Help update this bathroom!
October 9, 2013 in Design Dilemma
Full bath in 1950s ranch house in my fathers house. Please ignore the trial color on the wall (thank goodness he stopped :-) ) The tile has to stay but he's in need of wall color, vanity, floor (it is currently laminate), window treatment, lighting suggestions, etc! Thank you in advance!
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I would paint the tile, you can find many tutorials on the web. I would also paint the vanity, it looks like its in pretty good shape. Change the toilet seat to white. Find a colorful shower curtain and paint the walls to complement a color in the curtain.
October 9, 2013 at 9:10am   
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Gantt's Decorating
I have dealt with this situation many times. If you can't change the tile color, the best you can do is match the paint to the tile color and paint or paper the walls that color. Bringing in a different color actually makes the tiles stand out more. Finding a beautiful wallpaper that is primarily the same background of the tile can make it look like you scoured the earth to find just that color tile. If paper is out of the question, find the perfect fabric for the window and showercurtain. Good Luck Bill
October 9, 2013 at 9:15am     
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brigitte, just to clarify, is the tile baby blue or gray?
October 9, 2013 at 9:16am   
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The tile is more of a light teal color with specks of gray in it!
October 9, 2013 at 9:17am   
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Taking Gantt's idea further - incorporate pale grey and teal into the scheme. This can be done very elegantly using paint and wallpaper (as wallpaper is not a very good investment in showers/baths unless you pay high end). Also look at IKEA who are doing some good bath vanities in dark grey - this will bring in the 'mascara' to your design. I would try to avoid black but work in a restrained palette of teals, pale greys and a dark grey as accents.
October 9, 2013 at 9:24am     
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I wouldn't even worry about painting the tile if you/he can find a shower curtain that pulls in that color...and if the tile is in good shape...

Paint these white
basin cabinet
medicine cabinet (or replace it with something white if it is standard size...I imagine the interior might be pretty bad by now)
Paint the door side facing into the room white--cause I bet it is not...
Get different facing for the electric fixture on the wall by mirror...
IF your dad can afford it--it would be worth considering taking out the medicine cabinet and adding a larger one with an electrical outlet incorporated into it and also light...

Replace the lights on either side of the cabinet if you can't...
Are they the only lights in the room or is there a ceiling fixture?
If there is ceiling fixture replace at least the cover and if that isn't possible then replace it...
IF your dad is handy or you are, you don't have to hire an electrician

Don't know where your location is but you might consider going for a beach/nautical effect with the blue tile in place...that can be fairly masculine vs feminine...
choose your elements with that in mind--like light fixtures and shower curtain...

IF you do something like that you could even just PAINT the current laminate floor with some porch paint in white or maybe navy and seal with poly...vs replacing at this time...

Search HOUZZ for "nautical bathroom" or "beach bathroom" or even "blue bathroom" and see what choices come up
Personally we have vacation house in FL with two basically original bathrooms...the guest is definitely vintage (see photo) and people are wowed by I wouldn't automatically choose to paint tile to achieve a "neutral" effect...
October 9, 2013 at 9:24am     
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Pint the window trim white as well...
October 9, 2013 at 9:25am   
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my bad--didn't realize the tile was TEAL--thought it was more light blue--
so lot of my recommendations probably wouldn't work for nautical theme...but personally I don't think an older man would be happy with a bathroom that was totally teal--
so I would go with using an alternate color on the walls...and if white is too strong a contrast then maybe a light gray if there are elements in the tile...
October 9, 2013 at 9:28am   
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Someone once suggested that he paint the walls and ceiling a shade of gray that can be found in the tile. I'll try and get a close up of the tile to post.
October 9, 2013 at 9:42am     
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Fixtures, floors, walls, ceiling, trim, mirror frame, towels, all pure white except the blue tile and vanity. Use a floating mahogany or teak or white vanity with a white top. Glass doors on the tub/shower. The blue pictured is a very clean looking color. Pick up on that by adding white. Additionally, our eyes get dimmer as we get older. White is nice because it is a reflective color. White glass vanity top is on the bottom.
Historic Victorian
Master Bathroom
Conklin Terrace
October 9, 2013 at 10:12am     
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I think I would paint the walls white and the trim, including window & door, medicine cabinet, and vanity base. I would then get a beige, tan, or khaki 12 inch square tile floor. And a khaki colored linen type fabric roman shade on window. Then find a shower curtain that has a pattern with the tealish blue, khaki, and white in it. New white toilet seat, or new higher height toilet if he needs that for the future.
Replace sconce lighting with a brushed nickel fixture and also a new faucet in the brushed nickel finish....and if he needs extra shelving, add a floating shelf in white above toilet with a couple of reed baskets for storing rolled up towels or washcloths in.
October 9, 2013 at 10:30am   
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linen roman shade example, (you could also add a solid ribbon trim slightly inset of white or your tealish blue color to add interest.)

wood look ceramic tile for the floor example...(this is slightly more yellow than what I would use, but showing just for ideas.) they come in different colors. More like a driftwood type in color.

and sconces from pottery barn...mounted slightly lower than where his are now???
October 9, 2013 at 10:56am   
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New lights are a must along with a new wall color. Any vanity style suggestions? Thanks!!
October 9, 2013 at 12:06pm   
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October 9, 2013 at 12:33pm   
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I'd paint all woodwork including the vanity white, replace the faucet, the mirror, and sconces, paint the walls chocolate, and add a pop with a bright shower curtain.
October 9, 2013 at 1:42pm     
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Epic Artisan Concrete
I have a good friend who had a similar bathroom situation. Removing the tile wasn't an option and they had a limited amount of time to get it done. What they did was purchase some water proof pvc wainscoting and covered the tile. She finished it out with corner bead, a new vanity and I made a concrete sink to top it off. It looks quite nice and the wainscoting can be painted any color.
October 9, 2013 at 2:00pm     
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I would paint window and mirror frame white,walls few shades lighter than tiles(eg.Dulux Ocean Ripple),replace the lights and curtain(white).On the floor you could use white cork tiles.
October 9, 2013 at 2:29pm   
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Here is a close up of the tile and another photo of the room. Thanks for all of the suggestions so far, we're taking notes!
October 10, 2013 at 6:23am   
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BTW, I love the color and the tile. I had an old bath that had black tile and had to get rid of it. If I'd had your tile, I probably wouldn't have removed it. Having said that, I might just go with say, a Navajo white (color of the grout) on the walls. New light fixtures and sink/cabinet and shower curtain.
October 10, 2013 at 7:41am     
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Glass Tile Store
Love eagledzines' suggestions. You might want to try a warm grey coat of paint too. Though here are some more examples of blue themed bathrooms for inspiration
October 10, 2013 at 9:09am   
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I wish I had a picture but I swear you and I have the exact same bathroom! Lay out color and everything! What I did was play up the retro 50s look instead of trying to cover it. I painted my walls a bright white along with all the wood work (window, vanity, toilet seat... You get the idea). Then I switched out my lights and switch plates (all the metal surfaces) to be bright chrome. I then added accessories in a rich black for my towels and soap pump etc. My shower curtain was a bright white with just a thin black line making a trim set in from the edge. The whole bathroom looked fresh and very up to date. And on the plus side the towels never looked dingy or faded like other colors can.
October 10, 2013 at 10:44am     
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schulzc532: what type of flooring do you have? Right now ours is a flimsy laminate so that needs to go! White on the walls definitely seems to be the consensus too, although still playing around with the idea of gray.
October 10, 2013 at 10:51am   
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i know that yours is the opposite as far as blue and white on top and bottom, but here is an idea using black and blue....with a patterned black and white floor if you wanted something with more going on....
you could also switch the black in this pic with gray, if that's what you are leaning towards.

October 10, 2013 at 11:18am     
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Gemstone Tile LLC
The right color paint can go a long way! Something rich and warm would like great. And also a nice tile backsplash or shower!
October 10, 2013 at 11:23am   
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When we moved into our old farm house, we just painted the walls white so we could leave the blue sink and blue shower for now. If budget doesn't allow for a complete redo, I'd just make it a white and blue bathroom. White shower curtain and new white toilet seat. And white walls :) good luck!
October 10, 2013 at 12:28pm   
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If you want to find a matching toilet seat I found one online at Amazon and I love it. It cost around twenty dollars. Search under comfort seats. I also have a blue bathroom and to make it brighter I painted the walls white and used brushed stainless steel accessories to compliment the blue.
October 10, 2013 at 1:01pm   
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Is the tile blue or grey? A soft yellow looks nice with grey. I would not paint the window frame to match the tile. Paint it to match the trim. So maybe paint all the trim and mirror frame. My shower tile used to be painted tile when I bought the house. I don't know how long it was painted but the paint began to fail and not look nice. It appeared to be a sprayed on enamel. If tile is blue, maybe a soft browny taupe, trim painted white.
October 10, 2013 at 1:05pm   
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@ brigittelynnc I have like and aqua blue hexagon tile with little diamonds between the larger tiles that are a darker version of the same color. The large hexagons are like 2inch by 2inch. It was the original 1930 tile. But the bathroom was so small that by the time I put a floor may down between the sink and tub it covered the biggest portion of the floor. I notice they sell the same pattern tile at the big box stores but its usually white hexagons with various color options for the diamonds. If your subfloor is sound you could pull up your current tile and use real ceramic for probably less that $200.00 for a small bathroom. It's an easy project you could finish in a weekend.
October 10, 2013 at 1:10pm   
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We had the exact same bathroom. Painted the walls a warm white, trim to match. Floor new vinyl white with some gray and beige. Larger medicine cabinet with nickle light fixture above, nickle fixtures and towel rack. Shower curtain in white, grey & teal stripes. Window silhouette shade. Towels in light grey,beige,and teal. Pops of yellow in Kleenex box on back of toilet. We put in a new toilet (higher) water saving. The lighter colors made the room feel bigger, fresh and clean. You could paint the vanity a light grey. No harm trying its just paint.
October 10, 2013 at 1:17pm     
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Tile is teal- picture attached!
October 10, 2013 at 1:18pm   
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I would use eagledzines first photo because you could incorporate your beautiful tile which is very similar to the tile in the photo.
October 10, 2013 at 4:46pm   
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I grew up with that same bathroom. Really. Same exact layout but our tile was white with gold flecks.
At my present house, we had success by installing a low profile but high seat toilet (Toto) and had a granite "banjo" counter cut to cover the vanity and toilet. Makes the most of a small space and allows for some counter space.
I agree with trimming with white.

Your dad will appreciate the higher seat height.
October 10, 2013 at 5:37pm     
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I love your tiles!
October 10, 2013 at 5:50pm   
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I have robin's egg blue in my bathroom! I was really freaked out. I did as some suggested above; I matched the color and painted above the tile. I put a white border of embossed paper above the tile giving it an accent. Recently, I put in a white tile border. This makes it look even MORe like I planned it.
I wasn't sure if I was crazy when I first did it, but it did work out. Now with the white details, the color looks beautiful!
October 10, 2013 at 8:59pm     
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Anoura Xirks_Logan
I would change the window and paint everything else.
October 19, 2013 at 8:14am   
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