Posts Tagged ‘retro bath’

My Atomic Powder Room

April 22nd, 2014 Sears Homes 21 comments

Pink bathrooms. I love them all. I wish I could save every pink bathroom in America. I eschew the fools who decimate and destroy old bathrooms.

For one, it violates the First Commandment of Old House ownership:  “Thou shalt not destroy good old work.”

Secondly, the quality of workmanship and materials found in older bathrooms can’t be replicated by the modern junk sold at Lowes and Home Depot.

I loved the 1960s. And that’s why I love my old house. It was built in 1962, and it still looks like 1962.

We purchased this house from the home’s original owner (his estate, actually) and it looks much like it did in 1962. Style-wise, this old house would best be described as a “Mid-Century Modern” brick ranch, and (be still my heart).

Soon after we closed, I started looking for Retro Wallpaper and couldn’t find a thing. Then I saw a blog at Retro Renovation about a woman who did her own “Atomic Kitchen,” I decided to give it a try in my own 1960s kitchen. It turned out beautifully.

Next, I was ready to hit the bathroom. And yes, it took a lot of time (more than 100 hours), but oh boy, what a blast! My only regret is that I’m now out of rooms to “decorate” with Retro designs!

If you like the look, please leave a comment below!

To read about My Atomic Kitchen, click here.

To see vintage images of real-life 1950s kitchens (including a PURPLE kitchen), click here.

I also “restored” the bathroom in my 1925 Colonial Revival. Read about that here.


It started

The trouble started when I saw that blog at Retro Renovation. It inspired me to replicate the "Atomic Ware" pattern on my own kitchen. And when I was done, it looked gorgeous!



By contrast, my old bathroom looked dull as dishwater!


bath 2

It needed some snazzy new colors!


Crave yard (see link below)

At "The Crave Yard" (see link below), I discovered this pattern and thought it might work for my bathroom. I used this as a guide, but my own pattern was a bit different.

To see all manner of cool retro ideas, visit The Crave Yard here.


It started with "flecking" the walls which made a big mess. I'm still finding charcoal gray flecks on the floor, the toilet, the shower curtain, etc. I used a toothpaste and a $2.99 sample can of charcoal paint to do the flecking. I dabbed the paint on the toothbrush, and then ran my index finger along the bristles, which sent all manner of gray specks flying onto the walls. I did a few practice runs with cardboard before I went crazy on the walls.


Bath 3

Using that pattern (taped to the door trim) as a rough guide, I started behind the bathroom door. I figured it was the least noticeable part of the whole room. The door came off the hinges and stayed that way for several days.



I used templates to draw the patterns on the walls. Spacing was random. REAL random.



Next step was to paint "between the lines." I used Sherwin Williams Duration paints (quart size). The colors were pink, turquoise and gray (pink and gray were color matched to the existing bathroom colors). The turquoise was a wild gamble, but it worked. The chair atop the counter helped my aching shoulders. Kneeling on the counter left me too low and standing was too high. The chair was jusssssssst right.



The process was rather messy. Note the dead pen in the trashcan. I killed off at least 40 pens.


Even before I was anywhere near finished, I began to fall in love.

Even in the early stages, I began to fall in love.



You can see how the black lines really make a difference.


post 437

The cacophony of retro designs created a mid-century modern masterpiece. I was very pleased.


home stretch

As I finished up around the door (which was back on its hinges by this point), I was quite smitten with the overall look. You can still see the "pattern" taped to the bathroom mirror.



The turqouise worked out well. The towels were found on clearance at Bed, Bath and Beyond ($5.99 each) and that curtain, well, that's another blog. In short, it was a white curtain that I dyed turqouise (too dark). And then I bleached it (too light). And then I dyed it again (too dark). And then I washed it in hot water (just right).


Pretty 376

Am I pleased with the end result? Abso-galootely!


Pretty 2

I can not walk into this bathroom without a big grin on my face. The dots and the colors make me smile.



Even Mr. Grumpy Bear likes it. ;)


Even bathrub

When we finished, I noticed that the bathtub was smiling.


I made a few of my own

These are the "Atomic Balls" that I added to the pattern. They were easy to draw and looked right at home.


North star

The pattern on the right is known as "North Star" and figuring out that six-point cross about drove me to hard liquor. The amoeba was easy and fun.


not a rtocket

And my old favorite, the starburst.


Who doesnt love ameoga

Two amoebas walk into a wait, that's something else.


I went for a slightly differen tlook over thes shower head

I went for a slightly different look on the wall with the shower head.


picture s84746

The whole gang.



I created templates to draw the patterns on the wall.


About 25% of pens

Shown above are the pens that survived. This represents about 25% of the Sharpies used in the project. Many gave their lives in service, and went to the great beyond.


For the amoeba, I used these oil-paint sharpies (white).

For the amoeba, I used these oil-paint sharpies (fine and regular).


Peoples reaction to The Worlds Most Beautiful Atomic Powder Room is mixed.

People's reaction to The World's Most Beautiful Atomic Powder Room is mixed. Some fall in love with it, and others say things like, "Well, as long as you and Wayne like it, that's all that matters."


And we do!

And we do love it.


A lot

A whole lot!


Please leave a comment below!

To read about Sears kit homes, click here.

The blog that piqued my interest originally can be found at Retro Renovation.

Read all about my kitchen dots, here.

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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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