Vintage-Inspired Bathrooms

by Rachel Laurendeau on July 31, 2012

I’ve been thinking a lot about living more simply, being gentler on the environment and reducing my carbon footprint lately, as I’m sure has been evident in my recent blog posts. I love the character and style that older items can bring into a room so I thought I’d explore the idea of using antique or vintage items in the bathroom.

You don’t have to go over-the-top with vintage style; just including a few select items will add some flair without feeling like you’ve been clobbered over the head by a previous era.

1. Claw-foot tub. You may be able to find a claw-foot tub at a salvage yard, swap meet, antique dealer or possibly in your grandmother’s shed. You never know where treasures will be found!

2. Tile. Subway tile or hexagonal floor tile will certainly put you in a retro frame of mind. If your home already has this type of tile, it might just need a good cleaning and polishing to bring it back up to its lustrous potential.

3. Vanity. Repurpose an old washstand, bureau, cupboard or other piece of furniture into a vanity. Standard height for a vanity is between 30 and 36 inches so you may have to adapt the old piece to make it the right height.

4. Medicine cabinet. Antique medicine cabinets offer storage and style and can be found in tin, wood and various finishes. Alternatively, you could build your own or have your bathroom remodeler build one out of reclaimed wood.

5. Color scheme. You can easily give your favorite epoch a nod by choosing a color palette that reflects the time period. If you are “blessed” with a tub or tiles of a certain color, why not play up their retro feel instead of trying to pretend they aren’t there?

6. Lighting. While I don’t recommend installing vintage lighting fixtures unless you are a DIY expert who is able to rewire them to today’s safety standards, there are some really beautiful antique chandeliers and sconces out there. You can always have them rewired by an electrician if you aren’t qualified for the task. The alternative would be to choose new vintage-inspired lighting fixtures.

7. Art. Framed vintage postcards, botanical prints, portraits, sketches, photographs or metal signs can all add vintage charm to the room. If you already have a piece of vintage artwork that you love, you could use it as a jumping off point to inspire your entire bathroom.

8. Other details. There are small details like glass doorknobs, faucet taps, wall hooks, towel stands and small side tables that can finish off the look you are trying to achieve.

Using vintage pieces in the modern bathroom remodeling process is an excellent way to add unique retro flair to the space and be environmentally responsible.


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