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-plumb. 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 scale towel rack. Photograph 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


Meanwhile, I’ve been trying to paint our NEW ORANGE FRONT DOOR…with much failure. I want a glossy door without any brush marks and the results have been so disappointing thus far. I almost bought a sprayer but think I have a viable solution. Hoping to share the finished beauty next time. In any event, ORANGE IS FEELING SO SO RIGHT. xoxo Jenny


Master Bathroom Stuff

bathroom black white gold brass walnut mid century vintage fixtures delta trinsic world market starburst sconce logan terrazzoHi guys! Homeschooling is requiring some initial start-up investments of time but I LOVE IT SO MUCH. I won’t bore you with the details for now, but we are so incredibly glad we gave it a shot. At a minimum, it’s allowed us to travel to our hearts content. We’ve been to Sequoia NP and Davis in the past few weeks with more trips on the way. And I see my kids all the time. Dream come true for me!

Posting and projects have, obviously, taken a temporary backseat while we figure out new routines so I’m checking in with a vague bathroom update today. No visible progress exists in the actual room to show, only visible deterioration, as we repeatedly run into dodgy and dangerous wiring additions. We’ve been patching repairs only to add new ones every week. So much so, that we’ve decided to rip it all out and rewire everything. It sucks, but better to do it now than have an electrical fire later. I can’t remember a more snowballing DIY project. Decisions that were made with consideration to the existing wiring and it’s quirks (boring ceiling lights and fan) no longer hold water, so we’re starting over and returning some things. Lame. The bright side is that all the setbacks and backtracking have given me ample time to change my mind a hundred times and collect stuff that will eventually go in the bathroom…if we ever get to that point. Here’s that stuff:delta faucet bathroom trinsic champagne bronze high arc brass gold bathroom fixture sinkThe Faucet. It was a close call between this Delta Trinsic faucet in champagne bronze and this black Delta bar/prep faucet. There clearly isn’t a wrong choice between them but I couldn’t say no to the gold.

Sconces. We’ll probably end up with these wonderfully wild Iron Throne-esque sconces from World Market (whaaaat????). I am obsessed with their shape, but the finish would be so much better if it was less antique brass. They have been selected and nixed about 10 times already but – for today – they are the chosen ones. That vintage white and gold swag light and its matching pair have my favor on alternating days. Again, not a wrong choice here.

Mirror. We’re hanging that vintage walnut mirror up. It’s so freaking heavy. I honestly don’t know how the wood will fare, but it’s not in tip-top shape as is, so I’m giving it a go because I want to.

Floors. Terrazzo tile has been unexpectedly hard to track down. But good news! I found great stuff in the most unexpected place: Costco. I complain about that mess of a store weekly but this gives me renewed respect. I will do a post all about the tile soon. It’s true love. For now, just look at that aggregate goodness! Squeals all around, right?

Countertop. I know I said before that the cultured marble is staying but since the place is literally torn to shambles, the time to replace the counter is now. (But man, that cultured marble sure can take a beating. I am dying my hair as I type, for the first time in 10 years because three gray hairs in my bang part have pushed me over the edge! I did a number on the construction zone, splattering and staining everything, except that indestructible plastic counter.) I already bought and sold a granite countertop that I wasn’t feeling and now we are exploring other options with a focus on surfaces that are cute but cheap…maybe even the terrazzo? I can’t stomach a surface that will cost more than the entire bathroom update because that is not what this is about.

Sink. Please, please don’t make me pick out a sink.

Walls. We need bright in here so the white walls stay (or, at this point, get repainted white). But this is heading towards every other trendy black/white/walnut/brass bathroom out there and that is sucking. I’d love a little wacky (like all the beauties I shared before) but not so crazy that it competes with the dressing room next door, seems completely out of place with the bedroom, or turns my face funny colors when I look in the mirror (orange bathroom problems). So here I am. I’m not sure if having a painted wall design right next to all that painted bamboo walls in the dressing room is overboard, but I’m going to try it because wallpaper is impractical and tile, at least the tile I want, isn’t cheap. I haven’t settled on the exact design but it will be black on white to tie in those black cabinets and make everything else pop. Maybe like the crosshatch in the photo or maybe some large geometric abstract design like this.

Hardware. The vintage copper oblong square/oval pulls are already on the vanity. Either the lucite pull (CB2) or the double cone gold pull (etsy, no longer available) will end up serving as towel hooks on the wall, but who the heck knows anymore…bathroom black white gold brass walnut mid century vintage fixtures delta trinsic world market starburst sconce logan terrazzoThe bathroom is the stupidest project ever undertaken and I’m not sure if it will ever come together beyond these photos, so this may be the end of the line for this one. But even if this project has aged me by years, let us not end on a discouraging tone friends: I just washed my hair and NOT A GRAY HAIR IN SIGHT OVER HERE!!!! :)


Hey guys, it’s that time again for mad respects…

I gotta start with the Eames Hang-It-All! I’ve rationalized not buying one of these for so long but I was pretty wrong in all ways. Turns out, it’s kind of a must have. Dramatic functionality in perfect proportions. I want one in like 4 other rooms, in addition to this bathroom. Spouse says that’s dumb and hook overload, but I’m not seeing it. Respects to those dang Eameses (aside from that philandering, Charles…whoa, pull yourself together man). They get stuff.eames hang it all bathroom mid century stripe ceilingI can’t really get over this upside down vintage mirror hanging beneath that Tom Dixon light, nor can I get over how one’s quality of life improves when one is following Orlando on Instagram.

This terrible photo below is about my respect for Costco but not solar panels but maybe solar panels. Even though I literally gave a solar company solicitor a MOUTH FULL yesterday at my front door about how I’m not interested in solar panels because “the low price on paper isn’t reflective of the true cost when the government heavily subsidizes the industry with taxpayer money, and I really don’t want the government to subsidize anything, and any industry that can’t stand on its own shouldn’t stand, and really the government needs to just get out of everybody’s business,” (yikes!) I’m really loving these solar spot lights from Costco. I’m holding off on buying more until I know the batteries don’t need frequent replacement, but crossing my fingers that isn’t the case because this might be the most awesomeness ever garnered from the least amount of work. I was too lazy to drag out the tripod so you can’t really grasp the greatness from this sub par photo, but take my word. (Hey nice guy from that solar company who was just trying to do your job: Sorry for being the weirdest person you interacted with yesterday. My missing social skills and strong convictions sometimes makes for terribly awkward interactions. That’s on me. Respect.)costco solar light landscapeI finally got around to watching Love and Mercy, mostly because I wanted to watch it alone and squeal to my heart’s content, and WHOA SOOOOOO GOOD. I’d be content to just look at that sweet 60’s house (Who knows anything about it? The pool that hugs the house is bananas!), but being a Brian Wilson fan(atic/creep) made it over-the-top good. Thank God for you Brian Wilson and your happy sad songs. Respects, love and mercy forever. And good job movie makers too. John Cusack, this almost tops Better Off Dead.

Speaking of musical heroes…dear Descendents, I love you, I appreciate you immensely, and I can’t even wait for this. Thank you for playing the way you play in advance on this one.

The only reason I usually kind of like summer is because it precedes fall but so far, so great. Having a getting-better-by-the-day backyard is moving it up the ranks. So for the first time ever, respect to you Summertime for just being your hot self!It has been way too hot for my first love, massive house projects, these past few weeks so we’ve taken to an exhausting life of leisure filled with late nights, late mornings, and lots of visitors. I hope your summer is finding you the same! Thanks for reading! xoxo