Before and After: This 1960s Bathroom’s $3,000 Redo Keeps the Retro Charm, But Loses the Dated Feel

published Sep 9, 2022
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
About this before & after
Home Type
Project Type
Cost
Skill Level
Rental Friendly
Before: Dated bathroom with standing shower, tan wallpaper and floors, and teal vanity
Credit: Erin Mason

Bathrooms with themes can be hard to pull off with style, but homeowner Erin Mason created a themed beauty in this $3,000 bathroom redo.

Credit: Erin Mason

When Erin first moved in, the bathroom was showing its age. Erin’s home was built in 1962, and the bathroom still had original details, like a thick tile border around the counters, retro tiles around the shower, dated counters and a dated floating vanity, yellowing wallpaper with a pink rose border, and an awkward partition for the toilet.

Credit: Erin Mason

Erin renovated every room in the house after moving in, and the bathroom is her favorite, in part due to its retro aquatic theme. (It’s only fitting as the bathroom leads out to a swimming pool, Erin says.)

“I’m really happy with how it turned out,” she says of her theme, which she modernized a bit with some tropical and boho touches, too.

Credit: Erin Mason

The new penny tile floors set the retro tone in the bathroom; Erin picked out all of the new materials, and her brother-in-law helped her lay the flooring and helped with plumbing and electrical. Erin painted and decorated herself. DIYing the project helped keep her redo total to about $3,000.

Credit: Erin Mason

Erin says her favorite thing about the bathroom is the color scheme — nothing says retro like black and white, after all! And the new dark teal water closet and seafoam art pieces are a nice nod to the room’s former cabinetry. (Erin says it’s not quite aqua, not quite mint, and it’s become her favorite color!)

Credit: Erin Mason

Her advice when it comes to color is to keep it simple. “Your tastes may change in a few years, but paint and even tile in a smaller space like a bathroom are relatively inexpensive to change,” Erin says.

Erin kept her new finishes neutral (black and white paint, a classic vanity with lots of storage, chrome hardware) for a timeless look that can work with any future decor switch-up. But for now, she’s loving the vintage vibe, and her one of her favorite vintage details is the old-school water fountain to the right of the vanity, which adds both whimsy and functionality to this refreshed space that marries the two so well.

Erin’s best DIY advice? “Jump right in and have some fun!”

Credit: Erin Mason

And this story wouldn’t be complete without calling out an extra-fun detail in the space, one that should inspire anyone stuck in a gallery wall rut. Erin’s gallery wall proves you don’t have to limit yourself to hanging photos and artwork. Go for it! Add a swimsuit! “I was so excited when I found that vintage swimming suit!” Erin says. “The swimming cap is also authentic.”

Other ideas for some vintage charm for your gallery wall? A university pennant, an old-school jersey, a scarf, a folded pair of cat-eye frames, or any other unconventional material that speaks to you. The possibilities abound.