Remodel Transforms 1940s Master Bathroom

Larry Greene
Written by Larry Greene
Updated December 14, 2021
bathroom renovation with classic style
Custom tile covers this bathroom, creating a brighter but still classic look. (Photo courtesy of Whonsetler Photography)

This renovation preserved the bathroom's classic style.

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The homeowners of this 1940s bungalow near downtown Noblesville, Indiana, have slowly updated the home to fit their needs. But they have also maintained the style of the original design intent.

After updating the kitchen and dining room to suit the needs of their large family, they decided it was time for a more functional, updated master bathroom. Focusing on these two areas of the home is a great way to add value and function for eventual resale.

1940s bathroom before remodel
The original bathroom was very cramped. (Photo courtesy of Case Design/Remodeling Indy)

Before the master bath remodel

The master bathroom was original to the home, and it definitely needed an update! Every zone of the bathroom was crammed into a small space next to the other. The homeowners even had to squeeze between the console sink and the corner of the shower to get to the toilet.

The remodeling project's goal was to create more space and function in the master bath, while adhering to the home's '40s motif.

Changing the master bathroom layout

A small closet adjacent to the master bath was removed to allow for more functional space planning. The toilet moved to the former closet space, which allowed for other changes.

The small shower moved to the former sink area. This allowed for the shower footprint to expand, and the extended length allowed for a redesigned shower with no door.

New floor and wall tile

Tile details were the showstopper of this bathroom! A white mosaic tile with cobalt accents covers the floor and the back of the tall shower storage niche. A tile skirting served as the base for the beautiful tile wainscoting. Above that, workers laid a large white subway tile in a horizontal brick pattern, with a navy blue herringbone accent band above, and capped it with a white decorative tile cornice.

This wainscoting continued seamlessly into the shower, where a smaller white subway tile rose above the cornice. This tile also framed out the beautiful new glass block, which replaced an old casement window. A beautiful gray marble — a nod to the 1940s era — capped the half wall, threshold, corner shelf and niche shelf.

As an added convenience, a heating system was installed underneath the floor tile. This system is programmable, so the homeowners have a toasty warm floor in the morning when they wake up.

Bathroom finishes and storage

Continuing with the classic finishes, the plumbing and lighting fixtures, accessories and even the electrical covers were all finished in polished chrome.

To create needed storage, a custom built-in cabinet was recessed into the adjacent wall to save space and provide convenient access. This also makes the space feel more custom instead of adding a cabinet on the wall that looks like an afterthought.

Our team built a new larger closet with custom shelving in the adjacent bedroom to supplement the lost closet space.

After the master bathroom remodel

With our integrated design/build company structure, the entire remodeling process was hassle-free for the homeowners. The unique design challenge of providing the best solution for both function and updated 1940s aesthetics proved to be very rewarding for both the homeowners and our team.

Which features would your dream bathroom renovation contain? Share your bathroom remodeling ideas in the comments section below!

As of June 30, 2016, this service provider was highly rated on Angie's List. Ratings are subject to change based on consumer feedback, so check Angie's List for the most up-to-date reviews. The views expressed by this author do not necessarily reflect those of Angie's List.

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