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. Charles says:

    That’s exactly what i have in my bathroom which came with the house in 1962. Where can i find the legs and towel bar for the bathroom sink. one side of mine is broken. Amy suggestions?

  2. Melita Lykiardopoulou says:

    Awwww, Pat, thank you for – yet another – beauty! And thank you for detailing the sink towel bars. Now, if only we could find a source for them ….

  3. Gen says:

    What a beautiful bathroom! I had to go back and look at the master bath again as well, they are both kept so well, they look like they were built yesterday. How does the grout stay so clean? I struggle with trying to keep the grout nice in my 19-year old house, and don’t know how this bathroom looks brand new. Thanks for any ideas!

    1. If you wipe down your tiles after you shower, it helps. Just with a towel to take the standing moisture off. Also, leave your shower curtain open until everything is completely dry in there. I know a lot of us like to close it so things look neater but the tiles need air to dry. An exhaust fan can help tile grout dry quicker too!

  4. 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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