Friday, June 28, 2013

Bathroom of the Past

While I'm busy slapping the next layer of paint on the bathroom walls, I thought my readers might like to see what it looked like in 1968. It's the only picture I have, and the details are tantalizing.

The bathroom was tiled! That's going to happen again someday, I hope. The tile color is pale, but depending on how you squint, you could read it as beige, pearl pink, or perhaps a buffy yellow. It has floral wallpaper with aqua butterflies, and the lady of the house picked up that color in the toilet seat cover, what looks like some hobnail glass accessories on the shelves about the toilet, and the some of the hand towels.

Since we're seeing a side view, we can only guess at the vanity mirror with what looks like tilt-out side panels. Was it a medicine cabinet? Not sure. If it was the recess has long since been drywalled over.

The bathroom also had a drop-front installed sink. How nice to have a full-sized ceramic one instead of a weird fiberglass bar thing! That's also on my list of things to change.

I'll be working this weekend to completely rid the room of its muddy mauve colors. I'll check back next week with updates.


  1. Photos like these make me feel so cautious about making changes to our house. And sad about the ones that have been made to ours. I guess I'm kind of glad I don't have any pictures to know what ours once looked like. It would make me more sad/mad about the period details that have been lost.

    Looking forward to seeing what you do with yours. We find ourselves walking this line between trying to restore some of its history and accept that the "updates" it was given are also part of its history. And, given our resources, we don't feel able to fully restore--so we're looking at how we can bring in nods to the past, while making it something we like now. Of course, even though I can feel mad/sad, I also love these questions. (I can be perverse like that. :-))

    1. I have a lot of your same considerations. My current work on the bathroom is sort of a "holding pattern" renovation-- taking care of some of the worst aesthetic features inexpensively for the time being, with colors and fixtures that have a "feel" for the past. Ultimately I'd like to retile both the floors and the walls and get that bathroom looking like it might have in the 1940s. However, I'd also like it to be in colors I prefer. The 1968 photo here is the perfect example. I'd like to tile, yes. In yellow/beige? No. There seems to be a balance to be struck between all the things you mention.

  2. Whoa...what an amazing picture! I LOVE that's so perfect in every way. I think I'll go with pink for the tile color, as that is my dream bathroom color!

    Can't wait for the update!

    1. I can totally picture you loving a pearl pink tile bath, Sara. I think this bathroom disappeared a while ago, sadly. I just wish they'd left the sink. The current one is nasty.