dated vs dated: old and older.

ineffablespaceMay 6, 2014

I am gutting a relatively new bathroom in my new old house [two actually, one is less than three years old :( ]. Its a long story but both are very poorly done.

They look current enough, both are subway tile, octagon and dot floors [one all white and one white with black dots] and one had a Kohler Memoirs sink in it, which is a nice sink, [although this one appears to be a second].

As part of the bad job they did, they just left any debris that fell down into the ceiling cavity of the first floor down there. [It's not my debris, it was in inaccessible areas like under the bathtub I just took out today]. I had found bits of black tile before, but today I found the first speckled wall tile.

So here are the new old finishes:

And here are the Old old finishes: (all of which are still produced believe it or not, that's where I found the images)
4x4 Golden Granite with 2x2 black porcelain and 1x1 luminary gold porcelain floor.

The newer old one was fine looking, finish wise. The Old old one is not something I could really commit to, but I still feel like the Old old one was probably a little more appropriate to the house. I won't Repeat it, even though I could, I guess. But I think whatever I do should look more like the original one than the newer one.

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Looks like they went for generic resale-able.

How exactly would you use the black and gold color scheme?

    Bookmark   May 6, 2014 at 10:14PM
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I don't think I could go with that combo even if I tried to come up with some 2000s version of it. I am really surprised they still make that speckled glazed tile.

The porcelain I am not that surprised about, because lots of colors get used to make mosaic patterns.

I was planning on doing a fairly dark floor, and an actual colored tile for the walls anyway, so I guess that's more in line with the 1960s than white subway. The smaller bath will probably be mostly white anyway because I like white bathrooms.

The gold and black bathroom must have been pretty dark because it's small and their is no window. In a larger bathroom with a window, maybe a yellow with black deco style bathroom would be nice, but that's not the era of this house either.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2014 at 9:30AM
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Here is an original bathroom in one of the houses. I think the floor is a little harsh looking and I don't care for that bathtub, but if everything was in good shape. I might keep it essentially intact.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2014 at 10:11AM
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Here is a bath in one of the houses. It has just come on the market. This is a very popular bath style where I live, and for what it is, it is done well, but it doesn't seem to quite fit in the house. It's too elaborate for what the rest of the house looks like, in my opinion:

The right answer is probably somewhere in between. Don't go for time capsule like the blue one, but don't go for what is so current like the other.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2014 at 10:18AM
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Our house isn't THAT old (34 years?) but is generic enough that anything works; we put a charcoal gray floor in the main bathroom, which was a huge divergence from the yellow-beige faux tile vinyl that was there before. The dark floor has been such a change, sometimes I'm not sure it was a good idea. I like it a lot, but it is very very different.

I think a dark floor is nice in the bathroom, it feels luxurious. Since a bathroom is smaller (at least ours is pretty small) the extra cleaning isn't so bad.

I kind of like that speckled tile from the 'old' finish in your bathroom, but it probably looks dated. I know a lot of people who don't like things that look old and dated. Some old and dated is just dated, but some is classic. The easiest way for me to tell if something is classic is to look at old photos; anything that looks like it could be stylish today, to me at least, is classic.

Your blue bathroom is amazingly intact! The floor looks like a crossword puzzle to me, I agree that it's a bit much. I think that is a LOT of blue tile! I like that the walls all have tile as well as the surround -- easy for cleaning. That's what we're putting up in our bathroom (tile on all the walls) but we're using large format, white rectangular tiles.

I don't like the white lid on the blue toilet, makes the toilet and the toilet paper jump out like a focal point! The ridges on the bathtub are interesting. I bet you could make it work, but probably with a different floor and a nicer paint color (white looks kind of harsh).

Here is a link that might be useful: 1950s vintage

    Bookmark   May 7, 2014 at 12:10PM
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Oh I missed your second post w/the updated bathroom in another home.

I agree with you, extreme styles -- in ANY direction -- are often not a classic choice. I don't care much for "tuscan" style...seems heavy and over-elaborate. I see that kind of thing happening in our neighborhood of starter homes. Someone comes in, refurbs the house (which probably needed it, I know ours did when we moved in but we've taken 14 years to get through it LOL) and goes with whatever is currently popular.

Lots of people like "new" and "currently popular" so it's a safe gamble I guess. My sister-in-law paid a lot of extra money to buy a house that was fully updated w/the tuscan style -- inside and out -- including the furnishings. She says that it's NOT her style, but it looked nicely done and she felt like it meant she wouldn't have to put a lot of work into the house.

Edit -- > I wanted to add that for people who are not decorators, or who are intimidated by making the millions of little decorating choices that need to all come together, it's probably nice to buy a home that has "instant style". I guess I'm too picky, if the instant style is not appealing to me then there is only a slim chance it will grow on me. But it must be effective because it's what sells the homes.

I recently saw an example of something I've read about here -- installing new granite on old, shoddy cabinets. Yep, the cabinets were particle board w/wood-grain paper on them, just like ours had been. Maybe those cabinets were not falling apart like ours had been...who knows. But, to me, knowing that they were old and crummy cabs w/the new granite...seemed so dumb. But someone will come along and go "oooooh, granite countertops" and totally not notice the cabinets.

This post was edited by melle_sacto on Wed, May 7, 14 at 12:29

    Bookmark   May 7, 2014 at 12:23PM
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We had to gut the original bathrooms in our late 50's house. They had the typical color schemes of the time. One was maroon and pink-- the other very, very yellow.

I didn't want to recreate the in-your-face color schemes in the old baths, but I couldn't see doing the neutral thing either. So I tried to bring in some color in a more modern way (and with colors more to my liking) with the floor tiles. I think of our bathrooms as updated rooms that still fit the character of the house.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2014 at 4:54PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

Love that blue bath...if it had a blue toilet seat....I agree the floor is not the best...better a blue and white small square tile.

The tuscan bath is awful....I think I know you well enough not to go there.

I could easily do a bath in black white and gold with the's getting old enough now to be retro, but I'm sure your tastes would put you somehwere more historic....

    Bookmark   May 7, 2014 at 6:43PM
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I can see using the gold and white speckle with white ... might be interesting.

It's funny how the square tiles set like a grid say MCM to me. I felt so "wild" getting square tiles for one of my new beachhouse bathrooms, but I still had to set it running bond.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2014 at 6:48PM
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The bathroom you posted at 10:18 am looks dated. That style was popular in the 1990s. It's The Neverending Story, Bathroom Edition.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2014 at 6:58PM
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sas95, love the tile around the tub!! What color is the accent tile? Looks great!

    Bookmark   May 7, 2014 at 7:09PM
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If you look at the Kohler color timeline, the 1950s have a color called Spruce Green and another color called Argent. Your bath seems to have a cross between the two, so it is effective


I guess the style has been around a while, but I know someone who bought a house built in 2011 that has bathrooms just like that. It's not something that I would do in a house of this sort, but it is the sort of "new" bathroom I see a lot around here. Variation a) is white subway tile, and variation b) is something tan or brown.

This is in the ceiling above the three year old bathroom, btw, and why I am gutting. Fan connected to nothing. Wiring all over including some splices not even in boxes. Out of frame to the left, a soda bottle. My carpenter tells me this sort of thing is Extremely common here because most renovation is completely without permits.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2014 at 7:28PM
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Ineffablespace, thanks for the reference to the Kohler color timeline. New to me, and very cool. Unbelievable that that's a three year old bathroom.

Linelle, thanks! The accent tiles are sort of a deep blue green mottled pattern. Hard to really capture it accurately in a photo.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2014 at 7:47PM
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The best bet is to stay away from anything with a definite color, especially the 'color of the moment', since *color* seems to be the biggest issue re:dated. Grays are 'on trend' at the moment, and although I may like it, wouldn't use it if I wanted staying power. As boring as tans, whites, off-whites are, I would play it safe, but that's just me. And border tiles, nix that one, kitchen or bath, again, just me.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2014 at 2:58AM
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I think if you go with something you like you don't have to worry about dated or whether your color is of the moment. Because you are enjoying living with it. I played it "safe" in my other bath and after 3 years I don't like it half as much as this one. There are a lot of choices in my house that are quite taste specific, but the good thing is it's my forever home and if I do have to sell, well, it won't make or break me. If whites, off whites, etc. are what you like, that's great. If it's not what you like, it's sad to feel compelled to stick with them because it's "safe."

    Bookmark   May 8, 2014 at 6:35AM
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I'm with AnnieDeighnaugh on this one. I'd like the blue one a lot more with a better floor and bathroom cabinets instead of the sink that's in there now.

I'm toying with going vintage with one of our bathrooms in our 1959 house when the time comes. The only thing that's right in there is that the lights come on when you flip the switch. I think it might be kind of cool, like a friend's place whose bathroom was remodeled in the 1910s and left alone after that, only 40 years newer.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2014 at 6:46AM
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Oh, I would take the blue bathroom in a heartbeat.vs. the 90's travertine one. All it needs is a blue seat. It's in fabulous condition and would look great in our home. The floor pattern was a popular pattern of that time. Some people like that mosaic pattern while others do not.

We have Memoirs toilets in our baths, but we need sinks with storage below. Love the Memoirs pedestal sinks, though.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2014 at 7:45AM
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I think it is safe to go with an actual color for tile and even for fixtures, because the original bathrooms in these houses had either or both.

Nobody makes a full line of fixtures in colors except Kohler, and they dropped the two closest to "period" colors: Sunlight (pale yellow) and Skylight (pale blue) in 2012. So the closest to what appeared in these houses would be something grey. So grey may be of the moment, but it also has historical context.

Here's another survivor, not so attractive really, just showing that gray was also original. I don't really get the combination in this bathroom, because white fixtures would have probably worked better.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2014 at 1:20PM
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Here is *another Newer bathroom in one of the houses on the market. Brown again. It's very popular here to do some sort of earthy looking brown tile. Yes, I look at every single one of the houses in the development that comes up for sale and save a lot of the real estate photos.

I don't really like this sort of look myself, but if I was doing it I think it would look better with something other than white fixtures as well.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2014 at 1:49PM
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Sas95, that's very subjective as 'what you like' could become dated/color trendy~things change in the home decor business almost on a daily basis. Your bath is beautifully done and I can see how it relates to your 50's home, updated, but since it's in keeping with the style of the home, will probably never *become* dated per se. Sometimes people don't feel they've achieved an update if the space isn't 'done up' with the latest in tile and such, and that's when it would be better to just play it safe and do all white. Subway tile will never lose it's glory, IMO.

And I have to say i'm surprised, but I love the beautiful vintage blue bathroom!

    Bookmark   May 8, 2014 at 7:10PM
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