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When "vintage" does NOT equal cute: Bathroom redecorating help

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Selkie

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SomethingShiny? ChargerGrrl? I know you two recently remodeled bathrooms. Anyone else care to help with my own ugly bathroom remodel?

We just bought a house that we completely love. It''s a 1929 California Spanish style bungalow, and most of the original features are intact, including oak floors, casement windows, a milk delivery door, and even a real built-in icebox. The bathroom, too, is mostly original, but NOT in a good way. See the attached montage. Keep in mind, that is before a THOROUGH cleaning and wall-scrubbing. Trust me, the rest of the house is worth putting up with the bathroom. We can''t undertake a full remodel right now so I''d love some thoughts on improving its appearance until we can.

The walls are actually white, not cigarette smoke yellow like they appear. We will most likely leave the walls alone, except to paint them. The bottom three feet is molded to look like subway tile, and the top is a textured plaster. I''ll probably keep the bottom half white, but paint the plaster above the border. The problem is what color to use-which would not be an issue if it weren''t for the floor.

We think the floor tiles date to the building of the house. They may actually be stone tiles-which is cool. They are a most unfortunate salmon pink color-which is not cool. If we leave the tile as is, there are two colors of paint (tawny port and sweetheart) shown in the montage that MAY go with the tile. What do you think of them? Does anyone see a way to paint the bathroom so it doesn''t look like an explosion in a pepto-bismol plant? And then there is the issue of the black tile border around everything. I kind of like the look, but again, am not sure which way to go in terms of paint colors.

Alternatively, I like the idea tiling over with vintage looking tile, in a simple black and white pattern. Can we tile over what is there now?

TIA!

hideouspinkbath.JPG
 

Tacori E-ring

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No you cannot tile over existing tile. You have to remove it first. I guess you need to ask yourself how important it is to save the original floor. If so than you are on track to design the rest of your bathroom around that.
 

Mara

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selkie i love that shower tiling...!!

we have a vintage bathroom in our new place too, it has the original subway floor tiling which we LOVE...it''s 3/4 white with a black starburst in the middle of the room. the bathroom is tiny and its one of three, so nothing like yours which is much larger, but we love that during the remodel it was kept original rather than redone...esp the tile.

one idea on the walls is to add beadboad 1/2way down with a slightly modern baseboarding on top. this was done in ours and it looks really lovely with the rest of the vintage look.

honestly, if you don''t like the floor tile, don''t paint the rest of the bathroom a rose or pink or anything that might ''go'' with it. i''d say keep the walls white, and maybejust accent with black. can you do white rugs in the bathroom? if you do want to do a remodel at some point in the future, just go with ''superficial'' changes for now and/or things that you can easily do over time. maybe adding some silver might break up that pink a bit too, aka silver mirror and/or some other ''focal'' points that might distract.

i would retile the floor in a cool pattern you like at some point as well. vintage bathrooms are so fun. one thing greg always tells me is that not everything has to be done ''immediately'' ... i am always all about having the place the way i exactly want it right away. have fun with it!
 

musey

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It''s not so bad!! Maybe I have bad taste, though. It might look great after a nice wall paint job
 

April20

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We just tiled over existing, original tile in our bathroom. When I say "we", I mean the tile guy we hired. He did not have any issues when he did it and it came out great. We didn''t plan to tile over existing at all. When the existing tile was demo''d, we found the original underneath. It was actually really cool, but too damaged to salvage. It would have caused major issues to demo another level, so we tiled over it. What I can''t remember is if the tile guy laid anything down in between. Given the transition strips between the tile in my kitchen and my hardwoods, that might be tile over tile too. I''m not sure.

For what it''s worth re: tile over existing tile, I worked last year for a company that project managed remodels for a fast food chain. They do new retail tile floors as part of their remodel package and they are ALWAYS tiled over the existing tile. They do the work in 7 days and there is not time (or budget) to demo the existing. So it can be done and is done regularly.

We did a 2" white hex tile with sporadic black inserts in our bathrooms. It came out great. I am very pleased. Don''t know if it helps, but here''s a pic of my floor. It''s not the one that is tiled over the original, I don''t have a good pic of that one, but the pattern is the same in this bathroom and gives you the look.

DSC05018 - Copy.JPG
 

movie zombie

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for what its worth, i like the shower tiling too! but then Mara and i are california women.....

is there a way you can get it verified re the floor tiling? perhaps it was a remodel from the 40''s......

if you can''t stand the color, you can''t stand the color so why do more of it? i''d re-do the floor to go with the exisitng black tile and replace the hardware on the vanity.

mz
 

iheartscience

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Date: 2/11/2009 10:17:12 PM
Author: musey
It's not so bad!! Maybe I have bad taste, though. It might look great after a nice wall paint job
Hahaha ditto! I think it's cute! I'd probably leave it and just repaint and/or re-skim the plaster walls so they would be plain instead of textured.

One thing I have seen on home improvement shows on TLC/HGTV is refinishing the tiles...they basically spray paint over the tiles with some kind of special paint so that they're all one color. (I've only seen them do white.)

BUT I really think it's cute as is and I'd probably leave it.
 

ChargerGrrl

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I also dig the existing tile- it really gives the bathroom some character. The shower tile is great!

I like Mara''s idea to do beadboard on the bottom half. I would then paint the top half, perhaps with a complementary rather than matching color to the salmon tile. How about grey?

Then you could accessorize with a stronger gunmetal grey/pewter and white porcelain hardware. What do you think of this faucet and accessories? http://www.faucet.com/decor/product.pl?mid=3977&fh=Chrome&P&CID=FRO (i personally prefer nickel to chrome) replacing the faucet, towel bar, tp holder, etc... makes a difference!

The black tile accents are cool, but i would switch out the black pulls on the drawer with either clear "vintagey" ones or pewter/chrome.

Once you add some rugs to the floor, you won''t be able to see too much of it and it won''t be the focal point it is now. Throw in a shower curtain (perhaps plain white with a grey border- kinda like those "hotel" duvets) to add a non-fussy clean look. I did a quick search and didn''t find anything, but i''ll look again tomorrow. i have an idea in my head and KNOW that there''s something out there!
 

lyra

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Date: 2/12/2009 1:03:34 AM
Author: ChargerGrrl
I also dig the existing tile- it really gives the bathroom some character. The shower tile is great!

I like Mara''s idea to do beadboard on the bottom half. I would then paint the top half, perhaps with a complementary rather than matching color to the salmon tile. How about grey?

Then you could accessorize with a stronger gunmetal grey/pewter and white porcelain hardware. What do you think of this faucet and accessories? http://www.faucet.com/decor/product.pl?mid=3977&fh=Chrome&P&CID=FRO (i personally prefer nickel to chrome) replacing the faucet, towel bar, tp holder, etc... makes a difference!

The black tile accents are cool, but i would switch out the black pulls on the drawer with either clear ''vintagey'' ones or pewter/chrome.

Once you add some rugs to the floor, you won''t be able to see too much of it and it won''t be the focal point it is now. Throw in a shower curtain (perhaps plain white with a grey border- kinda like those ''hotel'' duvets) to add a non-fussy clean look. I did a quick search and didn''t find anything, but i''ll look again tomorrow. i have an idea in my head and KNOW that there''s something out there!
Whether you retile or not, the first paint colour that came to my mind was grey also. Definitely not more pink! Otherwise, I like the charm of all the existing tile. You shouldn''t tile over tile if it can be avoided. It is something that is done to save money, but it can cause problems down the line. Demo would include renting a tile remover which is like a jackhammer. We''re going to be doing that in our kitchen and one bathroom.
 

Hudson_Hawk

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One reason why people tile over existing (old) tile is because pre-1960s, most tile adhesive/mastic contained asbestos. You can tile over tile if your floors are level, but I agree, it can be a pain in the long run. Additionally, if you discover linoleum (sp?) floors in your house, be careful about pulling it up. More so than mastic, pre-1960s linoleum contained asbestos.
 

swimmer

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Selkie! It isn't as bad as you indicate, really. The all white is making the pink more "focal" than it would be if you painted the walls a grey. Pick up the grey-tone in that deeper pink, but in a light-medium hue and that would be lovely. Ditto the comments on the black drawerpulls. Use them elsewhere (they look very Anthropologie, but the contrast is a bit much in that small space) and replace with clear glass ones. The floor will not be so noticable with a white fluffy rug from Target in the meantime. Great shape to the shower. Yes, I've been stalking your house/kitty photos on fb, keep them coming!

ETA: do you have one of those curve around curtain rods for the shower curtain? What color shower curtain then, silvery, white? certainly not pink or black...
 

Erin

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I would keep it the way it is with these added touches.
Paint trim black - this includes around the window.
Paint chest of drawers 'pepto bismol' - actually is there a color close to it that would force the pink to look a 'tad' more orange?
Change the pulls
Repaint walls stark white

Add black and white touches like window treatments like this

bwfloralcurt.jpg
 

Selkie

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Wow, thanks for all the responses! I haven''t been able to read ''em until now. That "work" thing keeps getting in the way. Anyway, before I respond to all your awesome suggestions, I have some more recent photos that show the furniture I''ve got in there now and a new light fixture. On towel racks, and the etagere, we''re going with white with silver accents, as Mara suggested. We also have glass w/silver accents, like apothecary jars and toothbrush holders. I like the clean look those items give, I just don''t want it to look totally "sterile."

First pic is the window with plain white linen curtains and our towel cabinet.

IMG_1968.JPG
 

Selkie

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This one is of the etagere, but it also shows the wall better. I like the walls, with the faux tile on the bottom separated by a border from the textured swirly plaster. I had thought of putting in beadboard ala Shiny''s blue bathroom redo, but I actually have grown to like the walls. THey just need some contrast between the top and bottom, because it''s way too cold and clinical looking right now.

IMG_1970.JPG
 

Selkie

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Pedestal sink with a new light fixture. The fixture is a bronzy color, which goes with the original ceiling fixture''s base.

IMG_1971.JPG
 

Selkie

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Another view of the light fixtures. Even things as simple as putting in the new lights and putting up curtains improved the situation!

IMG_1974_sm.JPG
 

teapot

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If you want something to break up the wall, have you considered putting in a chair rail or picture rail? That will not cover up your wall treatments.
 

Selkie

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Ok, so something similar to Mara''s and April20''s white (with black accents) bathroom tile is ideally what we''d like to do. Good to know that tiling over is a possibility, if removing these will cause too much damage. We think they are actually embedded in a cement layer right on the subfloor. My problem with the current tile is not just the color. It''s also cracked and dingy looking, and the grout is gross. So for that reason, we will eventually replace it, I just don''t know when. (Mara, I have the exact same problem with instant gratification-I want it the way I want it, NOW!)

I actually do like both the paint colors in the montage, but I like the darker color more and think I could live with it even if we do replace the tile. However, this gray idea intrigues me too. You all don''t think it would look dingy/monochrome? Like, how light or dark a gray? I suppose I can throw in colorful accents then with towels, pictures, etc. Hmmmm.

The knobs on the built-in drawers match our kitchen cabinets, and are the original black glass hex shaped knobs. I love the idea of replacing them with clear ones! Hadn''t thought of it, but it would go well with our other glass accents.

I think the black accent tile is newer. The shower stall is OK, just dark, and I like the arch too. I forgot to mention that there are these deep rose accent tiles inside the stall as well. Of course, they don''t match the pink floor tile at all.
 

Selkie

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There is no shower curtain rod around the tub, we'd need to install a curved one. Definitely something we're considering, especially if we redo the tile in the shower (we think there's leak). Deco, I love the suggestion for the floral black and white curtains. I just put up what I happened to have from our old place.

re: white rugs...I'm not sure that would work, with our gray cat and my husband's penchant for walking on clean floors with greasy boots, but maybe black and white?
 

Selkie

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Selkie

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I love this faucet!

ECT60.jpg
 

Selkie

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Found these on Overstock...

bwfloral_curtains.jpg
 

April20

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www.lookintheattic.com has a great selection of reproduction glass door knobs and cabinetry knobs. Reasonable prices and nicer than what I found available at Lowe''s. At least a fun browse if you''re in the market to replace the ones on your cabinet.
 

HollyS

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Actually, I think this old fashioned bath is pretty cool! But I kind of agree with Mara; don''t paint to match the tile you dislike. Use accent pieces instead that will tie the look together. Give it some thought before you change anything; when you live with something awhile, you get a better feel for what you will really want to do.

The house sounds great; did I miss some other photos you may have put up on PS? I love bungalows and cottages, and California Spanish style is one of my favorites. Lucky lady!
 

Honey228

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I wouldn''t add anymore pink. Actually, I guess I''m in the minority in that I''d paint the walls a brown/taupe/greige. (Not all of them! Just something along those lines.) But I tend to favor warmer colors.
 

Tacori E-ring

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Date: 2/12/2009 2:15:37 PM
Author: Hudson_Hawk
One reason why people tile over existing (old) tile is because pre-1960s, most tile adhesive/mastic contained asbestos. You can tile over tile if your floors are level, but I agree, it can be a pain in the long run. Additionally, if you discover linoleum (sp?) floors in your house, be careful about pulling it up. More so than mastic, pre-1960s linoleum contained asbestos.
Interesting! I have never heard of tiling over tile. DH always removes the old flooring, adds backer/cement board if needed and starts over. I would be worried about cracking over time w/o it but I am far from an expert!
 

Blenheim

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Tacori - I think I read about it when I was planning a bathroom redo about a year ago, and it can create problems if the original floor is not perfectly flat. Also, a lot of older tile and backer stuff (like the stuff in my house, and I''d guess in Selkie''s) is pretty thick, so you can create an incredibly thick floor that''s higher than surrounding floors by tiling over existing tile. But it can work in certain situations.

I was also thinking a medium grey or some sort of brown on the walls would help to tie things together without looking too matchy and overwhelmingly pink.
 

pennquaker09

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I think it has good bones. the only bad things are the floor and the tile on the counter top.

I think if you''re planning to do anything major in the near future, only do minor things now. I would imagine that the bathtub, cabinet, and sink will all be replaced? If you replace the floor and take those out later, you might have to redo it.

I think the two easiest fixes would be lighting and paint. I really like the vintage quality of the bathroom and I love the tiled in shower. It''s really unique. It''s sort of the beginning of an Art Deco styled bathroom.

Definitely stick with the white and black color palette and maybe add a hint of blue. Subway tile and hexagonal tiles fit into Art Deco design.
 

Selkie

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Date: 2/12/2009 7:47:39 PM
Author: HollyS
Actually, I think this old fashioned bath is pretty cool! But I kind of agree with Mara; don't paint to match the tile you dislike. Use accent pieces instead that will tie the look together. Give it some thought before you change anything; when you live with something awhile, you get a better feel for what you will really want to do.


The house sounds great; did I miss some other photos you may have put up on PS? I love bungalows and cottages, and California Spanish style is one of my favorites. Lucky lady!
No, I haven't put any up yet, but I can! I was thinking of a Before/After thread on it. Here's a teaser pic of the front:

(PS-I love your new sig! One of my favorite songs by my favorite band)

movoto_1.jpg
 
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