Vintage Blue Bathroom!

OH MY GOODNESS THIS BATHROOM IS FINALLY PULLED TOGETHER AND IT’S ALL THAT I DREAMED IT COULD BE. A blue and gold dream! This space didn’t come to us looking like it belonged in the 60’s, but so much original goodness was hiding behind “updates” that all we needed to do was remove, repair, and streamline. It took us more than 4 years because life and stuff, but whatever, we got here eventually. Don’t give up on your dreams!

Many “retro” bathrooms lean way kitsch, but I was going for a more modern, clean take on a vintage bathroom. (And I have a whole post on how to incorporate your vintage fixtures into your modern life right here). I’ve always hoped that this bathroom would look like it could have been exactly this way in this house since 1961, but not gross, and I think I’ve arrived at my destination!

As usual, lots of photos first, more detailed information next, and sources at the end :) You can see the nitty-gritty details of our bathroom repairs here. The blue bath, sink, toilet, and tiles were, and remain, in excellent condition. Don’t ask me how. But the previous owners were definitely trying to downplay the blue and were in denial that they did, indeed, have a Big Blue on their hands. Orange carpet and plaid/floral wallpaper covered all surfaces, ceiling included! (Though we discovered that the first layers of paint in here was BLUE BLUE BLUE everywhere! Trim and cabinetry were a near identical match to the fixtures and walls were light blue, so I know I’m on the right track!) We did a lot of removing and scrubbing and drywalling. (See the before at the end of post!)

Most pressing, the shower was leaking and needed a new shower pan so we had to rip up the bottom part of our shower/surround and re-plumbed. Unable to find replacement blue tile that matched our color, we had our tiler try to salvage what he could of the blue frame around the stall. He somehow successfully removed every frame tile except one without cracking, and that one he just grouted back into place during re-install. The facing couldn’t be salvaged so we had to go with new salt and pepper tile, that nearly matches what is inside, but leaves us with some patchy coloring. The bottom 3 rows of our shower are also that same salt and pepper, an almost match our original. We figured some discrepancies would be better than losing the original shower tile entirely.Though we knew original gold fleck baby blue linoleum tile was under the carpet, we thought it was too trashed to salvage. I planned on doing white terrazzo and chose the lightest blue ever for the walls, Behr Lime Light. Little did I know that the original floor was in way better condition that we thought so when we pulled up the carpet after painting we decided to keep it, leaving us with blue walls and blue floors. Not a combo I would have willingly chose, but one I LOVED once I saw it together. The blues serendipitously worked together wonderfully. The tiles won’t last forever. We work this bathroom and some are beginning to lift from the subfloor. But we’re sticking with them for at least a few more years. (And we found blue with rainbow glitter in our master…sadly badly trashed!) We painted the cabinetry bright white and added vintage chrome hardware from ebay. A well-timed stay at the Beverly Hills Avalon, before the recent redecorating, rocked my world…the colors were SO SIMILAR to what we were working with in our bathroom and I was blown away by the blue and white striped ceiling. I got home and shamelessly copied it.More recently, we tied up some loose ends to get this bathroom finally presentable: drywall repair, baseboards, and LIGHTING! I had always planned on mixing gold in here with the blue, and the gold fleck floor really amped up that desire. This room is huge. Like could be a small bedroom huge. So the lighting needed to be huge and bold or it would be lost. Also, I really wanted to swag it for some added heft, and to avoid messing with the already wonky electrical in here again. I had my eye on some expensive urchin/sputnik lights when I came across this one at World Market. Now, it’s not as spiky or full as the expensive ones, but for the price it could not be beat (we bought it on major sale too). I am so so happy with it. I was worried about the color being too antique brass, but it’s P E R F E C T. (We actually already owned the matching sconces for our still unfinished master bath project.) To swag the light, we added a brace across rafters in our attic and screwed a strong hook directly into that. We also swap out the bulbs for these 25w equivalent LED’s because our “vintage” system is stressed with my sputnik addiction. I’ve struggled with what to put on this big blank wall. A piece of furniture didn’t make sense because a linen closet is in one corner and the door in the other. A huge CB2 mirror was working in here for a little bit, but it was plundered for the dressing room. I think this abstract painting, by my kids, does the job. It’s navy and white, and provides a break from all the pastels while still matching. I’m keeping my eye out for a just-right huge mirror or painting, but for now, we’re good. On the other side of the room, a reproduction Eames Hang It All serves as a good large scale towel rack. Photograph of the legendary (to me only, haha) Stovall’s Cosmic Age Lodge is one of mine from art school days and my husband made the frame.As far as still to do, there is a spot behind the toilet where the tiles weren’t salvageable so we need to put some beefy trim back there. Eventually, I’d like to replace the shower curtain with the original glass shower door that is sitting in the garage. We’ve also had some recent plumbing issues in the shower that need money and attention…arg! Otherwise done done done!

The before/after is pretty dramatic! 


walls – Behr Dew Drop | ceiling stripes – Behr Ultra Pure White and Behr Rain Washed

penny tile – Home Depot | bamboo blinds – Amazon | Hang It All towel rack – Amazon

chandelier – World Market | LED candelabra bulbs – Amazon | mirror – Home Depot

shower curtain – Target | bath mat – Target | hand towel – Target

art – by my kids | everything else – vintage


2 thoughts on “Vintage Blue Bathroom!

    1. Thank you SO MUCH! I’m always sad to see good vintage fixtures trashed in the name of updating, so this was a fun challenge to incorporate them in a fresh way. I hope this inspires others to embrace their colorful, wonderful original fixtures. Thanks again, fellow vintage bathroom lover :)

      Liked by 1 person

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