Restoring a 1915 Colonial Revival house
Second Floor Bathroom

The second floor bathroom. This is one of the worst rooms in the house that can only get better with work. This room looks to have been remodeled in increments over its 90+ year life, as it is an example of what happens when the 1910s, the 1950s, and the infamous 1970s/1980s era clash.  The flamingo pink tile, the marble pattern formica on the vanity, the oversize glass shower enclosure on the tub, and the linoleum that is a mixture of green, yellow, and pink emphasize this room's need to be completely gutted. You can almost hear the room saying "Welcome to Baltimore, Hon!"

All we can say is someone must have gotten a heck of a deal on this pink tile. There is not one square inch of wall or ceiling that is not covered with it. Getting all of this down is going to take time and is going to create one big mess. But, there's no way around it.

Looking to the right when you first walk in is a towel bar hanging directly over a narrow radiator. Above it are two hard-wired fluorescent light fixtures and an antique beveled glass mirror. We took the mirror down and put it out of harm's way, as we plan on putting it somewhere else in the house on down the road, perhaps in a bedroom.

Moving back toward the wall gives you an idea of how cramped this bathroom really is. The vanity is way too big to be in here and the metal and glass shower enclosure makes this end of the bathroom feel like a telephone booth. Both of these will be going away, as will the small, cheap toilet that looks like it was made for a camper. We plan on putting a salvaged antique clawfoot tub and pedestal sink in here when we renovate this bathroom to give it a more open feel. The corner tub is also too large for a room this size.

Here is a closeup of the antique medicine cabinet in the bathroom. This medicine cabinet is pictured in the 1912 catalog of William Scherer and Co. of Baltimore. This is one of the few original features still present in this room and will be one of the very few things currently in the bathroom that will be going back in when we finish. Like most of the woodwork in the house, there have been several coats of paint slopped on over the years that need to come off along with a Dixie cup dispenser that someone thought would be a good idea to attach with about four big wood screws. The latch is broken, but replacements are readily available from several sources. A neat thing with this medicine cabinet is the molding matches that which surrounds the doors and windows throughout the house.

Just for kicks, here's a picture of the linoleum on the bathroom floor so you can appreciate just how hideous this stuff really is since it was not very clear in the first pictures we took of the bathroom. Believe me, it's going to be fun ripping it up!

As you can see, the bathroom needs a ton of work and it is on the floor where the main bedrooms are, so we are making it a priority to finish soon.

We started work on the bathroom in July 2009. As you can probably imagine, the first step in improving this room was demolition, which was a more lengthy process than we had originally thought due to a few unexpected obstacles we encountered. Keep reading for the details.

Click here to proceed to the demolition of the "Pink Nightmare"...

The bathroom has also spawned several side projects: an antique clawfoot tub, an antique pedestal sink, and the original medicine cabinet.

Click here to proceed to the second floor bathroom side projects