From Nancy’s yellow 50s bathrooms

Maryland Nancy has completed the retro renovation of her 50s bathroom – and it’s spectacular. Nancy gutted two small, worn bathrooms to create one larger guest bath. She was intent on maintaining the mid mod feel – and incorporated original yellow fixtures. I recall at one point, she emailed me that she had finally chosen her tile colors – and was so happy that the blog gave her confidence to embrace color. This bathroom is a testament to take some chances! Nancy, you have a beautiful eye, way to go!
Nancy writes:

Pam-  Thought I would send you some pictures of our new bathroom (we combined 2 half baths).  We are very pleased & everyone that has seen it thinks it looks just like our other bathrooms.  We can’t have a better compliment!  Still looking for that perfect chenille rug & scales.  The lighting of the camera doesn’t allow true color but I hope you can tell what it looks like.  So pleased w/ the tile selection & the different patterned floor.  Please notice the great lights over the sink & in shower area- one of your ebay finds!  Great & I love them!  I like the Vera hand towel & monogrammed towel ( actually from the previous owner’s- haven’t gotten it copied yet).

All of the worry & concern over details are not apparent but I guess made for a good final results… I tried to use everything that I possibly could that was original.  The yellow sink & toilet were in one of the original baths.  The tile is Moonbeam & Crisp Linen (Dal tile) & the floor is the Square Random Biscuit.  The before pictures are very hard to tell what is what- not a very large space.
Readers, notice how Nancy used the two tile colors to great effect — e.g. Moonbeam behind the sink and as a trim color, Crisp Lemon elsewhere. The brick / rug / woodbeam are a perfect color complement to the yellow. And, I love the bird prints – terrific graphic punch!

I asked Nancy about the great little tiled shelf next to the sink:

That was kind of funny (looking back).  I told my young painter (who had never done this large a project & was doing everything) that the boomerang shape was very big back then.  Thought we could maybe do that.  When I came home he had taken the ironing board & cut out a top.  He had tiled it & everything!  It looked like I could go straight from the washing machine to the counter top & get my ironing done.  I labored over whether to tell him how much it was bothering me.  I got up the nerve & he was relieved because he hated it too.  The previous bath has that dressing area (w/ the great Formica top) & this bath needed to have someplace for guests to put their things when showering…  I had thought it would be much larger- then we ran in to the brick wall (literally) which housed the incinerator in a closet on the other side.  So, that is the story of the little counter.  I wanted to use both of the tiles we had used on the walls.

Thanks so much for all of your help with this project!


  1. Janice says:

    Lovely, lovely bathroom. My husband accuses me of spending too much time in the bathroom. This one I would never want to leave. Very charming and inviting. I’m jealous of your vintage yellow fixtures. I only have white in both my bathrooms. 🙁

  2. jkaye says:

    And I notice a sweet little dog who is not afraid to go into a bathroom. Our dog would never go into a bathroom alone like that — she thinks the tub will grab her and give her a bath!

  3. jkaye says:

    What a pleasant bathroom. I once was in an MCM home that had been built by a contractor for his family, and then added onto and re-arranged over the years as the family grew. The family had a lot of inherited things like oriental rugs and antiques which they weren’t afraid to use. It all blended together in this same organic way. Very nice!

  4. nancyb says:

    Just delightful! Looks original to me… Love the light fixture over the shower and the vaulted ceiling. Congratulations on a job well done!

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