Updated Vintage Bath Before and After
Old-style fixtures and floor tile
create a vintage-bathroom look
for a traditional-style house
When empty-nesters Lynn and Bill Kolbusz set out to redo what had been their kids' hall bath, they wanted a vintage-inspired space that would complement their 1970s traditional brick house in Oak Brook, Illinois.
Despite the presence of a skylight, the old bath was dark and drab, with floral wall-paper, a walnut-stained vanity, and buckling floor tiles.
With the help of Chicago designer Christine Julian, the new bathroom not only fits right in with the rest of the house, it has a clean, inviting look.
Though new, the four-legged console sink looks like it was plucked from the past. So does the hexagonal floor tile—although the homeowners chose a taupe background with white accents as a soothing departure from the black-and-white patterns typically used in vintage bathrooms.
The new room is lighter and brighter, thanks to a neutral color scheme and vintage-style light fixtures. Two walls are wrapped in wainscot paneling, the others in rectangular subway tile. A reproduction claw-foot tub faces the shower.
A new storage cupboard was patterned after an old-fashioned built-in. The white-painted maple unit features glass-front doors above and solid doors below; the latter conceal two pull-out shelves for organizing toiletries. Glass knobs keep the vintage look consistent.
Making clever use of wall space, a recessed tiled niche above the tub keeps towels and bath products close at hand.
A frame of taupe decorative trim tiles sets it off nicely against the white tiled wall.
The deck of the console sink is a roomy 44 inches wide, offering plenty of space for grooming items. The chrome faucet with porcelain handles adds to its period feel. A classic wood-framed medicine cabinet provides storage above the sink; it is flanked by reproduction sconces.
One clear glass wall and an open side help the shower—and the 10-by-10-foot room—seem larger. The ceiling-mounted rain head keeps the spray within the confines of the stall. A built-in tiled niche holds soap and shampoo, while a marble-top seat offers a perch for toweling off.
The tub's cast-iron sides and feet are painted taupe to match the dominant floor tile color. The homeowner opted for a neutral tone to create a soft contrast to the mostly white fixtures.
1. To make room for a separate tub and shower, the 8-by-10-foot bathroom was widened 2 feet by claiming space from an adjoining hallway closet.
2. Removing the wall-to-wall vanity with double sinks allowed the rest of the fixtures to be repositioned. The toilet and a large, period-style console sink now occupy what was the vanity wall.
3. A 4-foot-wide-by-7-foot-high cupboard was built into an existing alcove, providing even more storage than the old 10-foot vanity.
4. The combination tub/shower was replaced by a stall shower. The new tub sits across from it, where the old toilet had been.