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From a reader: She needs help doing a bathroom makeover

Last post 03-03-2010 10:45 AM by cyndiva50. 16 replies.
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  • 02-22-2010 1:16 PM

    • Pat
    • Top 10 Contributor
    • Joined on 03-06-2007
    • Colorado
    • Posts 14,460

    From a reader: She needs help doing a bathroom makeover

     I need help with a cheap bathroom makeover. We're buying a house where the main bathroom has pink floor tile and fixtures, pink and gray wallpaper, and lots of gray wall tile (halfway up the wall all around and all the way to the ceiling around the tub). The tub even has the glass doors etched with swans and cattails. In short, the house was built in 1962 and the bathroom has not been touched since. Ack!

    I love vessel sinks, but can't figure out how to do that big an update with such a dated color scheme. I'm open to changing the tile, but not in the short term because of the cost.

    Ideas?

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  • 02-22-2010 1:53 PM In reply to

    Re: From a reader: She needs help doing a bathroom makeover

     I think I would leave it!!  Lately I've seen a lot of the "retro" stuff in mags.  That sounds so much nicer than avocado green and such (or some of these tacky brand new jobs).

    You teach people how to treat you -- Dr Phil
  • 02-22-2010 1:58 PM In reply to

    Re: From a reader: She needs help doing a bathroom makeover

    Sounds just like my mil's bathroom, lol, only hers is pink and black tile - even the shower ceiling's tiled, on point.  Very busy.

    Anyway, they make paint that will go over tile. Since this is a short-term fix, I'd paint the tile (you will have to paint the grout separately to maintain the tiled look) and the wallpaper as well.  If you can take the wallpaper down, fine, if not - go right over it.  

    I removed the shower doors when whe moved into our present home.  They're just too nasty to clean and I didn't like the look of it.  DId it myself, simply unscrew the tracks.  Then throw yourself up a shower curtain and rod that goes with your new color scheme.

    If you must keep the colors as they are, I'd pick a third color and use lots of it - black or white, even bright yellow come to mind.  But if it was me (and it will be when/if we move into mil's house) it would be painted over until I could afford a major overhaul. 

  • 02-22-2010 2:17 PM In reply to

    Re: From a reader: She needs help doing a bathroom makeover

    I believe that Home Depot offers free workshops on things like bathroom remodeling. The reader could attend the workshop and , perhaps, see something that would appeal to both her taste and  to her budget.

    FYI: I know how she feels. My downstairs bathroom has green tiles. I do not like green. The sink is green also. It would be very involved to change the color of the tiles plus it would not be cheap. I keep telling myself that I like green better than yellow bathrooms.

  • 02-22-2010 2:49 PM In reply to

    Re: From a reader: She needs help doing a bathroom makeover

    If everything is in otherwise good condition, I agree with 2ndGen, I would leave all as is, except--I'd take down the wallpaper and just paint the walls a light complementary colour, and I'd get rid of the shower doors, do a curtain instead, as someone else suggested. I wouldn't touch the tiles. Also, I'd  replace the flooring and paint any cabinetry, probably the same shade as the walls. If the mirror needs replacing, I'd do that, too. And then I'd accessorise with lots of white. Smile

    "The business of life is the acquisition of memories." --Mr. Carson
  • 02-22-2010 2:56 PM In reply to

    Re: From a reader: She needs help doing a bathroom makeover

     VNW's mention of yellow reminded me of a rental we were in.  It was that golden yellow (kin to the avocado green I mentioned earlier).  Yellow tile, yellow tub, yellow toilet....  I took a shower curtain that had only a touch of that yellow in it but was mostly colors I liked.  I kept the curtain almost all the way closed and put baskets/flower arrangements/soaps etc all in the colors I liked (matching the curtain) in the bathroom.  A bath mat and potty seat cover was a must along with decorative towels.  Everyone commented on that bathroom.  People would even drag family members down the hall to see it.

    You teach people how to treat you -- Dr Phil
  • 02-22-2010 3:18 PM In reply to

    Re: From a reader: She needs help doing a bathroom makeover

    When we moved here my bathroom screamed FRILLY PINK, something I hate. I looked to see what the real problem was and what I could quickly and easily do about it. The walls, tub and surround and toilet are all almond. OK. The floor is tiled in an acceptable pale pink and a deeper rose. OK. The counter top with molded in basin is raspberry. Not my favorite, but... The shower curtain was very boldly floral with huge ruffles. It went right away. The toilet seat was a huge oversized raspberry swirl seashell. It has been replaced with and almond cover which matches the toilet in both size and color. It also has an almond chenille cover on it now. The heavy oak cabinets with little rails around the top are hardly what I would have chosen, but of very good quality. Since I have chosen a soft green color and dragonflies as my preference, there is a bit of gift wrap which will be just right to decoupage the upper cabinet doors to brighten the room. The new shower curtain is an off-white and green windowpane weave. A string of hand-crafted dragonflies swoops across the curtain, mostly hanging from the loops, but one is pinned in place to keep the design where I want it. There is a dragonfly hanger on the wall. A thrift store find of a dragonfly plate is one of the decorations on top of the cabinets. When we paint this summer, the cabbage rose border will come down and the walls will be the same pale shade of pink as the floor tiles. I have a dragonfly rubber stamp and a stencil that might get some use, but don't want to overdo it. There is a small hand-carved ivory dragonfly which lives on the mirror. All linens are soft green. I will be so much happier in it. AM
  • 02-22-2010 6:10 PM In reply to

    Re: From a reader: She needs help doing a bathroom makeover

    I agree with what everyone else has said. Retro rooms do work. If you can't afford to change everything, then work with what you have and change what you can. You can get replacement shower doors at Hope Depot or Lowes. Maybe install a new lighting fixture and handles on the doors. The gray is a neutral color and can go with many other colors such as yellow, navy, red, black etc. Wallpaper can be removed but when you repaint, make sure you use a paint that is mildew resistant. Check out HGTV for ideas but I'll caution you that those shows can put you into "inspiration overload" where you end up wanting to change everything.
    Officially Recognized Stretchpert in Stages of Life
  • 02-22-2010 10:24 PM In reply to

    • slccom
    • Not Ranked
    • Joined on 02-21-2010
    • Posts 7

    Re: From a reader: She needs help doing a bathroom makeover

     Don't just throw away the shower doors. Contact someone who buys vintage house parts and I bet you can sell them to someone who is paying good money to go retro!

  • 02-25-2010 12:59 PM In reply to

    Re: From a reader: She needs help doing a bathroom makeover

    I've sold those shower doors in the past, and renovators adore them.  Might check with some antiques dealers, not on selling the doors, but on ideas for wallpaper and other refits.  Also, Apartment Therapy, Country Journal, and other websites may have ideas on redecorating around retro fixtures.  You might even find swan fixtures and prints from the 1920's through 1940's, when they were popular, and go 100% art deco. 

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