Bathroom Hardware Advice Needed

Sorry for all of the radio silence on here.  I’m kinda back…

Felix and I have been hard at work on our house which has sucked up all of my free time in conjunction with packing up for the official move.

We moved into our house this past Thursday and I’ve been working to set it up, to be a livable house, while we continue to work on it.  :)

I finished unpacking our stuff this weekend – and when I say unpacked, I mean I’ve unpacked only a small proportion of our stuff.  In order to work on the house while we live there, we’re living with the essentials only.  But you can be sure I have my knitting and sewing boxes somewhere separate so I can get at it when the mood strikes.


After unpacking (all) of my bathroom items, I realize I need some more essentials: toothbrush holder, toilet paper holder, and a hand towel rack (just for now).

I’ve always been of the mindset that I should save my money and purchase what I want the first time around, instead of buying something *less ideal* only to purchase the item again, but the one I really want.  I figure I save some money this way even though what I generally want is more expensive.

My house was built in 1885 and it does have some old architectural details still remaining, but the vast majority have been removed over time.  Felix and I are hard at work restoring and repairing it…  One of which is the bathroom.

The downstairs bathroom will be a half-bath (toilet & sink combo), while the upstairs is our official bathroom where we shower and get ready each morning.  Eventually we will be updating this bathroom too, but $$ is being focused on the kitchen first.

The long and short of it is… I’m not sure which bathroom hardware to choose for the upstairs vs. downstairs.

Should the upstairs bathroom be more casual, while the downstairs bathroom is the formal one?

I love each of these bathroom sets from Rejuvination:


This is a 1880’s repro; it’s the more formal of my two choices for bathroom hardware.  It seems pretty period with the house and I love all of the options that come along with it.

It’s hard to see the actual hardware here, but here is a detail of the towel holder:

And here is Chandler:

This is my 1940’s dreams come to life.  It’s the more casual of the two choices and is less period to the house, although it will still work fine and this is what I feel like I’ve been dreaming of.

Realistically, I do have a win-win scenario.  I’m planning on purchasing both of these no matter what.  What I have to decide is which goes upstairs and which goes downstairs.

I like that the Pittock has more options with it as far as towel racks go, which would be good for the upstairs.  But… I kinda feel like the more casual set should be going upstairs instead.

Anyone have any thoughts or advice to share on this?  I need some help before I take the plunge with this purchase since these are pretty pricey items.

On that note… anyone know of any other sites with similar reproduction hardware???

In: House Adventures

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Comments (12)

  1. Lucy March 26, 2014 — 3:46 PM

    I guess if I was choosing, I’d make the downstairs bathroom the more ‘showy’ (ie. Victorian) one, assuming that’s where your living areas are. That’s the one guests would normally use, rather than your own upstairs bathroom, which I’d be inclined to make more ‘me’ because I’d use it more often. The upside to that is that in the future, if you were to sell, I think that would also appeal to potential buyers.

    Although there is also the issue of which floor has more original period features – if it’s upstairs, maybe it would be worth considering switching them around to make them more in keeping.

  2. I think whichever looks you decide on will be perfect. I’m not sure if already considered it, but my friend used to work at Urban Remains in Chicago. They have a lot of hardware and pieces salvaged from properties and old buildings. You may be able to find bathroom fixtures and other pieces, like knobs, etc.. there. Also, Architectural Artifacts up in Lincoln Square has a lot of similar type items.

  3. Lili March 26, 2014 — 4:27 PM

    You might consider deciding what sort of bath/shower you want first, and let that determine which set goes where. For instance, if you want a big claw foot tub it would make more sense to go with the Pittock upstairs, whereas if you want a deco shower, then you could go with the Chandler.

    I like Rejuvenation, and have purchased several things from them including door hardware and lighting. If you want a claw foot tub, I’d check out your local salvage yards. Chicago appears to have many.

  4. TinaD March 26, 2014 — 7:00 PM

    Consider the relative dampness of your bathrooms, too. I just swapped out metal fitting and fixtures (the big box store kind, granted) that came with the house for the Chandler in my midcentury modest ranch because the humidity of Fl and 4 showers a day corroded the metal. Porcelain, to the best of my knowledge, can’t rust ;)

  5. Laura Klein Plunkett March 26, 2014 — 7:13 PM

    My DH and I restored a very old house, and we used solid brass hardware similar to the Pittock in our downstairs bath. We loved the look of the three-arm towel holder, but it was not great actual use. One or another towel was always slipping off. After awhile the vertical holder for the arms loosened up and wobbled until we screwed it down tight after applying Loctite to the threads. We eventually replaced it with something more functional and put the three-arm holder in the kitchen to dry dish towels, and it worked fine there since it wasn’t getting constant use.

    We have since made our decision on hardware based on functionality and then appearance.

    FWIW, I would go for the Wow Factor in the downstairs “public” bath.

  6. C March 26, 2014 — 9:26 PM

    try googling “your town” “bathroom fixtures”.
    It should give you a listing of showrooms for fixtures such as lighting or faucet hardware. Sometimes you can get a really good deal on fixtures from showrooms. You also get the benefit of seeing the product in person.
    We ended up getting a fab deal on cabinets from a cabinet supplier showroom, all because they had the flexibility to make volume deals, etc that a lowes, home depot or online store is reluctant to do.

    I can never decide until i see something in person. Several times it was worth the return shipping costs to not end up with with a set of lights that looked horribly different when the box arrived.

  7. Lacey March 27, 2014 — 2:21 AM

    Both sets of hardware are lovely. Personally, I would use the Chandler set in the upstairs bathroom, since you’ll be using on a daily basis. If it’s what you really love, you’ll want to enjoy it every morning/evening. Plus, I think it makes more sense to have guests see the bathroom that’s period with the house. Good luck!

  8. Tasha March 27, 2014 — 11:54 AM

    I love both sets! Our friends have an older home (not as old as yours, but probably 20s), and their downstairs “powder room” has the more formal look in terms of hardware, and feels more period to the house. I believe their upstairs bathroom is a little less period appropriate and fits their style. That was a hard call for us since it’s all one bathroom… had to get in feels-right-in-the-house and we-love-and-want-to-use-it-daily. :) Go with what your heart is telling you that you love more for your upstairs bathroom!

    And a big CONGRATS on moving in officially, how exciting!!

  9. Maggie March 27, 2014 — 12:46 PM

    I think I am also on the formal downstairs and the Chandler upstairs band-wagon. I would want to see the ones I loved while I was getting ready every morning. By the way, I am making a mental note of these fixtures. I love them!

  10. Oh my gosh! I absolutely love Chandler! (How to convince DH we need it in our house?)

    I too am in the formal downstairs, Chandler upstairs camp, but either way will be lovely no matter what you decide.

  11. Liz March 27, 2014 — 4:05 PM

    Thanks so much you guys for all of your fun & helpful comments!

    Felix and I did some talking last night (since I like to get his advice too) and I AM going to order a few pieces from the chandler collection for the upstairs bathroom.

    I love it soo and feel like this is the set I’ve been dreaming of since my childhood.

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