Glamorous deco-style bathrooms for the Wren & Willow 1940s cottage

retro vintage bathroomsYesterday we saw Wren & Willow’s kitchen renovation, and heard from owner-contractor Laureen Skrivan about her company’s plan to remodel it to rent on Airbnb. Today let’s look at the bathrooms — all-new, but designed to look like they’d always been there.

The guest bathroom:

retro vintage bathroom beautiful pink bathroom with black trimretro vintage pink bathroom Of course, there is a pink bathroom! And this one is the stuff that many folks’ dreams are made of: Pink field tile with black bullnose trim… a black-and-white pinwheel tile floor… a vintage sink… and playing up the glamorous 1940s, a mirrored storage cabinet. Laureen says the tile is American Olean “Antique Rose.” I’m going to go check it out, stat!

All photos by Aleks Akinshev of the Wren & Willow team.

midcentury bathroom remodel midcentury-house-ideas-20 midcentury-house-ideas-19 midcentury-house-ideas-18I’m seeing a recurring theme — rick rack on the cafe curtains in the kitchen — rick rack on the polka-dotted shower curtain in the pink bathroom.

The master bathroom:

1940s-bedroom-4Laureen got help with the sink from one of Retro Renovation’s longest advertisers with the sink in the master bathroom. She said:

DEA Machineries supplied us with a 1940’s American Standard wall mounted sink that was completely refurbished. Its unique size made it a perfect fit for the small master bathroom.

We also saved the wall-mounted heat vents original to the house. Our local classic car restorer sandblasted the vents and added a chrome finish. The vents, along with the original front door hardware, were given a whole new life.


More about Laureen and her company Wren & Willow:

Laureen’s grandson already has set his sites on being the next President of her company 🙂
Laureen Skrivan, owner/contractor Wren & Willow

Laureen is a super interesting person. Check out the Wren & Willow’s “Story” page, and you will see that she started just 10 years ago as an interior designer… but within just two years decided she also wanted to become a general contractor so that she could do even more to help her clients. Wren & Willow the general contracting firm opened in 2008. Success came fast:

The company continued to grow, and it became apparent that Wren & Willow had outgrown its office space. In 2011, the company purchased a commercial building on North Pearl Street that was built in 1917. Laureen saw the building’s potential and designed the building to restore it to its original 1917 look and feel, which included using reclaimed wood throughout the building, while giving it a modern touch which included commercial kitchen appliances and a state-of-the-art sound and lighting system. The building took two years to complete, and Wren & Willow moved into the restored building in March 2013. The Wren & Willow office building won the MBA award for Best Commercial Project in Pierce County, the State of Washington, and the Western Region of the United States as well as Best Design through the national Design Professional’s Award.


Wren & Willow continued to grow at a rapid pace. The company grew from two employees to 18 in just a few short years. Laureen’s reputation among her peers grew, and in 2014, she was elected to the highest position of the Master Builder’s Association of Pierce County as the first woman president in its 69-year history.

Way to go, Laureen!

Suppliers & Resource List for 1940’s Wren & Willow House Bathroom, Living Room, Master Bedroom and Guest Room:

Wow. Gorgeous. Impeccable. Inspiring.

Want to see more of the Wren & Willow House?

Link love:

  1. Lynne says:

    Having just finished a bathroom remodel, I agree that its incredibly difficult. When you are standing in a totally gutted, down to the studs room with no ceiling, it’s hard to get your bearings and make snap decisions. You have a plan, yes. But these contractors want not a plan but EXACT specifics. I was unprepared and was, frankly, embarrassed.

    When you are standing with the electrician and he says “Where do you want your ceiling lights?” There is no waving of your hand, and saying “right around in this area”. He wants to know exactly which stud, how far from the nonexistant wall, etc. “Do you want 3 switches, or a seperate fan switch by the shower?” So many questions about permanent things! I am ashamed to say…I didn’t know what to tell him but ” Umm…I’m not sure”

    He said “That’s fine, take all the time you need. I charge $97.00 an hour”

    Moral of the story is you have got to be prepared. Everything pre-measured and thought out BEFORE any framing. Believe me, I won’t be caught like that again in our next remodel.

  2. Jay says:

    Point well taken. I have experienced both good and bad contractors. Unfortunately the good ones come with a premium in my area and don’t usually want to be bothered with small modest homes. During the recession I had no problem getting a guy to remove the paper in my small hall bath but post recession my calls were not returned when I wanted him to install some missing trim in some rooms as new construction and tear downs started up again.

  3. susan Freedman says:

    love this site. This request for help is a long shot but here goes. I wonder if anyone is familiar with a tile company which manufactured tile in the 50s-60s and which had an raised image of a crown and the words made in japan on the backside. Tried looking up everyname I could think of but no luck so far. I am trying to match the tile in 1964 florida home. I have speckled tile but am most interested in (affordably) matching my beautiful pink tile. got a sample of pink from clay squared (thank you RR) but the color is just a bit off.

  4. tammyCA says:

    Terrific bathrooms – love the Art Deco pink one. Nice work from wren & willow. That’s what we, non-diyers, need..a designer/contractor who gets it.. the whole retro vision & execution.

  5. pam kueber says:

    there were so many brands, i do not know…. pomona and ceratile are names that popped into my head, but i am in no means an expert on this complex topic

    search word: sculptured tile

  6. carolynapplebee says:

    i’m bookmarking these beautiful rooms for when i can finally get around to it. and a great story about a female entrepreneur.

  7. Max says:

    Those are very pretty bathrooms. It’s also nice to see natural wood doors and windows instead of white.

    A comment on the tiles most wouldn’t notice: in most tile work from the era, the corners of the trim tiles were not mitered. There are special square trim tiles made for outside and inside corners, these are still available from Daltile and other companies.

  8. Carol says:

    Kara, that is so funny! Yesterday when I left a comment, I wanted to say I could just lick those jadite cabinets. Thought the readers would consider that a little off center. I could lick the jadite cabinets, the pink tile in the bathroom, and all buttercream stucco on mediterranean style buildings with clay tile roofs. There, I said it now I own it. I find those colors positively luscious.

  9. Nadine says:

    The green one reminds me of our old bathroom when we were first married. It wasn’t real tile (paneling), but it was white with the black. A sink similar to that, & I had painted the walls that green. Even the wooden window casing & the door with the glass knob. I love it! My husband walked by & saw the picture & asked if I was reminiscing about our old bathroom. Didn’t have that kind of floor, though. Thank you for a blast from the past!

  10. Maureen Topa says:

    Of course I’m salivating over this house…especially the butler’s pantry and the pink bathroom. I’m sad there isn’t a link to the company who makes that mirrored storage cabinet, though! Others exist, but I haven’t seen one with ‘tiers’ or ‘levels’ like that before, though! It’s SO GLAM! The house is done in amazing taste…congrats to all who contributed.

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