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April 13, 2011

Proof That Ripping Out Your Mid-Century Bathroom Is A Bad Idea

By RetroRuth

So, you guys have been putting up with a lot of ranting lately from me, especially about wrecking vintage bathrooms and misleading “going green”. And I appreciate your patience.  But I just have one more thing to say on the subject, then I am going to stop. I swear.

And I also wanted to gloat. Just a little.

Here are some direct quotes from  CNN Money’s recent article, Avoid 4 Common Remodeling Mistakes, that proves the preservationist attitude we all share doesn’t just keep our homes looking their best, it also happens to make good financial sense.

Mistake 1. Being a slave to fashion

The more up-to-the-minute your project is today, the more out-of-date it will seem in five or 10 years.

Skip trends such as glass tiles, wire-hung track lighting, and vessel sinks (the kind that sit on the countertop like a salad bowl), says Schultz.

Instead, go with classic choices that match the house’s original style.

For a bathroom in a 1920s colonial, for example, that might mean a white pedestal sink and subway-tile wainscoting, but those choices wouldn’t look so timeless in a 1980s contemporary.

Wow.  I bet the guys who just demo’ed this peach bathroom down the street will be unhappy to read this one.


RIP, Peach Bathroom. You were so pretty!

Mistake 4. Counting on a big pay-back for going green

Greater energy efficiency alone rarely justifies a pricey project.

Take windows. Window companies may tell you that replacing old ones ($300 to $1,200 each) will knock 50% off your energy bills. But windows really account for only about 15% of a house’s heat loss, says Jerry Thatcher of Energy Diagnostics, a green-building certifier in Valparaiso, Ind., so you’d save just $50 to $175 a year.

That’s not to say you shouldn’t go ahead with new windows. As long as they match your home’s style, new windows will add value. They’ll open and shut easier, tilt in for cleaning, and reduce draftiness — they just won’t pay for themselves too.

Huh. Wow.


Are you really “green”, Sora House Project?? Don’t lie!!

If you want to check out the other “mistakes” read the CNN Money article here. 

Turns out we are financial geniuses, and we didn’t even know it!

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4 Responses to Proof That Ripping Out Your Mid-Century Bathroom Is A Bad Idea

  1. Eartha Kitsch Reply

    April 13, 2011 at 10:53 am


  2. Andrea Reply

    April 13, 2011 at 1:38 pm

    How I wish I could time travel, and present this article to whoever renovated my house in the 80s/90s! Now I struggle with trying to put back the mid-century feel that they took out, but still working with what’s there, as I am not going to just tear out an oak kitchen for the sake of tearing it out, etc. That wouldn’t be terribly green, either!

  3. Sara in AZ Reply

    April 13, 2011 at 4:21 pm

    This article is SO right on Ruth! I can’t tell you how many bathrooms I have seen in 50s houses with granite counter tops and vessel sinks. ARRGGGGGHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    And Sora house – you are still NOT green!!!!

  4. sablemable Reply

    April 14, 2011 at 9:33 pm

    Bob has the best saying ever about changing something: “If it’s not broken, don’t fix it!”

    Ruth, your writing is outstanding whenever you’re angry! Keep getting red in the face, girl!

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