Keeping Retro Style in the 3/4 Bath

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Two posts in one week? I know, I can’t believe it either.

The LONG 8-month reno is finally over. The last project to be finished was the 3/4 bath, located off of our kitchen.

The toilet and sink in this bath were Universal Rundle green dated 1953. We feel these fixtures are original to this bath, although it was updated at some point, probably in the 70’s. With an older home, I guess sometimes we will just never know everything about its’ past.

These are photos of the bathroom when we were considering buying this home:

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Because this bath was fully functional and in good working order, we simply painted the room a pale gray, spruced it up a bit and added accessories to better reflect our style.

DSCF1532DSCF1530DSCF1533peach bath master bedroom 020The black and white ceramic tile floor was added shortly before we purchased the home, sloppily installed for resale.

When it came time for the renovations of the kitchen and baths, it was decided that the door to the bathroom would be better located around the corner in the mud room. This helped to give me more space for the kitchen layout and made more sense visually. I also wanted closer access to this bathroom from outdoors and the garage.

101_2002Here is the beautiful new door, stained to match the original knotty pine in the mud room. We used Amber Shellac by Zinsser to finish the door. It took 3 or 4 coats to get it dark enough to match the original knotty pine walls, which I am sure has darkened over the years.

101_3137Since the vanity was not original, we did not keep it. It was handmade, of poor quality and not the style we wanted. I was unable to source a vintage one in the correct size or style to accommodate the original sink and also fit the dimensions of the room.

Unfortunately for us, our area is far away from any Craigslist. We don’t have a Goodwill, Habitat Re-Store or building salvage business anywhere close by. After pricing a custom-made cabinet, it was decided that we would buy a new vanity from IKEA. White was the color of choice since this bath is dark with only one tiny window. The new vanity also matches the adjoining kitchen cabinets.

Since this IKEA vanity would not accommodate the original vintage green sink and Huddee ring we purchased a new sink top. Without the green sink there was no point in keeping the green toilet.

Sadly, both are sitting in my garage. I have listed them for sale (cheap) on several vintage sites online. It seems not many appreciate mid-century mint green bathrooms or fixtures.

When removing the 70’s vanity to install the Armstrong VCT commercial flooring, we found the ghost marks of a smaller vanity. We were right, the vanity had been changed at some point.

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We did keep the original angled shower (with groovy etched swan door) intact.

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We painted the walls Sherwin Williams Classic French Gray (from the Suburban Modern collection). I used vintage atomic window valances I already had. The original lighted medicine cabinet also remained in place. The simple chrome faucet was from Lowes.

101_3134101_3133This retro travel poster has been following me around for years. It brought in some much needed color to the otherwise clinical looking room.

101_3135We needed a bit more lighting in here too, so DH rewired an inexpensive IKEA table lamp and made it into a swag for the corner. I love the way the light shines through the perforations onto the walls and ceiling.

It feels so good to have all of the messes gone and a clean, organized home again. Two functioning bathrooms and a kitchen! Yay!

I was really getting tired of take out, having to wash dishes in the main bath sink and trying to make the refrigerator part of the living room decor.

Stay tuned. My next post will tell you what I learned (and what I would have done differently) in this remodel.

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8 responses »

  1. We have the exact same etched swan shower door, but as much as we wanted to keep it, it doesn’t work for our remodel. Any idea what you think it is worth – just the glass pulled out of the frame and preserved?

  2. I need the sink!!! If you still have it please let me know … I have the toilet from 1960 but having difficulty getting the right green shade of sink

  3. I am in need of the mint green Universal Rundle bathroom sink … I gave the 1960 green toilet & having trouble finding a matching sink … Please email me if yours is still available!!!

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