“It took five years of collecting vintage parts,
saving money and working on a design plan,
but in the end it was SO worth the wait.
We couldn’t be happier!” — Laura
Laura and Tim purchased their 1924 California bungalow five years ago, because it retained a lot of the original charm that many homes in the area had lost after being flipped. While the home’s only bathroom still had its original vintage tub, the rest of the room was in sad shape. The couple had always dreamed of having a colorful vintage bathroom, so after spending five years collecting vintage goodies, saving for the remodel, and then — showering in their back yard for a month during the construction, Laura and Tim are thrilled to finally have created the retro blue bathroom of their dreams.
My husband and I purchased our 1924 bungalow in downtown Sacramento, California, five years ago. Along with all of the wonderful and intact charm such as original floors, built ins and original windows (with wavy glass!), our house also came with a lot of not so great 1970’s remodeling, complete with wood paneling, particle board kitchen and bathroom cabinets which were falling apart, brown floral vinyl flooring, fake plastic marble wainscoting on the bathroom walls (the stuff was so old it had turned yellow).
The bathroom was by far the most unattractive room in the house. Literally everything in it was worn out and falling apart, and the style did not fit with the era in which the house was built. It has always been my dream to have a colorful, charming vintage bathroom. When we were house hunting we tried so hard to find an old house that had not been updated but that proved really difficult, as most places had been “updated” (or ruined in my opinion) by flippers. When we found our house I could visualize how the amazing the bathroom would look with some love and a design vision. I have been a faithful reader of your blog for years. Your site has been a HUGE help for not just design ideas, but where to buy things too.
The design started with the sink. When we first bought the house we found the 1933 American Standard pedestal sink at a salvage yard in Berkeley, CA. called Urban Ore. I LOVED the color and essentially put it in storage until I could come up with a design plan for the bathroom. (I found a matching Ming green toilet at a Habitat for Humanity ReStore, but we have yet to install it as it needs a little work.) Even though the green sink does not match with the white tub, I like the contrast between the blue and green and white and figure that if we get tired of it, we can always replace it with a white sink (vintage of course).
The cast iron bathtub is original to the house and in great shape! It’s the only original feature left in the bathroom, so we wanted to preserve that. I absolutely love bright colors and knew that I wanted a bright, crisp blue for the wall tiles.
We went with color 20W from B&W Tile. It’s the most perfect shade of blue! The black pencil line (sizzle strips) detail also came from B&W. The black tile base board and black tile trim bullnose pieces came from Home Depot & Lowes. The white hex floor was purchased new at Home Depot. The black ceramic soap dish inserts above the sink are reproduction. I tried to find vintage ones but it proved too difficult.
The wall lights are reproduction — Echo from Rejuvenation.
The medicine cabinet is from the 1930s and was pulled out of a house locally that was being remodeled, Craigslist score.
The black ceramic tissue dispenser above the sink is 1920s new old stock purchased from ebay. It even has its original manufactures paper label inside! The ceramic toilet paper holder and bathtub soap holder are new old stock from the 1950s, found on Ebay. Ceramic towel bars are reproduction and were also found on Ebay.
We did not do the work ourselves, the project was just too big to handle on our own so we worked with a local contractor and tile setters. (Shout out to Crowell Quality Construction). Our tile guys (Armando’s Tile) even said that it was a nice change to be installing colored tiles rather than the sea of beige they normally deal with. They did an AMAZING job. They really understood my vision and worked closely with me to achieve what I wanted.
It took about a month to complete, this is also our only bathroom it was definitely a challenge to live through the construction. (We had to use a rigged up shower in our back yard!) The difference between our old and new bathroom is nothing short of a miracle. The space we gained by removing the old vanity nearly doubled the size of the room. As far as storage goes I am still looking for a freestanding vintage cabinet of some sort to use by the sink. It took five years of collecting vintage parts, saving money and working on a design plan, but in the end it was SO worth the wait. We couldn’t be happier!
A little about us…my husband and I are big vintage collectors as well as antique dealers, we own and operate a combination record store and vintage boutique here in Sacramento called Kicksville Vinyl & Vintage. We love our home and are excited to share our remodeling story on your blog. I am a huge fan and have learned SO MUCH from your site and your readers too.
Wow, Laura and Tim — you did a fantastic job with your bathroom! Kudos to you for taking the time to track down just the right stuff even if it took five years — that’s doing things “The Hard Way” — and as you said, the results are so worth it. Mega thanks for sharing your story here with us — and for all the blog love, too! We really appreciate it — it means so much to both Pam and me.
- Laura and Tim’s vintage boutique — Kicksville Vinyl & Vintage.