Before & After: Our Eichler Guest Bathroom

eichler guest bath before & after

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted anything about our Eichler renovation, but since some changes are afoot, I though I’d take a stroll down memory lane while it’s all still fresh in my mind. You remember our house renovation, right? Long story short, in 2007 we bought our 1964 Eichler from the estate of the original owners and almost immediately began a down-to-the-studs renovation/restoration that included … well, pretty much everything. New windows, roof, mechanicals, floors, kitchen, baths … you name it. Almost two years past before we were able to finally move in, and the house still wasn’t done. Thankfully, this guest bathroom was finished, allowing us to move in while the kitchen and master bathroom were being completed. But I’m getting ahead of myself …

This is what the guest bathroom looked like when we bought the house:

Eichler Guest Bathroom Before 1Beige walls, beige tile, a beige formica counter top and a beige vinyl floor. The white bathtub was in perfect condition (I don’t think it had ever been used) so we decided to keep it, along with the original globe light fixture, the original window and of course, the beautiful original redwood ceilings. Everything else had to go.

Eichler Guest Bathroom Before 3On the surface, this bathroom was in remarkably good condition, but a leaking pipe forced us to gut the entire space. On the bright side, this unforeseen catastrophe gave us the opportunity to make a few changes; in this room we opted to lower the wall separating the sink area from the toilet/tub area to allow more natural light into the space.

Eichler Guest Bathroom DuringThis is what the space looked like after demolition and installation of the new copper water pipes. Notice the rectangular hole in the ceiling from an old air vent … in order to fix that we had to have the roof opened up and new redwood tongue & groove planks installed and stained to match. Then the concrete floors were bead-blasted and a cementitious skim coat was applied and polished, the tub was refinished, new insulation and sheetrock were installed, new clear safety glass & bug screens were installed in the original window, new wire-reinforced mortar shower walls were constructed, tile was installed, grout was sealed, a new cabinet, sink, faucet, mirror and 1.6 GPF toilet were installed and last but not least, a new door with new-in-box vintage 1960s hardware was installed. Whew!

This is what it it looks like now!

Eichler Guest Bathroom After 1

My goal was to create a light, bright, airy, uncluttered space that was neutral, but still full of personality. I chose simple white subway tile, and since our house is a mid-century modern California Eichler, I arranged the tile in a stacked pattern rather than the more traditional running bond.

Eichler Guest Bath Detail 1

In that same vein, we chose fixtures and fittings with clean, simple lines and used a stainless steel Schluter strip, rather than bullnose tile, for the transition between shower walls and sheetrock. Our biggest splurge item? High quality, independent thermostatic and volume control valves in the tub/shower. If I had a nickel for every “high-end” bathroom I’ve seen that irritatingly lacks good valves … it makes me sick.  Anyhow … my other favorite feature? The adjustable height shower/hand spray – I love it!

Eichler Guest Bath Texture 1Modern white spaces can sometimes feel cold and sterile; to make this bathroom feel warm and inviting, I added texture with this patterned cotton shower curtain, Turkish cotton hand towels, a graphic cotton rug and wood rattan laundry hamper. Most importantly, we chose not to paint the original redwood ceiling.

Eichler Guest Bath Texture 2

Eichler Guest Bathroom After 3

To add a splash of color, I added some Blik wall decals to simulate bubbles. The best part is that when I’ve grown tired of them, the dots peel right off without damaging the paint.

Eichler Guest Bath Detail 6

Why yes, blue is my favorite color.

Eichler Guest Bathroom After 3A

Eichler Guest Bathroom After 2

I forced myself to design this space on a tight budget (the mirror, sink and base cabinet are all from IKEA), but still had fun in the process. Our trips to Istanbul and the Turkish countryside gave me loads of inspiration and by adding this little marble slab along with just the right textiles and accessories, I was able to make this space feel like a modern version of a traditional Turkish bath. I found the perfect finishing touches – this antique hamam bowl, coarse linen kese bath mitts, and pure olive oil soap – at Dervis, in Instabul’s famed Grand Bazaar. Oh, and the medicine cabinet is original, we repurposed it from the master bathroom … cha-ching!

Eichler Guest Bath Detail 5Similar high quality Turkish cotton towels, or peshtemal, can be found at this Etsy shop.

Thanks for reading!


3 thoughts on “Before & After: Our Eichler Guest Bathroom

  1. Oh, I love the blue /colorful bubbles! I like decorations that are expressive and colorful, but later if you tire of them you can easily change the look. Much easier than wall paper-which I have been trying to get rid of in our home for years! We moved into our home in 1999 fall and have onlly made changes to the mechanicals since they were in such bad shape. We still have the late 60’s and 70’s “going on” in our home. Your bathroom makeover is an inspiration to me!!! Our youngest graduated college this year and now is attending graduate school with an apartment he pays for–YEAH US!We can now tackle the interior of our home.. Please post more of your renovations, I like what you put together. You have great advice and style:-)….and on a “cha-Ching” budget- right up my alley!

  2. Thanks for posting your renovation details. I’m looking at renovating my eichler bathroom so this is wonderful. Looking forward to more posts like this.

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