Before and After: Pink bathroom #1 gets a makeover, keeps its mid-century soul


If you follow my blog, then you know my secret soft spot for pink early-1960s bathroom fixtures. So I was a little wistful to say goodbye to the ones in our duplex. (I still have two pink bathtubs in my rental hanging on.) For our downstairs bathroom, with the help of a my contractor K&W Interiors and the rad designer Fernanda Conrad, we tried to make over ours into something kid-friendly and bright but still faithful to the groovy soul of our 1967
house.

Here’s what we ended up with:

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What we did:

Replaced the floor. We chose marmoleum for its retro feel. It was actually pretty similar to the original vinyl we removed. Except it didn’t have glitter in it. The color, sadly, has been discontinued. Here’s a close-up.

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We replaced the vanity with a simple white shaker one. I chose glass knobs to match others I’d found elsewhere in the house.

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I chose regular white formica-style counter top with a fine bamboo pattern:

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I replaced the toilet. That was harder than it looks because the original was wall-mounted. And we are on a concrete slab. Which means no regular toilet without a jackhammer. And that was not in the budget. I found what I think might be the only one on the market that fit our existing plumbing. It is made by American Standard and is expensive by normal toilet standards, though not by wall-mounted standards. I got it on sale and Anthony my contractor helped me ship it from Seattle. It has the world’s loudest flush due to some kind of fancy pressure system in the back.

We recolored the tub. This costs about $550 or so. It looks great, but, parents take note: it is a little fragile. We’ve already made some scratches with Matchbox cars. The tile enclosure was in fine shape, and basically white, so we kept it.

We painted. (Twice.) In the end, I went with brilliant white, a totally un-tinted bright white paint. In semi-gloss because my children tend to splash all kinds of water and, er, other liquids, all over the place.

I fell in love with this funky light fixture that was in the upstairs bathroom (there were two, actually and I have one in my closet if anyone wants to give it a home). This isn’t the best picture of it but it’s rad. I rehabbed some of the inside parts and repurposed it.

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The rest was just decorating. Fernanda helped me find the perfect mirror at Lowes.com.

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I framed up a collection of Alaska-themed posters I picked up at the SubPop store in the Seattle Airport and at Dos Manos gallery.

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Towels came from Target. (White sale!) And J.C. Penney discount bin yielded the Jonathan Adler shower curtain. (I took the baby protection lock off the cabinets for the photo shoot. And the baby wipes off the counter. Oh, and I wiped the perpetual water puddle… wait is that water?… off the floor….)

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Julia O’Malley is a journalist who lives in Anchorage. She writes about culture, family, home, the environment and food in Alaska.

4 thoughts on “Before and After: Pink bathroom #1 gets a makeover, keeps its mid-century soul

  1. Looks really great! I love your choice of marmoleum and am using it in our bathroom, the guest bathroom and our laundry. It was the only thing that had colors I found interesting. I can’t wait to see it in place. I also really like your vanity and light.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Looks nice. I like the wall hung toilet. they were always very expensive compared to regular. The flooring is really retro. Looks like the old original stuff in my Mom’s house.

    Liked by 1 person

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