Pink and gray bathroom: Jane’s retro renovation construction zone

vanity-tile-in-double-sinksSCATHING JANE IS READER OF THE YEAR — not because she has one of the most adventurous retro renovations under way (which she does), but because virtually each and every day she scours Craigslist nationwide and puts all kinds of neat stuff onto the Forum. Steel cabinets, yes, but also tons of Bathroom Stuff, in particular. She also sends me lots of great tips, directly – she’s become very studied in knowing when there’s something wicked good I need to see. Jan has recently sent me lots of photos of her projects and for today let’s look at: her bathroom. pink-bathroom-before-renovation

It looks like Scathing Jane’s original grey bathroom is a really nice size, and had some great tile work. But, she wanted to reconfigure and raise the vanity, add a Cinderella tub, move some stuff around — and add pink to the mix. She found new/old tile-in sinks… new tile to mesh with the old… and that cool square tub. Here are a few of her comments:

  • I ended up using American Universal ceramic tile SX-207 to fill in areas that had never been tiled due to built-ins.  I could not match the original greenish gray porcelain tile. Michael Montgomery pink-and-gray-bathroom-tile(contractor) tried very hard to get me to just tile over the floor, but I wouldn’t budge.  I actually had a grey tile down in those areas, hated it, and had them rip it out.  Russ Carnes, Michael’s partner, did a beautiful job of getting the tile to work out.
  • I did a put in and rip out on the walls also.  I had white going up around through/around the window originally, but didn’t like it.  At that point, we were trying to save the original greenish gray ceramic base tile.  Once I realized that could not be accomplished, the white came out and the new grey went in, replacing the original base tile with the new grey (American Olean). Again Russ did a great job, using spacers to get the tiles to line up correctly; old tile seems to be bigger.  I think I am getting away with the slightly wider space between tiles because of the color difference between the old and new.
  • Nothing grouted yet.  I toyed with the idea of grey grout on the grey and pink on the new pink, but Russ recommended matching the old grout, “Jane, they didn’t use colored grout in the fifties.”, sealed that deal.built-in-bathroom-magazine-rack1
  • I included an old shot of the BR.  The old vanity height was too low; toilet location put your knees in doorway.  Closets were removed so that vanity and toilet could be relocated.
  • The sinks came from a great salvage yard in California — Ohmega Salvage General Store in Berkeley.  Reasonably priced for “retail”; shipping sucked, but was to be expected.  Well packed.
  • The interesting thing about the sinks (FABULOUS sinks, shown at top in lead photopam) is that they are not exact clones.  It drove Michael (contractor) crazy until he realized that he would have to build the openings in the cabinet around each individual sink, not just use one as a template for both.  Russ did the detail work of tiling them in. (I asked Jane and she recalls they are American Standards.)pink-and-gray-bathroom-with-cinderella-tub1

Finally, Jane wants to be sure to credit her long-suffering spouse.  “I found the house, but he said ‘This is the one!’  He provides muscle and moral support (and sometimes grumbling laced with choice adjectives.…)” she says. Don’t they all, Jane. Don’t they all.

More from Scathing Jane to come. Readers, many many of you have sent me photos and stories over the past few months. These are the most time-consuming for me to configure into posts and, yes, my life has been a three-ring circus. Life has not gotten any less circus-y, in fact, someone lit some hoops on fire. But sunshiney summer and lots of recent notes from readers have given me boundless energy and I am attacking all your emails like a demon…reader-blitz in progress. 🙂 Happy Monday.

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Comments

  1. scathingjane says

    I also wanted to point out that the magazine rack next to the yet-to-be-found toilet was built by Michael Montgomery after listening to me rave about such things in 1950’s bathrooms.

  2. says

    We have those sinks (your “new” ones) and I must say they are truly wicked awesome. Love the bathroom, can’t wait to see the finished pics!

  3. Genjenn says

    Fabulous! WIsh I had room for a Princess tub. I grew up with a pink one (bathroom was pink and aqua tile). It was dreamy.
    Can’t wait to see your “after” pics.
    Oh, and thanks for the great Forum posts. I live vicariously.

  4. says

    This looks amazing! Love the pink and grey! And you probably already know this, but you are really lucky to have found such great contractors!

  5. Nina462 says

    I have a vintage blue tile bathroom…love my woodwork. Someday I’ll take a picture and submit.
    Love your bathroom.

    At first when I bought my home I thought I wanted to remodel the bathroom to modern standards…but I have changed my mind to only keep it vintage. My only problem is I had to replace my original windows this summer-and I’m crying that I couldn’t keep my originals. (They are stored in the basement, for when I win the lottery and can pay to have them restored!).

    Everything else in my house is vintage-knotty pine basement, hardwood floors, brick fireplace, front porch etc. When the appliances start to go-I’ll be going back to vintage (than the modern I currently have).

    Thanks again for the pictures-I know I”m not alone 🙂

  6. Deb LuvMidCen says

    Wow, nice job. Great attention to detail. I live in Atlanta and am about to embark on a bathroom renovation. How can I get in touch with Michael Montgomery? Thanks!!

    • ScathingJane says

      That’s a magazine rack. I kept seeing them in the ads and pics from the ’50s so I had one built to take up the weird space left by the close removal.

  7. kate says

    Can you tell me what style sink they are?

    We have a pink and maroon bathroom (original 1954, but badly updated in the 1980’s) and the one area we really need to update is the sink. we would like to add another sink since we only have one bath on the main for 2 adults and 2 children.

    • ScathingJane says

      I find the maroon or burgundy stuff occasionally and post it to the bath forum.

      The good news is that American Standard still makes that color. They call it Bayberry.

  8. says

    Jane – I’m not sure if you will respond to this buuuut did you find additional grey tiles to use the tile the countertop? Or did you reuse what you had? If you found additional, where?! I am looking for tiles (both field and edging) that have that curvy peice for the edges and the top of the wall tile where it ends. I hope that makes some sense. I had some tile all picked out for the bathroom and they didn’t carry those curvy tiles in that color. So it is back to the drawing board.

    Any info would be great! =) Thanks!

  9. David Corbett says

    I am restoring/renewing a 1961 2300 sq. ft. ranch. Two baths are grey and pink. One has pink fixtures. The other I’ll use black. In the 3rd new master suite, I’m going with aqua or lime green with black. The rest of the house is super retro with new birch paneling surrounding giant casement widows. All retro furniture, includinggreen 3-piece sectional sofa. New maple (Amish made) cabinets, black grante countertops. I even built an indoor gas barbeque with horizontal stone surround, matching my living room fireplace. Tore out most of the interior walls. Party Like It’s 1961 !!!

  10. David Corbett says

    My only regret is that I replaced giant awning windows with sliding windows. However, the awning windows had lousy ventilation and teh sliders are wonderful.. (I added air conditioning when I replaced the mechanical systems)

    The semi-circle counter breakfast counter has a raised bar for eating. For that, I made a radius 14″ deep x 8 feet. I made a radius tray with 1 1/2 inch side walls, then had mirrors cut to fit in the bottom tray. The filled with hundreds of 1/2 inch colored marbles, then covered with thick glass (which rests on the marbles). The edge holds it all together. Above, I have nine pin-lights so that the light shines through the glass and bounces back off the mirrored bottom through teh marbles. Yes: Very cool.

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