Posts Tagged ‘pink potties’

Pink Bathrooms: Extinction Looms

March 24th, 2018 Sears Homes 11 comments

Remember the very first commandment of old house renovation? Thou shalt not destroy good old work.

That’s it.

More than 35% of the garbage at America’s landfills is construction-related waste. That’s a phenomenal amount of debris. What’s worse is this: The replacement materials promoted at contemporary big box stores (in most cases) has a serviceable life of less than 10 years. So that new light gray bathroom with white accents will probably need replacing, and THOSE construction materials will also end up at the city dump.

We have got to stop destroying “good old work” in older homes in the name of keeping up with the Joneses (and the Kardashians).

You know what makes my blood boil? Ads like this.

NOTE: All the houses shown below are in Portsmouth, Virginia.


Theres a special extra-toasty place in preservation hell for this bank.

There's a special extra-toasty place in preservation hell for this bank. A very special place. A friend sent me this advertisement. It popped up on her Facebook page. Oh, how I loathe this promotion. It feeds into the insanity promoted by HGTV that "old and lovely" is never good enough. And yet odds are that this same bank will spearhead efforts to promote recycling. Not much sense in saving 21 pounds of plastic and yet promoting the destruction of thousands of pounds of "good old work."


Classic good looks.

This light-pink bathroom features classic good looks and will provide decades of service. The tile floor (cartwheel pattern) is already more than 60 years old, and is set in about 6 inches of concrete. With minimal care, this floor will endure another several decades. The same is true for the tile walls.



The pink tile in this Portsmouth home (Virginia) dates to the mid-1950s, and yet - due to good care and maintenance - it is in like-new condition. The materials used in these mid-century bathrooms will last another 50 years. And yet their modern replacements - fiberglass and plastic junk from big-box stores - will not endure.



When I was a kid growing up in Waterview (a 1920s/30s middle-class neighborhood), I don't remember seeing anyone "remodel" their bathrooms, and yet by the 1960s/70s, these kitchens and baths were quite old. The pink bathroom featured here has its original sink and toilet. As with the others, it will endure for many more years.



The same bathroom (shown above) from a different angle. It has a tiled shower and separate tub. It's also beautiful, with the white and pink tile.



Some pink bathrooms are more subdued than others, but these mid-century tile jobs are typically set in several inches of concrete. When experts recommend retreating to a bathroom during a tornado, this is the type of "safe space" they have in mind. The thick-set mortar bed plus copper pipes plus additional wooden framing makes this one sturdy space.


My favorite pink bathroom is a deep rose with blue accents.

My favorite pink bathroom is a deep rose with blue accents. I tried to purchase this house (in Waterview) late last year, but it got tangled up in a bidding war, and the price went from $210,000 to almost $270,000 within hours. It was probably this bathroom that drove up the price.


We have got to stop destroying “good old work.” My current home has a green bathroom. Green is my least favorite color, but I have decided to live with it for a time and see how I feel about in 5 years or so. It may grow on me. I do know this: Society needs to learn that “keeping up with the Joneses” is a path to madness, waste and financial foolishness.


Save the pink bathrooms!


NOTE: All the houses shown above are in Portsmouth, Virginia.


All Settled In…

October 2nd, 2011 Sears Homes 5 comments

Yesterday, October 1st, was our housewarming party and we had about 35 of our friends and relatives show up, which was 100% delightful.

We closed on the old house on Wednesday, August 14th and the following day, we closed on our “new” house, a 1962 brick ranch.

It took us a solid six weeks to get “settled in” to our new house, and even now, we’re still missing several boxes! (Not sure where they ended up.)

In preparation for our big housewarming party, we worked for hours and hours cleaning and scrubbing and tidying up and painting walls and washing windows. We worked for days and days trying to get the yard prettied up, and had help from one of the world’s best neighbors, who gave up three hours of his life weeding and mowing and raking.

And it was all worth it.

While I had the house all prettied up, I decided it was an ideal time to take some photos.

Enjoy the photographic tour of our beautiful brick ranch!  :)


Our house in Norfolk.


Not a big flower bed, but keeping it pretty takes some work!


At our old house (on Gosnold), we had a big fancy pergola. And this house, we have a cute little pagoda. Pergola, pagoda - pretty close trade.


This brick ranch is almost 80 feet wide. It's tough to get a good shot straight on. Notice the shrub on the far right that I pruned? It's look a little barren these days, but it was way, way too tall. I like big plants, but not when they interfere with my electricity!


The picket fence was recently added to contain the wild beast in the back yard.


Here, Teddy is demonstrating that she knows how to open the gate (which has no latch on the inside), and is merely "choosing" to remain contained in the spacious back yard.

And what a fine back yard it is.

And what a fine back yard it is.


And Wayne has it all set up for our house-warming party!


Another view.


Many of our guests said that the den was their favorite room.


The bricks in the fireplace came from an old house in Norfolk that was torn down in the early 1960s. The home's original (and only) owner (Mr. Martin) worked for the Norfolk Redevelopment and Housing Authority.


Mr. Martin had these bookcases put in when the house was built.


This light is not only handy, but a delightful piece of early 1960s Americana.


And we've added a few accouterments to our 1960s house, such as this vintage cigarette lighter. Lighter fluid was stored in the bowl, and when you withdrew the rod, a spark was ignited which lit off the wick at the end of the rod.


Another piece of 1950s Americana: An old wall clock.


An anachronistic living room: A 1960s ranch with 1980s carpet and 1920s Arts and Crafts furniture and a 21st Century La-Z-Boy.


My mother gave me this quilt about 15 years ago, and it's always been one of my favorite possessions. I painted the room to match the comforter. The master bedroom (shown above) was the same size as the master bedroom at our old house (on Gosnold), but we couldn't fit the same amount of furniture in the new bedroom. Perhaps it was because of all the windows and doors at the new house.


The guest room also serves as my hide-away. Very quiet at this end of the house. And very pink. I really like pink.


The man cave.


Our long hallway provides a perfect gallery for family photos!


One of the top five most perfect bathrooms in North America.

The mans room

As with the pink bathroom, all the tile in the master bathroom is in top-notch condition.

trimBack in May 2011, when I first read the listing info on this house and saw that (according to the realtor’s comments), the house needed “some updating,” I knew I’d found something special. The house was custom built in 1962 and had only one owner (The Martin family), and it’s evident that they really did love this house. Even the formica countertop was in flawless condition. The kitchen is 49 years old, and still looks shiny and new and beautiful. I love the look of 1962.

Detail on the unique trim molding in the kitchen.


When we first walked into the sunporch, it was pretty smelly. The house had been closed up for a time and there were several issues on the sunporch. This was the first room we started working on, and it took about six weeks, but eventually, we got it all done. We removed the green indoor/outdoor carpet, washed and sanitized the floor, removed the ceiling fan (low ceiling height), and then painted everything. Each window had a storm window that had to be removed for painting and cleaning. Many, many years ago, the walls, ceiling, trim and windows had all been painted YELLOW. Our new paint job (pink and white) required two coats, but when it was all done, it was stunning!


The new and improved sunporch, looking transformed. And the windows are so clean and pretty! It is a grand and glorious room.


Bev and Mike brought us these gardenias as a house-warming present. They were grown from cuttings off two beautiful gardenia plants I'd purchased from Bev, three years prior. It'll be a real treat to watch "The Twins" take root and grow at their new home.


Mr. Ringer was tired at the end of the day.

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