bathroom designs

Antique Bathrooms - The Charm Lives On

Are you drawn to the
period charm of
Antique Bathrooms?

Antique or vintage bathrooms bring a feeling of indulgence, splendor and romance. They are definitely not boring!

Whether you enjoy an abundance of visual elements or prefer a less cluttered look, your antique bathroom can be decorated to reflect your personal sense of style.

antique bathrooms

Typical Design Elements in Antique Bathrooms:

  • Furniture is characterized by ornate carving, often with marble tops.
  • Elegant fabrics, tassels, cords and needlepoint coverings are used.
  • Rich colors and deep hues set a background for opulence.
  • Mirrors and pictures are framed in gilt or pewter.
  • Faucets are elaborate, using brass, copper or nickel with ceramic handles or finished in gold plating.
  • Lighting consists of chandeliers and ornamental wall sconces.
  • Walls can have wainscoting, be wallpapered and finished with elaborate moldings.
  • Flooring is rich in feel or detail with oriental rugs scattered about.
  • Collectibles are on display to be enjoyed and not hidden away.

However, there are no hard and fast rules and there is no right or wrong! Don't be afraid to mix and match either by using contemporary elements in your period-style bathroom. The old and the new can compliment and accentuate one another beautifully.

victorian bathroom

How Much Space do You Have?

Your room does not have to be big to create a vintage bathroom.

Perhaps the one bathroom design element most often associated with Victorian bathrooms is the claw foot tub. They come in all shapes and sizes and can be positioned anywhere: in the center of the room if you have the space, in an alcove or against the wall if the room is smaller.

In small antique bathrooms the tub can be encircled with a shower curtain and the faucets adapted to cater for bathing and showering.

Quite often beautiful cabinets are modified as antique bathroom vanities. If space is a problem, a pedestal sink with curvy lines will match perfectly. Beautiful wall mounted sinks are also available for a period bathroom. Note though, you may have to add bracing to the wall to support the weight.

vintage bathrooms
Where to Get Your Vintage Pieces

If it is the really old pieces that you are after, it may take you some time collecting odds and ends.

The pleasure of this decorating style though is that it can grow over time or ornaments can take turns to be displayed.

The Victorian bathroom showcased here has pieces salvaged from building sites, found at antique shops, flea markets or garage sales and even fittings rescued from the garbage dump.

Some were lovingly restored by the homeowner or given to a craftsman to restore. Be careful to whom you give your vintage piece though. You do not want it looking brand new through over restoration. Old scratch marks and the patina of age are all telling a story.

vintage bathroom designs

This bathroom was initially built for a twelve year old girl.

She has grown to appreciate the history of the furniture and over time has added her own collectibles and personal touch.

Think Creatively:

antique bathroom design
  • An old window frame gets a cheeky new life with a classic sandblasted motif, flanked by vintage style porcelain tiles - allowing a peek into the shower and steam room.
  • Old picture frames can be bought cheaply and reused - period artwork on the wall is an easy way to support the vintage theme in a bathroom and to add visual interest.

victorian bathroom designs
  • Scout around for Art Nouveau tiles that can be used creatively or old racks with coat hooks to hang towels from.
  • Cast iron radiators look right at home in antique bathrooms and they are very effective in heating the room.
  • An old door can be turned into a mirror or get a stained glass inset.
  • Old Persian rugs add a nice feel to a period bathroom.

Of course you don't need to use only vintage pieces. There are many companies that manufacture reproduction period pieces, which may also be less expensive than reconditioned fixtures and fittings.

Antique bathrooms, although it has a sense of the romantic, can be enjoyed by anyone - male and female, young and old.

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