This post is sponsored by Lowe’s.
Something that always hurts my heart is when I see an adorable vintage bathroom – you know, the kind with the pink, mint or yellow tiles – being demolished in favor of more modern sensibilities. I realize this is completely personal preference, but I never knew just how strong my opinion was on the matter until our friends, who had recently purchased their first home, asked what we would do to their ‘ugly pink bathroom.’ Ugh, the pink bathroom!, they said. I took one look at the space, and my knee-jerk reaction was to keep it! Of course, this isn’t what they wanted to hear, but ever since that day, I’ve dared to dream that we might be so lucky to have a vintage-tiled bathroom of our own. (For what it’s worth, this conversation was almost 15 years ago, their bathroom is still pink, and I still love it so.)
Late last year, I was talking to another friend about their black and yellow bathroom, although his feeling was more aligned with mine – with ours, because Scott is in complete agreement with me, with us. Our friend and his wife, Pete and Rachael, purchased the most adorable Tudor style home a handful of years ago, and although they’ve already made several upgrades, they’d always been stumped on their vintage bathroom. Not because they didn’t like it, but because they were unsure of how to save it. Here’s how she looks today, the same as they day they moved in:
She’s cute, right?
But somewhere along the way, the previous homeowner had leaned a little too into the design, and rather than allow the vintage charm to speak for itself, the room took on an over-the-top feel. I can see why; it’s easy to want to play up the details that are there, but the real magic comes in knowing where to scale back. Pete pointed out the yellow crown molding (which had never been caulked, and you know how we feel about that!), the overly ornate ceiling medallion, window treatment and the polarizing combination of black paint with yellow trim.
We couldn’t be happier to be working with Lowe’s again this year, and we knew that they could help! Pete and Rachael’s vintage bathroom wasn’t in need of a major overhaul, rather, it was in need of a weekend refresh. Currently, their bath is a hodge-podge of original fixtures, modern upgrades from Kohler, and a healthy dose of head-scratching choices from… well, from a your-guess-is-as-good-as-mine. We love that Lowe’s has a curated collection of Kohler products, and we knew that we could find everything we needed under one blue roof to nurture the old back to health, replace anything that’s beyond repair and clean up the rest with a dash of Bar Keepers Friend and a gallon of fresh paint.
The sconces have been a thorn in their side for as long as they’ve lived in their home, and the mirror on the medicine cabinet extended a good 6″ above the frame itself, which gave us pause. Out of curiosity (and on a whim), we decided to remove the large rectangular mirror, which was held in place with a handful of screws:
And underneath, we found the original shape of the mirror! I was in love. Rachael was in love. We’re looking to have a new piece of mirror cut to mimic the original shape, which will be so sweet in this vintage bath, don’t you think?
The real star of the room is this tile. So. much. tile! It’s currently overpowered by the black ceiling (oh, and that yellow crown!), but we think it has the potential to shine.
We can’t wait to dive in and polish her up, and we think it can be done by scaling back. A makeunder, so to speak. Right now, the bathroom is dark, heavy. The tub spout leaks and there’s no shower head at all! The ceiling and crown and fixture medallion are on the chopping block. The black window frame is chipped, the sconces need to go and we’re itching to remove the window shade, like, yesterday. Here’s what filled our Lowe’s shopping cart:
1. portfolio composite ceiling medallion | 2. pinehurst white 3-towel set | 3. culmington sconce | 4. kohler fairfax shower head | 5. moen kingsley shelf | 6. kohler memoirs toilet | 7. kohler chrome bathtub spout | 8. barclay polished chrome shower rod | 9. allen + roth waffle shower curtain | 10. valspar signature eggshell paint in ultra white
So, friends, welcome to our vintage bathroom refresh! Vintage bath lovers, are you with us? We’ll report back with how our plans look in place, with all of our efforts set on reclaiming the charm.