Throwback Month

Before and After: A Colorful, Beachy Bathroom Redo Keeps Its Original Pink Tiles from 1954

published Apr 26, 2022
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For all the renters and historic homeowners with retro bathroom tiles out there, there’s some good news for you: 1) Danish pastels are having a major moment in interior design right now and 2) Apartment Therapy has featured some incredibly cute colorfully tiled bathrooms to inspire you. Plus, some home renovators have recreated the retro look from scratch.

When jewelry designer and illustrator Lauren Bolschitz (@bolschitzdesignco) moved into her 1954 home in Dallas, the bathroom was like a pastel time capsule, with ultra-pink square tiles as well as other retro details, some of which Lauren wanted to keep and some of which she wanted to update.

“I immediately fell in love with the mid-century pink-tiled bathroom,” Lauren explains. “These pink and other pastel colored tiles from, I believe, Daltile, are a staple in older homes in East Dallas, but most have been gutted and renovated over the years to more ‘mainstream.’ I also loved the unique gray tub, sink, and toilet that match perfectly to the thin gray tile strip in the walls.”

She did, however, want to lose the soffit above the sink and the storage cabinet above the shower because they made the space — the only full bath in the house — feel a bit too cramped.

“We knew we wanted to open up the space while maintaining the historical elements,” Lauren says. With $500 worth of changes, she and her husband, Daniel Lipschitz, accomplished just that.

Daniel removed the storage cabinet above the shower, which involved installing new drywall, so that the space feels taller and less cramped. He also finished out the tile in the shower using new tiles that conveniently matched.

Next, to open up the space even further, Daniel removed the soffit and the leafy ornamental ironwork, “which ended up with him having to do some duct work and again closing up with openings with drywall and texture,” Lauren says. “It was all very messy, but my husband did a great job.”

Now, the vent is located on the ceiling as opposed to where the soffit once was.

After those changes were made, Lauren says, the bathroom sat for about a year while they decided on decor, which evokes colorful Miami Art Deco vibes. “Don’t be afraid of color if that’s what makes you happy,” she says. “We went for a pink and green color palette and kept adding on decorative pieces until we finally [had] a colorful, boho, maximalist bathroom of my dreams.”

Lauren and Daniel selected a palm leaf shower curtain to enhance the beachy vibes and painted green accents — like the arch above the vanity and the vanity itself — throughout the space for a matching pop of color. Lauren’s advice when it comes to “taking a bold jump” with color? “You can always paint over paint.”

She says to not worry about keeping your house “palatable for everyone” and instead think about what suits you and what you will enjoy.

After painting, Lauren and Daniel completed their cozy, colorful bathroom with a blend of retro and boho accents, like their Art Deco light fixture, acrylic drawer pulls, moon-shaped mirrors, and boho rug. Their total bathroom renovation costs were about $500.

“I’m happy that we found a way to preserve the pink tile while making the space fit with our style,” Lauren says. “I love how it all turned out.”

This piece is part of ThrowbackMonth, where we’re revisiting vintage styles, homes, and all kinds of groovy, retro home ideas. Boogie on over here to read more!