Today I am sharing my girls’ bathroom restoration – a vintage bathroom before and after story.
It is a bit of a Cinderella story. I am the fairy god mother and Cinderella is played by the bathroom.
There were even mice!!
Let’s be clear, there is VINTAGE!!!
And, then there is our kind of VINTAGE …
What I had to start with was this kind of VINTAGE!!! …aka rubble.
The rubble of a bathroom that had been torn apart 35 years before, and left like this, ’cause “you know life just gets busy & who needs two bathrooms anyway?!”
Well, we do as a family of 4 hosting lots of sleepovers and guests.
And, that tub … it needed saving, and I decided, as with the rest of this house, I was the girl for the job.
As rooms go, bathrooms are pretty high up on the list of essentials in a house, so this room was one of the first to be tackled, but one of the last to be decorated.
I agree to an extent with the previous owner, life just does get busy!
For now anyway, my girls bathroom is complete. It is decorated and features the restored original tub ~ not sure how they got it in here, but am sure it is never leaving.
As we like to say on the podcast, “complete but never done”.
I am sure this room will change again someday, but for right now, today, I am thrilled to be sharing the before & after with you.
Truth be told, there was a before photo I was just too blown away to take.
When I first saw this room, the previous owner proudly swung open the leaded glass door to show me something in particular.
He gestured to the left and there was a huge wooden enclosure. The wood was carved and ornate. He told me to look in. The enclosure was three sided.
When I peeked around I saw the Delft toilet bowl ( yup, Delft porcelain ) centered in the enclosure. It wasn’t hooked up of course. Nothing about the room worked, as you probably guessed from the other photos.
I don’t do vintage toilets – a girl has to draw the line somewhere.
So this unique piece went to the Pasadena Salvage Company.
He explained with an irrepressible grin that the enclosure was a wooden elevator car and that his plan was to create a step up throne of sorts for the toilet with the enclosure.
What can you say to that, but “wow”!
That plan was just too good for him to flush away, so to speak, so he decided to remove the walls of the elevator car and take them with him.
Hmmm…so left with the situation you see here. I began my planning for what would be my girls’ bathroom.
(The irony of the dusty copy of Old House Journal – Focus on Bathrooms perched on the tub full of random parts for 35 years+ was not lost on us!)
Clean, white, marble, black with accents of rich gold would be the palette.
But first the crumbling crooked windows had to be replaced.
That was a story, a looong one & not worth telling. Suffice to say the wonky windows ( nothing is standard size about this joint ) took longer to get right than I had hoped.
(…like the toilet paper holder in this photo, innovative, but superfluous as no toilet yet!)
Windows installed then the sub floor had to be leveled A LOT, and the tile installed. Marble hexagon off the shelf from Home Depot.
I had to go to almost every HD in SoCal to get enough for both bathrooms. One of my pals in the orange aprons told me, “yeah, we don’t sell a lot of this, so only a few sheets per store”.
WHAT??? – it is marble hex tile for $13.99 a square foot. Well, secret is out now HD ~ stock up!
Windows in, marble floor laid, tub restored, I was, the room was, ready for some pretty!
This mirror I had bought and stowed away at my dear friend/real estate agent’s house.
She was so kind to foster it for me for 8 months!
I was so concerned that the fragile bits might get broken off in the constant construction going on everywhere.
I had nabbed it at one of the most memorable estate sales I ever was lucky enough to happen upon.
I wrote all about that sale HERE – much more than about the sale really. I think you would enjoy that post so HERE it is.
Three hanging lights had to be the ticket in this room, once I spotted those 3 white glass shades with gold accents in a local antique shop. They are hung about 8 inches apart at varying heights.
I had nice chains & ceiling plates made at Pasadena Lighting by Freddie.
Freddie is an elderly, lighting craftsman who brought my dining room chandy back to life too.
(Freddy, if you are reading this, as you told me you do, you “light up my life” Thank you!)
A client no longer wanted this interesting corner piece.
“Really Vivian???”, not really giving her a chance to reply.
Quick as a bunny, I carted it drawer by drawer and then the frame to my car. Ok, it took two trips, but it made it home before she had a chance to change her mind!
I would be remiss not to mention the faucets & tub fixtures.
Unlacquered brass, as I had dreamed it would for the many months leading up to buying the house. The sink faucets are slow to turn, but the tub patina’ed right away.
I LOVE unlacquered brass fixtures…but, it is not a finish everyone can or wants to live with in their home. Read HERE to see if you can/would.
It is true design is in the details and sometimes the smallest of details turn a space from nicely done to “yeah baby, you nailed it.”
Just saying, this little collection that I picked up at the Topanga Flea Market early one Sunday morning might have just struck that nail on the head.
Vintage, feminine, with an ever so slight edge… Ok, can you give me a “yeah baby!”
A Schiaparelli hat box gives just the right pop of color.
As do the pink tulips & pink fouta draped over the tub.
The tub is happy, my girls are happy and I am happy with the restoration of our bathroom. Our vintage bathroom before and after is complete!
I hope you enjoyed my tour of my vintage bathroom before and after.
Look for more before & afters coming your way as we put the final touches on the house.
I have also been making YouTube video tours, that I will start sharing over on my channel in the coming weeks. If you enjoy YouTube, subscribe to my channel so you can tune in! Subscribe HERE.
And… a big thanks to those of you who have shopped with me/us recently. Several of you are already repeat customers!
Thanks again xx,
** Kelly **