A month ago, at a neighbor’s birthday party, I stumbed into a time warp when I stepped into the bathroom. Let me back up a second.

Our house is one of five houses that were built around the same time. When we visit our neighbor’s homes, it’s interesting to see the basic layout is the same, but changes have been made over time. A kitchen may have been re-configured, a third story dormer was put up, porches may be screened in, or entirely replaced.

At this party, nature called. When I stepped into the bathroom, the first thing I saw was:


Hex tiles! This original bathroom had hex tiles. We had searched high and low to locate reasonably priced hex tiles; seeing it in this old bathroom validated our choice to go with a classic. Then I saw the sink and medicine cabinet.
bath sink

The shower curtain is an oval, you can see the original wood trim behind the shower.

If you look closely, you can see a subway tile pattern stamped into the board behind the toilet. When we gutted our bathroom, we came across this masonite board-like material, also stamped with a subway tile pattern. Our radiator was located closer to the tub, unlike this setup. I always thought that these houses were built as working class homes. Instead of real subway tiles, the builder substituted with a less expensive material and put the effort into the woodwork in the living room and dining room.

This bathroom is probably the biggest clue to what our original bathrooms looked like - before they were remodeled by the previous owner. Our choices (hex tile, pedestal sink, subway tile) were made before seeing this bathroom, yet they were in the same vein. Perhaps our house subconsciously influenced our choices, guiding us toward its original decor? I’d like to think that was the beginning of our dialogue with our house.