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Sunday, January 31, 2010

Our (Not So) Minty Fresh 1940's Green Bathroom

There are two full baths on the second floor of our house. You will have to trust me when I tell you that the one I am about to show you is the lesser of two evils. Here is our green bathroom in glory:

The light above the mirror is actually hardwired into the medicine cabinet electricity. Big no-no, apparently.

The lovely green wallpaper covers the ceiling, too, as you can tell by looking at the corner above the bathtub.
Now, I don't know which is more sad, the state of this bathroom, or the fact that I actually wanted to salvage it. Honestly, I did. For several weeks after we bought the house, my plan was to keep the green fixtures and work around them. I found the green charming, and I like to preserve vintage details when possible. This house was built right after World War II, and I thought of the woman who chose the green, so excited to have these fresh, fun, fixtures after years of worry about the war. Sappy, I know.
Anyway - back to reality. You may have already noticed, but this bathroom is missing a shower. No big deal, I thought. We'll "just" put a shower in. (You will find that I like the phrases we'll "just" do something, and "how much could it cost?" - phrases that generally get me into trouble.) Of course, I did no research on what needed to be done to put in a shower until after we had already bought the house. I figured it would cost about $1,000 and take a day of work.
Enter the plumber. Sure, he could put a shower in, but he would also need to tile the surrounding walls. (Mental head slap). And, oh, by the way, the surrounding walls are old plaster and can't hold the weight of all that tile. We would need to take down all the walls and rebuild them with cement board. And, on further inspection, there are no risers behind the tub, so we need to install risers, too.
In my head, I hear the ringing of a cash register. But I am also thinking about that green tub. Because by now I have noticed that the green fixtures are not all the same shade of green. The tub is darker than the toilet and sink. I have decided it might be a good idea to replace the sink and toilet and refinish the tub. But with all the walls around the tub needing to come down, this would be the time to replace the tub if I ever plan to do so. Of course, I have not budgeted for a total bathroom remodel, and there are oh so many more things that need to be done in this house.

I need to sleep on it...

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