Amy’s 1930s bathroom remodel — classic and elegant

1930s bathroomMy sister-in-law Amy has a lovely 1930s Tudor house — and exquisite design sensibilities to go with. She recently remodeled the guest bathroom — and it turned out beautifully. 

ann sacks subway tileAs you can see, Amy wanted to keep the tile light and elegant looking. She chose subway tile for the walls and honed marble for the floor. Then, she added some zing with the green subway tile and black liner tiles as trim. This particular shade of green is prominent throughout Amy’s house, including on her kitchen cabinets, so it was very pleasing and harmonious to see this color carried into the nearby bathroom. Amy told me it was difficult to find colored subway tiles in ceramic, rather than glass. She landed on Ann Sacks Tile for the best selection of possible colors.

Ummm, I didn’t pry as to price — but Ann Sacks Tiles can get quite pricey. This is not a “budget” bathroom like I often show, but hey, I never said I’d only write about cheap and cheerful solutions — I can write about expensive and fabulous remodels sometimes, too!

  • Pam’s Lux for Less idea: I actually think you can get close to these colors — in subways and similar trim — using B&W tile purchased from B&W Tile or from Clay Squared (which carries B&W Tile). Also possible additional money savings: Buy the white subway field tile from your local big box store — and the colored trim subway — 2″ x 8″ — and black liners from B&W. I can’t imagine that B&W tiles are as thick and juicy as Ann Sacks, but I am sure that difference is reflected in the price. For the floor tiles: Also head to the big box store. Marble is hot right now, and I’ve seen tiles in this vein (punny!) in — in real marble and faux ceramic — at my local Home Depot.

waterworks toilet sinkThe toilet, sink, faucet and shower fixtures are all from Waterworks, I believe.

tile shower panI really like how she used smaller pieces of the honed marble for the inside of the shower pan. I presume you would want to do this anyway, for grippiness. (Precautionary Pam reminds: When you’re planning floors in bathrooms, consider how slippery-dangerous they will become when wet — on this issue, I believe there are industry standards — consult with a pro.)

Hey, I also think there’s radiant heat under that marble floor (I spy a thermostat up by the closet.) Nom nom nom, toastie tootsies. We put an electric-web heated floor under the ceramic in our basement bathroom, which sits on the slab — we like it a lot, it made the bathroom more usable on cold winter mornings — it was well worth the spend, we think.

shower nookAmy is super detail oriented. Note how she ensured that available wall cavities were used to create recessed storage. Literally, this bathroom was completed The Day Before We Arrived To Visit for the Weekend. On day two of our visit: The plumbing on this floor of the house backed up — including into this shower. Oh my! It turned out that the culprit was tree roots growing into pipes outside. Seriously, there are days when you just want to Curse Those Decorating Gods. Will they ever let us stay one step ahead of the curve?


  1. Helen says:

    Love the bathroom! Who makes the toilet? I’m trying to do a 1926 bathroom and it would be great – thanks!

  2. Kathy says:

    Pella makes a line of wood windows with snap-in between the glass blind and grill options, in a variety of colors and materials. Check them out at pella.com, window options, in-between glass. Lots of options including fabric blinds and motorized.

  3. Mary says:

    I really, really, really want to put that same window in my bathroom. Any idea who makes it, or where she purchased it? Having an enclosed shade on the lower half is exactly what I need in my situation.

  4. Nick says:

    Can anyone help me?! We have a pink bathroom and it used to have pink carpet but we took it up like 6 years ago because wet caret doesn’t smell to good after a while. The floor under neath was a white laminate with little hexagons, but now along the tub water got under the laminate… It’s starting to get grey in the wet spots. I don’t know what to do. Taking it up is too much of a project. If we glue back down the grey will still be there! What do I do?

    1. pam kueber says:

      Nick, on issues like these: Consult with the pros.

      Such is the problem with non-watertight flooring. This is why I prefer ceramic tile in bathroom….

  5. carolynapplebee says:

    this is great, a great idea for my bath file. and you’re right, it is elegant and “subdued” is the word i would use. i usually go for the kitschy look, but this is more on the ritzy side.

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