Reproduction Victorian Bathrooms

In this meticulously restored Victorian house, wood, marble, and nickel evoke the prized bathrooms of the 1890s.

A hex-tile floor, swinging door set into marble walls, and wood wainscot in the sink and toilet area all are based on 19th century models.

In Karla Pearlstein’s 1861 Victorian house in Portland, Oregon, the bathrooms are every bit as authentic as the kitchen.

In the master bathroom, the reconstructed, show-stealing rib-cage shower is a replica of one sold in 1890s J. L. Mott plumbing catalogs. The pan is old stock, never used, while the cage and fittings came from a rectory in Boston.

Restoration plumber Walter Parker cut the rib width down by five inches, made new pieces for those missing or broken, and re-nickeled all the parts. After an exhaustive search, “I found the missing Mott handles—Needle, Bidet, and Kidney Sprays…I really stretched to make this right,” says Parker, who called dibs on taking the first shower.


The swinging door and marble enclosure mimic an original toilet stall at Reed College. A vintage pull-chain toilet (its high tank just visible beyond the partition) was taken apart and “reinvented” by Parker.

In the powder room, the 1890s pink transferware sink was spotted on eBay by Parker; he provided vintage brackets and reworked the plumbing. An 1880s toilet completes the room.


By Donna Pizzi

Donna Pizzi, a writer and producer for film and print, co-owns Blackstone Edge Studios with the photographer Philip Clayton–Thompson. Blackstone Edge Studios is an award-winning production company headquartered in Portland, Oregon. Over three decades, Donna has scouted out and written countless articles about home restoration for OHJ.

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