Art Deco Revival - Full Guest Bathroom Renovation

The Design Layout

Our next bathroom renovation project comes from a repeat customer. She works on one room at a time in her house; each room tells a story and she uses a variety of unique materials she finds all over the world in her designs. The current project is an upstairs guest bathroom. The current bathroom has a Jack & Jill layout with a tub/shower combination and the toilet is right by the tub. In the new design, the homeowner found a vintage sink vanity as well as a counter top vanity that her daughter fell in love with. These two pieces have become the inspiration for the whole bathroom (re) design. Follow along as we transform this guest bathroom into an Art Deco lovers dream. The tile work will have intricate detail, allowing for very defined separation in color and pattern. In order to accommodate the inspiration pieces, the entire bathroom layout will need to be reworked. Start by watching the video of the before to get a feel for the current layout and design. At the point of demo, we ran into a significant amount of water damage, resulting is dry rot. The sub-flooring, in areas will need to be completely replaced. 

Photo Gallery Before & After

Trouble Out of the Gate

Old Shower/Tub 


Old bathroom flooring, layout.

Old vanity layout. The location will remain.

Old "Jill" sink location, the new location of the walk in shower.

Tub/Shower will be removed.

The "Jill" sink is going to be the walk in shower, on the right is the current hall door

Location of the old toilet

New location of the shower. Old "Jill"

sink area

Shower bench built in.

Exterior hallway door opening to the walk in shower. 

Location of the old toilet

Location of the old toilet

From the hall, this used to be an entrance to the Jack/Jill bathroom. It's been closed to create a walk in shower.

New toilet location.

Sink location remained the same for the "Jack" sink.

Lantern stone tile on the shower floor

The first photo in the gallery is the retro circa 1940's sink vanity base. This is the inspiration for the entire bathroom design and reconfiguration of the layout. There is a sink and matching vanity unit. She found the pieces at an architectural salvage design center. Since this is the original 1940's, and the company that sold the vanities to the homeowner told her the glass was not tempered, we should be able to cut to size. This is not our specialty so we are going to bring in the troops to get this cut to size correctly. Assuming the glass does not crack, break, or shatter when cut, we will be using both the sink base as well as the vanity base in the design.

The bathroom is essentially broken into three separate areas for purposes of describing the space. The first is the sink room; there used to be a Jack and Jill sink. There will only be a "Jack" sink when the reconfiguration is complete.

​The second, largest area, which currently resides the toilet, tub and shower combo. The third area is the "Jill" sink in the back of the room. The "Jill" sink area will become the home for a large walk-in shower. The toilet is going to be moved to the other side of the largest area and the tub will be removed completely to allow for the vanity. The homeowner's daughter is a makeup artist and wants a large area to be able to do her work. The current configuration of the bathroom is not conducive to doing much. The sinks and sink "rooms" are very small with not enough space to allow for seating of a client. Moving the vanity to the largest area will allow her to maximize the footprint and be able to easily move around. All of the components, in terms of layout location will be moved except for the "Jack" sink.

We are removing a linen closet and opening the space up as much as possible to make way for the new toilet. She actually plans to reuse the existing black toilet so we will save that during the demo.

Day 3: Our glass guy attempted to cut the glass counter top to size. Come to find out, the glass was not tempered (that part was good), but it also did not cut to size as well as we'd hoped. Mark is going to clean up the edges by hand. Essentially, the glass was 72" wide and needed to be cut to a centered 32". It looks like Mark taking his time and cutting with his diamond blade did the trick. He was able to clean up the jagged edges from the glass cutter. Come to find out, Mark can cut glass!


​​Day 4: Today is all about framing out the new areas within the space. As you scan the photos, you can see the doorway into the hall, this is the "Jill" portion of the old layout. This is now being walled off to make way for the new walk in shower.

Many of the doorway opening inside the bathroom are either being removed or moved to maximize the footprint inside the bathroom. 


Day 5: Building out the new location for the shower. Plumbing and electrical have been moved. We've also created a nice size bench in this very over-sized, luxury walk in shower. In the photos, the bench seems smaller than it actually is. It's a nice size to sit on. The shower will have an accent shampoo niche.

The old doorway that was the "Jill" part of the old layout. This was the entry to the bathroom from the hall. This is now closed as this area is now the walk in shower. The faux paint treatment that is on the wall will have to be touched up to match the current design.

The rotted sub-flooring has been replaced. We've also run the supply lines from the location of the old toilet to the new location. 

The built in bench in the walk in shower is just about ready to start tiling. We will be laying heated flooring and after that the masterful, well thought out art-deco design will start to appear.

The heated flooring has been installed. The homeowner wanted this second story bathroom to be warm in the winter. We chose a higher-end heating system to ensure years of warm toes. Nothing is worse than stepping out of a warm shower onto a cold floor. This particular system heats to a consistent temperature and layout of the material allows for complete control over where the heating elements are installed and exactly what will be heated.

As the tile installation progresses, you will see the specific design details come together. The homeowner had a very detailed design she had in mind when we started to choose tile elements. She came to the showroom armed with photos, which always helps!


As you can see by the "area rug", the homeowner likes definitive lines, which was common for this era. The area rug showcases larger format tiles when grouped together, they create a pattern. Just outside the pattern, and main "area rug" feature, is a solid stone material, very similar to the stone used on the shower flooring. This helps to separate the area rug design from the rest of the floor and to create the hard edges the homeowner was going for. The rest of the flooring is a small, 2" white hexagon with random placement of a 2" black hexagon that is hand placed in a scattered manner. There will be a border around the outside edge, which will be treated like a tile baseboard. The walls of the entire bathroom will be a white pattern glass subway tile. The toilet area will be the same color as the inspiration vanity and sink, which is an aqua color. There will be aqua accents throughout the bathroom as we progress with the tile installation. All of the niches will have the aqua accent tile to bring the whole design together.

Interestingly, I am looking for historic furniture piece I can use for an upcoming project and stumbled on an old photograph of the bathroom her "inspiration" pieces were pulled from. The old home for the sink and vanity came from a space where those homeowners imagined the materials very differently than our client. I have included a screenshot of the photo and photo credit goes to

The red/pink on the shower walls is not paint, rather is a moisture barrier that is applied to the wall surfaces so that they're protected from water.

The floor tiling is coming along, the area rug pattern on the floor is complete, the white hexagon tiles have been installed and random black hexagon tiles have been manually and randomly placed.


In line with what the homeowner wants as part of the design, the entire bathroom, walls, floor, and some of the ceiling will be encapsulated in tile in a variety of tile colors, shapes, and designs. When looking at the photographs, keep in mind the inspiration pieces. The aqua glass topped sink and makeup vanity were a true find for this space. Building the design of what the homeowner views as an art-deco inspiration, the colors, shapes, and patterns are very deliberate in trying to honor that design era.

Day 8: The last couple of days have been dedicated to tiling the bathroom. The bathroom area (the new location of the toilet) is being tiled in the aqua glass 3"x9" tiles. This is the same color as our inspiration vanity and sink.


The walls are being tiled floor to ceiling in a white, larger format, glass subway tile. The tile has a slight pattern and the grout will be closely matching the color of the tile. Laying a glass subway tile is laborious on many levels. In this particular case, each tile that needs to be cut means a trip up and down the stairs and outside. We don't cut glass tile in the house and this is an upstairs (in the back of the house bathroom).

In the end, the homeowner will achieve her art-deco, defined lines, and textures. We are about five days away from this bathroom is completed. There's another few days of tile and a full day of grout in front of us.

As the tiling continues, you can see the toilet area enclosure is now fully tiled in the glass aqua tile that matches the color of the inspiration sink vanity top. It's amazing how something made in the 1940's and something from today can match exactly. We got very lucky being able to find the exact color for our glass subway tile.

We set the customer-owned vanity. As mentioned earlier, we hired a glass contractor to cut the glass for us. He did not do a very good job and we had to clean it up. When installed and the black accent border installed, you can't see any imperfections on the glass top vanity. That's a relief since the whole design is based on these two vanities.

The rest of the week will be used to install the remaining floor to ceiling wall tile. The white glass tile above the sink vanity will be on every other wall in the bathroom. The homeowner is deciding between grout that matches the tile or a dark contrasting grout. Based on the design and the fact the homeowner likes hard lines, I would predict she will ultimately choose dark grout everywhere. The white wall tile with white grout will be an endless sea of white, the dark grout will play well with the rest of the art-deco design.

The white glass wall tile continues. There is quite a bit of wall square footage in this bathroom. The tile installation takes time. We use spacers to ensure we keep the 1/16" grout lines even and consistent. The homeowner has not yet decided what application we will be doing on the ceiling. We also need to paint the back of the bathroom door and likely she will also want the vanity painted. It we paint these surfaces, I would go with an oil-based black paint, which will help offset the white wall tile as well as the white flooring. The client really likes darker colors so black paint will appeal to her overall design style.

To see other projects we've recently renovated, click here.

We are on day 11. We have one full day of grouting to go. After that, we will install the toilet, heated towel bar, shower fixtures, and the small details that make the room.

This bathroom was one of the more elaborate tile designs we've done in a while These types of room take additional time to ensure the design is executed perfectly and to the homeowners likes.


The dark grout will make white wall tile pop and add to the art-deco theme we were going for.

Insured & General Contractor License #AEC7352

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