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April 17, 2009

Our Mid-Century Ranch – The Blue Bathroom

house-2-051I love our vintage bathrooms.  There are a lot of small things, little details, that make each one really special. And one of those little details is that we get to name the bathrooms after their colors.

“Have you seen my belt?” Hubs asks in the morning, “I thought I left it in the Pink bathroom.”


“Come on, wake up.  I am going to be late for work.”

“Ummm…try the Peach bathroom.”

“I did already.”

“The Blue one?”

“Oh, forgot about that one. Thanks Hon.”

“Yeah, yeah. Just let me sleep.”

So, here is the Blue bathroom.  It is a three quarter bath, so only a shower in this one and no tub like the other two.  It also has a different sink, more utilitarian than the others.  This bathroom is right off of the kitchen, hence the blue to match the cabinets, and I have a feeling that this bathroom used to be used mostly for washing up after gardening or woodworking. house-2-052Here is the shower.  No regular shower stall for this bathroom, no sir. It is completely done in tile, and I LOVE it.  I know, grout can be a pain, but this shower really isn’t used that often so I don’t mind.  Honestly, I mostly rinse mops out in it. And that is the original shower door.  The spring is a little rusty on the door and sticks a bit, but once again, not really used that much. blue-bathroom-003Here is the bottom of the shower.  The floor tile matches the rest of the floor tile in the bathroom.

blue-bathroom-005Original Kohler tap. Still works great!

blue-bathroom-006Recessed blue soap dish.

house-2-053The sink corner of the bathroom. The wallpaper is not original.  I am not sure when that was added, probably the 80’s.  The wallpaper itself isn’t that bad, but the border is a floral nightmare.  I really don’t like it. It is pretty high up, so it didn’t really make it into any of the pictures.  Do you think it is possible to remove a wallpaper border without damaging the rest of the wallpaper? Hmmm… anyway. Back to the tour. You can see the matching towel rack next to the sink. blue-bathroom-001The original medicine cabinet and lighting.blue-bathroom-007

The recessed toilet paper holder and the bathroom heater.  I am a little bit worried about all the heaters in the bathrooms and what happens when we start having kids, but I should just relax. No need to borrow trouble, right? 

And yes, the heaters work great. And they get incredibly hot!

blue-bathroom-013The original bathroom fan.  It sounds like a jet engine revving up when you turn it on, but it works like a champ. blue-bathroom-011Huge closet that stores…well…a lot of nothing so far.  I am sure in a few years it will be packed to the gills with crap, but for now it is gloriously sparse. Mostly due to the fact this house has so very many, many closets.


Close-up of the bathroom floor tile, and the marble transition strip. I love the pattern of the floor.  It needs to be regrouted soon, but it shouldn’t be difficult.  It will just take a really long time!

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10 Responses to Our Mid-Century Ranch – The Blue Bathroom

  1. Sara in AZ Reply

    April 17, 2009 at 11:44 am

    Oh My God! I just love your house. I wish we had more houses like that here in Az, it just seems like most all of the older homes here have been COMPLETELY renovated. And that totally ruins the aspect of buying a “50’s” house for me. Why would I want to buy a 50’s house with all new everything??? I can buy a new house for that! Oh man, I wish I had your problems with too many closets!!! I need some more closet space, could you possibly send me some of your closets here to Az? 🙂

  2. Tikimama Reply

    April 17, 2009 at 2:53 pm

    We have a Blue bathroom and a Pink bathroom! One of my favorite things about our house.

    I grew up with a wall heater like that, and in our first house, I made my husband keep the ones in the bathrooms, even though we remodeled. They do get hot, but that’s what the grilles are for. Neither I nor any of my siblings (4!) ever got burned, and my daughters were fine with ours, too. It’s just like a hot stove, but on the wall. I miss them, and if I can find vintage ones, I’m making hubby install them in our current home!

    Love your tile and original fixtures!!!

  3. Terry Kearns Reply

    April 17, 2009 at 4:58 pm

    I don’t think I choose this today but I wouldn’t mess with it one bit. I like how it looks ready for another 50 years of service to the family. A closet too!

  4. RetroRuth Reply

    April 17, 2009 at 5:54 pm

    Thanks Sara! I wish I could send you some closets, we have a ton in this house. In fact, there is actually one across from this bathroom that is completely empty! Just too much space. But I will probably be so thankful in a few years.

    That is good to know, Lisa. I really don’t want to have to take them out, so it is nice to hear yours lived peacefully with a houseful of kids. Thanks! I love the tile too!

    I thought the same thing when I saw the bathrooms for the first time, Terry. It wasn’t my first choice, but it has really grown on me. Thanks for the comment!

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  6. sablemable Reply

    April 18, 2009 at 11:54 pm

    Lovely blue bathroom, Ruth! And I love the wall heater! Nice for those miserably cold Michigan winters.

    I don’t know how my mother managed to keep us kids from sticking our fingers into the electrical sockets or putting each other into the washing machine while it was agitating, but you’ll manage okay. Remember, whenever you need advice/help, mothers and mother-in-laws are only a phone call away!

  7. Ann Reply

    April 27, 2009 at 6:54 pm

    Hello- I discovered your blog from my feed, thanks for stopping by! I LOVE your blog, I will definitely be back to visit! We have a pink and a lavender bathroom…your blue one is in good shape. We have some work to do this summer- just painting! I’ll never “redo” our lovely 60’s bathrooms!

    Ann in SC

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  9. Sarah Reply

    October 11, 2009 at 5:50 pm

    Hi- I have a 1956 bungalow in Ann Arbor MI with a very similar bathroom design. I have a full tub but the walls and the floor (even down to the marble strip) are the same as yours. I came across your site because I just yanked out the soapdish in my shower. It had a lip on the lower edge that always caused water to pool up and it was just impossible to keep clean. I had no idea it was recessed so now I’m looking for a recessed soapdish to replace it– hopefully one that allows the water to drain out! The good news is the previous owners left me plenty of replacement tile, so worst case I can just patch over it!


    • RetroRuth Reply

      October 14, 2009 at 9:45 am

      Hi Sarah! Welcome, welcome, welcome to the site! That is so exciting that you have a 1956 bungalow, and I love Ann Arbor! I would check Ebay for the dish you are looking for, and if you go to RetroRenovation.com, Pam has a TON of different resources listed for every vintage room in your house. What color is the tile in your bathroom? Blue? And you ARE super lucky to have replacement tile! I am jealous, and I am sure many others are too!

      Oh, and send me pictures to put on the blog so we can see your great house!

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