My Bathroom Rocks! #1: Curtis’ Peachy Creamy Late Deco Loo

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Name: Curtis
Location: Upper West Side
Amount Spent: $1,500

The Blogcast Interview:


The Pitch:
When I forwarded the internet listing to my dad, while trying to figure out whether I could stand another studio apartment, he pointed out how huge the square footage of the apartment, and how the step-down living room reminded him of the recent Biography channel piece about Loretta Young gliding down a staircase in a mink coat on the TV show she used to have. So, we nicknamed the place Loretta, while deciding among other choices, and Loretta ended up winning my heart.

At my closing, my broker gave me the signed photograph of Loretta Young, and the bathrobe she wears in the picture made her a natural choice for the bathroom.

I fell in love with the original-equipment peach-and-black tiles in this apartment, and those flowers on its original medicine cabinet are what “sealed the deal” when I saw this one particular pattern in the 1941 Montgomery Ward wallpaper sample book that I bought on eBay. I altered the color slightly toward orange, so it would work with the tile, and I altered the background to work with the ivory floor tile.

But I did have to take down the totally terrible blue-grey wallpaper that made the peach tiles look actually very orange; and then I had the walls skim-coated.

I wanted more storage, so I ordered the corner, mirrored medicine cabinet. I wanted the hamper to be more like it once had been, but its original color was an impossible-to-match peach, and I knew that I would want (and still want to, eventually) to “re-glaze” the tub and sink the same color they are, so they’ll look newer and fresher. So, I decided to have the Long Island City MAACO place paint it black, because I knew it would be limo-like, which I thought made sense for “Loretta”.

Guests often gasp. Curtis

Recommended Sources:

Gracious Home:
*mirrored waste can – $75 (may not be visible in
*repair department guys who fixed the hinge on my original-equipment medicine cabinet – $25 or so

Crate and Barrel Outlet:
*White Marramekko “Kivet” shower curtain (they were already discontinued, so I bought out all they had) (Can’t remember, but about $30 each?)

Rejuvenation Lighting:
Worked on the phone (800 #) with this genius guy named Chris there, guiding me through their website. I was trying to make the light sconce sort of go with the dining room chandelier, so they matched up the little holder things, but since I wanted to acknowledge the faceted knobs on the tub, so he suggested the bottom have of this mid-drop piece of from a different era of chandelier they make; I’m glad I trusted him — I love it. (About $375 or so.)

The tiny little vintage candy store jar that holds my tooth powder. (three for $5 or so)

The tear-drop-shaped water decanter that holds my mouthwash. ABout $18 (That was a while ago; I doubt if they still have them)

BASCO, INC (via Eigen Plumbing Supply) – I did a web search of Corner Mirrored Medicine Cabinet and came up with exactly what I wanted, but Basco, Inc. wouldn’t sell it directly to me; they gave me the number of Carl from Eigen Plumbing Supply in Chelsea.
A VERY industrial looking warehouse place on 17th St.
(Can’t remember what it cost, but I think around $275)

eBay –
Bought the 1941 Montgomery Ward wallpaper sample book on eBay, and then I found the perfect pattern, and photocopied it onto cardstock, and cut my own stencils, and I cheated the fire engine red toward a slightly orangey red and the background white toward the ivory floor tile color so it would work with my tiles.

All the Benjamim Moore Pearl finished paints that I used for the “wallpaper” look, and the aluminum paint and the heat resistant black paint which I mixed together to create an old iron look for my pipe. Also bought my White “Brilliant” finish Fine Paints of Europe ceilng paint from them. Couldn’t have spent less much than $200 on paint.

OK, I didn’t buy the blinds; the people before me did, but I can see on them that that’s where they came from, and they’re perfect.

Don’t know whether this is appropriate to list, but anyway … that’s where my completely wonderful broker named Robin Gutterman works, without whom I wouldn’t have found this apartment — plus she gave me the framed photo of Loretta Young, because that’s what we nicknamed the apartment after I showed my dad the internet listing he said, “That step-down to the living room looks like Loretta Young should sweep down it in her mink coat.” He’d recently seen her on the Biography channel, I think.

Plumbing, Electrical & More on Amsterdam and 98th – The new faucet for the sink and the new U-shaped shower curtain rod and that thingy that supports it from the ceiling. The guy who works there named Juan installed both on his own time. (Altogether less than

Bed, Bath & Beyond –
Black Towels and Dark Red hand towels and Shower Caddy
– Probably bought enough towels that it probably added up to about $300 or so.

Bath Hardware Designs –
A web store that I got the Montery 6-1/2″ Diameter Poished Chrome Towel Ring from (I just found the receipt that says it was $33.90, including shipping)

The white terry cloth bathrobe that hangs on the door, imitating the one that Loretta Young wears in the photo.