A blue tub, yellow accessories, and white vintage sinks fill this new space with character.
Amy Bickers Mercer

It's hard to believe the glossy tub in this sunny Savannah bath was once a feeding trough for hungry horses. Homeowner Donna Daugherty spotted the claw-foot tub in a field and knew that, once restored to its former glory, it would be perfect in her upstairs bath.

The tub is just one of several items Donna used to create a timeless look in the home, which was completed in 2002. "The entire house is designed in a 1900s river house style," she says. Donna started with two 1900s pedestal sinks she found on an antiques Web site. Each oval sink sits on a fluted base. Positioned side by side, they led the design direction for the rest of the room. Above the sinks, two oversize glass-front cabinets found at an antiques store provide storage space. What they don't offer, however, is a reflection, so Donna hung a mirror on another wall in the room. She chose beaded-board, painted white, for the walls and small black-and-white tiles for the floor.

The look is pulled together with a blue-and-yellow color scheme. The two primary shades work together wonderfully, creating a cheerful mood in the small space. Cafe curtains dress the lower portions of the windows.

 

A New Finish
Too bad for the horses, Donna had the ability to see potential in the claw-foot tub. All it took was refinishing the piece to repair defects in the porcelain. This can cost between $500 and $1,000; a new claw-foot tub typically costs more, with prices starting around $1,500. The refinishing process involves sanding, acid-etching, priming and painting the interior of the tub, and sandblasting the outside. The exterior is then primed and painted. Donna chose the same blue for the tub that is on the walls. Now the fixture looks new without losing its old-fashioned character.