1950s Bathroom Gets a Beautiful, Luxe Makeover! It’s Wonderful!

Welcome to the 689th Metamorphosis Monday!

In a post a few weeks back, I mentioned that I was starting to think more about renovating my two upstairs bathrooms.  I was finding it difficult to motivate myself to begin the planning process. Bathrooms typically don’t excite me, at least not like travel and handbags! Ha! Then I received an email that definitely upped my level of excitement ten-fold!

Sam, a wonderful BNOTP reader wrote, “I just saw your post about remodeling the master bedroom and had to share as our bathroom remodeling is just approaching its one-year anniversary! We have a small bathroom that was original from 1950. It’s our only second-floor bath (plus a powder room downstairs). So it presented some problems you definitely will not have but I am 100% on board with having a walk-in shower only! It makes our small bathroom feel so much larger. Plus, we never used the tub. We got rid of the tub and never looked back.”

1950s Bath Gets Renovated


“We were unable to expand the size of the bathroom because that would have involved losing a bedroom and linen closets which we couldn’t afford to do. We also had a terrible bulkhead that made the ceiling over the tub/ shower a foot lower. This also led to the small feel and made it so that I had to have all our shower curtains hemmed because the rod was lower than it should have been. Talk about frustrating, lol. The exterior wall also has a slant and we obviously couldn’t change the roofline.”

1950s Bath Before Renovation


Sam said, “While I didn’t mind the retro Tiffany blue tile with the black border, the floor was horrible and a lot of the tile was cracked and in worse condition than it appears in the pictures.”

Before Bath Renovation


For this renovation, everything was removed right down to the studs!

Bath Renovation Down to the Studs


Sam said, “The room was completely gutted. The glass shower door and the removal of the bulkhead made a great difference.”

Demo Old Bath Before Renovation


It’s so interesting to see what’s behind the walls, isn’t it? I have to admit, I love a slanted ceiling, especially in older homes. It adds such a cozy vibe and gives a room so much personality, but I can imagine it’s not easy to design around. You’re going to love this shower area in the “After” photos–they blew me away!

Complete Bathroom Renovation


Sam shared a photo of the old insulation they found in the walls. I’m sure this was state of the art back in the 1950s!


Sam said, “We had a kitchen & bathroom designer (Chris Setlock, Setlock dot com) that my husband knew through an acquaintance and he came and spoke to us and did some designs. He was great to work with, he’s actually working on plans for my brother & sister-in-law’s 1950s bathroom currently.

So our basic criteria were that we wanted a walk-in shower, the bulkhead over the tub removed, better lighting, an outlet (we previously had no outlets in the bathroom! Life used to be so different, lol), an exhaust fan–it was like a sauna in there, and I wanted the black and white Carrara marble basketweave tile for the floor. I had seen it years ago and fell in love with it. I assumed marble wall tile would be too expensive so I asked for a beveled white ceramic subway tile for the walls. Since we had a border prior (which was just a line of black tile) Chris suggested a border.”

Carrara Marble Samples & Trim Samples for Bath Renovation


These samples are beautiful! I love it already from just seeing the options!

Carrara Marble Samples & Trim Samples for Bath Renovation


Sam said, “Can I tell you how thrilled we were when he came back with samples and plans and said he found marble wall tile for basically the same price as the ceramic! The base tile he found was stunning as well. Way nicer than I expected. He found the tile at Carrara Marble. They sent the samples you see in the pictures. There are some white ceramic tiles as well. You can see how much nicer the marble is! Chris basically told us what to order & had us order the tile. It came on a pallet on a huge truck.”

Are you excited and ready to see how this 1950s bath renovation turned out? 🙂

Carrara Basketweave Floor Tile


Soooo beautiful! When I saw Sam’s photos of the finished room, my jaw literally dropped! Back in the day when I used to go on home tours a lot, I would occasionally see basketweave tiled floors in baths and I absolutely loved how it looked! I always thought I would love to incorporate that element into a future bath renovation, so I was thrilled to see how gorgeous it turned out in Sam’s bath! It’s such an elegant, luxe look! Sam said, “The basketweave border was Chris’s idea with the pencil and chair rail tiles.”

Carrara Marble for Bath Renovation


Wow, look at the shower now! The low bulkhead is gone and it makes the room feel so much bigger! The slanted ceiling looks cuter than ever! I love the built-in seat and shelf! The glass doors are stunning! What do they call it when the doors are kind of floating with not frame? I love that look–feels so much more open that way! I like the darker grout, too. It doesn’t seem like it would be such a nightmare to maintain like white grout can be.

Carrara Marble Bath Renovation


This is just so elegant and next level! I would be thrilled if my master bath renovation turned out like Sam’s!

Beautiful Bath Renovation with Carrara Marble


I saw so many wonderful ideas that I would love to incorporate into my bath reno, including one that I never even knew existed. Sam said, “Oh, one other thing, I included a picture of one of my splurges. The doorknob from Baldwin Brass is chrome on the bath side to match the bathroom and brass on the hall side. I had seen that in older homes and thought it was classy, lol.”

Baldwin Brass Knobs, Brass on one side, Chrome on other side


Can we just go back and look at this beautiful tile and those gorgeous doors one more time?! ♥

Carrara Marble Bath Renovation


Sam, thanks so much for sharing this beautiful, elegant bath renovation! This has provided so much inspiration for those of us who are seeking ideas for designing our own bathroom makeovers!

Carrara Marble for Bath Renovation


Looking forward to all the wonderful Before and Afters linked for this week’s Met Monday!

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Metamorphosis Monday

Metamorphosis Monday is a party that’s all about Before and Afters. Please link up your Before and After projects like DIY projects, room makeovers, craft projects even recipes. Any Before and After is great! Please do not link up Table Settings, save those for our Tablescape Thursday party on Thursday.

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  1. There is nothing better than an updated and remodeled bathroom, beautiful! Thanks Susan!

  2. franki Parde says

    BRAVO…AND, IT’S FINISHED!! Absolutely first class!! In our former Tudor we had very same tile, bulkheads, linen closet…brought flashbacks. Our teeny tiny log cabin bath needs an overhaul…don’t hate me…think I’m going dark…w/GOOD lighting…but…once you start…you must finish…franki

  3. Barbara L Armacost says

    This bathroom is amazing!! So gorgeous. Love the basket weave throughout the room. We did away with our tub in our 1 1/2 bath home and I’m glad to see other people have gone the same route. Five stars for this renovation Sam!!

    • Thanks Barbara! We don’t miss the tub at all. Especially, since the finish was worn off and the only way to clean it was with a magic eraser lol!

  4. Love this! Thanks to Sam for pictures for inspiration. I’ve wanted to update our master bath for years. Wanted to get rid of that awful jacuzzi tub we used maybe 3 times, circa ’92, and expand the shower. Those tubs were useless and now that we’re aging it would be a nightmare to get in and out of.
    These photos give me so many ideas. Thank you. Beautiful tile, and the paint color is lovely!

  5. Lovely renovation!! Updated bathrooms make such a difference. I don’t know if it’s true or not (maybe someone in real estate can answer this), but is it true that eliminating the bathtub in a home can decrease its value because when reselling, young families need a tub for bathing young children? I’m interested in getting an answer for this. Anyone know? Thanks!

    • Depending on where you live, you need to have at least one bathtub and no glass enclosure on the tub. The glass enclosure makes it difficult for bathing children. We renovated 3 bathrooms before we sold our home and one had the tub. The house sold in 2 days to a family with 2 young children under 4.

    • Rosie, I have heard that but we decided we needed a bathroom for us not somone in the future. Plus, we plan on being here for the next 20 to 30 years so we figure by then anyone that buys the house will rip out the bathroom and put in a new one anyway lol.

  6. I love the whole retro look of this bathroom. I did a black & white retro look in my kid’s bathroom about 10 years ago & I still love it. I did keep the tub though since they were still on the younger side then but I totally understand giving it up for space. I love the frameless doors too. XO- MaryJo

  7. Wow, this bathroom is so elegant, high end, but yet cozy! I love the renovations, I too, love the slanted ceilings, but I know it makes it hard to design around. The tile and flooring is just gorgeous in this bathroom, Sam and her designer sure did pick some beautiful products! I have always loved darker grout, to me and it is just my humble opinion, it makes the tile pop more and lets the focus be on the tile work. I love the shower, love that it has a seat and of course the beautiful glass and door. I too, have never looked back when we got rid of our claw footed tub. It opened the bathroom up so much and not having a separate tub and shower gave us much more space. Thanks to Sam and her hubby for sharing there bathroom renovation with us, it is so gorgeous as is that door knob! Hugs, Brenda

  8. What a great bath reno! Gorgeous. Thanks so much for having us over Susan, have a wonderful Easter Week!

  9. SharonFromMichigan says

    This bathroom reno came out gorgeous. I love the nod to the past with the minty green paint! One of my previous houses had a vintage pink tile bathroom that I remember well. Sam’s choice of tile definitely was perfect. I never knew doorknob sets could combine two finishes, but it makes perfect sense 🙂 The attention to detail says everything!

  10. Lovely updated bathroom with more function. She had a vision and went with it.
    We just completed our master bath remodel Firstly removed the huge garden tub and expanded the shower to include the shut of valve near the shower door to be able to turn on the shower to the perfect temp before you step in. Included both a rainfall shower head as well as a hand held, My must haves were a counter tower, with an outlet for electric toothbrushes plus storage for all the extras, also a full apron comfort height toilet, no more ugly exposed trap to clean. We went with tilt mirrors to accommodate our different heights. The shower and the flooring in a white carrara porcelain tile with a darker accent octagon shower floor and polished nickel fixtures throughout with white quartz counters and shower threshold. We made sure that reinforcement was installed to allow for security bars in the future if needed, though we did install one for now. No built in bench, we have a teak bench instead which is perfect compromise and no grout to contend with. We did consider either heated floors or a heat lamp in the shower but our climate does not require either. Our vanity was custom made as we had 87 inches of space. With the tub gone I was also able to have my custom vanity makeup table included. We have two other bathrooms with tubs so families with children would be accommodated in the future We are both happy with the function and design.

  11. What a great transformation. I redid my tiny bathroom 3 years ago and it is hard to figure out what to do. Once I started looking at tile and the new lighting and mirror options I got excited. I used a contractor, who like Sam’s contractor, gave me useful tips about products and where to look. He sent me to a design showroom where I ended up saving money on the new fixtures when he passed along his contractors discount to me. I was able to use a quartz remnant from the stone yard for a vanity top to save money. I am so happy with the new bathroom. The old one was 1962 beige, brown and rust tiny square tiles that literally ( and I know how to use that word properly) would make you dizzy if you looked at it very long. You may find that you can have some fun doing this. Good luck.

  12. Tina W Reynolds says

    Bath remodels are a tough nut to crack in older homes. This one is pitch perfect. The quality of the materials means so much. This looks like it belongs, and will last forever. That basketweave tile is wonderful. I must admit, I was crazy about the doorknobs! Fixtures should be the best you can buy, after all you use them multiple times day-in and day-out! I love this doorknob. It just crowns the whole project.

  13. Barbara Jackson says

    Everything is gorgeous and awe inspiring but I have a question. While I love how sleek the new pedestal sink is-where is the storage? Where can you put something down or store an extra TP roll? That’s a major question for me.

  14. WHAT a makeover! I love that tile. Looking forward to seeing your project!

  15. I am in the process of remodeling 3 of my bathrooms in my 20 year old home (that were showing their age). While I live in a small town in western NC, I was able to purchase everything I needed from our local merchants. Product availability is a real issue but, with only one exception, I was able to get everything I had picked out. Getting the subs lined up is a bigger issue. From plumbers to tile guys everyone is so busy, and the pace of the remodel has taken on a life of its own. I’ll keep you posted as work progresses through the rest of the reno.

  16. Smashing renovation, Sam! Your minty paint emphasizes your personal style.

  17. That turned out great. I still get a bit of PTSD thinking back on our bath reno in 2017, even though it did turn out great too. It’s just SO inconvenient and exhausting, having people in your home every.single.day. My guys were pretty clean (they put dropcloths down every day from the entrance, up the stairs and into the master bath, and vacuumed). We have a slant roofline like Sam’s in our current home. Our upstairs bathroom is a classic black & white look (original floor & wall tile). The previous owners updated it with better storage, vanity, commode & reglazed the original tub, but they installed a short shower for the convenience (for short guests, lol). It works though, and keeps the old home charm at the same time.

  18. This is wonderful! Congrats to Sam for doing such a fabulous job, and you for sharing. It does have tons of inspiration! Thanks for the excellent party, and Happy Monday!

  19. That bathroom renovation is spectacular!! I’m moving to a smaller home soon and those ideas for tile is a good one. Love it all!

  20. Thanks so much for hosting this wonderful party each and every week!! I really appreciate the time and effort that goes into it!! Thank You!! Stay safe, healthy and happy!!

  21. Is that Hampton Carrara Polished Delray with cinderella gray?
    If so, what a coincidence – found 3 boxes of it on marketplace for $130 and then purchased the rest from Tile sHop in Dunwoody. Using for shower wall and mixed with porcelain tile on floors. It looks so gorgeous!

  22. Ranger Smith says

    This looks great! Generally, I regret seeing original tile that is in good condition removed. Anything put in now, will become “dated” eventually, whereas original tile usually is true to the architecture and character of the home. This remodel looks to have turned out nicely and hopefully will be enjoyed for many years to come.

    • I would generally agree with you about the original tile but it wasn’t in nearly as good a condition as it looked in the photos and in the tub area it was a foot lower than it should have been. So when you showed a foot of plaster wall all the way around the tub got wet. It was very impractical. Plus, the original tile floor had a big crack in it. That’s why they covered the original floor with that hideous one lol.

  23. Barbara we really went back & forth on this but in the end we decided that everything that was under the old sink was just extras of stuff that is in the linen closet right outside the bathroom door so we really didn’t need it there too.
    However, we did get a nice basket that sits on the floor between the sink and shower with a couple things in it like extra TP.
    It looks nice and is pretty unnoticeable but I get that this might not work for everyone.

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