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 …
The following post contains affiliate links. As an Affiliate Marketing Associate I earn commissions from qualifying purchases. This helps me keep the free content coming.
Thanks for your support! xoxo
RESTORING A VINTAGE BATHROOM:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
Inside the shower, storage and accents in traditional materials provide luxurious access to bathing toiletries for guests.
Matte black plumbing fixtures tie the look together.
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.
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.
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.
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!
You can see the full run-down of our tile choices and the entire design and installation processes here: Historic Bathroom Tile Designs
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.
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.
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!
You can read more about the wallpaper and ceiling tile process here: Historic Bathroom Decorating With Wallpaper + Tin Ceiling Panels
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.
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.
Providing open shelving for guests creates a large entrance to this bathroom, making the entire space feel bigger and more luxurious.
Beneath the open shelves, hooks provide storage for used towels and a bathrobe while a rolling trolley cart houses extra toiletries and bathroom tissue.
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
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.
In fact, we accessorized the entire bathroom with details that would exalt the character of our home without competing with the original details.
You can read more about where I find accessories and fixtures for a historic bathroom here: Finding Vintage Accents For A Historic Bathroom Renovation
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.
GET THE LOOK: CLASSIC BLACK + WHITE BATHROOM
I’ll be back soon with more updates on our home’s rebuild. Until then, stay safe and sane. xoxo
RENOVATING HISTORIC HOMES ON A BUDGET ISN’T EASY
BUT I’M HERE TO HELP.
Commenting on this post is disabled so I can focus on our upcoming projects + client designs but that doesn’t mean that I don’t want to hear from you. Send me your questions and comments on Instagram by either commenting on my latest post or sending me a direct message. I really love to chat it out!
YOU’RE MISSING OUT 🙁
Not all my updates are big enough to warrant an entire blog post.
To make sure you never miss a single DIY project or great deal, sign up for my weekly newsletter:
I won’t share your information with anyone. Ever. I promise.
* this site contains affiliate links + advertising*
I get a commission when you buy through my links that goes towards the costs of hosting this free tutorial site.
Site operating fees are expensive but my commission costs you nothing. thanks for your support!
NEED MORE HOME IDEAS + INSPIRATION?
THESE ARE THE MOST POPULAR THIS WEEK: