Ideas To Create The Perfect Vintage Bathroom

So, you've finally reached the point when you need to pick the bathroom style. And since the rest of the house is retro, you wish to proceed with the vintage scheme. Whether you're updating the space or conceptualizing a new design from scratch, the challenge ahead is significant.

What you want to achieve is a stylish look that doesn't cross the boundaries of modernism. However, vintage bathrooms don't always need to be shabby chic inspired. Instead, they can be lavish places with impressive elements that go well with different architectural styles. Some may discuss that vintage tends to be feminine, but, in reality, your design options are endless.

Before you start, consider taking inspiration from traditional bathrooms and historic homes from centuries ago, suggests Period Homes. Go for a timeless environment that is practical and multifunctional as well as elegant. In addition, ensure salvaged, retro, and upcycled pieces find their place in your vintage scheme. The ultimate objective is to create a relaxing oasis where you can unwind after a busy day.

Some ideas for a vintage feel include using ageless fabrics for curtains and blinds, floral wallpapers, warm lighting, and wood paneling. A traditional bathroom aesthetic also calls for carefully selected sanitary and brassware. Ultimately, pick statement colors and favorite décor pieces to complete the vibrant yet cohesive display. Here are fourteen remarkable bathroom ideas to help you recreate the perfect vintage look.

Choose the color scheme with care

The color palette you'll pick for the bathroom will set the scene for every other detail you'll include in it later. Hence, you must be extra careful with the foundation and the secondary or accent hues. And though you have a broad selection to consider, some tones are just more vintage-looking than others.

Above all, your color palette should remind you of the vintage design at first sight. According to Benjamin Moore, it's best to use a pop of rich, dynamic colors that align with nostalgic, time-faded shades.

Start by painting walls with a neutral tone to create a quiet backdrop. Consider ivory, baby pink, mint, or any shade you want to accent and keep the thread running through the bathroom. Then, you can add a stroke of bold color to create an artfully cluttered bathroom. Similarly, you can use a solid hue, such as cobalt blue, sunflower yellow, or tomato orange, on a statement piece.

Finally, build the rest of the palette around the selected tonal shades. Noupe recommends recreating movements from the 50s or the 60s if you pursue an authentic retro look. Remember to avoid bright vintage and stick to knocked-back hues to achieve an authentic feel.

Mesmerize with a floral wallpaper

Showcase your interior design skills by making wise moves that leave a considerable impact even in the smallest bathroom. Picking the ideal wallpaper can transform the washroom into a space bursting with personality. And if you happen to have a large-proportioned room with high ceilings, then you're lucky to have the space to experiment with patterns.

The palette you chose for the background should guide your decision for a vintage floral pattern. If the base is gray, consider a wallpaper design that contains a similar shade, recommends Hannah's Treasures. Whether you go for roses, hydrangeas, or daffodils, ensure the design pulls the entire scheme together.

If you intend to integrate floral prints into a tiny bathroom, mind the scale of the flowers. Large blooms will make a small-sized washroom appear even smaller. To prevent this, go with daintier designs that create a spatial illusion.

Conversely, if your bathroom features large proportions, adorn the ample wall space with a gorgeous vintage-style wallpaper. This way, you can make it feel cozier and inviting, explains Penny Morrison. Besides adding a textured layer, wallpapers are more appealing than paint and can invigorate even the most tedious surroundings.

Make a twist with chinoiserie prints

The chinoiserie design inspiration became a predominant décor element in America and Europe in the 18th century, and its popularity has remained until today. The exotic prints feature theatrical scenes, rich colors, and repeated motifs.

Above all, the traditional chinoiserie style is timeless. But how do you incorporate ornamental patterns without making the bathroom look tasteless or stately? One idea is to use a bold and luxuriously looking chinoiserie wallpaper to highlight a feature wall, suggests The Way We Live. One such detail, and you'll transform the bathroom into an exquisite gem.

Another chinoiserie accent suitable for a vintage bathroom is white and blue china. The Everyday Hostess recons this pattern will elevate the room design and become a signature to your home. Use this print for the porcelain pieces on the washbasin.

Finally, why not use some black and gold ornamental pops? These can depict oriental landscapes, botanical motifs, phoenixes, or pagodas. Antique black and gold lacquered chests are also a popular pick and can serve as a decorative piece that accommodates the basin sink.

Painted wood paneling is also an option

While browsing interior designers' pages, you've probably spotted that most vintage bathrooms feature wood-paneled walls. Hence, ensure this retro touch is high on your wish list. More specifically, the classic tongue and groove style, known as Georgian paneling, is the perfect design for your washroom. Besides carrying a classic vibe, you can install it quickly and without expert help.

The good news is that most brands offer pre-made paneling in various colors you can buy in sheets. Follow the instructions from an online guide like Do It Yourself, and the bathroom walls should be ready in a couple of days. If you feel you're unskilled to fit the sheets, ask a friend who is keen on home improvement.

The reasons why you should choose timber cladding products are numerous. According to Plyco, wood paneling lasts longer, keeps the heat in, looks stylish, and is easy to upkeep. However, if you fear wall irregularities might prevent you from installing woodwork, try a paneled effect wallpaper.

Be extra cautious with the tile choice

Are you fond of tile-covered floors and walls that are easy to maintain and long-lasting? Perhaps you want to introduce a backsplash to protect the area behind the sink? Whatever your intention, tiles are an excellent and affordable solution for your vintage bathroom.

Yet, don't experiment too much when choosing the tile scheme. In most designs outlined by Why Tile, you'll spot that vintage bathrooms feature small-sized tiles in soothing colors, such as green, blue, and pink.

White is also a timeless option because it symbolizes cleanliness and purity. Similarly, black-and-white checkerboard designs have a long history. Thus, calling them vintage is an understatement because this pattern has survived for centuries without losing its grandeur.

If you prefer to refresh an outdated bathroom and keep the retro look, there is another way out. Ceramic Tile Warehouse recommends combining antique tiles in pastel tones with more modern ones. A period-style washbasin and a round-shaped mirror will complete the contemporary update. Last, pay extra attention to the finish with cove molding if you want to keep the bathroom authentic.

Pick traditional sanitaryware

Your attempts to create a laidback retro bathroom will be futile if you disregard the fixtures. No vintage lavatory will be complete without traditional curved sanitaryware. Therefore, old-styled washbasins, toilets, shower trays, and bidets are inevitable if you aim to assemble the bathroom of your dreams.

Vintage ceramic is usually round or rectangular and features softened edges. Therefore, forget about graphic, slick pieces that subdue the vintage spirit. And to be on the safe side, pick white fixtures that evoke distant unforgettable times, like the Belle Époque or the Victorian Age.

Another way to elevate the vintage touch is to install high-level cisterns. Today, many companies like Kerasan offer elements inspired by 19th and 20th-century designs. But don't worry; these pieces are compatible with present-day plumbing.

Old-style sanitaryware stands detached from the wall with visible fixing screws. Moreover, since the floor-mounted toilet requires an external pipe, ensure its shape and color matches the overall design. But this doesn't mean you should renounce all benefits of advanced technology. Look for quieter flushing toilets and slam-free seats.

Find a statement roll-top bath

Your bathing time is something you can't compromise for anything in the world. So, why not enjoy these precious minutes in a luxurious roll-top bath? However, choosing the perfect claw-foot piece can prove challenging, and often upcycling an old version might be a better alternative.

Set to find a white or beige oval bathtub that features brass feet and thick, asymmetric edges. A floor-mounted piece can prove an excellent choice. As for the material, roll-top baths come in several versions. According to Badeloft, cast iron and stone resin bathtubs are ideal for your period bathroom because they are delicate and excellent heat retainers. Copper freestanding baths are another super durable solution. But as unique as these pieces can be, they also come at a higher cost. Acrylic and fiberglass variants are more affordable options.

Opt for complementary fittings

Choosing the right taps is critical because you need multiple pieces that are durable, retro-looking, and practical. To this end, avoid shiny chromes that remind of contemporary styles and stick to brass, nickel, and pewter materials. Besides being softer, these abound with warm colors and look more harmonious.

Anyways, there are other considerations you must bear in mind, claims Bathroom City. For instance, ensure you are familiar with the water pressure and tap holes before setting off on a shopping spree. Also, look for high-quality taps made of solid brass with ceramic disks, as these last longer.

In addition, since you prefer to capture the essence of the past select taps with classic features. Exquisite details, cross head handles, wall-mounted faucets, toilet paper and hand-towel holders are a must. According to The Bathroom Showroom, basins with pillar taps and baths with ornate shower mixers evoke a timeless look that never goes out of style.

Take some time to combine textures and materials

Forget about saving on materials for the bathroom. These must be of high quality and endure moist environments with fluctuating temperatures. At the same time, textures matter because tactile finishes can embrace a vintage aesthetic and please the senses.

While modern bathrooms display ultra-practical smooth surfaces, tiles, and brassware, vintage designs focus on practicality mixed with style and comfort. The tactile quality of traditional fittings should move to the forefront. Textures can flow from curtains and upholstered furniture to décor items and unite the space.

Naturally, you don't want your period bathroom to feel stark and clinical. Hence, boost the vintage charm by introducing fabrics and ruffles. Try the tutorial shared by Bumblebee Linens and make a DIY basin skirt to add visual interest. Use your favorite material (a rich color palette is acceptable) for the shower curtain, too. Ruffled fabric blinds are also a massive hit nowadays.

Add organic elements

The bathroom is an area that bears a link to the outside world, and natural elements will bring freshness to the ambiance. Hence, don't underestimate the power of materials like stone, brick, bamboo, and wood. These can get used in various ways to achieve a retro-looking interior design.

Using stone combined with wood will infuse the room with a warm, welcoming charm, advises Lushome. However, note that features like stone shelves or an accent wall are also rustic components. They add drama, character, and visual impact to the place. On the other hand, stoned floors and pebbled showers bring a sense of coziness to vintage interiors.

Another perfect accessory for a vintage look is rattan or white wicker chairs and stools. These materials are retro, but they have experienced a historic comeback in the last decade. Bolder individuals can opt for a fabric armchair with a floral pattern that matches the overall vintage scheme.

Use antique light fixtures

When it comes to vintage bathroom lighting, you can be anything but modest. There are endless options to combine intricate and elegant designs that yield an antique touch. Whether you pick a massive chandelier, candle sconces, or pendant lightbulbs, you'll improve the interior value and functionality.

Antique sconces should be your first pick. They are elegant and enliven the space. Plus, they might play a secondary role as vanity lighting if you place them on both mirror sides. Moreover, you can combine them with candle sconces that, besides giving off romantic light, serve as beautiful décor. Don't know where to start looking? House of Antique Hardware offers premium collections of period bathroom lighting.

According to Easy Home Tips, chandeliers are the ultimate statement piece of vintage bathrooms. More specifically, why not pick a copper piece for real drama? Alternatively, an 18th-century Italian crystal chandelier with chains and candle holders can add romance to your bathroom.

Invest in colorful rugs

How else can you upscale the freestanding tub and pedestal sink against fresh white paint than with a vintage rug? Adding an oriental piece will give your bathroom a subtle retro aesthetic that welcomes comfort and warmness.

Yet, choosing a matching pattern that doesn't clutter the space can prove challenging. You must also pay attention to the size as it needs to run perfectly lengthwise across the vanity.

Turkish and Persian hand-woven variants are of the highest quality, though they usually have a weathered look. Room for Tuesday shares a few mesmerizing rug ideas for a vintage bathroom. Whether you pick a navy blue, tomato orange, or diamond-patterned rug, it will add character and color to the space.

Bathrooms are high-traffic areas, so rugs undergo significant wear and tear due to the moisture. Hence, proper maintenance, like regular vacuuming, spot cleaning, and using bath mats, is critical, suggests Brepurposed. Calling in the professionals is also an option if you're dealing with a worthy, antique piece.

Spruce up with vintage accents

The time has come to think about bathroom décor and ornaments. Since this is probably a small-sized area, you'll have to pick items that serve a decorative and practical function. You can't fit everything in, so consider implementing the following suggestions depending on the overall layout.

Vintage mirrors come in various shapes, including oval, round, and rectangular. If you find the perfect antique piece, the mirror can become a jaw-dropping statement you can match with a few other accessories. If you go with gilded accent details, ensure you get coordinating double towel rails and light fittings.

Another thing you can consider is upcycling an old cabinet into a washstand that evokes nostalgic feelings. Homes to Love shares a step-by-step guide on transforming salvaged furniture from the flea market into a functional vanity unit. Besides being affordable and unique, such pieces are highly sustainable. Just mount a pair of basins on top, and there you go; you have a one-of-a-kind vintage sanctuary.

Invite nature in

There's no logical reason you wouldn't go green in your vintage washroom. People have been fond of houseplants for centuries and eagerly incorporated them into period bathrooms. Besides making the place more pleasant and vibrant, greenery makes for exceptional décor and improves air quality.

Since bathrooms are mostly warm and humid, they provide the perfect conditions for various houseplants to thrive. Plus, you always have water close at hand to pour a drop or two. Yet, not every herb can survive in such a backdrop, so ensure you choose species wisely.

Cure Joy claims that the best plants to keep in a bathroom include aloe vera, orchids, peace lilies, and spider plants. Bringing any of these into the bathroom will add cheer, warmth, and aesthetic appeal. And while some prefer tall green pieces and others hanging plants from the ceiling and windows, greenery promotes calmness. Finally, houseplants counteract negative energy and reduce stress.