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Libby’s — or should we say “Ethel’s” — remuddled 1953 bathroom gets a facelift

Libby calls her house Ethel. Ethel is 65 and has had some … work … over the years. Libby and her husband are helping get her back into fighting 1953 shape. Starting with the bathroom, which got new tile, which made quite a nice difference. >>

midcentury bathroom remodel afterLibby writes:

Hi Pam, 

I am working on a mini-renovation for our mid-century modest house, Ethel. It is her 65th birthday this year, and my husband and I have slowly but surely been updating her.

We have, at long last, finished our bathroom project (Ethel’s birthday bathroom excitement!)
Pam notes: Libby confirms the faucets are Union Brass, purchased at Locke Plumbing. You can also get them on Amazon (check all Union Brass listings for a variety of options):


starscape shower doorStarscape shower doors

We love our Starscape shower doors … 

Pam interjects: Reader this Sterling “Starscape” shower door (affiliate link) is a longtime favorite here on the blog, you can get it for both a bathtub- and complete-shower installation from places like Amazon, Home Depot, and Menards: 

Back to Libby’s story…Daltile aqua glow tile

We love our… new Daltile Aqua Glow and black shower tile <3 

framed vintage magainze ads framed vintage magazine ads framed vintage magazine ads framed magazine ads in a bathroom
All of these improvements make our darling 1953 mid century modest house even more dreamy than before! We love Ethel!
basketweave tile
Tile from Virginia Tile — here’s a proxy: 

dog photo bomb bathroom

Thank you for all of your work with this blog. ALL of my projects involve looking at retrorenovation first for ideas and information! I love your blog so much! Thanks for being amazing!

Best, 
Libby (on the prairie)

Why, thank you, Libby! You and your remodeling and your adorable husband and pup and bathroom — are amazing too!

Thank you for sharing and helping us to get the week off on an awesome start!

  1. Pat says:

    Thank goodness, the after picture showed that beautiful tile. We have been looking at houses the last few years and ALL of them have those huge 12″ brown tiles just EVERYWHERE! It’s horrendous, and it has turned us off from buying. How hard is it to remove that horrible stuff?

  2. Dawn says:

    You should be very proud!! Your bathroom looks fantastic – but especially the wall cabinets – the paint job looks professional. I love it all.

  3. Joe Felice says:

    In the close-up pic of the tub faucet, the tub looks pink along with the grout. I thought “God, how gorgeous!” Then moved on and saw they were really white. Damn! Still beautiful, nonetheless.

    Most of us would give an arm and a leg to have a vintage bathroom to renovate. Pink and aqua will do nicely, thank you.

    1. MJ says:

      I soon will be selling my 70s house with a complete pink bathroom set. A RE agent took one look, turned around and walked away, saying “That will have to go first.” Did not hire that agent, for sure!!!

      I LOVE love love my pink BR set. Did have to do something with the broken (asbestos?) tiles on the floor. Am on a pension and also too old to set tile myself, but found a pink and grey tile pattern role of flooring that suits me well. The walls are a soft grey with a hint of purple.
      If and when the house sells, there might be a pink bathroom sink, tub, and toilet for sale in the NC mountains. Now I know where to find the tub fixtures, I just might buy them for myself for Xmas and get rid of the make-do set from a big box store. So thanks , Libby for sharing the source.
      PS A friend recced a wonderful young plumber who replaced the innards of the toilet tank so I did not have to replace the toilet! Saved by the best plumber, IMO, this side of the Mississippi River.

  4. John Degenfelder says:

    Beautiful, beautiful job! Love the floor tiles. We are in process of bringing our 1947 mid century home back to semblance of its original life. There was nothing left after a pretty awful over haul in the early ’70s. (Think avocado green and baby blue).
    We’re tiling with Daltile too and marmoleum flooring. Will post when there’s something thrilling to share!

    1. Pam Kueber says:

      Sounds wonderful and note: We also like the 1970s here, including in particular: avocado green. We like all eras, if they are done well!

    1. Pam Kueber says:

      “Remuddle” is a term I know going back to the 1990s, when I first started with old houses. Instead of “remodeling” it’s “remuddling” — meaning, making a mess of things. I saw it used related to historic structures — taking something aesthetically whole and … again, making a mess of it with changes inconsistent with its underlying architectural integrity.

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