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The brown and yellow bathroom upstairs in Mary & Duane’s 1948 Cape Cod house

Last week, we took a look inside the glamorous black-tiled 1948 master bathroom at Mary and Duane’s house, and now, let’s examine the upstairs bathroom. It, too, has an unusual color combination that we don’t see often in postwar bathrooms — brown wall tiles and yellow fixtures. And it, too, is in spectacular, high-quality, time-capsule shape, as if it had been built yesterday.

The house was in one family all these years, so some stories came with it. Word is, the upstairs in this little Cape Cod house was finished out by dad, a plumbing contractor, for a daughter in the family was either living at home while she went to school or had just started her first job after finishing school. Oops, I forget.

So, upstairs, there is a living area… a second, small kitchen… a bedroom, and various closets

Remember: In 1948, many folks — including where I live, in Massachusetts — had the “Cape Cod” style in their sites as their “dream home.” The Cape Cod style was broadly publicized — and popularized nationwide — by Massachusetts’ own and my favorite architect Royal Barry Wills. It’s a is classic Colonial look… it’s a charming livable style… and folks could “grow” into it by initially only completing the downstairs, then, when their family grew in size, finish the upstairs. More photos to come of the rest of the house (I’m milkin’ it), but you can bet: There’s knotty pine involved in this house, too! No pink bathrooms, though! These homeowners were fashion-forward, going against the (pink) grain! 

Now, all the lovely details:
So there you go: A love letter to a little 1948 brown-and-yellow bathroom, right down to the original Crane shower rod escutcheon.  

  1. MMM says:

    I need to know, too! I’m currently trying to restore my vintage, bathroom, tile, grout to this level of pristine glory and believe me, it’s tough!!

  2. Evan says:

    I totally agree Sarah. I had to stop watching those shows because my blood pressure would explode. They go in with sledge hammers to destroy perfectly beautiful tubs, sinks and toilets. WHY not just take them out and find a new home for them, if they’re so ignorant of the beauty?

  3. Evan says:

    I was going to say that brown (no matter the shade) is not a favorite of mine, but this one, with the cheery yellow to counterbalance it, is simply beautiful! *sigh* Beautiful…

  4. Carolyn says:

    I’ve noticed that some of the newer shows are showing that they’re recycling and donating. This was my first summer of HGTV to see what the fuss was about. One gal has issues with the ’70’s but when it’s in a century-old mansion, I can see her point. But she does donate. A fellow even said out loud he didn’t understand the MCM mindset (it was those accordian doors featured here a while back). Maybe they’ve been getting letters or they’ve realized you can’t go to Round Top to flea if everyone throws everything away.

  5. kddomingue says:

    Oh! Thank goodness! Someone else sees it! I was beginning to doubt my sanity, lol!

    What a terrific mood lifter to have in one’s home. I simply can’t imagine it not eliciting a giggle or a grin every time you looked at it!

  6. Neil says:

    I’m getting all “handsy” looking at that sink….because J’ADORE those globe knobs!! Looks like they’re meant to echo the shower rod escutcheons, too. Be still, mon coeur.
    After my ablutions in that bathroom, I’d need to sit on the throne and have a cigarette, from the (non-existent) relaxation unit.

  7. Chelsea says:

    Hi! I’m new to to this site and your blog, but I’m so glad I found it! I’ve been nuts for retro before the term retro was a thing. I have a novice question, though. What is that in the space between the mirror and the lavatory? I’m still learning. Thanks in advance! Happy New Year everybody!

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