Bathing beauties: Retro bathroom decor & remodels from the ’70s
Keyed for color, comfort and convenience, these retro bathrooms — two in the country, two in the city — are oases for relaxation.
Blue retro bathroom decor: Moods indigo
When designers Larry and Victor Jacoby renovated a century-old barn, they created a new and luxuriously spacious bathroom big enough for two.
Blue and white tile adds bright pattern, and keeps the room from looking too stark. Wainscoting, painted white and applied above the tile, carries through the rustic barn feeling. The homeowners can luxuriate in an overscaled tub, with twin faucets and a pair of hand showers.
Another built-in convenience is the ample shelf surrounding the tub that holds stacks of towels and all manner of bathing accouterments. Plenty of extra storage is accommodated under an expansive counter.
In the bath: Fixtures, Kohler. Tiles, Country Floors. Bathrobe to make in Hardwick terry and Laura Ashley print, Butterick Pattern #1416. “Waves” and blue towels, Martex. Sun Glo heart box. — Accessories, center row: Far left: Vinyl wall coverings – “Kells,” Alan Campbell; “Moiré,” Hinson; “Melinda,” Alan Campbell. Facial sauna, Lady Schick. Electric toothbrush, General Electric. Middle: “Spatter” vinyl wall covering, Hinson. “Linea Azzurra” and “Sarmiento” tiles, Country Floors. Towel, Avanti. Spatterwear ceramics, Stangl. Sponge and orange flower water, Marilyn Barnett; beribboned purple sage cologne, Caswell-Massey. Boxed potpourri, Cherchez! Left: “Killarney” towel, Fieldcrest. Body creme, Estée Lauder. Deep blue towel, Martex. Combs, Alan Spigelman. “Rhythm” towel, Cannon. Eye makeup, Almay. Lipstick, Helena Rubinstein. Ombre towel, Hilasal by Joseph De May.
“The most luxurious space virtually takes care of itself.”
The design philosophy of Joseph Paul D’Urso is eloquently expressed in a bright-tiled 15-foot-square dressing room/bathroom that minimizes maintenance as it maximizes the elegance of the architecture and the monochromatic palette.
A pass-through center island, containing banks of drawers for him and her, plus a sink, divides twin dressing areas that are flanked with floor-to-ceiling closets. One closet is actually the toilet cubicle.
At the far end of the room (not seen) is an oversized, sky-lit tub with shower heads at either end where hanging plants thrive, and add a soft, green leafy accent.
Clear and green – In the bath: Green terry velour wrap robe, Royal Robes. White knit strapless terry tube, Adri. White wrap robe, Dorian Loungewear. “Input” containers, Crayonne. Towels, Martex. Accessories at far right. Top: Shower caddy and bathtub tray, Karmel Plastics. Back, brush and massage brush, Marilyn Barnett. Wastebasket, guest towel holder and tooth brush-cup holder, Vincent Lippe. Washcloth and guest towels, Fieldcrest. Mirror and Lucite soap dish, Product Makers. Sponges and soaps, Caswell-Massey. Toilet-tissue holder, Vincent Lippe. Hairdryer holder and envelope magazine rack, Two’s Company. Hairdryer, Braun. “Sunshine Harvest” shampoo, Clairol. Middle: Mirror, Crayonne. Toilet brush, Rogin. “Roberta” beauty box and soap dish, Jakson international. “Classic Squares” towels by Bill Blass for Springmaid. “Needlepoint” towel, Hilasal by Joseph De May. Wallpapers, Laura Ashley. Bottom: Modular ceramic shelves with hooks and towel bars, Hastings Tile. Towel bar, toothbrush and beaker holder, hooks and ring, Crayonne. Green grab bar and hooks, The ironmonger. Cup, Marilyn Barnett. Towel, Martex.
Retro bathroom decor: Accent on red
A shared bathroom needs, most of all, a sense of space and privacy. Designer Neil Schwartzberg devised a visual and practical solution for his own family’s bathroom in two ways.
Mirrors covering facing walls reflect infinite “horizons” in the compact room, which is also compartmented for each fixture. Even the round tub has its own alcove.
Schwartzberg used standard kitchen materials — butcher-block countertops, polyurethaned to withstand water; convenient wooden poles beneath sinks to drape towels; quarry tile on floor-to render room impervious to son Hugh’s exuberant splash times.
In the bath: Fixtures, American Standard. Bathrobe from “Tartan” towels, Martex, Little Vogue #1329. Towels, washcloths and bath mat, Martex. Herbal Essence bubble bath, Clairol. Martex hand towels with Rit-dyed sew-on loops; See-through boxes, flask, back scrubber, tennis ball soap and sponge mitt, Alan Spigelman. Bear and ladybug sponges, Marilyn Barnett. Accessories in center. Far left: “Input” containers, Crayonne. “Junko” bathtub faucets, spout and hand- shower, Fearless Faucets. “Dancing Poppies” towel by Bill Blass for Springmaid. Sponges, CasweIl-Massey. Far right: Rug, Regal Rugs. “Jill” shower curtain, Bloomcraft. “Kiloptic” scale, Terraillon. “Riviera” tiles, Country Floors. Toilet- tissue holder, The IrIronmongerTowel hook, Rogin.
To create a new and different look in a bathroom for a bachelor, architects Alan Buchsbaum and Howard Korenstein of the Design Coalition merged an old entry and closet, and then set up a dynamic interplay of earthy tones and sleek, shiny textures.
The designers stepped octagonal tiles, mirror and overscaled globe lights to create a crisp zig zag pattern on the walls. Gleaming stainless-steel cabinets and shelved alcove hold towels and toiletries.
In the bathroom: Robe, Lucarelli. “Feathers” towels, Martex; towels with “Feathers” trim, Tiger Things. Peach toWels, Cannon; all other towels, Fieldcrest. Shaving foam, Aramis. Accessories, top right: Sponges and toothbrushes, Caswell-Massey. Bath brush, aloe strap, soap-on-a-rope, Marilyn Barnett. Middle, right: “Indian Summer” towel, Burlington. “Four Square” towel, Hilasal by Joseph De May. “Inca” towel, Avanti. “Le Mans” shower curtain, Ames. “Navajo” towel, Burlington. “Cognac” towel, Martex. Manicure/shaver, Norelco. Moment Bamboo and rattan hanging shelf, Jakson International. “Adam’s Rib” fingertip towels, Wamsutta. Bordered fingertip towel, Avanti. Shaving cream and brush, Marilyn Barnett. Back-scrubber, Alan Spigelman. Bath towels, Cannon. Wallpapers, Laura Ashley. Soap dish, Harvey Hutter. Tomato/Iattuga soaps, Doney and Meralg. Seaweed soap, Caswell- Massey. Truc Strawberry soap, Marilyn Barnett. Bottom left: “Sophisticated Stripe” bath rug by Missoni for Fieldcrest. “Andromeda” toiletries, Village Bath Products. Deodorant/spray powder, Lucarelli. Tortoiseshell mirror and combs, Alan Spigelman.
Trying to make do with a miscellany of typically uncoordinated fixtures cramped into a minuscule cubicle — usually measuring about five by seven feet, with inadequate storage and counter space, poor lighting and ventilation — we expect to get clean, rid ourselves of our bodily wastes, do laundry, groom ourselves, tend to our illnesses, bathe our children, de-flea the dog, shine our shoes, and sometimes even exercise and sunbathe.
The most important consideration for an updated bathroom is space. Our dream bath more than doubles the current average — to 10 feet by 16 feet.
Ideas, for any space, are shown above — and explained.
1. Raising the sink to 38 inches allows for a more comfortable posture when washing hair or laundry, as well as face and hands. Instead of the usual vanity, a kitchen sink with swiveling fountain-type faucet is great for washing hair or clothes. A kitchen drain that pulls out for easy cleaning traps jewelry and other small items. You can rotate the sink, so the faucet and controls are at the side.
2. Medicines are more accessible if they are relocated to a shallow, compartmentalized drawer right under the sink. Special locks keep children out.
3. In lieu of an overhead cabinet, stretch — or build in — a shelf across the sink for most-used grooming aids. You can put a clock radio here too, or small TV for the early morning or late evening news.
4. For convenience when using the small bathroom appliances, install a continuous electrical outlet strip with one outlet per appliance. You’ll need at least one square foot of countertop for each, too — especially if you decide to keep the appliance out. (Rest of article in print magazine.)