Our home retains much of its original 1955 character, but some changes are inevitable in 60 years. Case in point, our master bath. Here’s how it looked when we’d just moved in. The countertop, faucet, lighting and cabinet are all updates, made over the years.
The vanity is original, but it’s been sprayed with white latex paint –a fate suffered by many of our surfaces. For comparison, here’s how the room looked originally. This pic is from the July 1955 issue of House & Home, picked up on eBay (more on that in a future post).
Despite the grainy photo, somehow it looks more ‘modern’ to me. We won’t be faithfully recreating this look, but there’s one thing we’ll definitely add back in –this cabinet, kindly donated to us by neighbors, who had removed it from their own bathroom.
I can’t quite believe we got this for free. I think they were just pleased to see it go to a good home. A check inside the cabinet door reveals a manufacturer label –Miami Carey, of Middletown, Ohio (at last, the title of this post begins to make sense).
A quick search turned up a 1955 Miami Carey brochure, on Retro Renovation. It features this very model, the Custom Ensemble, boasting “storage space equal to that of the largest medicine cabinet” and a “sparkling chromium framed…neat three-way mirror” –nice.
Our neighbors kindly cleaned the cabinet, so it looked pretty good on arrival. There were a few stubborn marks, and some ancient rusty bits, to be expected on something of this age. I scrubbed every inch of the chrome and mirrors, and managed to restore the shine.
The ‘white’ bits (inside cabinets and in-between mirrors) were a different story –no matter how much I scrubbed, they still looked grubby. Karen wasn’t 100% on this cabinet (she prefers a more modern aesthetic) so I had to make them look like new. I got the sprayer out.
I masked-up the mirror and coated everything in white. Finally, the cabinet looked pristine, and was ready for hanging. Meanwhile, we’d ripped out the old bulky mirrored cabinet and ugly light fixture, to see what was behind. Sure enough, the cavities were there.
It feels like we are returning this cabinet to its rightful home (technically, that’s our neighbors’ home, but you get what I mean). But not just yet. We need to tackle the rest of our bathroom ‘ensemble’ (see what I did there?) before we can slot this into place.