Studio 95

Straight out of the forties – and then “renovated” in the era of disco – our one and only full bath left quite a few things to be desired. Contractors swooned over the craftsmanship of the tile work, inspectors applauded the resilience of the home’s original cast iron tub, but no one dared to call it up-to-date. The peeling silver wallpaper was only just the beginning. From the faux granite vanity to mismatched accessories, the icing on the cake had to be the grab bars drilled directly through the mint green tile. While not our first color choice for tile, we decided to patch the holes left by the grab bars and live with it!

After a bit of research, Rich settled on Bondo for filling the holes. (Yes, the same stuff used in auto body repair.) Once dried, the white Bondo required some painting in order to avoid standing out even more than the holes themselves. As these particular tiles stopped being manufactured somewhere around the turn of the century, the paint had to be custom as well. While the repairs are not completely hidden, we think it looks pretty good if we do say so ourselves.

The dressing room lighting setup also needed to go. To remain true to the original style of our 1940s bath, we scoured the net eventually landing on a set of lights from School House Electric. We ended up with a single scone on the ceiling and a double over our Pottery Barn medicine cabinet. Both lights are from the Irvine family. They may have been a little on the expensive side, but the quality cannot be beat. Plus, they’re made in America!

The pièce de résistance, however, has to be our new vanity. A custom order from Strasser Woodworks (also made in USA), we honestly expected the install to go a lot easier than it did. Who knew that water pipes are positioned differently in every bathroom and that there are absolutely no standards for placement? After a long weekend of prepping the pipes for installation, it was decided that we should go ahead and do some pretty hefty structural surgery on the  rear of the piece in order to make everything line up properly. Could we have hired someone to do? Sure. Could we have returned the vanity for something more customizable? Absolutely. Would we have had as interesting a story as we ended up with? Not a chance.

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