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Classic Black and White Bathroom: Restoring Vintage Charm in This Historic Home for the Fall 2020 One Room Challenge

Bathroom Renovation Reveal: We've finished the remodel of the guest bathroom in our Historic 1920s Bungalow home. Here's the before and after to show how we added modern amenities while restoring vintage charm.

Week Six of the Fall 2020 One Room Challenge: We’ve completed the remodel of the guest bathroom in our Historic 1920s Bungalow home. Here’s the final reveal with before and after photos to show how we added modern amenities while restoring vintage charm …

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Restoring a vintage bathroom: We bought an old house that had been stripped of its character. As we tackle a rebuild, we are dedicated to adding back the classic charm to match the home's age. The first room we finished was this bathroom. Here's how…


We bought an old house that had been stripped of its character through lackluster attempts at renovation through the years. As we tackle a rebuild, we are dedicated to adding back the classic charm to match the home’s age while maintaining a focus on fun, modern elements that reflect our family’s style. The first room we finished was this bathroom. Here’s how we renovated with restoration in mind.

Historic Home Restoration: A vintage bathroom gets a facelift with attention to period details.

When we moved into our 1920s Bungalow in July 2019, this wasn’t just our downstairs bathroom. It was our only bathroom! We immediately wanted to renovate it to remove the less-than-historic details from previous owners’ renovations but we figured a full renovation would have to wait at least five years.

Nature had other plans for us.

tornado rebuild Teri Moore of tmoorehome

On March 3rd, our neighborhood was devastated by a tornado that tore through town in the middle of the night. We weren’t home to witness the event but when we rushed home, we discovered our house was one of the impacted homes that would require a major rebuild.

tornado damage

A number of trees had fallen on our house and our chimney fell through the roof, causing substantial structural and water damage.

You can read more about how the tornado impacted our community and our efforts to rebuild here: Our Tornado Rebuild Journey.

gutting a historic bathroom

Once we began peeling back the layers of our home during reconstruction, we discovered substantial structural damage under the bathroom. Once all was said and done, the only original item we were able to salvage was the cast iron bathtub.

You can read more about the reconstruction of this bathroom here: Historic Bathroom Renovation: Kickin’ It Old School For The ORC

Historic Bathroom Renovation - We kept the original cast iron tub and added a unique tile pattern using subway and square tiles to make it stand out.

While it wasn’t in perfect shape, we decided to keep the original cast iron tub and added a unique tile surround using subway and square tiles to make it stand out.

Shower Storage for a Guest Bathroom

Inside the shower, storage and accents in traditional materials provide luxurious access to bathing toiletries for guests.

Shower details in guest bathroom

Matte black plumbing fixtures tie the look together.

Classic Black and White Bathroom Renovation

By adding a strip of black fabric to the bottom of our white waffle weave shower curtain, I was able to raise the height of the shower curtain rod to bring the eye up to the traditional tile pattern on the shower walls.

Black and White Hexagon Tile in a Vintage Bathroom

On the bathroom floor, I designed a custom tile pattern with inexpensive porcelain hexagonal tiles in black and white. The border of black around the room allows the black walls to seamlessly transition into the floor, creating a continuation that makes this small bathroom feel bigger than it is.

white hexagonal tile with black grout

The white hexagonal tile in the center of the bathroom grounds the space with a reflective property to enhance the lighting in what would be an otherwise dark bathroom.

Custom hexagonal tile design

In the center of the entrance to the space, guests are greeted with an homage to our home’s history: A custom date in black tile permanently cements the year the house was built. Our tile installers, Nashtile, worked for over a week to get the placement of this design just right!

Custom Historic Tile Design by Teri Moore of T. Moore Home in Nashville, TN

You can see the full run-down of our tile choices and the entire design and installation processes here: Historic Bathroom Tile Designs

Black and White Bathroom In a Historic Home: Adding modern wallpaper for a fun accent in this family's 1920s bungalow.

Classic black and white bathrooms can harken a tuxedo vibe. Formal isn’t my family’s style. We love pop art and modern accents. To keep the overall feeling in this bathroom playful, we added this dog print wallpaper from the Novogratz line to two of the walls.

Historic Homes: Saving old windows and trim

Since we were able to salvage the original window and door trim, we wanted to provide details that would accentuate the historic nature of the home without overbearing it. The wallpaper provides a lighter detail while tying in the black paint we opted to use on the trim and board and batten wall treatment. A simple black roller shade paired with frosted glass window film provides privacy without obstructing the light into the room or covering the original window’s character.

Classic Black and White Bathroom Accents: tin ceiling tiles in historic bathroom

Easy-to-install tin ceiling panels were added to reflect the vintage charm of the home while elevating the look of this bathroom. The addition of the black ceiling makes this room feel like a bathroom in a boutique hotel. Perfect for guests!

Boutique Hotel Bathroom Vibes: How one designer updated her historic home's bathroom to feel luxurious and full of character.

You can read more about the wallpaper and ceiling tile process here: Historic Bathroom Decorating With Wallpaper + Tin Ceiling Panels

Open Bathroom Storage for Guests

While a guest bathroom doesn’t require nearly as much storage as your daily bathroom, there are still some details you don’t want to leave out. Or, for me, I actually prefer to leave them out.

Open Towel Storage for Guest Bathrooms

Beautiful towels provide function and form for guest bathrooms. In this space, we opted to continue the waffle weave pattern onto the guest towels. By doing this, I’ve allowed the space to function without an additional door on the bathroom closet as the towels serve the dual purpose of decor.

Open Shelving: Bathroom Storage

Providing open shelving for guests creates a large entrance to this bathroom, making the entire space feel bigger and more luxurious.

guest bathroom storage details

Beneath the open shelves, hooks provide storage for used towels and a bathrobe while a rolling trolley cart houses extra toiletries and bathroom tissue.

Storage for extra toothbrushes and toiletries in a guest bathroom

We took this opportunity to shout-out one of our favorite neighborhood businesses, Olive and Sinclair, while providing attractive access to back-up toothbrushes.

You can read all about how we built these floating storage shelves here: Historic Bathroom Moulding + Trim

Black Bathroom Ideas: See how this designer used a classic black and white color palette to restore vintage charm to her historic bathroom.

The restoration of a historic bathroom wouldn’t be complete without vintage hardware and accessories. We were lucky enough to have this original door and hardware. Of course, function trumps form so we opted to add a modern door knob that doesn’t compete with the original backplate.

Black and White Bathroom Details

In fact, we accessorized the entire bathroom with details that would exalt the character of our home without competing with the original details.

Historic Bathroom Renovation in Black and White

You can read more about where I find accessories and fixtures for a historic bathroom here: Finding Vintage Accents For A Historic Bathroom Renovation

Classic Black and White Bathroom in a Historic Home

The end result of all this planning and detailed decision making is a bathroom that feels authentically historic but playful enough for our silly family to love.

You can watch the full bathroom tour here:

I completed this bathroom as part of the Fall 2020 One Room Challenge. It’s one of my favorite biannual design events because it offers the perfect excuse to focus six weeks on my own home (a rare feat in an Interior Designer’s life!)


Over the next couple weeks, you’re going to see a ton of beautiful spaces created by the guest participants of this Fall’s One Room Challenge. To see where everyone stands now, head over to the ORC Blog.

Black Bathroom with White Accents



Vintage Bathroom Ideas

I’ll be back soon with more updates on our home’s rebuild. Until then, stay safe and sane. xoxo


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