighting flank the arched medicine cabinet mirror.
The style of the Toto round front Promenade toilet seemed to fit in with the 1940s look we were going for. We were a bit limited in our choices because we wanted a toilet with a really low flow flush at 1.28 gpf, but also had a good rating from both plumbers and homeowners. This Toto was smaller in scale than the elongated toilets so it worked out good for our small bathroom. The pinwheel tile floor and border can also be seen in this picture. I found the 1950s crystal looking Lucite tissue box at local thrift store for a $1.25.
The shower handle / tub spout and black ceramic tile soap dish can be seen in this picture. Also, you can get an idea how small the bathroom is since the sink cabinet is right there on the left of the toilet.
This is probably one of my favorite things in the bathroom: the tiled in shelf at the back of the tub. It wasn’t part of our original design plan, but since the tub was 60 inches and the space for it was 65 inches, we had extra space to build a shelf at the back. I like that we don’t have to have any extra wire racks to hang the shampoo bottles, razors, and tub extras on. And this is the side we keep the shower curtain on so it is all hidden. There is also a detail of the pinwheel mosaic tile floor.
I haven’t finished the decoration part of the project, but I figure it will give me something fun to shop or make later on. So far we only have our framed collection of vintage travel posters from the 1950’s on the bathroom above the towels.
Vintage travel posters. They show some of the places we would have gone had we not been home working on our bathroom.
This tiled in window in the bathtub was a big dilemma for us. We went back and forth on how to address the light and ventilation issues in the bathroom. We really didn’t want to keep a window in the wet part of the shower, but other than have no window, or do a big addition instead of a remodel, we had no choice but to do it this way. We do also have a vent fan over the toilet so we don’t have to have the window open all the time.
our original 1944 kitchen door that was salvaged and stored in the garage for 40 years. We think it was removed from the house about the same time the bathroom and laundry room addition were built, based on the paint colors it had. It matches all the other 3 panel oak doors in the house. We chemically striped off the many layers of paint and removed the double swinging door hardware to make it into a bathroom door.
The bathroom has all the basics, and we really enjoy having our own bathroom open into the bedroom. Eventually I will get around to adding some cute decorative 1940’s and 1950’s accents, but for now we love it even just as it is.
Well that’s about it for the pictures of the new “Old Bathroom.” However, for those of you who are curious what we started with, it was very different from what you see in the above photos. I apologize to those of you who appreciate 1970s design and hate to see it destroyed. Below is the old 1970s bathroom that we completely gutted. On the bright side, not all of it was wasted. A lot of it got a new life somewhere out there via craigslist, Habitat for Humanity’s Restore, and a local shelter’s thrift store. However, for nostalgia, I had to keep one thing; I kept the recessed toilet paper holder. It is now mounted on the side of the black and blue sink cabinet in the “new” bathroom.
Before Picture – The 1973 bathroom addition in 1998. It looked almost identical when we started our project, except I had painted the faux wood panelling in the room a sage color to soften the look of avocado cultured marble sink, and I painted the cabinet white. Where the mirror and shelf to the right of the sink is is where the new doorway to our room is.
Before picture – This a view looking to where the tub now sits. To the right of the toilet is where our water heater was before we installed the tankless water heater two years ago.
Before Picture _ This was the view from he laundry room to the back bathroom. It was really dark in there before.
This doorway is now gone and where the sink is in the picture is now where the towel rack and door to our bedroom is.
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