The destruction begins

Tomorrow Mike the Handyman will begin tearing out my bathroom, in phase one of the Great Renovation. He was supposed to start today but called in sick, so I have had a bonus 24 hours of controlled panic. I have dreaded this project, but it’s inescapable.

Here’s why:

The turquoise and mauve color combo is classic 1957, all original to when the house was built. I like 50s style, but this is going a bit far even for me.

In addition to being ugly, it’s falling apart. The tiles — which are plastic, a cost savings for the original owners and a tragedy for everyone else — are almost free of their grouting in the bath and also falling off the wall over the radiator. I’ve been ignoring it ever since I moved in, but if I ever hope to sell the place I’ll have to deal with it, and I might as well do it sooner so I can enjoy it.

Click through to see more details of the horror of the plastic tile.

Here’s the tile over the radiator. Note the loop of duct tape, a hasty repair I tried when friends came to visit.

Here’s the shower/tub, with tiles completely gone and a hole through to the open air inside the wall. I’ve been taking only baths for four years — not a problem for me, because I prefer a nice bath, but it means I feel awkward inviting out-of-town friends to stay with me.

But see, this is what I like about the bathroom: the funky fixtures. Very space-age. I can’t find fixtures like this at Home Depot, or anywhere else I’ve looked.

The new bathroom will have subway-style tiles — 3 x 6 inches, staggered like bricks — in vanilla, with a gray border like the black detail in the current setup, and black marblish flooring. I’m keeping the current tub, sink, toilet. Unfortunately I need to replace the faucets and such because the chrome is corroding. Still looking for a 50s-themed set, but running out of time.

I’m pleased with the plan, but I bet 40 or so years from now, someone will be cursing me and my odd design sense, just as I’m wondering about the folks who designed the current look.