Wallowing in memories (Fibro Renovations)

Posted on August 8, 2011

Tonight I took my last bath in the big, green cast-iron tub that takes up half the Fibro bathroom. When we first looked at the house, it was enough to make me recoil. A scratched, mould-green bath in a tiny, windowless bathroom. All I could see was mildew and plantar warts.

A quick re-tiling job changed the wall colour from green (to match the bath?) to white and a coat of white paint freshened up all the corners. But still… A mould-green bath never seems clean. No matter how much you toil and scrub.

As the years passed, however, the bath has grown on me. Much like mould, come to think of it. Despite its scuffed surface, it is deep and comfortable. Even when the bath toys are dancing on my head, the rest of me is warm and comfortable. Bubbles look extra white against a green background. The roar of the extractor fan (which must be on at all times in a windowless bathroom) drowned out the sound of squabbling children. There were things to like.

But now it is going. Tomorrow the demolition begins and our bathroom will become a laundry as our laundry (practically the largest room in the house – and with a window all of its own) becomes the new bathroom. Exciting times.

I stepped out of the green tub tonight and, I confess, I did look back with a tinge of regret. Our new tub will not be quite so gargantuan in proportions.* Better for these Green Living times. But the green bath may have been better for just the … living.

Have you ever had the pleasure of the delights of the ‘colourful bathroom suite’, circa 1950-1970? What are your memories?

*In case you were wondering, we did look at re-enamelling our old bath with a slick white finish but the cost proved prohibitive. Sad but true.


  1. Alison

    My Godmother had a yellow bathroom suite with yellow and black tiles! This was back in the 70’s when I was little but even back then it was hideous!

  2. Rhonda

    The house we currently rent was fixed up before we moved in so everything is updated and neutral. However, I did own a home with a blue bathroom and a green bathroom, one of each. And everything in them was blue or green…toilet, tub, tile, paint, floor, sink. We remodeled and I kind of missing the monochromatic old rooms.

  3. Neenish Arts

    Your old bathroom is gorgeous I love it!

    Please oh please use you bath as an above ground garden!

  4. MultipleMum

    The green bathroom will be remembered with fondness. I do look forward to seeing what your style maestros come up with for the new one though x

    PS I hope you are fixing the plumbing issues for the new laundry??

  5. Vanessa

    I fell in love with a claw foot bath in our first home. I laboured in it and had it re enamelled white inside and then I painted the outside a blue to match the bathroom reno.
    When we moved to our second federation home I was appalled to realise the claw foot was a fake! Fibro deal. Lucky for us we were renting our previous home so I made my husband and two mates swap the baths. I had it re enamelled inside and out in white and chromed the feet to match the new all white bathroom reno.
    Oh, and laboured in it for my second child.
    I hear you.

  6. Erin

    Oh Alison! oh my, oh my!! memory lane here, very cute:)

  7. blog

    The paint Kylie is talking about is made by White Knight. NOTE TO SELF: Paint own crappy bath! I did paint it red a while back, but that wasn’t such a happy ending….. looks a bit like a blood bath!

  8. Gemma @ My Big Nutshell

    I hope you love your new bathroom and laundry. I think it’s original state served you well over the years, but it’s time to enjoy the new luxury.

  9. Photographer Mum

    We had a green and pink bathroom in the house I grew up in and the houses we have lived in since then have been powder blue, dark brown&orange and our current house is yellow. And they all had the mosaic tiling, which i am so not a fan of.
    Good luck with the new bathroom and laundry.

  10. katepickle

    When we bought our last house it had a bathroom (with toilet) directly off the kitchen, with no door! I was FERAL and mouldy, the shower was broken and all the fittings were pink (actually everything in the whole house was pink!). But the bath… the bath was HUGE!!! Needless to say we ripped everything out rearranged it and got rid of everything, except the bath. Re-enamelled white it went back in and I still miss it to this day!

  11. Miss Pink

    Keep the bath. Toss it out the back as a pool for the kids in summer? Lol.

    Good luck with your renovations!

  12. Jodi @ The Scribble Den

    Hey Al, we being serial renovators have re-enamelled many bath tubs. There is a product you can buy from paint stores and it is about $90. It is a two part formula and you simply mix and paint it on. It works beautifully and we have done it numerous times.

  13. Shelley @ My Shoebox Life

    I am living the 1960’s bathroom dream. Purple vanity and purple bath. One day Mr G – being a plumber and all – will no doubt update our bathroom. I love it and hate it at the same time, if that makes sense. And cleaning it is a nightmare! It breeds mould faster than rabbits.

  14. InkPaperPen

    When we first moved to Margaret River we lived in an old 50’s house. Big, bright green (but nice and deep!) tub, green, orange and brown tiles. One window way up high. I didn’t love it. The main issue I had was the cleaning. I scrubbed with every cleaning product known to man and it still looked dirty. It was only after my mum had a shot at cleaning it (even she couldn’t get that bathroom looking sparkly) that I finally gave up on it.


  15. A Farmer's Wife

    Mmmm – had terazzo floors and pink tiles with powder blue bath, loo and basin in an ensuite in the house we just left. It did get renovated as it was built in 1954 and did not work anymore.

    An old neighbour told me how jealous she was when it was built because most other houses had an outside loo and laundry and this house had an ensuite….

    Enjoy your new bathroom.

  16. Karen

    We’ll be renovating our ensuite sometime soon. It has a huge spa bath where Mr Karen proposed to me, I have been in labour and all of our big boys pile in once a week for ‘big bath night’. I won’t miss the spa, but I’m very thankful for all the memories.
    That said, I’m looking forward to having a grown up bathroom where I can retreat and relax. #ThePlan

  17. allison tait

    @Denise – I think your bathroom sounds beautiful. No mould to had there! More Hollywood glamour.

    @Lucy – not so much!

  18. Diminishing Lucy

    Our house is a 1970’s monstrosity.

    The bathrooms and toilets are all delightfully coloured.

    We have smoked brown glass in the windows and poo brown toilet and bath suites.

    A systern that needed replacing is a stand out in its oddly matching white. You cannot buy poo brown porcelain anymore….shame.

    I hate it. But as the lovely husband tells me – it hides the skid marks for now…

  19. Denise Emanuel Clemen

    My favorite bath was from a 1930s apartment in L.A. Maroon tile floor with back border. Light green tile walls with a black border decorated with small carved lilac and green designs. I painted the walls lilac and and found black and lilac checked towels. It was wild and gorgeous. I love colorful bathrooms. Great for a wake up!
    When I moved into this place 4 years ago I was very sad and depressed. I painted my bathroom bright orange and I’m still loving it!

  20. Windmill Tales

    In Spain we had a green bath with pink flower tiles. Lovely!

  21. mamabook

    We remodelled the bathroom in our old house but kept the lovely long older bath which was excellent for 2 or 3kids at once. But it wasn’t a mouldy green! In our new house, the bathrooms are the weak point. V small although the small boys are having just as much fun flooding the bathroom as they had in their bigger space.
    If we are able to spend any money renovating this house it will be upstairs bathroom that will be turned into a hallway laundry and according to the v cool Japanese architect he will somehow build a brand new bathroom in between 2 kids bedrooms. No idea how this will work or if there will be any bedroom left at the end.
    Whoops. I am going on. Good luck with the renos! Always fun times. xx

  22. tinsenpup

    The one thing I don’t like about our new rental house is the old green bath. It’s just kind of urky. I was thinking thismorning that it’s the first thing I’d change if I bought the place. I’ll have to pay close attention to your changes just in case.

  23. Ms Styling You

    Make sure the new bathroom still has an extractor fan – ingenious way to feign peace and quiet!


    Fab. Our last house had green wall tiles with a pink tub and basin, this house had pink tiles with green tub and basin. I totally agree with the green never looking clean.
    Enjoy the transformation Al. A little pain but major gain.

  25. Cath

    Had apricot bath, basin and toilet in our unit in Glenelg. It matched the terrazzo floor at least! When we renovated (to sell, unfortunately – never enjoyed it ourselves), we replaced the toilet and basin, but the bath remained. At least it wasn’t pink!

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