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Design Dilemma
Design Dilemma

Closet sized PINK bathroom with no outlets...

jillbuonomoFebruary 15, 2013
This truly is a closet-sized upstairs bathroom, at 5.5 feet deep and 4 feet 9 inches across. We're guessing it's around 60 years old, and there are no outlets. (Note the awful wall lighting). This needs some serious updating. Might have to take over the modestly sized closet that sink/mirror wall backs up against. Home is a 1950s-era 1-1/2 story Cape. Welcoming all thoughts and ideas!
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OMG - whatever you do keep the washbasin and put it on Craig's list, I can see people in Europe killing for your washbasin!
That is indeed a small area. A rough idea, would be to strip it right down, but keep the placement of the porcelainwear in situe - and of course, update them. Swap out your shower wall for a glass panel (to bring light in and earn more space). For your sink and outlets, I am hesitant to give advice as I work in Europe, but I would assume if you have an electricity outlet for your lighting, once stripped, you might be able to run another line for outlets.
The world is your oyster (about the size of it) in terms of your colours, budget and style.
Best of luck
2 Likes    Bookmark   February 15, 2013 at 11:07AM
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Just wanted to second keeping the sink!
Bohemian Apartment Bathroom with Moroccan Tiles · More Info
2 Likes    Bookmark   February 15, 2013 at 11:13AM
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Going to be costly to take over the closet as you are talking about taking out a wall that includes plumbing and electric lines. Same issue of cost holds for the suggestion to take out the shower stall and install a glass panel. It could be more costly than in some other homes as your hot water looks like it's tied into the baseboard radiators like mine is. If you've got the budget, however, taking over the closet would likely solve a host of problems including adding outlets.

If your budget is smaller, you might be able to knock through the wall into the closet next to the sink to open up storage area for the bathroom without having to reroute plumbing and electric. I suspect an electrician could add outlets with relative ease at the same time as changing out the light fixtures. Don't know your feelings on the tile, but it seems to be in good shape and well done. I'd try to keep it, myself, as it seems charming and perfectly in keeping with a 60 year old cape.
2 Likes    Bookmark   February 15, 2013 at 11:25AM
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Are you thinking a total gut or working with the existing tile and fixtures.? T kind of like what you have with one minor tweaks like medicine cabinet lighting and glass shower door. Take off all curtains including the one in front of the built in shelves. If you want to hide the contents you can have frosted glass doors made.a good electrician should be able to run an outlet off the electrical wiring near the sink to give you an outlet there. You could put a little glass shelf above the sink or a nickel cup and toothbrush holde to the side for your daily use. I think it's charming!
1 Like    Bookmark   February 15, 2013 at 11:33AM
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Carolyn Albert-Kincl, ASID
You'd gain about 3" of visual space if you eliminated the drapery hanging at the window. And certainly the one above the toilet also should go, to be replaced by a door over the medicine cabinet, or a new cabinet there.
3 Likes    Bookmark   February 15, 2013 at 12:39PM
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Are you thinking of gutting this or just looking to add outlet/change tile? What are your problem areas and goals? Is this the main bathroom? Do you need storage? What is your budget?

I also agree about keeping the sink. You can not find these anywhere now days and it's perfect for a small 50's bathroom! A glass shower would help the space feel larger.
4 Likes    Bookmark   February 15, 2013 at 1:46PM
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Dean South
Get rid of the oak frame and lights around the mirror. Lose the curtains, and you are all good. People LOVE this vintage look! Enjoy it!
6 Likes    Bookmark   February 15, 2013 at 8:12PM
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I understand completely! I have 2 tiny baths: 1 with green fixtures and 1 with pink. I like your pink & white tiling. Mine has a huge dark maroon pattern in the pink bath that reminds me of a Rorschach test. Ridiculously, I get lots of compliments on the 50s look. Just think of it as Retro.
1 Like    Bookmark   February 15, 2013 at 10:51PM
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If you don't like the tiles and have budget issues they can be re-sprayed, build in storage to keep the basin and add glass for shower to bring in light.
    Bookmark   February 16, 2013 at 4:00AM
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The tiles are great and the sink, agree that the curtains and other visual clutter needs to go, especially the mirror and light bulbs above the sink.
A white glass fronted 'shaving cabinet' above the sink would work really well and provides storage for all the bits and bobs.
Custom white framed frosted glass doors above the toilet, matching the shaving cabinet, or matching baskets (budget option) will restore the look.
1 Like    Bookmark   February 16, 2013 at 4:06AM
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I had a bathroom just this small, and it was a challenge. Mine was not in this good a shape! Beautiful tile. Ok, it's pink. Goes great with charcoal. Love the woven basket on the toilet. Finding some small ones for storage in the shelves over the toilet would solve the clutter problem. Get rid of curtains. Use a good heavy transparent shower curtain so it can stay open. Get rid of all other curtains. This requires sleek and simple.

You're big expense is changing out the lighting. Hiring an electrician is problematic. Ask several for bids. Change out the mirror for something more interesting and framed w/either white, deep magenta (accent that pink!) or frameless. If you can install ceiling-mounted lighting, you could enlarge the size of the mirror.

UNless you've got a big budget, I'd leave the sink alone, but stealing some of the adjoining closet for storage would be handy. If the closet is behind the wall to the right of the sink, a shelved alcove to hold towels, etc. would be really useful and chic. Check out baths on houzz for looks you like.
1 Like    Bookmark   February 16, 2013 at 4:38AM
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My daughters bathroom is similiar to this....I found a link to Better Homes and Gardens that has a lot of ideas that you could use. For starters the medicine cabinet can be sunk into the wall behind your sink. Add a cabinet under your sink, if the closet area that you have access to is also behind the door area you could open that up into the closet. First thing that I would do is get rid of the curtains. Check out the sight....to much to mention. lol

5 Likes    Bookmark   February 16, 2013 at 6:14AM
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Great post reberlou! I use BHG often for ideas
    Bookmark   February 16, 2013 at 11:41AM
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Blinds Direct Canada
I would recommend going with a PVC shutter for the bathroom.

2 Likes    Bookmark   February 16, 2013 at 4:37PM
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I find the tile and the sink charming but don't know how many people use this bathroom. As others have stated the curtains need to go. The mirror and lights need updating and mirror could be recessed inbetween studs. Lots of ideas on this site and BHG and HGTV for updating small bathrooms.
    Bookmark   February 17, 2013 at 6:34AM
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I wouldn't change a thing! (ok, except for the curtain)
But if you're really desparate on some space to move around in there, find a specialist who can cut out (with surgical precision) a piece of the sink-wall and install a niche with a drop-in sink, without harming the tiles around it! Since there is a closet backing it, the plumbing can be done from the back.
    Bookmark   February 17, 2013 at 7:06AM
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Oh, and save the tiles taken out somewhere safe. I see you'll also need a pink striped one and a regular to restore the ones where the drain is now.
    Bookmark   February 17, 2013 at 7:09AM
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Even if you take out the closet, you'll still have a tiny bathroom, and you will have lost a closet in the other room - maybe not worth it. It's true that a glass wall would bring light into the shower, but whether that's a good idea and worth the money totally depends on who uses this shower and how often.
    Bookmark   February 17, 2013 at 8:31AM
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Judy M
There are thousands of small bathroom ideas under the photo section on this web site. Go to browse rooms and choose baths from the drop down menu, then type "small bathroom" in the search box. I'm sure there will be several to give you some ideas.
Striking a Balance-Bathroom · More Info

Park Avenue Renovation · More Info
2 Likes    Bookmark   February 17, 2013 at 8:43AM
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perfectly fine bathroom
try going with dark gray accessories
less is more...let the tile show...
2 Likes    Bookmark   February 17, 2013 at 10:53AM
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I bet you can swap out the side light strips on the the sides of the mirror with a strip that has an outlet.

I would probably put white shutters over the shelves above the toilet to hide the clutter. Also a box or basket with a lid for the top of the toilet and under the sink - for the same reason. Small places seem smaller when you see clutter.
    Bookmark   February 17, 2013 at 11:07AM
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Charming -- especially the tile pattern on the window wall. What is the opening in the wall behind the toilet?

As others have commented, depends on whether you're moving fixtures, etc. or just making some cosmetic improvements. If you can in fact push back entire sink wall by 2-ft or so, you could shift the door to the left, and increase size of shower (which looks to be quite small currently).
1 Like    Bookmark   February 17, 2013 at 11:29AM
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Yeah, if you're into vintage, keep the fixtures and tiles for sure. I like the light &/or dark grey accents or even black. If you have a closet on the other side of the space you can really use, consider putting the shower in it; I think separating the fixtures in a bathroom makes a lot of sense. Easier to share at times when you want privacy. The shower could be accessed either from this bathroom or the hall or ??? Sliding doors always save room. If you want to do something really different, maybe work with the floor; it's always easier than the walls I think.
1 Like    Bookmark   February 17, 2013 at 12:31PM
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Bubbles Bathrooms
Here are some small bathroom design ideas for you. You can get more design ideas from the following website.
1 Like    Bookmark   February 17, 2013 at 4:47PM
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Crestview Homes,LLC
Based on the photo attached it appears to me that the dimensions you cite do not include the shower stall, which is probably 36" wide. Therefore the overall dimensions of your bathroom would actually be 5'-4" x 8', give or take a few inches. Am I seeing that correctly?

If so, then the bathroom is the size of a typical secondary bath in a new home. The reason your bathroom is so cramped is that the shower stall is in a bad spot.

If you have the budget for a complete re-do and you do not want to lose the closet ( we all need more storage not less!) then the shower needs to be re-located against the exterior wall and the door into the bath should open out into adjacent hall or bedroom intead of into the bath.
You could have a tub/shower where the sink and toilet are now located ( the area you are calling the bathroom): then move the sink towards the door, and install the toilet where the shower now stands.
Or you could have a glass enclosed shower in the corner where the sink now stands, place the toilet under the window perpendicular to the exterior wall and place the sink either where the shower now stands, facing the toilet, or where the door now opens ( less comfortable). Where you decide to place the sink would determine whether or not you should use a pedestal lavatory or if you can have a vanity as well.
Finally, if you do not want to go to that huge an expense and mess, demolish the side walls of the shower and replace them wilth a frameless, clear glass enclosure. Pricey ( approx. $1,600.00+/-), but it will open up the space completely so that you will feel much less cramped and you will gain natural light in the shower - very nice if you shower in the morning. Furthermore by demolishing those walls you will actually gain as much as 6" in both directions, because they are probably constructed of 2"x4" stud walls, 1/2" sheetrock on both sides and tile: that is a lot of inches to be gained in such a tight space.
A less costly and but less sleek way to accomplish similar result - use "L" shaped shower curtain rod and nice curtain. You can have it drawn open when not in use and the bathroom will feel very spacious indeed!
Reversing the swing of the bathroom door so that it opens out of the bathroom is important too - it will allow for wider, easier passage past the shower.
And yes, please do lose the window curtains.

The photos of bubbles bathrooms are beautiful and can probably be adjusted to accomodate the smaller size of your bathroom. The folks down under are doing some amazing work!

Good luck!
3 Likes    Bookmark   February 17, 2013 at 9:26PM
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Gut it and keep plumbing where it is at. It will be cheeper to tear down to studs and re-drywall. Then you can put in outlets and place the lighting above the medicine cabinet. You have the electricity ran, it's just not in the right spots. Put in a pre-made glass shower stall to open the room. The toilet is fine, and the sink is charming. There are small sinks that give more storage, but it doesn't have to be replaced.
    Bookmark   February 19, 2013 at 5:23PM
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very cute Ladybird Johnson bath! If it's not your style, definitely salvage the fixtures, etc. as they are valuable. What is trash to some is "retro" to others. Sounds like Bubbles and Crestview have some good advice and ideas for you.
1 Like    Bookmark   February 19, 2013 at 7:07PM
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lolol LadyBird? i love it!! i think people who have never had to use a tiny bath think they're great, you know? ha. :) if you think yours is pink, you should have seen mine! it was really really pink!!! it was so bad that i hardly ever turned the lights on. the wall paper was gruesome foil with butterflies. thank god the appliances were white. one suggestion for your window. i tried blinds and curtains in mine but they were just in the way. now i have a window film on it and it's the best thing i ever did. it's so lovely in the sunlight. the bath used to be a linen closet before the previous owners changed it. how i wish it were a linen closet!!! that's how small it is!
i agree about just having a shower, no one really uses a bath anymore and you would hve more visible space.
you might want to see if you could move the sink to a corner? but otherwise i dont know if your plumbing would allow moving the toilet or sink.
    Bookmark   March 24, 2013 at 10:13AM
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President Johnson's wife (nicknamed Ladybird) loved pink, so pink and pale blue were especially popular in that era. You'll see tile with pale pink and then very dark pink accent pieces in hexagon or elongated diamond cuts (or those curls on your tiles) for example. In a house where a lot of the original fixtures of the period have been kept, it's really adorable.
    Bookmark   March 28, 2013 at 8:09AM
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