Dawn creates a classic black and white tile bathroom

Reader Dawn has just finished remodeling the only bathroom in her 1950s home — using readily available black and white tiles to create a crisp and classic bathroom that looks like it’s always been there. 

Prior to the remodel, the space was in sad shape — cheap, big box store ‘upgrades’ and cracked floor tiles dominated.

Dawn writes:

Hi!!! Just wanted to share my awesome bathroom remodel with you. Your site was a great resource and I learned many things along the way from you site. It made it so much easier in the long run having so many questions I had already answered on your pages. Thanks a bunch. Hope you like it.

Yes Dawn, we do like it, nay — we love it! Golly, that original vanity is cute, and we love the vintage sink too.

This bathroom remodel is a great example of how you can use very affordable (relatively) tile in a midcentury bathroom to great effect. The white 4″ x 4″ wall tiles and 4″ black liner tiles are from Home Depot… the black and white 2″ hex tile on the floor and the other trim are from B&W Tile. And oh my goodness, we love the Marimekko Unikko shower curtain — it makes a great mashup of 1960s mod and 1940s/1950s modest, with brilliant use of scale and color. Nicely done, Dawn — you have the eye, for sure!

See the complete transformation and Dawn’s resource list:

  • You can see all of the photos of Dawn’s retro bathroom remodel and read more about her story over on her blog digadig home.

Thanks so much for sharing your space with us, Dawn!

  1. Mag says:

    And this is one of the things that feeds my pack-rat tendencies! *snorts* Glad you found the curtain & I hope you find a backup.

  2. Wendy says:

    Oh wow! Love it. The floor tiles in the original photo look like the crappy tiles in my current 1947 bath that someone used, much to my dismay. How hard was it to get those up?

  3. pam kueber says:

    Precautionary Pam reminder: Beware vintage nastiness that may be found in old floor tiles and their adhesives. Consult with a properly licensed professional to assess what you have so that you can make informed decisions.

  4. Dawn says:

    Luckily for us the tile in the before picture was put in during a previous remodel. They had already removed the original flooring so we didn’t have to deal with any potential hazards

  5. Jackie says:

    Your remodel is fantastic. It’s so difficult to find the great colored tiles so using the black and white is a wonderful solution. This is exactly what I want in my bathroom remodel.

    Interesting that you kept the cabinet. Mine is very similar, it’s just missing the vent. I struggle with keeping mine because it just doesn’t provide the storage I want.

  6. cathie says:

    I just live those two little windows on either side of the Mirror>
    I once stayed in a Bed & Breakfast that had a window over the sink and loved it but missed the mirror. This one has it all

  7. Mary Elizabeth says:

    Someone wrote in questioning the choice of black and white as a midcentury color option. (Maybe the comment got deleted?) I have to say that I’ve seen plenty of original 1930s to 1970s baths done in black and white. There was a black and white half bath in my first house, built 1937. The full bath was a green tile trimmed in black. Other homes in the neighborhood, some built at the same time and some up to the 1950s, also had black and white baths. Not everyone had Mamie pink! Great that the homeowners had so many more choices than mass-built homes today. As the French say, “Vive la difference!”

  8. Heart says:

    I Love it! Especially fond of the interplay between the vintage touches & MOD. My favorites are the ceramic cat by the loo & the Madonna nightlight 😉 You Go Girl!

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