One of the things we love about this new old house is that it needs very little work other than cosmetics. We can thank previous owners for beautiful renovations to the kitchen, great room and master suite.
The main hall bath upstairs is the one exception. In the old houses in our neighborhood, the tile is frequently set in concrete, and so is the plumbing. If you are lucky, it is all still in good condition and you can work around it. Once the plumbing starts to go, most people demo and start fresh. We aren’t there yet. Our tile isn’t cracked, all of the plumbing is fine for now, and the space works for well for our daughter and guests.
So a refresh it is. This is where we are today.
Over the years, the toilet, sink , mirror and lighting has been replaced. I don’t have to worry about keeping them for restoration purposes. (For now, I will keep the mirror, because I suspect the plaster behind that plate glass is a complete mess.)
The biggest impact will be the addition of wallpaper. While scraping off what I thought was flaking plaster, I found tiny bits of wallpaper, which is probably original, as there was no paint behind it. Unfortunately, it’s nearly impossible to tell what the paper looked like, other than ballet slipper pink.
I have settled between two wallpapers, both from Cole & Son. I truly love both.
The pattern is bold, but it is a throwback to the Art Nouveau style, which really was on it’s way out in the 1930s, but Midwest USA is always a late adopter, and this feels almost Art Deco Transitional, which was becoming popular. It’s a big, bold print, but it’s also a bathroom and it’s just wallpaper, so why the heck not???
by Cole & Son via Wallpaper Direct
While scraping the old paint off of the built in cabinetry, I was able to save several good samples of a paint color that might have been original to the bathroom. This was underneath a cream color, under two layers of contact paper lining. (Don’t worry, I took all necessary precautions regarding old paint /lead while I scraped away. There is nothing sexier than a respiratory mask and glasses.)
I was so excited.I brought it to my local paint shop and the guys color matched it for me. It is a perfect match to the darker wallpaper.
Yesterday, I sanded and prepped all of the paintable wood surfaces: the trim, cabinet doors, and drawer fronts. I have the new paint, but I worry that this color has too much blue in it. I’ll be going back tomorrow for a greener option, and then I will decide for sure.
The second option is also from Cole & Son, and features a Gothic Revival pattern. The colors are actually a better match for the tile. The greener paint would most likely look better with this.
This option is definitely softer and more feminine, which isn’t a bad thing in a house of little women. My husband likes this one better than option 1. I also like that it has the ballet slipper pink that I discovered on the original wallpaper.
I am waiting for the second sample to arrive this week and then I will order. But I’m curious, do you like one better than the other? Have you ever used a product to lighten cement-like grout? I’m still considering all options, although some items I can order straight away:
- curved shower curtain rod
- replace the shower head
- Extra long shower curtain and liner
If you are curious, follow my Instagram stories for daily updates on this little project. Wallpaper Direct is pretty quick with samples, so I expect I’ll have better comparison photos soon!