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Design Dilemma
Design Dilemma

1950s bathroom remodel

korenlFebruary 13, 2013
I need advice about our 1950s bathroom remodel. This is the only bathroom for this house so it needs to be practical (e.g. vanity with drawers or storage would be awesome so I could take down some of those hanging cabinets) but I want it to be a little more contemporary than it is now. I know some people will say keep the tile but if you look at the shower picture, you can see that former owners put up that vinyl cover over the tile and we can feel holes behind it so we think we will need to put in a new tile or Onyx surround. One of the former owners also put in that southwestern vinyl tile floor that doesn't even begin to go with the mint green tile.

My first question is about the vanity - does the wood of the vanity need to match our original wood doors (will not paint as we have all the original doors throughout the house)? Would white be another option?

Second, after measuring again, it looks like a standard vanity will be too deep for the door entry. Any recommendations for narrower, good quality vanities (18" or so)?

We are thinking about keeping the tub since it is still in good shape but the sink and toilet will be replaced (plumbing upgrades are needed anyway).
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Forgot to attach picture of the door...
    Bookmark   February 13, 2013 at 7:13PM
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Any ideas appreciated...
    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 2:33PM
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ManLand LandMan
Keep the sexy window!
    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 2:36PM
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The more recent additions are definitely unfortunate. Are you basically planning non gutting it and starting over except for the tub? Getting rid of the cabinet over the sink would not be too hard, since it doesn't provide all that much storage and it really only provides a mirror. Is the sink bad or is it just that you'd like a vanity for storage?

The woods don't have to match, but their styles should 't be too different.
    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 2:47PM
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So basically your bathroom will retain the tub but change out the sink and toilet. Do you plan on changing the positions, or is it just new elements (except the tub) and new tiles and decor? If you can give an idea of what your styles are and what you want to do budget- wise, we can help .... $ or $$ or $$$. If you have a plan with measures would also help.
    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 2:59PM
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Terri Symington, ASID
Korenl... any case good piece of furniture can be turned into a vanity. It is a very simple process for a plumber to do. So if you could find a piece of furniture or cabinet that you like that fits the depth of the space then go that route. A suggested option would be something like a console table with storage.

Is that a black or dark green trim tile. If you were to keep the existing tile then a painted piece of furniture to match that trim would work. A white tile on the floor and shower would work with the existing tile... given the right selection is made.
    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 3:07PM
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Whatever you do, carefully remove the sink then list it on Craigslist. It's really neat and someone restoring a 50's home would love it.
3 Likes    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 3:35PM
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Yarbro Home Improvement LLC
No, the cabinet does not need to match the bathroom entrance door. Also, try to find a cabinet that takes advantage of the space below the sink (s). In the photo, the bathroom entrance door is painted white ( cabinet black ) and the drawers in the cabinet were customized around the plumbing and also to take full advantage of the space below the sinks. Sink base units ( bathroom and kitchen ) are basically useless for storage in my opinion. Organized storage that is

Kirkland · More Info
    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 5:27PM
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Jeffrey Brooks Interior Design
Smaller scale bath vanities and fixtures can be found online from Canadian and European manufacturers. I've fit full baths in tiny spaces often for apartment dwellers. I have attempted to make the image attached here small enough to fit on this page but it may not succeed because the original image is in large format. Check out Purificare online for smaller tubs, toilets and showers.
    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 5:54PM
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Jeffrey Brooks Interior Design
PS If you click on the picture it will expand and you'll see the vanity.........
    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 5:55PM
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This is not our forever house so the budget is probably more $$. This means probably leaving the same footprint for the plumbing (not really any room to give around the bathroom anyway because of the closet on one side and bedroom on the other).

Sink isn't horrible but it is really low and doesn't have any storage.

Tile is mint green with darker green border. Then someone put the white trim up to hold the towel racks right on top of the tile for some reason instead of above it.

Thought about just redoing the floor and repainting but can't figure out what to do with the vinyl walls on the shower. If we take them down and the tile underneath is too low for a shower or damaged, what the heck would work as a surround with that green tile?

I have gone back and forth between a white vanity and gray tile floor to a dark wood vanity with a light tile (Happy Floors Asia Bianco) 12x24 on the floor and 6x24 up the walls and in the shower. Would lean more contemporary than traditional (similar to picture Yarbro posted above).
    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 6:01PM
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Judy M
This is what I would do: I would gut room. Add a Sterling "accord" tub and surround ( Kohler makes them) . They offer great storage and they are worth the slight extra cost compared to other tub/ surrounds.
Add a light inside the shower. Add an 18 inch deep vanity and a recessed medicine cabinet over it. Replace lights on either side of vanity and add new toilet. New tile floor of your choice.If you don;t have a ventilation fan, add one.

If your budget allows more, then add beadboard on lower half of walls and add tile above the tub surround and also on the ceiling above the tile if you want. ( as an option you can add the same tile you add above the tub surround on lower half of walls instead of the beadboard.

Paint the top half of wall and add new towel bars. Stay with neutral colors for floor tile if you plan to sell.
1 Like    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 6:15PM
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Jeffrey Brooks Interior Design
Since you want to update without gutting entirely, think about white on white. Then accent the round window with a paint color. Maybe replacing the sink with another wall-hung unit is the way to go. Take out the current mirror and cabinet. Use a frameless mirror over the sink and fresh light fixture. In place of the cabinet use a chrome and glass shelf, or leave that wall alone and store your toiletries in a free standing round cabinet (tabouret) under the sink.
The tabouret can be found in a good art supply store or online at Hive online. Also check out Design Within Reach, also online.
I've attached another pic of a "table" style vanity. Did you see the last pic I sent? The vanity unit in the last picture is 27" in Dia.
    Bookmark   February 15, 2013 at 7:17AM
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As for vanity finish, it doesn't have to match the door. Just go with the color combination your intuition tells you to choose. Both of your ideas are good ones.

If we're talking personal preference, my choice would be the dark vanity and the Bianco floor.
    Bookmark   February 15, 2013 at 7:22AM
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Thank you for all the feedback.

I do like the smaller vanities you included Jeffrey and I will go look up the tabouret cabinets. I saw that round vanity on the Ronbow site. I also saw a 24" Kali vanity in the cinnamon color that might go well with our door color. It is small but has three drawers (can't find pic on houzz but shows up in google). My husband also liked the dark ronbow (found pic on houzz).

Ronbow Bath Furniture · More Info
    Bookmark   February 15, 2013 at 7:48AM
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Interiors International, Inc.
I love that window. The idea of repeating that round with the mirror is a great idea.
    Bookmark   February 15, 2013 at 7:52AM
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Design Mode
(Sing to the tune of Splish Splash)
Is the look of your bath
You really wanna make it right!
Houzzy post:
What's it need the most?
Bad plumbing is the biggest plight....

What? Sorry - I had a Glee moment, there.
I would get professional advice on your plumbing, and start with any replacements or repair. You don't want old pipes bursting on new anything, then doing everything all over again.
Proceed from there. I would do a complete gut, taking out the tile, flooring, vanity and bathsurround. This will have to be coordinated very quickly to get your w.c. in place since it is your only bathroom. Shower areas need cement board, and a few days for grout to dry and be sealed.
Floating cabinets are cool, you can save money with larger tiles in a cool pattern, and a little splurge on a detailed, neutral listello. Big box stores have sales in the spring & fall, so that may be the time for the reno.
1 Like    Bookmark   February 15, 2013 at 8:10AM
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