08 February, 2008

Bungalow Envy

I love our Box House, but I am suffering a bit from bungalow envy. It's not like I've even been in very many of them. Most of our friends live in condos or two flats or out in the suburbs. Ted and I have one friend who just purchased a 1920s bungalow, but as he lives on the far southern end of Chicago as to be practically in Indiana, we haven't been out to see it yet.

So why am I envious of these homes I've only really ever driven by? It's the bathrooms. Or at least the ones I've seen in Jane Powell's Bungalow Bathrooms.

They're gorgeous, big and roomy. I know I sound crazy when I describe the spaciousness of bungalow bathrooms, but compare them with what we have at The Box House:

Wait, that's part of the master bath at our condo, where our tenants are currently enjoying the jacuzzi tub and the marble shower (oh jacuzzi how I miss you). Here we go:

This is the bathroom in Mom's unit. That's Mom's hand in the photo; she was jotting down measurements during our final walk through before close. Give or take an inch, the bathrooms measure 5 feet by 7 feet. Each unit has only one bathroom, not counting the scary toilet in the basement.

The bathrooms in both units do have the original hex tile. But the old medicine cabinets are under forty layers of paint, the toilet is wedged between the sink and the wall (your elbows bump both), there is an oversized radiator behind the door that is taking up precious space, and yes, the sconce light with its open socket is actually within the confines of the shower, inches from the shower head. We figure the toilet and tub are original, the shower head, shower enclosure, and vanity are not.

The bathrooms are at the top of the list of things that must get renovated this year. I can go for quite a while without a dishwasher or doing my laundry in a 30-year-old washing machine, but a girl needs a decent bathroom.

Seeing as how our design options are limited due to space, what would you do to update this bathroom? We're ready to gut it to the walls, and are open to any suggestions.


Anonymous said...

The hex tile is gorgeous and you are lucky to have so many of the original fixtures in place and functioning. If it were me, I'd keep all of the original items and then splurge on what needs to be replaced. You say the medicine cabinet is original, just covered with paint? Get some Peel Away 7 and strip it or use a heat gun (cheaper than PA). Don't know if you like the shower surround but in keeping with the era as well as can be expected I'd rip that out and tile it. Everybody uses subway tiles, they are pretty and were used back then. Then you can install a quality vanity and lighting.

Anonymous said...

Hey, that is our first floor bathroom! (Except for the cool frosted glass door, which we don't have and the awesome original hex tile...ours was covered by 3 layers of vinyl tile and tar).

We used that blue and white color scheme to makeover the bathroom upstairs and I love it. Downstairs, we couldn't keep the floor tile because of the damage and the previous owner had already damaged it and had stripped the wall tile off of the wall.

Joanne said...

Anonymous--I picked up a Silent Paint Remover, and I've been dying to give it a try on the medicine cabinets. I'll post pictures when work begins.

Jeannie--The frosted glass doors are cool, aren't they? I'm looking for an old sign that says "toilet" or "bathroom" to hang just below the glass insert on the hall side.

Jennifer said...

Our bathroom is about that size!! It's our only one, too... and has the hot water heater in it! We are investigating tankless to give us more space.

No suggestions except keep what you can, and update with new paint. Could you turn the radiator into a shelve... or even seat? That would help make it useful space. For shelving, you could place a board across the radiator, then continue up the wall with another shelf every 12 to 18 inches. Would look nice!

Di said...

I hear ya on the bungalow envy. I'd even be thrilled with one of the big fousquares. My foursquare is one of the miniature variety! The best thing I can think of for your bathroom would be to get a pedestal sink. Even if the bowl is the exact same size, it takes up less visual space and will help open the bathroom up. I agree with keeping the medicine cabinet. Stripping and repainting, plus some new hardware, will do wonders for it. Have the light fixture moved to above the cabinet or maybe to the other side. Lights and showers don't mix! And I love your hex tile. I wish my bathroom had something like that...

Joanne said...

Hi Di! Thanks for visiting. We still haven't done much to the bathroom, but I think a pedestal sink is definitely in the future!