When my house was built in 1977, Harvest Gold and Avocado Green were THE hot decorating colors. The original owners of our ranch home went all out: an Avocado Green kitchen and a Harvest Gold bathroom. We’ve lived with this for over twenty years, but it’s finally time for a complete bathroom remodel. Ready to step back into, what my teenager calls, the “Lawless 70’s”?
Bathroom Remodel – Updating a 1970’s Bath
The bathroom is small, or at least small by design magazine standards. It’s 5′ x 10′ – about 50 s.f., but it’s functional and just right for the size of the house. A single sink, a toilet, and a tub/shower; pretty much all you need. The bathroom was done with quality materials for the time – Formica countertop, custom cabinetry and Kohler fixtures.
When we moved in, all, and I mean ALL of the woodwork (doors, baseboards, door and window frames) was dark brown. One of our first projects was to paint everything white. It took at least three coats to cover that ugly brown. You could practically hear it sucking in the paint. Other than that, the only thing we’ve done in here is replace the door and paint the walls.
For the longest time, we couldn’t figure out why the bathroom was compartmentalized with that framed opening. Eventually, we found a pair of saloon doors in the attic. Saloon doors. Let that sink in for a minute. Talk about the “Lawless 70’s”! I imagine it looked something like this:
This just generates soooo many thoughts and questions.
Bathroom Vanity & Sink
Aside from the color, this is the area that is causing us to do the bathroom remodel right now. The joint between the sink and the plastic laminate countertop has deteriorated so much that the underside is disintegrating. Eventually, the sink will probably fall through the countertop.
All that gross brown stuff is old caulk and other unidentified substances. You can’t clean it – it just crumbles and makes more of a mess.
The sink is also chipped and stained. It’s been a rough forty years.
Matching custom medicine cabinet and vanity. I think they are made of Hickory.
Check out this flooring. The kitchen floor was the same pattern, but in avocado green. Although incredibly dated, I admire the durability of this sheet vinyl floor. Despite being 40 years old, it’s in really good condition. Much better than the flooring we installed 15 years ago.
Harvest Gold fiberglass tub/shower unit. Our well water has stained the fiberglass. Yuck.
The toilet is actually the subject of debate: to replace it or not. Color-wise, it needs to go. But, flushing power-wise, it is prized and should stay. The first time we have to plunge a new low flush toilet, I know we’re going to regret replacing this. It’s is the only toilet in the house that doesn’t cause “flush anxiety”. You know it’s going to work, no matter what. TMI? Sorry.
Don’t you love the non-matching toilet seat? Surprisingly, I couldn’t find a Harvest Gold toilet seat last year.
Finally, when we removed the counter, we found this wallpaper hiding underneath. Looks like the entire bathroom was Harvest Gold. Wow. Just wow.
We can’t wait to get started on this bathroom remodel and get rid of the Lawless 70’s!
Check out Small Bathroom Remodel – Design Decisions for a 1970’s Era Bath to see what we keep and what we replace.