Tiny House

Designing Around a Retro Ming Green Bathtub

This is my bathtub:

Retro Ming Green Bathtub

Isn’t it beautiful?

It’s okay if you don’t think so. I’m pretty sure my mom thinks it’s something straight from a mid-century horror movie. Ming green wasn’t my first choice when searching for a vintage bathtub, but I love it just the same.

The tub, made in 1968, was purchased through Facebook Marketplace for $70. The previous owners had just removed it from their bathroom because they were remodeling. How silly! Why would you remove something so glorious?! I guess one man’s trash truly is another man’s treasure.

Of course, now I’m left with the task of designing a bathroom around a giant green bathtub.

Mid-century modern is my favorite style, so many of my design ideas are inspired by that era. Of course, mid-century bathrooms are more than a little scary. (After purchasing my bathtub, my mom immediately asked if she needed to start the hunt for a matching sink and toilet. No. A thousand times.)

Not exactly the design aesthetic I’m going for.

What I’m really looking for is a space that’s inspired by mid-century modern style. I like shapes and clean lines. I like bright, open spaces. That’s one of the many reasons it was important for me to have enough space for an adequately sized bathroom, even though my house is very small.

This is my current bathroom design wishlist.

For me, a vessel sink is a must. I also need a large vanity with lots of storage. I really like this one from Ebern Designs. I’m not sure how the green glass would mesh with my bathtub, but it should be fairly easy to switch if the colors clash. If it does work, it would be a nice way to compliment the green of the bathtub without going overboard.

I travel a lot for work and one of my favorite things I’ve found in hotel rooms are lighted vanity mirrors. In the words of John Mulaney, “This is the height of luxury!” I have a window in my bathroom, which will provide lots of natural light, but I think this mirror would help create a perfect space for doing hair and makeup. Unfortunately, I’m not going to have room for a dressing table in my bedroom.

Penny Round Ceramic Tile Matte White

Penny Round Ceramic Tile Matte White – $5.19 per sheet | Maiolica White Wall Tile – $1.09 per piece

Tile is going to be a struggle for me. Basketweave, which is more of a depression era design, is my absolute favorite. It’s also incredibly expensive. I’m not spending $1000 to tile a bathroom floor, no matter how beautiful I think it is. When decision time actually comes, I’ll most likely choose a more reasonably priced penny tile for the floor and white subway tiles for the tub surround.

For lighting, I really just want some sort of drum light. Something simple. I’m not into chandeliers or anything complicated. I’m not sure I’ll need vanity lights with the lighted mirror, but I think the ones I’ve chosen would compliment the other choices nicely.

If you were designing a bathroom, what one item would be a must-have?

Hailey Bathtub

The bathtub is Hailey approved.