Historical Bathroom Photos

Ideas for period perfect bungalow bathrooms

Bathrooms, Inspiration

I have been researching historical photos for ideas to help us when we tackle our bathroom. The photos are taken from magazines, books and online sources covering the early 1900′s to the 1920′s. Most of the photos focus on the early years during that time span.

These rooms may look sterile to our modern eyes, but they were the high-end bathrooms of their day with all the bells and whistles.

Bathrooms were mainly white to appear clean and sanitary.

Wood trim, a wood toilet seat and a rug or two did occasionally sneak in. I really like the window in the above photo.

The bathroom on the right features square tiles on the floor and walls instead of the hex and subway tile more commonly associated with that time period.

Isn’t the tile in the bathroom shown on the right amazing?

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Comments { 23 } March 2, 2004

More Historical Bathroom Photos

Get inspired to create your own vintage bathroom

Bathrooms, Inspiration


Does anyone know what this is? My thought is it is used to catch water so that someone could pour water from it to wash their hair, but I am not sure?






You may also enjoy:
Art Deco Bathrooms
Historical Bathroom Photos
Vintage Bathroom Fixtures and Accessories

Comments { 25 } March 3, 2004

Art Deco Bathrooms

Bathrooms, Inspiration

We have been getting a few posts lately about people redoing their bathrooms. So, in that spirit I have decided to post some pictures from “New Ideas For Bathrooms” published by Crane in the late 1920s. Enjoy!



You might also enjoy:
Historical Bathroom Photos
More Historical Bathroom Photos
Vintage Bathroom Fixtures and Accessories

Comments { 6 } March 4, 2004

Bathroom Hardware

Tracking down vintage bathroom accessories

Bathrooms, Resources

We have purchased several items from Vintage Tub & Bath and been very happy with their products. They often have close outs, sales and clearance items so if you are patient you can usually purchase what you are looking for at a discount.

I have also purchased a Victorian decor tank lever from Fashion Plumbing.

Please feel free to post your sources for bathroom accessories and hardware in the comments section.

Comments { 1 } January 5, 2006

Before: Upstairs Bathroom

Our bungalow bathroom needs lots of work

Bathrooms, Before and After

Taken from the second bedroom/office looking into the bathroom. The door on the opposite side of the room leads to the back hallway. The smaller door is for a built-in linen closet.

The floor was covered in vinyl tiles and old linoleum. The linoleum appeared to date around 1920-1930s and must have been glued down with some old fashioned version of superglue because it was horrible to get up. The floor was black around the toilet and tub due to some serious water damage, so I stained the floor a dark walnut color for now.

Closer view of the linen closet door. It might be difficult to tell but the plaster wall to the right of the linen closet is scored to resemble subway tile. Notice the big crack in the ceiling above the linen closet. There are huge cracks all along the ceiling.

The walls were painted none too carefully before we purchased the house. The paint has peeled off in the past few years. It appears that the plaster color was originally left natural, the woodwork was painted a muted gold color (I often see it referred to as ‘wheat’ in modern paint samples), and the ceiling was a vibrant green color. The second bedroom/office walls were painted the same green color as the bathroom ceiling.

The bathtub and wall tiles appear to date from the late 1940s – early 1950s. We assume there was originally a clawfoot tub. The daughter of our home’s second owner told us that the house did not originally have a shower. Her family added a shower downstairs off the back porch. That area had been gutted when we bought the house. We now use it for our washer and dryer.

Our idea was to add a clawfoot tub with a shower attachement, but It has been pointed out that it might be difficult to get a clawfoot tub shower enclosure/curtain rod to fit into the available space because of the slanted ceiling. I’m not sure what we will end up doing?

Our duplex apartment from the 1930′s had a bath tub and a seperate shower stall which I loved, but no room for something like that in our 6ft x 12ft space.

We are fairly certain the bathroom originally had a high-tank toilet based on the holes in the floor. I found the outline of a wall hung sink. The pedestal sink in the photo is from our old duplex apartment and dates from the 1930s. The property manager was throwing the sink out so we grabbed it.

The strange thing is how high the medicine cabinet is placed. When I look in the mirror I can only see my eyes and I’m average height. I wonder how tall the original owners were?

Photo taken looking into the second bedroom/office.

One of my favorite things about the bathroom is the woodwork. The mint green register grate matches the others in the house, and was salvaged from Liz’s Antique Hardware located on Le Brea Ave. It needs to be stripped.

Comments { 12 } August 18, 2006

Bathroom Dreaming

This is a bathroom I would be happy to get ready in every day

Bathrooms, Inspiration

bathroomdreamingBathroom designed by Nate Berkus Associates

The other day I stumbled across a bathroom designed by Nate Berkus for Billy and Katie Lee Joel. I find this bathroom so peaceful and serene. I have been looking at it every day and wishing it was my bathroom.

Nate’s decorating philosophy can be summed up with the tagline, “Love the Way You Live.” I find that so seductive…I want to love the way I live!

Sadly, I think our tagline is more along the lines of “Purchased a very RUNDOWN House. Living in the house while restoring it for 5+ years. Ran out of patience and money. Wonder if we will EVER get this house finished?” or just the short and sweet “NOT Loving the Way I Live.”

The photo doesn’t do our bathroom justice. It is much worse in real life. It is hard to see the paint peeling off the plaster, the sink that still doesn’t work, or the lack of a shower. Three years ago “brushing our teeth in the bath tub” still seemed funny…now, not so much.

I really hope 2008 is the year we can afford to tackle our bathroom. I am getting desperate!

Comments { 15 } October 9, 2007

Bathroom Inspiration

White, Clean & Simple

Bathrooms, Inspiration

Restoration Hardware Bathroom

I have been saving this Restoration Hardware bathroom in my inspiration files for several years. I love that the design is so clean and simple. I can’t get enough of white, clean and simple.

Comments { 10 } April 29, 2010

Bungalow Bathroom Remodel

Here We Go Now...

Bathrooms, Resources, Restoration Diary

1. Toto Promenade Toilet, 2. Schoolhouse Electric Hendrix Ceiling Fixture,
3. Schoolhouse Electric Sage Sconce, 4. St. Thomas Creations Richmond Pedestal Sink, 5. Delacora Double Handle Lavatory Faucet, 6. Randolph Morris Clawfoot Tub Package, 7. Plisse Extra Wide Fabric Shower Curtain,
8. Hotel Shower Curtain Rings, 9. Carrera Marble Floor Tiles, 10. Dal-Tile White Ceramic Subway Tile
Not pictured: Wall Mounted Shower Hoop in nickel

We have been talking about redoing our bathroom for years. When I say years, I mean 7. So when we decided to remodel the bathroom our conversation went something like this…

Me: I really want to redo our bathroom.

Husband: So, lets do it.

Me: Really?

Husband: Yes.

Me: Are you sure?

Husband: Yes.

This conversation took place over the phone during my husband’s lunch break. By the time he came home from work that evening I had ordered everything for the bathroom down to the switch plate covers and the shower curtain rings. The contractor was scheduled to start on Monday. I had set up interviews with electricians and plumbers for the following day. No turning back now!

Bathroom Before, it can only get better from here!

Comments { 20 } June 1, 2010

Destruction Zone

Our Bungalow Bathroom Remodel Begins

Bathrooms, Restoration Diary

Down with the walls! Look at all that extra usable space behind the wall. It even has the original wood flooring. For a house that is in desperate need of storage space, this is a very happy find.

The original woodwork has been stripped, although not too carefully since we intend to repaint it. We will still be using the bathroom during the construction process. This is the only bathtub in the house…and no shower!

Only the bottom portion of the walls will be removed. The walls will be white subway tile. We are hoping to save and repair the plaster ceiling and top portion of the walls.

Comments { 7 } June 6, 2010

Dust, Dust and More Dust

It Has to Get Worse Before it Can Get Better, Right?

Bathrooms, Restoration Diary

I am super excited about the bathroom remodel and don’t want to sound like a big baby, but actively using a bathroom while you are remodeling it really, really sucks! A lot.

A hundred years ago just having indoor plumbing was the height of luxury and convenience. Only having one full bath in 2010 is the height of poverty and inconvenience. I’m kidding, sort-of. This is the phase of the project where I start to get cranky. A lot.

The electrical is done and the plumbing rough in completed.

Bathroom linen closet before.

The contractor has taken advantage of useable space found behind the wall to expand the linen closet. We desperately need the additional storage.

Our linen closet is now much larger.

This picture gives you a sense of the narrowness of the room and the slope of the ceiling. The ceiling follows the roofline.

Bathroom Before

Comments { 11 } June 25, 2010