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1920s town house décor ideas?

(39 Posts)
vitaminC Tue 18-Feb-14 09:55:50

We're in the process of purchasing a home built in 1920 and with many original features intact, including solid oak floors and marble fireplaces in all the rooms. All the walls are painted white, with white wood pannelling around the bottom and doors everywhere! (Lots of storage space, bookshelves etc, but all behind doors).

It's currently divided into 2 flats which we're planning to knock together. The smaller flat has a fitted kitchen and bathroom, which we'll keep while and live in while renovating the other part. The other flat has a derelict old kitchen, with just a sink, which we will remove, to convert it into a bedroom.

The sink is gorgeous - a wide but shallow solid marble sink, which I would love to reuse in the 2nd bathroom (which needs gutting and redoing from scratch), instead of two basins. We could sit it on a cabinet and add 2 wall-mounted taps. Does this sound feasible?

What else could we add, so it doesn't look too out of place? The bathroom is only tiny, but we want to put in a bath and toilet.
What style of bath would go?
What colour scheme? (the sink is a warm beige and I was thinking of dark brown floor, with cream walls and gold accents)
What floor covering would you go for? I like the 1920s mosaic tiles, but I'm worried it would look too dingy in such a small room?

DH and I are quite proficient DIYers, but we've never attempted to renovate in the period style before and have no idea about period décor, nor what's currently fashionable in terms of interior design. I've googled a bit, but not found much regarding bathrooms!

Please share your ideas and suggestions with us.

Bonsoir Tue 18-Feb-14 09:59:39

Ooh! I have a 1920s apartment (1929, in fact) and I just adore the period!

However, I don't think you need to do to faithful a restoration to do it justice. A bit of updating is a good thing - I like original features but I like more modern colours.

Making your kitchen sink into a bathroom washbasin could be feasible but would need to be quite artistically done. Look on pinterest - lots of good bathroom ideas there.

morethanpotatoprints Tue 18-Feb-14 10:06:32

Sounds lovely OP.
Our house is a 1923 4 bed semi and lots of hard work. grin
I love it though for the original features.
I can't add much more except to warn of one job creating another that needs doing, but you may be aware of this anyway.
I was shocked at how long it took to do everything, even general maintenance takes longer than newer builds.
The scope to be able to change the function of rooms is second to none and makes these houses so versatile.
We have gone for traditional period looks but I think they can look quite nice with a modern twist.
Good luck, hope you enjoy the journey.
13 years later we are due to start the décor all over again now grin

vitaminC Tue 18-Feb-14 10:09:21

Are you in central Paris, Bonsoir? For some reason I thought you were in the suburbs!

This is 2 ground floor appartments. Actually, it's an appartment and a little house in the courtyard, which has one wall touching the appartment, which we plan to knock through.

I don't really want the full-on 1920s restoration - I'm too much of a minimalist for all that fussiness, but I don't want the sink to clash with the rest of the bathroom, if it's too modern!

I tried pinterest, but there's an annoying pop-up wanting me to join. Maybe I'll have to bite the bullet and create an account... as if I needed another timewaster

I've already renovated 2 country cottage type houses, so I can do rural/rustic, but this is the first time I've attempted it in a city centre, more formal property smile

Bonsoir Tue 18-Feb-14 10:10:16

I'm in the 17th.

rubyflipper Tue 18-Feb-14 10:11:28

Sounds lovely - my house was built in 1923 and has loads of the original features.
I'd love to have a nosey at your house on Pinterest!

vitaminC Tue 18-Feb-14 10:13:34

OK, when I have time, looks like I will definitely have to set up a pinterest account grin

We haven't completed on the house yet, but maybe I will start a blog for the renovation once we do...

tethersend Tue 18-Feb-14 10:15:52

Sounds great. Mind you, most houses in the 20s didn't have indoor bathrooms grin

This sort of colour scheme would work well.

vitaminC Tue 18-Feb-14 10:16:15

Not sure if I can attach a picture here, but I'll try...
Here's the sink:

Bonsoir Tue 18-Feb-14 10:17:49

My apartment (1929) not only had indoor bathrooms but there are even original underground garages for parking your car! It wasn't that primitive!

vitaminC Tue 18-Feb-14 10:17:55

That's quite similar to what I had in mind, Tethers
Although I've been looking at claw-foot baths and wondering about painting one a muted gold, then keeping the rest cream/black or dark brown?

Bonsoir Tue 18-Feb-14 10:19:14

I like this style.

vitaminC Tue 18-Feb-14 10:19:43

This appartment has an original indoor bathroom (there's even a mini-yard/air vent that all the bathroom windows face), but an outdoor toilet in the courtyard!

No garage, though, so I'm on the hunt for one to rent or buy in the neighbourhood...

vitaminC Tue 18-Feb-14 10:21:04

Oooh, that looks just like my grandparents' bathroom, when I was a child, Bonsoir Their house was from the 1890s, but I think the bathroom was probably put in between the wars.

tethersend Tue 18-Feb-14 10:21:23

Bonsoir, in the UK, most houses had outside toilets during the 1920s.

I cannot imagine you with an outside lavvy grin

vitaminC Tue 18-Feb-14 10:22:27

Hope this is anonymous! Here's a pic of the lounge:

Bonsoir Tue 18-Feb-14 10:23:59

I lived in two interwar houses as a child, both in Kent, and my grandparents had one in Sussex, and they had all been built with indoor bathrooms and loos (more than one - an upstairs one for the family and a downstairs one for servants/trade).

pippop1 Tue 18-Feb-14 10:24:47

That sink looks as though it could do as a shower tray. Would that be useful?

vitaminC Tue 18-Feb-14 10:25:04

And here's the current state of the bathroom (yes that's a partition separating the bath from the toilet/sink!):

vitaminC Tue 18-Feb-14 10:25:42

I don't think it's wide enough, pippop

It's about 80cm x 40cm.

Bonsoir Tue 18-Feb-14 10:27:35

Gosh well you've got free rein with the bathroom - not much worth salvaging grin

vitaminC Tue 18-Feb-14 10:28:30

Yep grin

Bonsoir Tue 18-Feb-14 10:30:26

When you redo bathrooms, it's important to keep the tiles and furniture in perspective. 1920s bathrooms are quite small so you don't want a huge bath or big tiles.

pippop1 Tue 18-Feb-14 10:31:16

Shame. My (modern) bathroom's sink is oval but very shallow and works well.

vitaminC Tue 18-Feb-14 10:33:13

Well, there isn't room for huge anything, to be honest! We'll be switching things around and removing one of the doors (or keeping it locked at the very least). I've pretty much come up with a workable floor plan for the size, but it's the style of bath/toilet and the colour scheme I'm not sure about and can't get dh to agree to

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