This “Tired” 1980s Bathroom Is Transformed into a Vintage-Inspired Oasis

published May 16, 2024
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A remodeled space doesn’t have to scream “NEW” to look great. Some of the best renovations draw design inspiration from the past, mixing old and new finishes, furniture, and fixtures. For a prime example, look no further than homeowner Laura Hall, who used a vintage color scheme from the 1930s as a starting point for her bathroom’s remodel.

“The bathroom before was so awful!” Laura says of the old space. “It was a 1980s bathroom suite, tired and broken and mucky.”

Credit: Laura Hall
Credit: Laura Hall

Minor changes were a stopgap.

At first, Laura wanted to make some cosmetic tweaks that she hoped would freshen up the old bathroom. “I had tried to update it by painting the walls and putting new lino down, but it just needed replacing,” she says.

Finally, Laura brought in the pros to tear everything out and help her create an entirely new bathroom.

Credit: Laura Hall
Credit: Laura Hall

The new bathroom started with a vintage color scheme.

Laura decided on pink and turquoise as the primary colors for her new bathroom, based on her love of similar 1930s styles (“I wanted to create a really luxurious-feeling space with my signature use of color,” she says).

The pink came in the form of chic subway tile installed in a stacked vertical design, which is used throughout the bathroom. It’s complemented by a light pinky-beige paint on the walls.

Credit: Laura Hall
Credit: Laura Hall

Fresh fixtures don’t shy from color.

Instead of plain white for the fixtures, Laura went with old-school light green for both the toilet and sink. They’re both from Burlington Bathroom in the “Cosmic Green” color scheme; Laura got them as part of a partnership with the brand.

Credit: Laura Hall
Credit: Laura Hall
Credit: Laura Hall

A new clawfoot tub steals the show.

Laura opted to replace the room’s outdated bathtub with a classic clawfoot soaker. She also included a modern shower cubicle in the layout “to bring the design up to date.”

Laura also replaced the original bathroom’s checkered flooring with a geometric black and white design — a modern take on a classic vintage hex tile design.

The full bathroom renovation cost £15,000, or about $19,000; Laura says it’s the area of her home where she spent the most on updates. 

Now, rather than being a dated eyesore, Laura’s bathroom is a modern and practical space that’s packed with 1930s-inspired color and charm. “It’s one of my favorite places to be,” she says. “It’s so beautiful and a lovely place to while away time!”