Joel Pelletier
Project: Art Deco Bathroom

The inspiration: My wife Marjorie's "Bungalow Bathrooms" book, along with here insatiable appetite for all things Art Deco (of which I admit some responsibility).

I have what a friend of mine refers to as the "curse of the handy." My particular curse, which I have also realized IS my art, is that I can make and/or dupliacte almost anything, even from just a photograph. Unfortunately, Marjorie is also aware of this. Her offhand remark that "this is the bathroom I would love to luxuriate in" would be, for anyone else, just that - a remark. But... I'm a sucker for design and a challenge, so our tiny 7.5 x 7.5 ft bathroom was gone:

...and became this:

For more construction photos, click here.

Original 1930's American Standard fixtures are still available from salvage yards, and the chrome faucets are new, but in the heavily-bevelled Art Deco syle. The VERY 1930's "Seafoam Green" tile is still manufactured by B&W Tile in Gardena, CA (213-321-0485), which also provided me with some raw tiles to cut designs into for the 2 "vent tile" over the tub (which they VERY kindly fired at no charge - I have become very familiar with them and many Home Depots across the greater Los Angeles area).

From some of the other photos in the book we got the ideas for the floor and wall patterns, light fixtures, and the built-in shelves in the tub walls (I should have mounted lights in them... too late now!).

Marjorie has done a great job accessorizing the bath with an old silver-framed mirror, nudie lady prints in Art Deco reverse glass frames, and the Art Deco walnut waterfall bar that she uses as her cabinet and makeup counter (a very special thanks to eBay, without which none of this would have been possible...).

I do admit to help from a plumbing company and electricians, but plead guilty to all other work, including the framing, plastering and tile work (most unpleasant jobs). One big advantage for these projects, besides the pleasure of planning and designing, along with the satisfaction of doing them with my own 2 hands, is the cost: including elctricians and plumbers, this 2003/retro 1931 bath cost us about $7500.