1920s Bathroom Transformation – Gray Bathroom Redo Idea

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Storage, style, and functionality play a big role in the quality of your bathroom. In a perfect world, renovating your bathroom would consist of fun, simple tasks like laying a fresh coat of paint or trying out a new shower tile. But sometimes it takes a lot more than that, as was the case with Jill Sevelow’s recent bathroom renovation.

Jill’s apartment was built in 1926, and the bathroom definitely looked like it had suffered through decades worth of damage. As she describes it, it had old, crumbling tile on the floors and walls, a “pitiful” vanity and clunky medicine cabinet, and dated hardware. Nothing about the bathroom was aesthetically pleasing. “I painted the walls mauve and threw a chandelier up there and tried to make the ugliness go away,” Jill says, but she still didn’t love the look of the bathroom she had to use every day.

The catalyst for a full change came when Jill’s upstairs neighbor’s toilet leaked, causing enough wall and ceiling damage that everything had to be removed — and when experts came in to repair the wall and ceiling, they found a leaking pipe that had been letting wastewater drip into the walls. So, “BE GONE, all of the plaster walls, I said! It’s time,” Jill says. 

In the bathroom renovation, the plumbing and wall repairs obviously came first, so the new tile, toilet, sink, and medicine cabinet that Jill ordered sat for 46 days before being installed. “That 46 days meant I changed the bathroom color choice three times,” Jill says. Ultimately, a soft gray (Benjamin Moore’s “Gentle Gray”) was the color that felt right. 

Since the bathroom’s footprint is small, Jill figured out ways to make it more functional. She slightly altered the layout to make it more practical for daily use by buying a more narrow toilet and a wider console sink to replace the old wood vanity. (She also chose to go with a wider, but sleeker, medicine cabinet over the sink that offers enough storage to make up for what she lost in giving up the vanity.)

On the floors, Jill added hex tile in a floral pattern; for the shower walls, she picked classic white subway tiles — a huge upgrade from the crumbling tile that had been in place before. A new shower head and tub faucet in a satin nickel finish complement the new sink. Jill also added in a simple white light fixture in place of the large chandelier she’d installed before.

The whole bathroom’s vibe is a little bit vintage, a little bit modern — a perfect fit for this 1920s apartment that’s living a 21st century life. Jill had to do a lot of browsing to get there, though: “I Pinterested the hell out of bathroom ideas for a good month before purchasing,” she says.

In total, the entire project cost Jill $8,800. This covered all

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1920s complex built to house orphans offers a taste of Spain — in the middle of Marrero | Home/Garden

Some buildings are eye-catching because they’re so grand. Others are eye-catching because they’re unique. Still others stand out simply because they feel somehow out of place.

Reader Brian Gros recently came across one that fits all three of those descriptions.

“Can you tell us about the white Italian villa on Barataria Boulevard in Marrero?,” Gros recently wrote.

Architecturally speaking, it’s Spanish, not Italian — but if you’ve seen the complex about which Gros writes, chances are you remember it.

Covering an estimated 10 acres and including several buildings in the Spanish Colonial Revival style, it looks like the sort of mission complex you’d come across in San Antonio or a Clint Eastwood movie.

It is Hope Haven, founded in 1916 as an industrial cooperative farm by the Rev. Peter Wynhoven to serve as a home, school and source of practical training for orphaned boys who had aged out of the system.



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SUSAN POAG / THE TIMES-PICAYUNE Bill Curtis and Craig Guillory of Duff Waterproofing worked their way top to bottom pressure washing the Chapel of St. John Bosco on the Hope Haven campus in Marrero Tuesday, September 13, 2011. The ornate chapel was built in 1941. The pressure washing is part of the ongoing renovation of the buildings on the historic campus, one of which currently houses Cafe Hope, a non-profit restaurant program which trains young adults in both the kitchen and dining room skills.




“The orphan asylums can care for these boys only until they are 12 years of age, and that is too young for them to be thrown on their own resources,” Wynhoven told The Times-Picayune. “It seemed to me that they could be taken away from the evil influences of the city, taught some useful trade, given proper guidance and be self-supporting at the same time.”

Early on, Wynhoven’s “school farm,” as he called it, was simply a dream, but it was one that enjoyed wide community support. Over the years, newspaper reports covered a litany of fundraisers to benefit it, from movies and dances to vaudeville shows. There were at various points a euchre and lotto party, a newsboy parade, an auto race and — a true novelty at the time — an air show, all to will Hope Haven into reality.

Once that seed money was secured, the next order of business was to find a suitable site. Wynhoven found it in a stretch “overgrown wilderness” just a few miles outside the city. With a number of dairy farmers and other craftsmen summoned from Wynhoven’s native Holland to offer their expertise, the project was humming along by 1921. By then, some 250 acres had been cleared for cultivation of crops, as well as for the raising of pigs, sheep and dairy cows. A handful of humble, utilitarian buildings went up to house its young farmers.



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Hope Haven in Marrero. 2000 file photo BY SUSAN POAG 




The ultimate dream, though, was to build a proper school on the

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