Gina Sims Designs


New Life for an Old Bathroom

Most of the homes built in the 1960s have the same, functional bathroom footprint. When a bathroom like this needs an update, usually we don't have to tear down walls or rethink how the space is used. One of the many strengths of Mid-Century Design is that it is rooted in functionality. Space is used well: it is not wasted. To update a bathroom like this, we focus on updating materials and finishes that work for the specific owner of such a classic space. In this case, we focused on making the room comfortable and safe for clients who expect to age well in this home in the years to come.


With a nod to the bathroom's former green tones, we updated the color scheme with a mineral tone, a muted, earthy aqua that reflects a more modern, calm feel in the room.

The classic nature of this bathroom served as the inspiration for the materials in this space. We selected a white and mineral colored fabric in a trellis pattern, and selected updated versions of materials that reflected the original state of the room. White subway tile for the shower surround is a brilliantly classic selection, and the floor tile, a mix of white and gray small tiles imitates the previous floor tile without the high volume of the 1960s color combination. As many 1960s homes are known for their wall-to-wall vertical v-notch paneling, we both winked and nodded to this traditional feature with vertical ship lap,  painted white and with a square notch: it's a decidedly modern take.


Voila! New life for an old bathroom.


The design features of this bathroom keep the users of the bathroom in mind: for an aging homeowner, we ensured that the toilet seats were elevated and that the shower included grab bars and rails for both using the bathtub and the shower.

Considering the client's young grandchildren also became a factor. Instead of installing the shower curtain from a tension rod that might be pulled down by young children, we installed the curtain rod from the ceiling and created a custom shower curtain to fully span the space. Bonus? The room feels taller and more spacious when a curtain is hung from a high level. This can be a game-changing feature in Mid-Century homes that do not have vaulted ceilings. #protip #youarewelcome

To keep the room feeling simple and cohesive, we matched the shower curtain to the window shade (in that epic mineral and white trellis pattern) and matched the towels in a similar tone. The Eucalyptus art print and the formal wall sconces polish the space.


When designing for aging populations, or if you'd like to refresh and redesign a bathroom that you'll be in when you'll need more supportive features, it's important to focus on non-slip surfaces. If your bathmats do not have a non-slip backing, purchase a rubber rug pad. There are also companies that can install a non-slip surface to your bathroom floors and tub, and you can't see it! Whaaaaatttt?! Yes: check it out here.

Do you have a Mid-Century bathroom that functions well, but could use a thoughtful update? Are you thinking about how your home needs to change to accommodate your needs in the coming years? Let's talk. Right now. Call me.