Traditional Decorating Ideas For Bathrooms
Recreate traditional decorating ideas for bathrooms, in your own home.
Period-style bathrooms are great for family homes of any age.
Contemporary bathrooms can look stunning, but can be very minimalist.
What you need in a busy, family home is lots of storage and use-ability, in a traditional, timeless design...
...that won't go out of fashion.
How to Get the Look...
Choosing the Bath-tub
- A traditional decorating ideas for bathrooms essential, is an old-fashioned bath...
These are known by several different names:
- a 'roll-top' bath
- a 'free-standing' bath
- or a 'slipper' bath (which is slightly higher at one end)
- A roll-top bath looks stunning in the centre of a bathroom, and makes a great focal point for the room.
The downside is, it does require some space. There is little point in spending the extra, to cram it into a tight corner.
- Also check that the pipework underneath won't be on view in your bathroom - photographs in brochures can sometimes be a little misleading!
- Originally, free-standing baths used to be made of cast-iron, and were very heavy...
If you choose to pick your period bath-tub from a salvage yard, make sure your floor can take the weight.
Ask a structural engineer for advice if you are not sure.
Modern reproductions are a lot lighter, so are often cheaper and more convenient decorating ideas for bathrooms.
- Consider painting the underside of your roll-top bath in a color which matches your bathroom color scheme.
- Try painting decorative, cast-iron feet (or cast-iron style feet) in silver or gold, to give a great period feel.
- Choose traditional-style taps for your free-standing bath...
...and don't forget a bath-rack for storage and practicality.
- If you don't have the space (or budget) for a free-standing bath, choose a standard, fitted bath, in a traditional design.
Most bathroom companies, from budget to luxurious ranges, will provide at least one traditional, or period-style, bathroom suite.
Choosing a Basin
A Stylish Toilet
- Consider an old-fashioned toilet with a high-level cistern - and long pull-chain.
- Scour salvage and reclamation yards for such items, or choose a modern reproduction suite - for ease of fitting.
Fixtures and FittingsTraditional-style taps and faucets are a must.
Also consider lever taps and faucets, especially ones with ceramic handles.
Go for silver colored taps and faucets for an Edwardian or Art Deco feel.
Pick gold or brass colored taps for a more Victorian feel.
Add Period Features into your Bathroom
- One of the great decorating ideas for bathrooms in a period style, is to add traditional features into your bathroom.
- Tongue-and groove
- Panels of wallpaper, framed by decorative molding
Such detailing will really add period-charm into your bathroom.
- Add tongue-and-groove paneling, as above, for an easy way to get the period bathroom look
- We achieved an old-fashioned look, in our boring bathroom, by adding ply-wood panels, with wood battening, to form 2ft squares of period-style paneling.
We painted the wood a pale color to keep the room light. I think it looks great - and really authentic...
You can see what we did with our bathroom wood paneling, here...
Which Colors to Use
- Black and white is always an excellent choice, for traditional decorating ideas for bathrooms.
A line of alternating black and white tiles looks very striking, and will fit any color scheme.
Or, try a full chequer-board effect, with black and white tiles on the floor. This goes particularly well, if you are aiming for an Edwardian style, or Art Deco theme.
Take another look at the photo at the top of the page, to see how stunning this look can be!
- For paint colors, check out heritage ranges from all the popular paint companies.
In the UK look at Dulux, Crown, Fired Earth and Farrow and Ball.
My personal favourite is always the '1829' range from Craig and Rose - gorgeous colors, and the paints go on so easily.
Most companies with a heritage range will tell you which period the colors come from, so you can get a really authentic look.
Make sure you choose a muted tone, for a genuine period feel.
- Deep red is a classic choice for a Victorian inspired bathroom...
Lift the color a little with the addition of black and white.
- Or, take a look at this lovely heritage green...
- Make sure you apply a coat of varnish over paint on any tongue-and-groove, or wood panelling, if it adjoins the bath or shower, and is likely to get wet.
Traditional Styled Accessories
- The best traditional decorating ideas for bathrooms concentrate on the accessories. Look out for beautiful accessories in traditional styles.
Check out reclamation yards, flea markets and junk shops, for the genuine articles. Or, go for modern reproductions.
- Fill your bathroom with loads of beautiful, traditional items...
Don't worry if they initially seem more suited to a living room, or bedroom. They will look stunning in your period bathroom.
- Choose large mirrors with decoratively carved frames.
- Pick beautiful wall-lamps and candle-sconces in a traditional style.
- Add lots of old-fashioned, black and white or sepia prints, or traditional photos and paintings, in attractive and decorative frames.
- Mahogany is the wood of choice for any bathroom furniture, toilet seat, bath-panelling, picture or mirror frames.
- Rather than stick with a conventional radiator, or modern towel rail, look out for old-fashioned cast-iron radiators (from a salvage yard)...
...or pick a modern reproduction of a traditional radiator design for an authentic period tone. You can even choose one with an added towel rail on top.
- Choose a shower-screen with a traditional, decorative pattern...
...or choose shower curtains in a traditionally patterned (waterproof) fabric.
- If you want to create a romantic feel in your period bathroom, invest in a circular shower-curtain rail...
Drape a soft, pretty shower curtain over either side of a free-standing bath...
Relax in a bubble bath, and get a real, old-fashioned and romantic mood going.
Your traditional style bathroom will look stunning, be practical for everyday use, and will not go out of fashion.
To start your traditional bathroom project, why not take a look at some gorgeous goodies on eBay...
This is a live feed from eBay and is constantly updated. Simply click on any product for further information, or to bid or buy...
Hope you bag a bathroom bargain!
If any of the eBay products recommended on this page interest you for your traditional decorating ideas for bathrooms, please support my website by using the links on this page to buy.
The price to you is always the same, but I will earn a small commission. This allows me to continue to provide you with the information on this website, all for free.
Thanks for your continued support :)
Where to go next...
A reader, RM, is inspired to create a lovely bathroom with a real traditional touch
Were you inspired by these traditional decorating ideas for bathrooms?
Why not get your project started with these important considerations for decorating a bathroom.
Or look at these practical bathroom decorating tips.
Read more style and design tips for decorating your bathroom.
Find great ideas for decorating small bathrooms.
More about period and heritage decorating ideas
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