26 June 2013

The Mid Century Remodel - Before + After (part II)

Here were are with part II of the before + after of this classic mid-century ranch we've been updating in preparation for resale. Last week we saw the updated living + dining rooms that were stripped back to their bare walls and repainted in the original 1950's paint color (greige - who knew!).

Today, the tour starts with what was my biggest challenge, the master bath. This project was such a love/hate relationship. In the end, I know I did what was best, but it sure was a hard road getting there.


Master Bath (Before):
1980's wallpapered bath
wallpaper nightmare
1980's wallpapered bathroom
Do you remember all the wallpaper & custom drapery added in the 1980's? Yes, wallpaper covered every surface that wasn't tiled, including the wood trim, the cabinets, and the door.

Master Bath (During):
wallpaper removal
After a couple of hours painting over that near black wallpaper with an oil based primer, I impulsively decided to just rip off the paper and start from scratch.  I'm sure it was the paint fumes that convinced me this was a good idea. But in the end, it really was the right thing to do.

Removing the top layer of wallpaper revealed another layer of paper original to the bath. And for me, it was love at first sight. That blue + gold stripped paper was the perfect compliment to the checkered tile and was the missing link that held the original design together.
vintage 1960 bath

So pretty. I loved that paper for its ability to create cohesiveness out of the chaos of checkered tile. That wallpaper was what made the design come together, and I knew nothing else could replace its perfect combination of colors. It was so perfectly suited to the color scheme of the original layout. Yes. I fell hard.

The big downside was its sadly worn condition.

Because of my love for this wallpaper, I was forced  to put a halt on the project for a few weeks to allow myself the time to regain my sensibilities. If there had been a way to successfully salvage this paper, I would have. But it wasn't meant to be. Like most tumultuous affairs, the flame of our infatuation burned hot but burned quickly; and in the end letting go was the best thing for both me and the wallpaper.

And here is where we find the bath today:

Master Bath (After):
sherwin williams paint "Horizon"

blue painted bath

Painted in a beautiful shade of blue ("Horizon" by SW). I have to admit, this master bath is now fresh + modern and nearly as beautiful as it was with the wallpaper. I can't say I don't miss that beautiful paper, but this is a very good compromise.

Although there are small details I would love to splurge on, overall, I'm happy with the vintage look of this bath. The main goal was to brighten up, make the room feel more open, and show the potential of the space for the new buyers. One thing that helps with that is keeping the design consistent with the rest of the home. The accessories, colors, & hardware are all Hollywood Regency in style, which is what we have going throughout the rest of the house. (Rule #1, keep the design as cohesive throughout as is possible. In this home, that meant 1950's Hollywood Regency.)

Want to see more of the remodel? Stay tuned for Part III coming next Wednesday where we'll revisit the vintage 50's styled kitchen and see how much impact a good de-clutter can have on a space!



  1. You are just blowing me away!
    It has a cool modern feel and yet keeps the Mid-Century style that I love.
    I love this SO MUCH and now I'm SUPER excited for the kitchen reveal.

    1. so glad you approve, cynthia. it's difficult because there are so many things i'd love to do to this home - if it were only mine to keep.(i sooo.want.me.a.mid.century.ranch!)

  2. Great job...it really looks fresh and clean! But I can't help wondering...if you loved everything about that wallpaper, and in fact seemed inspired by how it pulled all the elements together, why didn't you just try to find a match for it? Either way though, I'd love starting my day in this bath!

    1. oh, i've mentioned this previously but failed to do so in this particular post - unfortunately, there was a near zero reno budget for this home. my goal for this home is to update using what was on hand + as little up front cash as possible. paint vs. wallpaper - just wasn't happening.

  3. That looks great, Sarah. Love your cute new photo and your darker hair. Maybe I will see you at QOH on Friday?

    1. thanks kim! unfortunately we are going to be out of town during the queen's big event. i'm so sad to miss the opportunity, but we just weren't able to work it out. (i'd love to finally get to meet!)


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