The Kids’ Green Bathroom – Keep or No?

vintage bathroom update home renovations green tile

Another day, another decision to be made in #thisoldtudor.  Home renovations are stressful yet addicting.  And look at that beaut of a bathroom.  Sometimes, I can see a room’s potential; but I’m no designer, so much of the time, I can’t.  When I saw this bathroom for the first time, I thought, ‘oh dear God, no.’  But I heeded everyone’s advice and lived with it for awhile.  Time passed and I still wanted it gutted–but it would have to wait until 2019.  And now we’ve been in the space for 4-5 months and I have to say, the green tile–it’s grown on me!  It makes a STATEMENT, that’s for sure–and what kind of statement, I can’t say.  (Maybe it’s ‘I like old things’ or ‘Green’s my favorite color?’) . But seriously, it’s grown on me.  I told Eric one night in bed, ‘what if we keep the green tile?’ and he was aghast because I’d been so adamantly against it.  The tile is original to the house and largely in pretty good shape but the rest of the room needs some updates.  And I think the green could look pretty cool–modern and intentional even, if I updated a few other things.  And honestly, it’d save us a bunch of money if we kept it in.  Also, even if we decide some day that it needs to go (due to too many broken tiles or something), it could be changed while the other updates stay!

Vanity – marble top, great price point, simple design

Medicine cabinet mirror – the medicine cabinet already exists and I’d love to keep it with a new mirror!

Floor tile (VERY reasonably priced) – vintage-inspired and oh-so-cute

Lighting sconce – love the traditional, yet updated shape

Faucet – I can’t resist a cross handle faucet!

Toilet – I’ve been advised to install a new toilet for efficiency purposes (it’ll use less water) as this one is definitely from the early/mid 20th century.  Now is this a good looking toilet or is this a good looking toilet?

Paint – I’ll also paint the walls and ceiling my signature color – Benjamin Moore ‘White Dove’

So what do you think?  Would you salvage the green tiles for a smaller update or wait and completely gut it?


  • Hi Anna! I’ve been following your blog and Instagram for years–love your style and your home looks charming! I moved into a vintage third floor walk up in Evanston, so not far from you at all in Winnetka. The building is from the late 20s and both of my bathrooms have the original vintage tiles. I’ve decided to keep everything original for now. While my tiles aren’t as bold as yours, they still are older subway mixed in with colors I wouldn’t have picked. I decided to do easy fixes and change the paint. I bet you can do the same and the small changes you make will definitely transform the space while still staying true to those groovy vintage tiles, I think! (I’m always awful with interiors, I feel like I don’t know what I’m doing AT ALL!). Good luck!!

  • I love the green tile. It reminds me of the Fireclay tile that everyone is using right now! Freshen up all the other elements and it will look great while still maintaining the warmth and character an old house should have 🙂 can’t wait to see the finished product!

  • Yes!!!! Please leave this beautiful shade of green tile. I love the mix of original/vintage pieces with the updated (yet not trendy) accents you are thinking on using. Your balance of the two is perfect. Cant wait to see it!

  • I looooove the green tile! I vote absolutely keep them, and I love the direction you’re going in to modernize the room. Our house was built in 1908, so I too love old houses 🙂

  • Keep it, please!! It adds so much character and charm that’s true to the original era of the house and, as you were thinking, modernizing the fixtures will keep it from being a total period piece.

  • Keep it!! I love original bathrooms! Not everything has to be current and all white (read: boring). Update other things to make it more functional, but keep that green tile! Designer Bailey McCarthy has saved vintage tile in her homes before and has put in new, vintage inspired tile (in bold colors) when doing bathrooms from scratch.

  • Keep keep keep! I think once you switch out the other items for a brighter white and cleaner design, then the green is going to look so intentional as if you just installed them as a ‘nod’ to your house’s era as opposed to them being original. And agreed, if down the road they start to show their age you can always replace them or even drywall the majority of the room (or do wallpaper like your powder room) for a minor update.

  • I agree with the rest of the commenters..keep the green! It’s such a lovely shade of green and with new floor tile/fixtures/sink and toilet, it will look fresh. (unlike some of those blue and pink tiled bathrooms that are in houses the same age!)

  • I would definitely keep it! I love the charm and history they bring. I agree, bringing in some new and updated elements will make it look intentional. I can’t wait to see the finished space.

  • Keep it! We live in a late 1920s house and I’m learning to love all the original details, and I wish the previous owner had kept more of them.

  • We live in a late 1920s house and I’m learning to love all the original details, and I wish the previous owner had kept more of them. I vote to keep it!

  • First of all, I have to say that I adore your blog and your style. Second, I would totally keep the tile!!! It looks like it’s in great condition so that alone would save you lots of money in material and labor. My husband and I build homes and as much as I love new builds, you just can’t buy that vintage charm. You could make lots of updates as you suggested and it would bring it into 2018. Anyway, I’m sure whatever route you choose it will no doubt look terrific!

    • You really can’t! I fully admit I was not a fan of the tile originally but it really has grown on me! When I suggested to my husband that we keep it, he didnt believe it–but I think I can make it look modern and cool (hopefully)

  • I was so hoping you would think twice about removing the green tile! KEEP IT, PLEASE!!! It is charming and beautiful and speaks to the history of the house.

    • I really had every intention of totally gutting that bathroom but seriously–it’s grown on me! Fingers crossed these updates look good!

  • another vote for “keep it”! I think the bright whites you’re adding in will help modernize it (and make the green pop even more).

  • Keep the green tile! I gutted my 1968 bathrooms in Florida and I almost wish I found a way to keep the light blue wall tile, because it was so sturdy and after more than 40 years, there was not a trace of mold. But, it was too late. Your design is an updated contrast. KEEP IT!

    • I’d love to go that route but it’s my kids’ bath and I need more storage than that offers. The bathroom isn’t very big and I need to maximize that space 🙂 Love how those look, though!

  • I really like the green! I think it’s a fun color and if you had some other modern touches, it would look great! I just moved into an apartment with an entirely BLUE bathroom, down to the toilet. Because it’s a rental I can’t exactly renovate but it’s actually grown on me as well! We now call it “the spa.”

    x Diana // Pearl Girl

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *