The construction on our 1930s bathroom remodel ended back in March, but we have only recently put all of the finishing touches on the space. I finally took photos to share with y’all!
The remodel overall was a super painful learning experience: countless trips to the tile store, more money than we ever planned to shell out, and two contractor teams. I had planned to make more posts throughout the process, but it went downhill quickly, several times. I am just happy we got through it. It will be awhile before I take on another home renovation.
All hard lessons learned aside, I absolutely love it. I feel like I’m in a hotel every time I use my bathroom! The curved bathtub is big enough to swim in, and the entire space is so much easier to keep clean. We chose a style that was similar to what existed before in trying to keep with the integrity of the old house. I probably wouldn’t have chosen to use this much subway tile otherwise (my style is a bit more rustic/industrial than old-fashioned), but the brightness of the space is my favorite part.
We replaced the vanity with a newer one that was almost the same width, but with a solid top that extends all the way to the wall. We picked up almost a foot of workspace – my curling iron won’t roll right off now.
The old-fashioned look of this vanity is really what sold me. I loved the keyhole drawer pules.
We had a laundry chute that was too small to use on the outside of this wall; we removed it and instead built inset shelving between the studs of the wall. It’s tripled our storage space! I also wanted a full-length mirror in the bathroom, so we glued one to the door. Two birds, one stone.
The shelves are completely adjustable, too!
Tiling all the way to and including the ceiling of the shower has made cleaning so much easier. We simply squeegee after showering and the tile shines like new. And the curved bathtub gave us maximum soaking space while only sacrificing six extra inches of space within the main area of the bathroom. We were afraid the tub might be too big but it doesn’t feel cramped (any more than it already did, anyways).
Shower ceiling with a new light – highly recommend doing this! It’s going to be so nice in the winter.
Built in shelving. Pro-tip: we used my largest shampoo bottle to determine where to put the glass shelf. I can pump it without moving the bottle. The bottom alcove is easily reachable if you’re taking a bath, too. (These are the things you learn to consider!)
This herringbone tile on the back of the alcoves matches the ceiling of the shower.
True story, we had a little mixup with the grout colors. The walls were supposed to have the lighter gray, and the floor the darker gray. The lady at the store flip-flopped the quantities when we ordered, so the lighter grout ended up on the floor…but I love it! It makes the details in the “wood” ceramic tile pop.
We originally wanted to lay the floor out in a herringbone pattern, but our bathroom simply wasn’t big enough. I think I like the diagonal layout more!
I really wanted oil rubbed bronze (or even black) fixtures. In person, especially in daylight, the fixtures skew a little bit more brown, but you they look black in photos, just the way I wanted them to.
The light fixture above the mirror (Pottery Barn) was one of the first things I picked out for the bathroom. I pretty much chose everything else around it.
Applause, please! haha. Seriously, I lost a lot of sleep over this project.
Bathroom Makeover Details
I curated and collected and pinned my heart out over this bathroom. Trust me, we bought and returned many different faucets, all in different finishes; bought $500 worth of antique mirror glass tile and then returned it because it didn’t cut nicely; and debated the pros/cons of a comfort height toilet. (Winner: go with comfort height or chair height. It makes a difference!)
Below is a summary of the products we used in our 1930s bathroom remodel:
- Plumbing fixtures (vanity & shower): Kohler Devonshire Collection in Oil Rubbed Bronze
- Vanity: Restoration Hardware Empire Rosette Powder Room Vanity in Antiqued Black
- Vanity countertop: White Quartz, Quality Granite Outlet, Smallman Street, Strip District, Pittsburgh
- Toilet: Kohler
- Tub: Kohler
- Tile (surround, floor, shower): The Tile Shop
- Vanity light fixture: Rustic Glass Indoor/Outdoor Double Sconce, Pottery Barn
- Main light fixture: Lowe’s
- Frames: Michael’s
- Art prints: Etsy
- Shower curtain & rug: Target
Bathroom Makeover Before & After Photos
It is taking some courage to show you the next set of photos. I somehow don’t remember the bathroom being in such rough shape before the remodel…the photos, however, tell a different story.
Everything was so yellow before! I used to think it was an all-white bathroom. Now I know what bright white really is.
I do slightly miss those cubbies, for the sheer vintage-cute factor. But then I remember that they were dust/soap scrum traps, and I’m good.
1980s mirrored, Hollywood-style vanity lights…gone! Hello, rustic glass! I love you!
This before and after photo makes me sad, because it illustrates two of the harder parts about this bathroom remodel.
As I wrote before, our old bathtub was a cast iron number. The new is fiberglass, and…the contractors cracked it when they installed it (it was pretty apparent that someone stepped on a corner to hang drywall and it gave under the pressure before it set up properly in the mortar bed). That was a dark day. But did you know, you can call Kohler and someone can come fix it, for free, as long as it’s under warranty? The house smelled like a nail salon for a few days, but it was better than shelling out more money to replace a brand new bathtub. You really can’t tell where the crack was now.
And then there’s the arch…I’m still ticked off about the old arch. It was not supposed to be taken out! When I went upstairs one day to check on the contractors, it was too late – they had torn out all of the old framing, arch included. But the new arch is higher and allows for better ventilation in the shower, which is nice. My beef is that we had a matching arch downstairs in the dining room, so now I feel that the house is less authentic. I tried to keep as many of the old details as we could, but at the end of the day, it didn’t work out 100%.
Overall though, the bathroom is a huge improvement and I really, really like it. It was important to both of us that we kept an antique style with modern updates, and I hope we succeeded. I will definitely not be taking on any other home construction projects in the near future!
Well…that is…until the kitchen starts to get under my skin. 😉