Choose classic features for a bathroom that will last the distance
Houzz Contributor. I’m a London-based journalist with years of experience writing… More
Minimal basins and sculptural tubs aren’t for everyone. When it comes to the bathroom, choosing a traditional look is often the perfect solution, especially if you live in a period property. What traditional definitely doesn’t have to mean is stuffy or dated. Think crosshead taps, claw-foot tubs and pedestal basins – all markers of classic, timeless bathroom style and likely to look as good in 10 years as they do now.
Embrace a pedestal
Pedestal basins fell out of favour for a while – perhaps due to too many landlord-issue, cheap suites. But they’re starting to look just right again, and it’s easy to see why. They have a period feel and simple lines, and this classic design effortlessly hides ugly pipework. Choose one with Victorian or Edwardian detailing for extra period points.
If you have the space, as here, two pedestals side by side can look particularly magnificent. And they work perfectly teamed with traditional bevelled mirrors.
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Say yes to panelling
A vintage-style wallpaper teamed with tongue-and-groove panelling gives this compact bathroom a cosy feel. Also note the toilet with a high cistern – a classic heritage design. Swap slick modern spots for a more decorative chandelier, like this brass number, to keep things traditional.
Treat yourself to a claw-foot tub
A roll-top, claw-foot bath is the ultimate timeless luxury. It’s equally at home in modern schemes, but for an indulgent, traditional look, team it with wallpaper, plantation shutters and a marble-topped vanity unit. Painting the sides of the bath a dark colour, like this French navy, also adds to the traditional period feel.
Try a two-piece loo
The modern toilet trend may be for hidden or boxed-in cisterns, but a two-piece loo can actually look very homely and has something of a country house air about it.
A black toilet seat aways looks smart and grounds an all-white scheme. And who knew large marbled floor tiles could work so well?
Check out photos of more traditional bathrooms on Houzz
Slip into a slipper
Freestanding baths come in all sorts of shapes and sizes these days, but the slipper bath offers a special kind of indulgence. Originally a Victorian design, it features a higher back at one end, which provides support as well as privacy when you sink into the bubbles, wallow and relax.
This luxe room ups the traditional factor further with a wall of oil paintings, a Victorian-style towel rail and a gleaming wooden floor. I love the floor-length curtains, too – proof bathrooms don’t have to feature soulless blinds.
Style with a shower ring
A curved metal shower rail isn’t just practical for when you want to shower over your freestanding tub, it also adds a lovely traditional feel. This classically styled bathroom manages to make even a bidet look chic, while the geometric floor tiles somehow pull off timeless, of-the-moment and traditional all at the same time.
Revel in heritage hues
We tend to go for white, but colour can make a big difference in the bathroom. This Art Deco-style space sports mint-green tiles that instantly transport you back to another era.
Note again the slim black tile border, a classic traditional feature. When it comes to bathroom wall lights, it may be worth taking the time to source ones that match your look, like these retro numbers.
Opt for a washstand
A classic washstand can elevate a plain basin into something more interesting while adding a sense of space. In this smart cloakroom, it works perfectly with the vintage-style taps, chequerboard floor and metro wall tiles. A hexagonal mirror and shaded, armed wall lamps also add a traditional touch.
Celebrate black and white
Black and white tiles have long been a sign you’re in a traditional period bathroom. A border of black, on walls, the floor or both, adds a focal point, and is elegant, timeless and chic. Also note how the vintage cast-iron radiator has been painted to match. The console sink is another stylish traditional touch.
Select crosshead taps
Bathroom showrooms may be filled with taps that are part water deliverer, part modern sculpture, but crosshead taps have an instant heritage flavour and work well with washstand-based or pedestal basins. While you can buy more modern, angular crosshead designs, consider classic curved edges for comfort and traditional style.
How have you decorated your traditional bathroom? Share your photos and ideas in the Comments below.