1960s lavender bathroom remodel - suggestions?

by Terri
We are in process of purchasing a really cool 1965 rancher and this is the hall bathroom. Not so crazy about the lavender tile but want to see if anyone has ideas about how to make this into something better than it is currently :-)
  26 answers
  • Wanda sinnema Wanda sinnema on Nov 20, 2014
    I have the same thing..pastel green tile 360 around the room,, and 1949 bright mint on the floor.... I can relate, As for your question.... If you are not wanting to gut it at the present,,I'd go with a grey a lighter on the walls, and a darker on the vanity..with PEWTER for the hardware.. Hopefully you have an extra tile or two stashed somewhere to take to the paint store..I'd also ditch the shower door.. A curtain would help soften the lines everywhere. Tile can be painted.... its a pro job and they won't do the floor or countertop.. an speck of grit or sand and its ruined..Our neighbors had theirs done 10 yrs ago.. still looks great... BUT I should add they are a professional couple, no kids, pets, little wear and tear of daily activity,,and are not DIY'ers.. keep us posted on the progress..
  • Swan Road Designs Swan Road Designs on Nov 20, 2014
    Yes, grey is a natural with lavender. In fact, the grey might even seem to "look" a bit on the lavender side once it's applied to the walls, etc. You will need to add some green and, perhaps, some chrome accents. The hardware and towel bars, etc. could achieve this end. An inexpensive and quick way to conceal some of the floor is to add a luxurious rug to the area in front of the sink. It would feel good on your feet and toes, too. That floor would be cold, or seem especially chilling during the cooler months.
  • Terri Terri on Nov 20, 2014
    Loving the comments so far, gives me some idea of how to deal with the color while coming up with a big remodel plan. I really don't want to "modernize" the space but do want to end up with something that is updated and compliments the period of the house.
  • Chris aka monkey Chris aka monkey on Nov 20, 2014
    @terri grey is one of my fav colors but i would be afraid to use in this room because it might look all lavender... i think white or light cream would tone down the tiles you could paint vanity the same... the chrome suggestions i think are great adds a little bling...if you look around the internet color is coming back have fun xx
  • Terri Terri on Nov 20, 2014
    Yes, I am getting that impression and I want to embrace the color idea but want to update it as much as possible while retaining the vintage of the room. Thanks for the input, I appreciate any and all suggestions. This is actually a home we are in process of purchasing in the next few weeks and I hope to update the home not remodel :-)
  • Phyllis Humphrey Norwood Phyllis Humphrey Norwood on Nov 20, 2014
    I had pink and gray, hired someone to paint the tub and tile surround and removed the rest which I replaced with wainscoting. I highly recommend painting the tile, it turned my old bathroom into a spa like space.
  • Sally V Sally V on Nov 20, 2014
    I love the color. I think it is on the new "in" list. Keep us posted! I love cool tone colors.
  • Ellen H Ellen H on Nov 20, 2014
    If you are on Pinterest, check out this board http://www.pinterest.com/explore/lavender-color-scheme/ The lavender/sage is a nice combo - maybe sage on the walls above the tile and a dark grey for the vanity.
    • Terri Terri on Nov 21, 2014
      @Ellen H Wow! I checked out the pinterest you suggested and loved the color combinations, very inspirational, thanks for the suggestion!
  • Ellen H Ellen H on Nov 20, 2014
    I particularly liked this one.
  • 512181 512181 on Nov 21, 2014
    Love the house you are in! Lavender tile will look great with the right colors. Check out Retro Renovation site for bathroom ideas.
    • Terri Terri on Nov 21, 2014
      @Lynda davis Yes, we are excited about this house and want to honor the era that it was built in. Want to update and make homey :-)
  • Marion Nesbitt Marion Nesbitt on Nov 21, 2014
    There are always so many expenses involved in buying a house. I'd go easy on the bath in case there are other issues to deal with. Like the colour, but think painting the window frame and vanity base white would help break it up. I'd get an artificial plant of some kind and put it in a black pot for the top of the toilet tank. You could also add an ornament with double faced tape or a footed dish with small soaps, etc. There is also room to the right of the toilet. Maybe a tall narrow container filled with some type of greenery would work,.too. I always add a few folded washcloths on top of the toilet tank for some colour interest. Maybe a pic over the toilet. Toilets are boring so I always try to make them interesting in some way. You probably have lots of things you could use.
  • Robin Taylor Robin Taylor on Nov 21, 2014
    I actually think the lavender is pretty. I would paint the walls white or a very pale gray. I would add lavender & white towels and greenery. My own bathroom is a pale green & white with pops of lavender.
  • LaVida LaVida on Nov 22, 2014
    Blue, anything from light to cornflower to navy, is my favorite combo with lavender. You could use purple or turquoise for accents. Stripes or plaid would give the room a more lively look. I really like the lavender, partly because it was my lovely mother's favorite color. She once used a pansy print with lavender and it was great.
  • Lisagerard Lisagerard on Nov 24, 2014
    My neighbors have a bathroom with purple tile in it, and they went to Target and got some inspiration with wallpaper, towels and paint. She even wallpapered the ceiling! It looks so cute and French country.
  • Donna Marie Donna Marie on Jul 28, 2015
    I agree with the others, leave the bath tile lavendar and accent it and it will look fine!!!
  • Teddie Simpson Teddie Simpson on Jul 28, 2015
    I agree with these suggestion but in addition, I'd remove the wallpaper.
  • Aileen Aileen on Jul 28, 2015
    My friend had a similar situation - not so much tile, but purple fixtures (toilet, sink, bathtub). They painted all the walls white and it really helped. I would definitely keep the tile- it's unique and from the photo seems to be in good condition. I agree with Teddie, remove the wall paper and find a nice shade of white or ivory for the walls. I'd also consider painting the bottom of the vanity (unless, of course, you love it, in which case keep it!) and update the hardware on it. Bathrooms can be very bland, so if this reflects your personality, I'd totally go with it! I have a harvest gold bathtub and sink that came with the house and I think it's great!
  • Jean - CelticElfin Jean - CelticElfin on Jul 28, 2015
    When my husband and I first moved into our house, the "Pepto Bismol Pink" bathroom came with it. But it was pink tile, pink, fixtures, pink floor, pink curtains....(pass the pepto please!) Blah! The walls had quite old gray floral wallpaper. Well that bathroom bit the dust when we added on and built a new bathroom. The old pink cast iron (very heavy!!) tub is now in our backyard (enclosed in wood as not to stand out) and we use it grow some veggies and herbs in it. :) Your bath is pretty much a (light) purple version of what I had - but larger and with a white toilet instead of pink or purple. However, I LOVE the lavender tiles in your bathroom! So beautiful. I would just update the walls, floor and perhaps the wood vanity cabinet. Maybe even replace the shower door with a pretty coordinating shower curtain for a softer look. I would love to have a bathroom with those lavender tiles. So many decorating possibilities! Enjoy! :)
  • Sparkles Sparkles on Jul 28, 2015
    most people buy old home with the colors in style of that time period then change them to more modern items. i love the old feel. these are colors you can not find anymore. it would be a shame to loose the feel of yesteryear. my dd had a blue bathroom and painted the walls a sandy yellow. and gave it a beachy feel, with lighthouses. her pink bath she made it victorian. my other dd now has tourqouise and hates it but i keep at her to keep the color and decorate around it. my mother bath was pink and green. she decoated with swans so unique.
  • Swinnen Lisette Swinnen Lisette on May 19, 2016
    First I would change the floor : something white and bigger tiles (a lot bigger) Paint the the furniture in white and if possible also the grout in a shiny white. And of course the flowers have to go : white also. Then put curtains (dark purple )on the window, add a big mirror. You can accent everything with black accessories and black and white drawings or paintings.
  • Sherry Swayze Sherry Swayze on May 19, 2016
    Actually, I think the tile is quite lovely and the tile floor is very retro/vogue. I think maybe what you're objecting to is the 'pretty' feeling you're getting. You can bring some gender neutral or masculine features into this room quite easily and inexpensively. There are so many good features in this room, I would use those to your advantage unless you're prepared for a 25k demo and redesign. Just to let you know, I'm an interior designer and if this were a bath belonging to one of my clients on a limited budget, I would do a lovely face lift on this room. Here's some free professional advice. First, strip the wallpaper & prep by cleaning the walls with TSP to get rid of the wallpaper glue residue. Be sure to rinse the wall after TSP. All this will help the paint adhere. Use a paint suitable for a wet room. Take down the 80's closterfobic tub enclosure. Patch and sand the screw holes in the walls left by the frame. Then, paint all the walls with a medium shade of gray. Don't be too shy in choosing the tint of the grey. Once, everything is done, it'll look spectacular. Next: Wipe a dark grey stain over the top of the base cabinets allowing for some of the lavender paint to peek through. When everything is done and if you find you don't like the stained or brushed look of the cabinets, You can always wipe on a cream color on top of the grey stain to give it a water washed/seaside feel or go back over the cabinets with a grey colored paint. Change out the French filly handles and pulls and replace with bronze or nickle. Be sure not to toss those handles. If you don't want them, you can sell them online. Replace all the old faucets and and handles with matching color and style in the sink and tub region. Paint the ceiling a light grey. When you're all done, keeping your color pallet tight (bring in one more color or black), I would bring in accessories/art/towels etc. that stayed within the Grey, Lavenders, Black/Bronze or a complimentary color such as a creamy yellow. Hope this helps.
    • Bar64283397 Bar64283397 on May 12, 2022

      I like your ideas. I think removing lavender toilet & sink will help tone down all the lavender.

  • Melody Melody on May 20, 2016
    Personally I would keep the tile, paint the walls either white or a very light yellow, either paint the floor pr cover it with a water proof flooring. Maybe match the vanity of the sink and lower shower same as the what you choose for the area of the wall paper, then make a light wood box valance over the window and blind, at the shower exterior door frame you might put a narrow slat frame with open space and run a set of rope lights or reflect lights. That tile is beautiful... JUST MY OPINION!
  • Suellen Hintz Suellen Hintz on May 23, 2016
    I love the original tiles, walls and floor. The floor tiles will provide a very nonslip surface. I'd perhaps suggest putting a solid slab countertop in white just to break it up. Add a frameless shower door. Strip the wallpaper, then go bold with dark purple paint, or the palest of spring green. Roman shade or floral curtain. Towels in emerald green or floral/patterned. Or work with a decorator!
  • Sparkles Sparkles on May 24, 2016
    So have you decided what you are going to do with the colors in your bathroom?
  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on Jul 31, 2023

    Tile covers or Transfers. Cork tiles etc.

  • Mogie Mogie on Aug 06, 2023

    Take down the wall paper (dates the room),

    New shower door but if you took that down and used a shower curtain you could change that out anytime the mood struck you.

    Some type of window treatment.

    You could even paint the tile (not the tiles on the counter) for a dramatic change.