What to do to my 1933 bathroom?

storybookgirlApril 12, 2012

So I just bought this house and it closes next week. I need help on what to do with the bathroom. I want to get everything done before we move in. It has a PINK tub and PINK toilet! ew! I am getting the tub refinished and replacing the toilet with a white one.

What color should I paint the walls? The white is not doing it for me. And right now I am debating on an all white tub, or a white inside, black outside tub. I might be leaning more on plain white for when I want to refinish the tile in the future. The faucet needs to change too. And I don't like the metal around the sink... Is there a way to get rid of this without replacing? Ideas? Thanks!

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What a WONDERFUL bathroom (although the tub looks purple on my monitor). Please re-think losing the pink. Retro stuff is so wonderful and needs to be preserved! Take some time and look at retrorenovation.com or savethepinkbathrooms.com.
The floor is wonderful. I agree with you about the faucet and while you are at it, replace that classic American Standard sink with a pink model. I hate the new toilets-how is flushing 10x water saving! Please, please, please, re-think. It's charming!

    Bookmark   April 12, 2012 at 1:52PM
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I would take that tub out and sell it before I would paint it. It is one of the rarer colors of that period.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2012 at 6:30PM
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What do you mean by you want to refinish the tile in the future? How do you plan on refinishing it?

    Bookmark   April 12, 2012 at 7:48PM
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Look at all those drawers in the vanity! I love it. Cool bathroom. Do some research on the purple tub.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2012 at 8:44PM
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OK had to search myself. Here is a link on how purple was used in some 1930's bathrooms.

Here is a link that might be useful: Purple 1930's bathrooms

    Bookmark   April 12, 2012 at 8:53PM
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It's positively _heliotrope_!
Anyone who refinishes that tub shall be banished to purgatory for crimes against art deco.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2012 at 8:54PM
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OMG! Are you guys selling me on not painting it? lol!

Well the color is in between pink and purple... I don't know how to label it because in the listing picture, it looks pink, but that one I posted looks purple.

Here is the toilet in case you guys were wondering....

Now, if I were to keep this... what wall color do you guys suggest that would tie all of this in together?

    Bookmark   April 12, 2012 at 9:26PM
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Oh this house a storybook/tudor.

Here is the original pic from the listing... the vanity looks kind of pink... but when I took the pictures it was white!

Should I add a border around that mirror? They had placed that new mirror in... I wonder what it was before.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2012 at 9:35PM
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I love the tub and toilet! I'd loose the vanity for a traditional of some sort, replace the tile with white subway tile, floor with hexagon white tiles with black tile accents typical of the era. Some color on the wall. I'm no interior decorator. Just a lover of all the above.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2012 at 9:59PM
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I purchased a white 1924 American Standard tub like yours for a bath remodel a few years ago. First of all, it took me months to find one and I paid over a grand for the tub and shipping from Seattle. Of course, two days later my local guy got one in....

Please keep the tub and toilet. As others have said, these colors are worth more and it would be a shame to remove them from the house. Isn't the charm why you bought the house in the first place?

I would find a very pale version of the main tile color - which looks yellow on my computer - for the walls. That's what I did with the pink tile in my original bathroom. I would look at replacing the counter, sink and faucet on the vanity to increase the charm.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2012 at 11:49PM
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I have really been thinking about what you guys have been saying. And I made the pic below.. I am going crazy. haha My main concern was really the black, beige/yellow (whatever color that is), and the purple/pink tub was not tying in together. So what do you guys think? Do you think it can work?

    Bookmark   April 13, 2012 at 12:19AM
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If you want stripes, I'd go for it and do yellow and purple - matching the colors in the bathroom but going lighter. I think it could work if you don't introduce any additional colors in the room.

I wss thinking about this last night after posting and I would guess there's a good chance the tile behind the vanity is damaged. If you are thinking about doing something with the vanity, do some "low impact" exploration prior to working in that area.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2012 at 9:25AM
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I agree with 1929Spanish - do the walls either with more neutral purple (pink) or maybe with a light yellow - these are complementary colors and will help neutralize the more intense colors. Maybe consider some wallpaper?

    Bookmark   April 13, 2012 at 12:27PM
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This bathroom is pretty awesome. I wouldn't change much. Maybe throw in a new sink faucet and tub hardware (if needed). I would bet most of us buy a house with a mid-90s bathroom with zero original personality or style. Yours is fantastic.

With the walls, I dunno about stripes. Personally, I would leave them white/neutral and really enjoy taking time to find art that works with the room. *still jealous* ;)

And to be clear, I'm not a crazy preservationist. If it's old, ugly, or in rough shape, it should go. My in laws have a similar bathroom, theirs being blue/yellow tiles and blue toilet/tub/vanity (and same sink as this one). It's in fantastic shape. They put in some Restoration Hardware sconces, a nice mirrored vanity cabinet, and called it a day. The sister buying the house from her parents (a nice hand-me-down me thinks) is planning to rip out the bathroom. Mind boggling.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2012 at 3:03PM
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"I want to refinish the tile in the future. "

Here's the deal with bathrooms ... you can't do them piecemeal unless you have astounding luck and a lot of planning. EXAMPLE: unless you replace that tub with one that is a bit taller and wider and longer, you will have a gap where the old tile and the new tub do not meet. It will be really ugly.

I suggest you live with it for a while, get better pictures, and see what can be done without ripping it all out.

I would replace that 1960s vanity with something really cool and go back to the whole 1950s theme in there.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2012 at 6:48PM
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A subdued stripe or floral stripe in pale yellow and lavender with a bit of black would tie the whole thing together.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2012 at 6:51PM
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I think the vanity base is significantly older than the top, and I would consider refurbishing it too.

Americans were much braver in their color choices in the past than we seem to be now:

I posted these examples from a few houses I was looking at in 2008 or so and was told in no uncertain terms by a number of people that they didn't care how old and complete these baths were, they were hideous and would hit the dumpster a day after they moved in.

While neither of these conform to popular taste, and I would choose neither if I were installing a new bathroom (but I would have probably kept these if possible), it really makes me wonder why we see things so differently than people apparently did in the past.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2012 at 10:31PM
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Oh....and if you need new faucets, try vintagetub.com. They have great stuff. I found a few things I needed there.

I think I'm obsessed with your pink plumbing pieces!

    Bookmark   April 13, 2012 at 11:32PM
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I so couldn't live with that bathroom, or at least that color fixtures. But I've seen some pics of your home on another forum and I'd have bought it in a blink of an eye. Because of the interest and the uniqueness of the pieces, though, if you decide you can't live with them, don't feel guilty, but find a buyer for them who will treasure them instead of changing them to white. Perhaps you could make a deal with a vintage dealer to exchange them for something still period but a better color for you. Or find something that actually NEEDS refinishing and restore it. I do love the tile and could live with the vanity, but that pink/purple is a color that would be like fingernails on a blackboard to me every time I looked at it.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2012 at 12:23AM
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My sister's Craftsman house has that teal sink and tub and soap area, towel rod in her house. It is so beautiful. She is keeping it, but will redo the tile floor because it is in bad shape.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2012 at 3:13PM
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Your orchid tub and toilet are absolutely awesome. I love the tile design too, but I don't like the yellowy-beige with the beautiful orchid. If I lived in your house, I would spare the tub and the toilet and replace the tile and the formica counter top. I would go all out with orchid and black tile from floor to ceiling and on the counter top, or get a chrome and white console sink. Crisp white towels, new chrome fixtures, fluffy white rug, and built-in mirrored medicine chests with tile borders. Ahhhhh.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2012 at 2:08AM
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I feel your pain.

Trust Me.
Benjamin Moore's Pigeon Gray. Color 2133-50. If you want darker, Dior Gray, If you want lighter Sidewalk Gray or Tundra.

It is THE ONLY paint color that looks good. Believe me, I tried so many colors.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2012 at 9:26PM
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A pale lavender could be dreamy.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2012 at 2:24AM
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You could flush a cat down that toilet...this matters if you have too many cats or like a toilet that flushes with success on the first try.

I have one like it and thought I'd get rid of it...but now it's one of the few that will remain because it's a godsend with a 6 year old in the house (and rarely too many cats...) KIDDING!

    Bookmark   April 16, 2012 at 3:55PM
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I love your purple/pink fixtures. I love the black and beige tile. I think your idea of stripes would look great. With bold you have to keep going bold. I would replace the sink and faucet with something more period. It would be a real shame to get rid of the pink/purple to go with something beige or white.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2012 at 10:13PM
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I really like your bathroom and am glad your are thinking about not painting the tub! I don't know what your style is but it would be neat to see a wallpaper or stencil that picks up on some of the existing colors. I also think that replacing the mirror is a good idea. It was probably a medicine cabinet originally, if you look you may be able to find one of the same era on ebay or at salvage shops.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2012 at 5:30PM
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I have an older house and bathroom fixtures too, and I think there is something to be said for going with the original logic. It's the vanity/sink thing that looks out of place. BUT--if you hate purple you're never going to like that bathroom. But I agree with what some others have said, tear it out and sell it, don't reglaze. If it were me--and I'm cash strapped--I would get a different sink vanity unit that matched the style and colors of the bathroom. That sink vanity unit was a poorly thought out add on. Use some of the links that Debrak gave you for inspiration. Find some groovy accents and art to tie it all together. Live with it until you have the dough to do it over in colors you like. You might find that the purple grows on you. Or you might find that you loathe it and want to get rid of it pronto. But I think it does pay, both aesthetically and financially, to go with the original logic of the home's style and design.

Honestly I think your bathroom with the black and tan tiles is much less garish than some of the other examples.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2012 at 1:49PM
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I agree with sunnytop, pull out the vanity. I'll bet that cool floor tile extends underneath. You'll probably need to remove the adhesive that is holding the backsplash to the original tiles. The tub, toilet, tile and floor are very cool. Redo the sink and paint the walls.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2012 at 2:44PM
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The bottom line is it is your house and you have to like the bathroom particularly if it is your only one. Personally, I think the two color combos really clash and I would do something about it!!

It is easy for everyone to say how classic it is and how you must keep it but unless you live with that era fixtures you don't know what a pain in the neck it can be. The tub is usually pretty worn, the floor tile looks a bit worn in your picture and I bet the doors and drawers are a nightmare in the vanity with a lot of water damage under the sink.

I just finished renovating my original everything 1959 ranch. I gutted the main bath, and I kept the original powder room. I included a link to my thread, photos of my original and new bath are included and way down in my thread is a link to photos of my green powder room.

I have no regrets, I wanted a tub that was deep enough for me to soak in, I wanted floor and wall tile and grout that looked and felt clean all the time, I wanted a vanity that was taller so I didn't have to bend down so far to use the sink, I wanted a comfort height toilet and I wanted mirrors without 50 years of moisture and water damage to the edges. I wanted the low soffits over the tub and sinks out of there to open up the whole room.

I kept my original green fixtures and tiles in my powder room and my new Toto toilet flushes a lot better than my big green monster!! It never catches and runs so you have to jiggle the handle and everything always goes down!! Not so with the big green monster, I steer people towards the new bath who have lots of business to attend to!!!

Your house, your heart, your living style, so do what works for you. But if you pull out the fixtures, look at selling them. I have had more than one contractor in my house that has told me when I renovate the green bathroom they want the fixtures!! I have told them all that I am keeping them!

Here is a link that might be useful: My baths

    Bookmark   April 23, 2012 at 5:12PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

Wall paper?

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   April 23, 2012 at 9:14PM
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I was really loving the pink/purple tub and toilet in my bathroom. Turns out the toilet is not working and the plumber said it's totaled! He said the parts are too expensive to replace, but he is making a call across the country for the parts too see if it can be fixed. (plumbing is covered in our house warranty). We move in the house this coming Saturday. The toilet can be flushed right now by opening the top and using a screw driver. haha.

So if the toilet has to be replaced, we are gonna have to refinish the tub because nothing will match it anymore. UGH. Unless you guys think the stripping will still work with it when the toilet and sink will be white. I checked the inside of the cabinets... turns out the space under the sink you can see the tiles behind and it looks fine... but the rest of the other parts where the drawers are can't be seen. there is a wood backing part of the vanity. Do you guys think it is damaged by the glue?? I would just pull the whole thing together and replace it with an American Standard sink. http://retrorenovation.com/2010/07/23/american-standard-1920-1930s-bathrooms-sinks/

    Bookmark   April 24, 2012 at 6:48PM
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Glue won't damage tile and can be removed (gently) with a sharp razor blade and then adhesive remover if necessary to get off the last of it.

Vanities are often screwed into the wall. I am hoping they didn't screw through your tile or screwed into an area that the original (and your replacement sink) will cover. Unhook the water lines and drain on the undersink plumbing, use a razor knife to score the caulk that should be on all edges of the backsplash and then gently pry off the back splash. Put a thin piece of wood or a heavy piece of cardboard between any pry tools and the tile as you use them and work slowly with as little force as possible.

Look under the top and see if it has any attaching clamps and remove them. It may just be attached to the vanity with adhesive. Pry the top off if it is glued down and just remove it sink and all. Then look to see if and how the vanity is attached to the wall. Normally it is a couple screws at the top in the back.

Have fun with your new house!

    Bookmark   April 25, 2012 at 10:26AM
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If the porcilean is not cracked, I'm having a hard time believing the insides of the toilet can't be redone. Beware of the folks who just want to sell you new stuff, or stuff they carry. I couldn't find any fixtures around town for my 1929 bathtub, but had no trouble finding what I need online from the vintage plumbing places. There is one out in CA, they were very helpful, here's a link,
Bathroom Machineries is a One - Stop Source for All
of Your Vintage Plumbing, Lighting & Hardware Needs.
495 Main Street, Murphys, CA 95247

    Bookmark   April 29, 2012 at 8:03PM
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