wallpaperThe bathroom in the front apartment is done. Above, you can get full appreciation of the 1970s wallpaper. It looks a lot like the wallpaper that was in my parents’ Midwestern kitchen. That probably says something, but I don’t know what.

Obviously the apartment had been renovated many times over its 400 years, but it still feels old and historic. We wanted the bathroom to feel new and old at the same time.

sdb-beforeThe bathroom had a number of oddities. It was in what originally was a service hall because nobody had bathrooms when the place was built in the early 1600s. The very interesting blog The Seventeenth Century Lady gives an idea of the period’s hygiene, or lack thereof.

strange-pipeOur hall-cum-bathroom has a strange pipe ascending to the roof from who knows where below. The first floor is a shop, currently empty.

According to an old floor plan, there had been a bathtub, but it was replaced with a shower recently, and we kept that. It is huge. The room is bathed in light from a (frosted) window that rises more than 11 feet. Natural light is so important in a bathroom.

bathroom-from-doorA new false ceiling over the shower takes care of that weird pipe as well as new ventilation and flush spotlights. The rest of the room has a four-meter (13-foot) ceiling.

toward-showertoward-windowWe included a washing machine, because nobody wants to go to a laundromat on their vacation and this was about the only place we could fit it.

mirror-closeWe hunted high and low all over southern France for the sconces and the  mirror. The sink, too. It’s hard to find something that isn’t completely modern. But that antique Venetian mirror makes me swoon.

Before: just a hallway

Right next to the bathroom is a separate loo. We used the same tiles but put them on the floor. The sink, with a marble-topped cabinet, came from a farmhouse, with a matching mirror. How do people photograph mirrors without being in the picture?

After: a new WC

Almost everything in the apartments–aside from the appliances and kitchens–is antique, bought at estate sales or brocantes, or else bought with the apartment. We looked at some new replicas of old styles but were disappointed by the combination of low quality and high price.


33 thoughts on “Before/After: Bathroom

  1. Looking good. I always feel it is much more fun to use antiques or even repurposed furniture for sinks and vanities. You ultimately end up with a room that has much more personality. Best wishes for a happy holiday to you and your family.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. How beautiful, you must be proud of what you have achieved. I know what you mean about struggling to find vintage looking sinks etc in France. Your idea of using an antique cabinet for the wash basin base is superb. We’ve ended up going to Ikea for sanitary ware as we couldn’t find anything else that we liked in the local French DIY stores.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The first thing I thought when I saw the original shower photo is that it would be a cold drafty place to shower. The remodel is stunning! It solves care of so many problems with the original while looking wonderful too.
    In seeing the ‘before’ photos, that 60s wallpaper seems to pre-date the previous remodel with white tile and checkered flooring. I can’t help but wonder why someone would go to the trouble of changing tile and floor but leave up the older clashing wallpaper, which would have been the easiest part of the job to remove? It seems so irrational.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Actually the shower is great (we tried it out). It’s so nice to be in such a big one. The black and white linoleum was very, very old–it was in a large part of the apartment, including OVER the original terra cotta tiles in the kitchen. I love black and white tiles, but not this stuff.


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