Bathroom ideas?

Home improvement Q&A, pictures and news fro Mid Century Modern Homes and Houses(NOT for Real Estate)

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classic form
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Postby classic form » Tue Sep 20, 2005 12:34 pm

That's my VCT. It's not in that bad of shape in the upper level baths but when we replace it in the rest of the house we will do the baths to match.

Funny, where else would people willingly show their bath to the world?

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Postby Joe » Tue Sep 20, 2005 12:56 pm

only on Lotta Livin, where we care about your bathroom!

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Postby tikiyaki » Tue Sep 20, 2005 2:37 pm

...yea, and only on Lotta Livin would someone say "hey, great bathroom" when it looks like it's all original from the 50's, instead of "god, you really need to update"

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Postby SDR » Tue Sep 20, 2005 4:38 pm

I think it's really sweet to see a classic bathroom, still in good shape thanks to proper use and care, every bit as functional as a new one, and possibly better-built as well. My only question: how did classic form manage a matching seat and lid, in the correct color and shape? Are these still available from the manufacturer?

Love that brick wall. . .!

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Postby moderns-r-us » Tue Sep 20, 2005 4:45 pm

Proper USE?

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Postby SDR » Tue Sep 20, 2005 4:48 pm

Oops -- well, I suppose I mean lack of ABuse. . .? :oops:


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Postby Chimay » Tue Sep 20, 2005 5:02 pm

I think that many of these bathrooms in this thread are nice and show a great deal of "mid-century", but very little in the way of "modern."

To my point, has anyone here ever spent any time in the UK? They are very attached to tradition over there, generally speaking, and especially where restroom facilities are concerned. That means that most bathrooms (public or private) have the most archaic, clunky, impractical fixtures, basins, etc. that you could ever imagine. They pretty much established a standard after WW2 and have kept with it ever since.

The best part of this standard is the separate faucets for hot and cold water in every washbasin. This is the case from the most modest to the most exclusive hotels and office buildings (except for a few that have been recently redone with modern European fixtures). So if you try to just wash your hands after using the restroom by running them under the water, you have your choice between scalding them or freezing them. Only alternative is to fill up the washbasin with water every time you want to wash your hands? Positively charming, that. Especially in a public restroom!

So how many people here would like to have one of these British sinks with separate faucets? Their mid-century credentials are impeccable, but not modern under any circumstances - even in 1950.
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Postby Sienna » Wed Sep 21, 2005 7:56 am

Chimay wrote:I think that many of these bathrooms in this thread are nice and show a great deal of "mid-century", but very little in the way of "modern."

To my point, has anyone here ever spent any time in the UK? They are very attached to tradition over there, generally speaking, and especially where restroom facilities are concerned. That means that most bathrooms (public or private) have the most archaic, clunky, impractical fixtures, basins, etc. that you could ever imagine. They pretty much established a standard after WW2 and have kept with it ever since.

The best part of this standard is the separate faucets for hot and cold water in every washbasin. This is the case from the most modest to the most exclusive hotels and office buildings (except for a few that have been recently redone with modern European fixtures). So if you try to just wash your hands after using the restroom by running them under the water, you have your choice between scalding them or freezing them. Only alternative is to fill up the washbasin with water every time you want to wash your hands? Positively charming, that. Especially in a public restroom!

So how many people here would like to have one of these British sinks with separate faucets? Their mid-century credentials are impeccable, but not modern under any circumstances - even in 1950.


I would have to agree that there is a difference between midcentury and MCM. I am looking more for an MCM deisgn for a small bathroom. Looks like it will be the following:

--> Polished concrete floor carried in from the rest of the house
--> White/white glass tile (not sure what size yet)
--> White walls and ceiling
--> Dark brown beams brought in from the rest of the house
--> White tub, white pedestal sink, white toilet
--> Completely clear glass door over tub
--> Modern chrome fixtures and towel racks, etc.
--> Towels, rug, plant, and vase or small piece of art for accent
--> Small and simple floating shelf, dark brown like beams

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Postby classic form » Wed Sep 21, 2005 11:02 am

SDR,

I have looked for matching seats with no luck, this one came with the house. It is just a little lighter shade than the porcelain.

I would love to find some to buy as back ups.


What would a Mid-Century "Modern" bathroom look like to set it apart from just Mid-Century? I've looked through period magazines and have not seen anything that looks "Modern". I don't think that the space age or real stream line stuff really showed up in the bathroom until later? Lets see more Pics!!

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Postby Chimay » Wed Sep 21, 2005 11:28 am

classic form wrote:What would a Mid-Century "Modern" bathroom look like to set it apart from just Mid-Century? I've looked through period magazines and have not seen anything that looks "Modern". I don't think that the space age or real stream line stuff really showed up in the bathroom until later? Lets see more Pics!!


That's easy. How about a bathroom that reflects the same kind of design aesthetic as the rest of the house, instead of just a small utility closet? Typical of MCM bathrooms at the time were sunken, tiled "Roman" baths/showers with walls of glass to the outside (frequently looking at private garden atriums), floating or cantilevered cabinets (sometimes with sliding doors), exposed beams and ceilings, etc.

There were several examples of this on San Diego's SOHO Modern House tour this last weekend, and there's a photo of one in the latest issue of San Diego Home/Garden Lifestyles, from a 1958 Lloyd Ruocco-designed home. All of the largest P&Ks in our development had similar features - but not the smaller ones like ours, alas. We had only the most basic facilities.

Incidentally, I'm not sure where you'd find vintage toilets to buy if you wanted to - at least in California - because they're effectively contraband since they exceed the 1.6 gallons per flush requirement. You certainly wouldn't get past the building inspectors with one if you decide to do any work that requires permits.
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Postby classic form » Wed Sep 21, 2005 11:48 am

Ah, yeah. I guess the master bath would fit that mold. Still has the step up tub, but the floating cabinet with full windows above would qualify. I wasn't thinking of that one cause wifey won't let me in.
Notice the one I use has no windows? Hers has a wall of them. Hmmm...

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Postby Chimay » Wed Sep 21, 2005 11:57 am

:D Too funny. Sounds like you got the short end of that stick.
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Postby Joe » Wed Sep 21, 2005 1:03 pm

check out the bathrooms A. Quincy Jones designed in the X-100 and his unbuilt Case Study house. Perfectly modern 50+ years later. Even for Chimay!

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Postby Chimay » Wed Sep 21, 2005 1:08 pm

YES! I agree!
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Postby SDR » Wed Sep 21, 2005 6:39 pm

Classicform: I believe Chimay may have been contrasting MCM with Modern (not MCM Modern) ?. Yet the distinction between "everyday" (modest?) modern (Gregory Ain, et al), and the eye-catching futurism of the high-style work (such as the upper-level P&K's, the X-100, Lautner, etc)), was and is real. I personally responded (who wouldn't ?), as a youngster, to the more dramatic work, and have had a "thing" for cantilevers, unexpected transparency/translucency, and other "zoom-y" effects ever since. Still, that's not the only kind, and I'm sure Chimay would concede (?) that it's still a matter of "taste" -- which is said to be beyond argument !

Converting an MCM classic to a present-day Modern -- in the bathroom, and/or elsewhere -- is one option, and a respectable one; another is a "period perfect" restoration/re-creation, and there are options in between that would also merit praise. Viva la difference !

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Postby Chimay » Wed Sep 21, 2005 7:38 pm

Actually, SDR, what I'm trying to say is that all things mid-century are not necessarily "mid-century modern". I recognize that taste is a very personal thing; no point in debating that. But honestly, the bathroom was typically the least modern, most forgotten room in most MCM houses-and there was nothing particularly "MCM" about them in many cases. They were not frequently an integral part of the design of the house. Frankly, many are identical to the bathrooms in my grandparents' 1932 Sears Roebuck catalog-ordered "Victorian" model (which, to me, anyway, is the antithesis of MCM) or any house built in North America between about 1930 to 1965 or so. So what I'm saying is that bathrooms were an oft-neglected part of an MCM home, and that they hadn't really evolved at all at that point from the pre-war period (save for a few architects at the time who actually started to think about it for their more upscale clients).

So the bathroom in an MCM home is a pretty polarizing topic, because it quickly separates the hard-core preservationists (historical accuracy uber alles) vs. the modernists and most architects - who greatly admire MCM homes but also consider them as more of an evolution or progression in the history of good design.
Last edited by Chimay on Thu Sep 22, 2005 7:56 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby SDR » Wed Sep 21, 2005 8:08 pm

Ah -- An interesting point missed by me and probably many others. I now see what you are getting at -- and your own handsome remodel corrects that deficit, in spades !

Maybe it's time for a scholarly study of the issue (if one doen't exist -- one could search the files of JSAH -- the journal of the Society of Architectural Historians; I also recall at least one article on the subject in Old House Journal, several years back). Anyway, you have brought it out, and we benefit as a result. This has been one of the liveliest threads of the past year.

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Postby Chimay » Wed Sep 21, 2005 8:26 pm

I don't mean to imply that my remodel is the answer. In fact, there are plenty of things I'd do differently after my experience - and if I had the time, the patience, and the money to do it again. What one chooses to do is almost beside the point, frankly. But I do think it's generally more fun and interesting to do something to try to better incorporate the space than to just leave it or reproduce what was originally there when what was there wasn't a room that architects or designers spent much time looking at back in the day. This is a topic that's been rattling around in my head for a while now, so this topic struck a nerve and it's a good opportunity to pursue this and get feedback from everyone on their thoughts. I don't have the answers - but I do think it's important to ask the questions.
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bathroom pix

Postby devildogranch » Fri Sep 30, 2005 7:36 am

Here are some photos of my master bath. My home was built in 1952, but this bathroom was part of a 1960 addition which included an enlarged master bedroom (with swell walk-in cedar-lined closet) and a separate studio.
http://www.devildogranch.com/appersonmasterbath.html
There are certainly more sleek and sophisticated fixtures and materials on the market today, but aside from the floor (I ripped up the vinyl rolled flooring - what you see is unfinished cement slab) everything is in pristine condition and in perfect scale. I luurrve my vanity, spring-loaded cabinets and coved formica counters! Aside from figuring out a flooring, paint spruce-up and finding a white toilet lid <g> I'm not changing a thing.

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Postby Joe » Fri Sep 30, 2005 7:49 am

looks perfect! LOVE the maple/birch (which ever it is) paneling and cabinetry!

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Re: bathroom pix

Postby Sienna » Fri Sep 30, 2005 8:04 am

devildogranch wrote:Here are some photos of my master bath. My home was built in 1952, but this bathroom was part of a 1960 addition which included an enlarged master bedroom (with swell walk-in cedar-lined closet) and a separate studio.
http://www.devildogranch.com/appersonmasterbath.html
There are certainly more sleek and sophisticated fixtures and materials on the market today, but aside from the floor (I ripped up the vinyl rolled flooring - what you see is unfinished cement slab) everything is in pristine condition and in perfect scale. I luurrve my vanity, spring-loaded cabinets and coved formica counters! Aside from figuring out a flooring, paint spruce-up and finding a white toilet lid <g> I'm not changing a thing.


Nice - I would go for an updated faucet to some point but that's just me because I don't like those plastic knobs .

Other than that, very clean, presentable, modern. Are you going forward with polishing that concrete?

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Postby roxy500 » Fri Sep 30, 2005 8:11 am

ddr - i love that little vanity counter! It's so cool.

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slab or not to slab

Postby devildogranch » Fri Sep 30, 2005 8:32 am

Are you going forward with polishing that concrete?


the slab question.... argghhh.... Prior to moving in a year+ ago, I pulled up the old carpeting and rolled vinyl flooring and found the original maroon VCTs. I didn't hesitate to rip 'em up too - they made the place look/feel like a basement rec-room from my childhood. Was going to have the slab refinished in the entire house, but ran out of time. Moved in with the furniture, dogs, etc. and have spent the last year living on unfinished slab thinking about my options. Slab is pretty clean, but has lots of holes from the carpet nails. I love going barefoot and it feels great in the summer. Last winter (even with my area rugs) was brutal. Love the idea of one coninuous flooring throughout, but I'm still on the fence for a variety of reasons. If I went with lino it would be warm/neutral to the touch. Slate would be just as cool/cold as slab, but could potentially be done in a room by room sequence as opposed to moving everything/everyone out for 3-4 days all at once. Yes, I am stuck.

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Postby classic form » Wed Oct 19, 2005 4:36 am

SDR...you questioned earlier in this thread whether toilet seats and lids in matching colors were still available, I ran across this site today and thought I'd pass it along.
http://www.toilettanklids.com/seats.html

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Postby SDR » Wed Oct 19, 2005 6:06 pm

Thank you. Hope those who need this will find it. (Do we need a "toilet thread"?

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Postby classic form » Thu Oct 20, 2005 3:59 am

Well, I wish I would have known about this site 5 years ago before I broke down and bought a "wood" seat for a blue toilet. By the way...did anyone see "the ugliest bathroom in america" this past weekend on hgtv or some such channel? They showed bad bath after bad bath that folks sent in hoping to be chosen for a make over. I guess this is not the only place that people will show off the bathroom, Joe.

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Postby jva » Sat Nov 19, 2005 6:43 pm

Thanks to all who posted photos of how nice 4x4 white ceramic tiles can be. We've suddenly found ourselves in the position of having to do something about our awful bathroom sooner rather than later (as originally planned).

We were going to hold off on remodeling the bathroom until we moved the staircase in our house. But a couple nights ago, in middle of the night, the 18-square-foot mirror above the sink came crashing to the ground. (The cheap plastic holders finally broke under all the weight.) On its way down, it chipped the awful, worn-out fiberglass vanity top and also slashed some of the wallpaper.

So it's finally bad enough that we have to do something. Even though we have little money. Even though we may enlarge the bathroom in a few years.

I looked at white ceramic 4x4 tiles at Home Depot today. They're 19 cents now, not the 11-12 that Joe paid. Still, with only 65 square feet to cover, that's still only $120.

And we looked at Armstrong VCT for the floor. I think we'll go that route -- inexpensive tile, paint, and VCT. I'm happy to see how nicely this inexpensive route has turned out for others.

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Postby SDR » Sat Nov 19, 2005 6:56 pm

Check out Chimay's handsome and economically-contrived vanity, here

http://www.lottaliving.com/bb/viewtopic ... ght=vanity

I'd do it just as he did, if I didn't have access to a workshop !

SDR
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Postby shannanigan » Sun Nov 20, 2005 4:39 am

Chimay wrote:So how many people here would like to have one of these British sinks with separate faucets? Their mid-century credentials are impeccable, but not modern under any circumstances - even in 1950.



The basement bathroom in my old house had the 2 faucet system
(reused from the original 1930's bathroom) It sucked.

But I am not a fan of the single handle faucets at all...
so I'll take 2 handles, one spout please. :D

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Postby shannanigan » Mon Nov 21, 2005 1:52 pm

jva wrote:Thanks to all who posted photos of how nice 4x4 white ceramic tiles can be.


4x4 ceramic tiles are cool! (Showing off my weekend project again... :) )
Image

I had to tear out my shower/tub surrond recently and I did save a
large portion of the original coral colored ones... and I just bought
filler in white & grey from Lowes. I think the white were 14 cents a
piece and the gray ones (and other colors in stock) were 30 cents...
so you could mix it up with a little color and still get by fairly cheap!


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