The 100 Year Old Bathroom (made Modern)

Today’s featured project takes us to a really cool part of Pittsburgh: Highland Park. Not too far from the zoo, the Highland Park neighborhood of Pittsburgh was initially developed as a ‘streetcar suburb’ where residents would walk or use streetcars to reach a more bustling part of Pittsburgh – East Liberty [East Liberty is where people worked, shopped, or took trains to other portions of the City].

Such a neighborhood, focused mainly on residential living, paved the way for Pittsburgh homes that were more substantial and spaced farther apart than the rowhouses of nearby neighborhoods such as Bloomfield and Lawrenceville.

These slightly larger and historic homes often come with a lot of charm. Sadly, as we made our way to the bathroom of this 1920 Highland Park home, the one thing we were looking forward to was totally absent:


As you can see from the before pics above, the only thing charming about this bathroom was the five-panel door upon entry.

Bathrooms from the 1920s typically boast unique tile, pedestal stinks and pastel colors – none of which were present above. The board and batten on the wall was a decent attempt to preserve some character but it was clear this bathroom was most recently renovated in the 1980s and and our Dreamers just couldn’t love the laminate floor and undersized, MDF-vanity any more.

The first goal of our Dreamers was to increase the functionality of this main family bathroom. This was achieved by replacing the vanity with a custom piece that offered more drawers, storage, and countertop space to meet the family’s growing needs:

The second goal of our Dreamers was to update the flooring (laminate is almost always lacking in any charm):

Third, and final, our Dreamers wanted to update their shower with cracked grout and poorly finished tile work which was was applied incorrectly to drywall instead of a Hardie board or concrete board.

(note the details in the photo above)

he third facet of this project actually saved our Dreamers from what could have been a very bad situation because mid-construction, we discovered the home had intersecting knob and tube power with modern power spliced together outside of any junction box in the wall; this was found behind the shower and that’s kind of scary since the shower wasn’t waterproof.

The knob and tube discovery set the project back by about two weeks (it’s always something in construction!) but the community surrounded this family and they were able to shower at their neighbor’s without too much duress while we made necessary updates.

In the end, our Dreamers were so happy to have a beautiful and safe bathroom:

What we love about the tile selected is the marble vein which complements the vanity and the pop-of-blue ribbon to add back some charm to this 1920 home:

When this space was complete; even if this bathroom is 100 years old, she’s charming and fresh, safe and now well-loved.

American Dreamers Renovations is a boutique home renovation and construction company owned and operated by leading female contractor Morgan Kumpfmiller. If you are considering a home renovation or construction project, we invite you to call us today at 412-290-1108 or contact us via message to schedule your FREE interior home renovation estimate.