Elements of a Stunning Vintage-style Bathroom

Guest post contributed by Diana Smith

As spaces that don’t see much traffic during the day, bathrooms are often unjustly neglected. Small bathrooms are even more often overlooked, as people instantly relate design with ‘unnecessary accessories and trinkets’. On the contrary, a well-decorated bathroom becomes a warm and welcoming escape pod. Vintage-style bathrooms are popular because of their elegant and classy fixtures. If you have set your heart on a vintage-bathroom remodeling, look for fixtures and decorative pieces that date back to the era when electricity and indoor plumbing were novelties.

Vintage flooring ideas

Wood flooring made of oak was one of the earliest types of smooth indoor flooring. As a choice for a bathroom, it was very popular since polished wood is easy to clean. Victorians appreciated marble for its classic and antique beauty. Real marble will last for generations, but you will have to pay a hefty price for it. Instead, consider installing cheaper square tiles with a marble-like print. Art Deco bathrooms were marked by hexagonal tiles, stressing the need for geometry in design. Another common practice at the turn of the century was to use white tiles for the wainscot and floor and cover the upper wall with attractive bathroom wallpapers. 

Timeless accents

Bathroom cabinets were somewhat rare in the earliest bathrooms, especially in the Victorian era. Still, they’ve marked the Craftsman period, with varnished wood highlighting the natural beauty of the grain. If you have a small bathroom, you can store your products on shelves. Polished wood shelves lined with old-fashioned glass jars holding your soaps, shampoos, and lotions will with a farewell to cheap plastic bottles. A vintage leather suitcase packed with extra towels and bath products is a good way to make your bathroom more interesting. Cabinets and sinks with built-in mirrors were rare in early bathrooms. Whether you choose a full-length or half-length mirror, the more ornate the bevel, the better.

Colour schemes of the past

Obsessed with cleanliness and ‘germs’, Victorians wouldn’t go for anything less than a crisp white or posh Ivory bathroom. If you want to build on that style, you can add soft pastel accents of blue, pink and turquoise to spice things up. If you are more inclined to Art Deco, keep in mind that this period sparked the interest in vibrant hues so your colors of choice can be yellow, green, blue and pink. Craftsman style, on the other hand, drew inspiration from nature so earthy brown, yellows, greens and reds might be the best way to go.

Vintage plumbing

While a century (and maybe even more) ago iron pipes were commonly used for waste, they were rarely used for supply as they are prone to rust. Lead pipes were much more common, although they too were known to make the water unsuitable for drinking. In most attractive bathrooms nickel-plated brass pipes were used as they could be kept clean and shiny with little effort. If you are remodeling your bathroom, it’s easier to fit all the fixtures on one ‘wet wall’ which already has the piping installed. If you encounter any problems, a reliable company dealing in blocked drains from Epping will take care of them.

Free-standing fixtures

A detached or ‘clawed’ tub is a relic from the time when indoor plumbing was a luxury. Smooth porcelain is among the most popular materials as it is very easy to clean. As far as pedestal sinks are concerned, the curvy design responds more closely to the Victorian era, while the boxy design traces its origin to the Craftsman period that followed immediately after.

No matter the size, bathrooms can be tricky to decorate. That is why many homeowners decide to draw inspiration from the past, easily adding a vintage charm to small spaces, by either repurposing what they already have or resorting to online sources.



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