Crazy green/yellow tiled retro bath remodel - need help please!

FamCookApril 24, 2014

We are remodeling and adding on to this house built in 1948. The bathroom is, well, look at the pictures. Clearly the wall paper and the mirror and vanity looks late 60s or 70s to me. The tile? It is really difficult to get a picture that shows the color correctly.

I need a new vanity. I was thinking basic white, but what sort of top? I wanted granite, maybe uba tuba? Solid black? The trim and new window will all be white. The wallpaper will be removed and I have no idea what color to paint?

So, any ideas keeping it looking cool and go with the green tile are appreciated. I want to work with it. I have a cool wide spread faucet that mimics the tub fixture.

The first picture that my friend took shows the color the best. It is a yellowy green. Kind of citron.

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Tub fixture

    Bookmark   April 24, 2014 at 5:12PM
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Whole room.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2014 at 5:13PM
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What's your goal? What vibe are you looking for?

    Bookmark   April 24, 2014 at 5:17PM
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Hmm, I am pretty traditional. I would like a retro feel, but not the retro it is now! I love the tub and faucet. I like the tile, but feel overwhelmed.
We are not into contemporary style or cottagey.
Is granite to much? Maybe plain white top?

    Bookmark   April 24, 2014 at 5:21PM
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robo (z6a)

VERY cool bathroom! I'm so happy you want to work with the tile!! Looks like it is in fantastic shape!!

The two colors I think of immediately when I look at that bathroom are white and black. Both of look fantastic with citron. Even though the trim is going to be white I would consider painting the walls white as well.

Another good accent color for yellow/green is grey..

I'm attaching some links from Retro Renovation. The first is a brochure from Crane from 1949 that shows some vanity/tile combos. I thought it might give you some good vanity ideas

24 pages of vintage bathroom design ideas

If you didn't absolutely need the storage you can see that a wall mounted white porcelain sink, maybe with chrome legs, would be absolutely perfect in your space. Perhaps paired with an inwall medicine cabinet for storage. Although I kind of like the medicine cabinet you have going on in there.

A white pedestal sink would also look very nice

Of course, those options rely on that gorgeous tile continuing behind that vanity...

Here's a lovely example of a wood vanity with very plain slab doors in a yellow bathroom. Notice how lots of white and chrome can make the yellow sparkle.

Here's a lovely painted vanity with black countertop such as you described. I think it looks great with other little touches of black in the room.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2014 at 5:30PM
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Thanks robotropolis! I am doing a similar two toned kitchen like yours. Yay!

So funny, the house we are in now (that we just sold) has the exact sink with chrome legs that would look good. Darn, I should have replaced it and taken it with me. :)

Now that you mention it, I do kind of like the mirror. Initially, I thought it had to go, but I think the wallpaper removed and a new vanity it might be cool.

This bathroom will mostly be used by our five kids. And guests when they stay over. There is a built in little cabinet next to the tub, so there is some storage already, but more storage for everyone's "stuff" would be nice.

I definitely think white if I put a cabinet in, but a pedestal would look great too.

Decisions! Any other suggestions of help is appreciated GREATLY!

    Bookmark   April 24, 2014 at 5:52PM
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I think you can do a black granite vanity top. You have some options to put some lack accents: a black and white shower curtain, maybe replace the top row of tiles with black bullnose, add a black or dark shade to the window. I really like the last picture robotroplis posted. I think you could really freshen it up without breaking the bank. Cute floor.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2014 at 6:07PM
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Love the yellow! so glad you are keeping it.
Black and white would be fabulous, or the grey and white for a softer look. I would almost certainly paint the walls white and get a white vanity and bring in any additional color with textiles and accessories. With kids I would avoid the black granite, just 'cause it will never look clean.
Since it is a (mostly) kids' bath I would make it fun. and bright. Maybe a graphic word art print? I might even enlist their help in making choices! Let them pick the shower curtain, toothbrush holders or a fun bathmat. I linked a fun shower curtain as an idea.

Here is a link that might be useful: fun shower curtain

    Bookmark   April 24, 2014 at 6:50PM
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Love the second picture that robotropolis posted - the gray and yellow/green and white look great together. I would paint the walls a medium to deep grey (don't go too light), white trim, a white vanity for some storage and counter, try to find a vanity top with shades of gray an black or solid black, and a gorgeous shower curtain to tie it all together. I googled gray and yellow because gray and green are difficult to find and I think your tile looks more yellow. When the yellow gets thrown into something like a paisley, it can take on a citron hue.

The tile looks to be clean and in good condition.

Here is a link that might be useful: gray and yellow shower curtains

    Bookmark   April 25, 2014 at 10:54AM
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Beautiful! I've got a 50's ming green bathroom that was given a facelift in the 80's which I'm redoing now. My wallpaper wasn't nearly as, um, flashy as your. Because of curtains and it's north facing, it was kind of dark. I dumped the curtains, removed the wall paper and painted it white. That alone worked wonders.

For yours, I'd probably start by painting the walls white (same as the ceiling) or at the most a very pale shade of the tiles. You'll be amazed at how the room brightens up and feels larger.

With the vanity, you'll have to do a looky-see on what's behind it. If the tile goes all the way back, a pedestal sink would be nice, but you'd lose the storage. You have a lot of options, though - a white painted vanity with black top would be sharp. Gray painted, brown stained wood (like the door) or even black stained wood with a white top would look nice as well.

Here is a link that might be useful: My ming green bathroom

    Bookmark   April 25, 2014 at 9:58PM
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I love Robotropolis' idea of a black & white & citron bathroom and the inspiration photo she posted is great! There are so many DULL bathrooms out there. People will smile when they see yours.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2014 at 3:10AM
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Thank you so much for all the great ideas - I really appreciate it all. Just haven't been able to update because I've had house guests and its been so busy!

We have decided on a pedestal sink. The storage would be nice, but I found a really cool pedestal sink on Craigslist for $50 bucks. It is dated 1950 and really goes with the style of the tub. I can get a cool widespread faucet. And if we decide later we need more storage, well, then my husband can replace it with a vanity. He has done it before, not too difficult.

One problem, but i think we have that figured out. I checked the tile behind the sink. There are a few missing tiles right around the plumbing. We have a friend that does tub reglazing. He also does tile reglazing. We thought maybe we'd buy the same size tile and have him glaze a few in the same color so that we could set them in and regrout. We figured even if they were a tiny bit off it might not be too noticeable behind the sink?

Any other ideas? I'd love to hear them or ideas for the tile or rest of the bathroom?

Thanks again!!!

    Bookmark   April 28, 2014 at 7:12AM
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Also, I'm thinking of maybe keeping the crazy mirror/light combo for now. Any thoughts? Any other cool (but not TOO pricey) mirror medicine cabinets out there that would go?


    Bookmark   April 28, 2014 at 8:56AM
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I'd vote to keep the mirror/light; it looks to be in good condition. If the tile is cut out around the cabinet part at the bottom, you'd have to worry about a hole with a replacement.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2014 at 9:55AM
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Dreaming of the UP - are you from the Great Lakes State?

    Bookmark   April 28, 2014 at 10:20PM
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omg that is the SAME rusty-nail-colored tile that was used in my childhood home, AND the same gold foil wallpaper. I still have some unused rolls of the latter!

The wallpaper was actually quite practical I have to say - stands up to moisture and doesn't show dirt. Plus - funky 1972 style.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2014 at 3:55AM
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No, I'm in the Chicago are, but dream of being in the UP. Vacations only last so long. :(

    Bookmark   April 29, 2014 at 7:40AM
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Funny, I had a young renter who was adamant about keeping those little mirrored sliding glass cubbies. We put some really cute colored contac paper in there.

I'd start with some art work or a shower curtain and take it from there.

Check out the thread below

Here is a link that might be useful: retro bathrooms

    Bookmark   April 29, 2014 at 6:19PM
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And this discussion with lots of suggestions (pics) on a peachy bathroom with very similar floor.

Here is a link that might be useful: dealing with a retro bathroom

    Bookmark   April 29, 2014 at 6:20PM
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This post was edited by nosoccermom on Tue, Apr 29, 14 at 18:35

    Bookmark   April 29, 2014 at 6:30PM
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All I can say is wow, thanks for all the ideas and help.

So, the new window went in and it is taller, so my GC made sure to carefully remove and store the extra tiles for me. We'll see this weekend how many I have extra now. I thought I'd maybe send one to Chippy to see if they have a match in NJ. Also, I can use one for our re-glazer, if I need to still go that route.

I have the pedestal sink in hand at the house, so for now we are good. I'll let you know how the tiles end up.

Please keep sending the suggestions!!

    Bookmark   May 1, 2014 at 4:59PM
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Are you keeping the floor? Showed DH your bath and he said he really like the floor. I will look up the wall color we used. I took a tile to sherwin williams and they always give great color advice.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2014 at 7:44AM
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debrak2008 - yes we are keeping the floor. It is a little more yellow than the tiles in real life, but it's in great shape so we are going to keep it. Thanks for the help with the wall color.

Weird green tile owners unite!

    Bookmark   May 9, 2014 at 7:48AM
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Just looked a your wallpaper again. Is it like a foil wallpaper? That is what was in the bathroom when we bought the house. It was foil like with butterflies.

Sort of like the wallpaper in the link the the whole back ground was silver.

Just found our wall color. It is a sherwin Williams color of Tea Light but Lowes matched it in Valspar.

Here is a link that might be useful:

This post was edited by debrak2008 on Fri, May 9, 14 at 17:56

    Bookmark   May 9, 2014 at 3:37PM
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Debrak2008 - yes! It is foil paper! It has a texture and is metallic splotches. Maybe I'll save a tiny piece and frame it for posterity.


    Bookmark   May 11, 2014 at 8:44PM
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