Cindy updates her 50s bathroom vanity, tile floor and shower


Last week we looked at Cindy’s beautiful Holyoke, Mass., home – photos I took last summer. Today – we get to see the updates that she made to her bathroom vanity and tile floor and shower over the winter – she replaced the laminate on the bathroom vanity in a lighter ‘beigewood” shade, and also retiled her floor and shower stall. Cindy’s updates are incredibly well done – she has a great eye for detail and I know that she labored over each little decision…. Great inspiration and ideas, I am sure, to many retro renovators looking for a way to update their tired bathroom vanities, in particular.


Cindy writes:

Hi Pam,
Since you were here I redid the tiles and laminate cabinet in the bathroom…. Fiorella Cosgrove of Cortina Tile in West Springfield, MA was the only tile advisor who “got” my desire to be retro and I could not have done it without her and highly recommend them.(Corina Tile;1645 Riverdale St.; West Springfield MA 01089).

  • The old laminate was stripped off and replaced with Wilsonart laminate-the color is beigewood #7850-60.
  • The hardware was purchased at Re-Store for a super awesome $10.
  • I also got a new soap dish to match the existing ones – that came from ebay and it is the Hall-Mack polished chrome …Coronado series. A local hardware store with 50 years of old inventory provided me some items from the same line and of course I have extras…even a towel rack I couldn’t resist and haven’t used yet.
  • The bathroom pendants are original BUT the canopies were brass – I found a local guy to chrome them for me so they would match all other metal in the bathroom. the toilet, sinks, and tub are original.
  • I’ll be looking to replace the Church toilet seat very soon if I can find the same color.
  • The shower tiles are 6″x6″, made by Original Style in England, color is Ecru.
  • The floor tiles are 2″x2″ Dal-Tile color is elemental tan with sporadic 1″ x1″ tiles color urban putty.   (Size created by tile installer by cutting 2×2 tiles in quarters…this give extra texture and was recommended by Cortina Tile).

The project brightened up the bathroom and remained true to the 1960’s!!! PS, do you notice the cabinet hardware from Re-Store???? Hope to see you this summer for a Re-Store rerun~



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  1. jeanne says

    That bathroom turned out gorgeous Cindy! I love the monochromatic look with the hint of peach (toilet). The vanity looks fantastic with the new laminate and the knobs. I love the floor color, as well. I’m confused on the 2″ vs 1″ tiles, as both the tan and putty tiles look the same size to me? Or is each “square” of urban putty actually four one-inch squares? How did you sporadically decide to place them? I just know I would end up with more of a pattern, haha.

  2. Glamorlux Nancy says

    Wonderful! How on earth do you strip laminate without damaging the wood underneath? The lighter wood and chrome give it a whole new ‘vintage’ look. Love it!!!

  3. Elvis (aka) Jane says

    Beautiful job, Cindy! That laminate is exactly right. I really like the way you chose and pulled together the different tiles into a cohesive color and texture palette.

    Would love to see a shot of the pendant canopy. I know what you’re saying about re-chroming to match: Our kitchen pulls were bronze and the built-in appliances were stainless, so we finally decided that the original mix-and-match was OK. But I’d like it if they matched.

  4. Patd says

    I guess I have the same question on the floor tiles. Is it possible to have a close-up pic and maybe more description?
    Thanks for showing us this – it looks fabulous! It looks seamless and fresh and retro at the same time. Great job!

  5. kw says

    Wow, I really like how the cabinets turned out. The lighter wood color looks great. This website has inspired me to try and keep the 50s in my 50s era house.

  6. Cindy says

    Hi Jeanne,
    That’s right…the tiles I used are not available in 1″x1″ so I ordered some extra beige tiles (urban putty) and had my tile installer cut them into four 1″x1″ tiles to give the floor a bit more texture. I can’t take credit for the idea…it was recommended by Cortina Tile…and I love it! The installer laid out the pattern for me and I OK’d it….

  7. NorthsideCJ says

    Looks great! That laminate came out good. No sharp edges on the quartered tiles to cut yourself on? Did your tile guy bevel the edges, or just sink the tiles?

    • Pam Kueber says

      Mer, yes, Cindy’s countertops are original. I think there are companies now that can replicate this look. I’ll add this to my long list to research and post about…

        • pam kueber says

          Doug, that’s tile. World of Tile has some like it, authentic vintage. See my Bathrooms/Tile category to see the stories about WOT, or use the Search box.

          • Doug says

            Thanks, Pam. As it happens, I will be traveling through New Jersey in a couple of weeks, although I think it could be dangerous making a stop at World of Tile.

  8. max hartshorne says

    Boy all this attention to the bathroom makes me honored to be able to use it myself! I am proud of Cindy’s amazing details proud to be the ‘other half’ of such a clever young woman.


    • Pam Kueber says

      Ooooooh, the famous Max! Hi, we love Cindy too! Come see me when you’re in Lenox next! Wanna try to come with us to see James Taylor in August?

  9. tp says

    Help! I just closed on my new 1964 fixer-upper yesterday. My awesomely pink bathroom (which I love) has this same mirrored in-wall swivel toothbrush holder. Unfortunately, mine was not well cared for in the past and will either need to be replaced or refinished somehow. The mirrored surface is not as bright and shiny as I would like. Any ideas on where to find one or how it may be restored??

  10. says

    Great job re-doing a bathroom, tearing out some old stuff, but putting new stuff in that is even better (without being too…..”HGTV moderne”). It looked good before; looks even better now. I know that many lovers of vintage, and purists, hold that one can never tear out original tiles/fixtures/etc. but someone should coin a term for when you tear out the original, but you replace it with other vintage or vintage-looking, that is even better. Re-vintag-ing? I dunno! I leave it to you!

  11. B. Lara says

    Me and my husband just bought a house that was built in 1954 or maybe 1958. I can’t remember the exact year. I was hoping you can give me some ideas as to update the house but still keep the 50’s style but just with a modern touch.
    The color of the bathroom is black and yellow tile on the wall and all over. I took pictures of the bathroom for better idea.

    • Merlene says

      B. Lara,
      I hope you are still reading this site. I just bought a home with a yellow and black tile bathroom as well. Wondering what you ever decided to do with yours as I am not sure what to do with mine?

  12. Cathy says

    I just found this site: closed on my 1962 house in Longview, Texas last week – was hating my flesh colored tiled bathroom but now am excited to keep the 60’s look. anyone have any ideas on painting vinlyl flooring? I can’t afford retiling – Cathy

    • pam kueber says

      Cathy – congratulations and welcome! Aqua and rich brown wallpaper and/or accents look great in “suntan beige” bathrooms – I have one myself!

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