Bathrooms, like any other room in the house, will usually have a design that follows some trend. Many people realize, years after moving into their home, that their bathroom seems dated. But how is that possible? It’s just a bathroom, right?
Wrong! Bathrooms have been changing over the years and vary greatly when you look across the ocean to Europe. But, you can create a timeless bathroom design that will look great, feel comforting and appeal to potential buyers. Even if you’re not thinking about selling anytime soon, bathroom remodels are one of the few projects that can make a big difference with potential buyers.
Timeless bathroom design might take inspiration from a point in American history such as the colonial era. Or, you might draw from architectural history with Victorian designs. There are many different ways to pull off stunning, timeless bathroom design.
Traditional bathroom designs focus on features and functionality. Because of the desire for functionality to meet design many people look at the surfaces first. Countertops of natural stone, granite, or slate will never go out of style.
If you choose one of these options for your countertops, be sure to choose a natural color. We’ll discuss color schemes and choices in a bit.
Another choice to consider with features is if you want or need a shower or a bathtub. This question can drive many homeowners nuts. As much as people see their dream selves soaking in a tub after a long day at work, it doesn’t usually happen. Most homeowners find that showers are more time efficient.
But, the great thing is that you can have both a shower and a tub. You should always work with a contractor on this decision. Bathroom contractors can often come up with out-of-the-box solutions so that your Victorian era inspired bathroom can have a shower as well.
Not many people look at their floor as a feature, but it is a great space to create comfort and traditionally show artistic design. Try using marble tiles to match the vanity’s cabinets, or a border of grey tiles surrounding white to give the room a complete feeling.
Flooring is an excellent area to showcase natural stone as well or even wood flooring. The floor is a space to play up the textures in your bathroom. Where the rest of the room might seem bland or boring, your floor can pop.
Natural options will always come in first place when it comes to finishes. Unfortunately, chrome and brushed stainless steel had its day, and then that trend died too. If you’re looking for some historical inspiration, the colonial period was well-known for its use of maple, cherry, and oak woods.
But many people prefer the simple appeal of stone and porcelain. When it comes to the metal fixtures in the room you should either coordinate color schemes or match the design with a:
In some cases, people who prefer a minimalistic look might prefer matte black. But, the appeal of either iron, copper, or bronze comes with their age. These metals have been around for thousands of years. They set in our minds as naturally as stone.
The other aspect of finishes to consider is the texture. While many people imagine that most of their bathroom will be smooth, and one entire surface, that isn’t usually the case. The texture of any fixture is a part of the finish.
When you’re looking for the right sink, for instance, you might first consider a stand-alone basin or a vanity with sinks. If you choose the standing basin, you must then consider how differently the pedestals angles are chiseled. Are the impressions and depressions different? Do vertically fluted columns match the rest of the bathroom?
It might seem like a lot of decision making for a sink, but it’s worth it when you see your vision coming together.
The rule of thumb with finishes for a timeless or traditional look is that symmetry always wins. Unlike modern designs that use asymmetry to grab attention, a conventional look uses symmetry to create comfort.
Another, not so much rule, but a guideline, is that diversity is good. You might use various shades of the same oil-brushed bronze color scheme to make your vision more cohesive.
There are a few color schemes that seem to match any house and stay away from various trends through the years. Try these color choices to make your bathroom pop without becoming overwhelmed with color.
There are a few shades of blue that fit a variety of different traditional designs. Cornflower blue, dusty blue and Tiffany blue all bring different elements into a bathroom. The traditional aspect of blue is that it’s very calming but still sophisticated.
Grey and White
Unlike the harsh black and white color scheme that is a favorite among minimalists, grey and white are cool. The chilled tones of grey are relaxing, but the vibrant whites can make the area seem more significant than it is.
The only concern you might run into here is which type of finish to choose on your fixtures. If you’re going with a grey and white color scheme, try copper for color. Or, you can opt for chrome which will create a more modern looking bathroom.
It might be too bold for some people, but just bold enough for others. Many people stay away from red, but the bathroom is where this color can thrive. Use a variety of red shades on your walls, and in décor to bring out classic molding and iron fixtures.
Most American bathrooms dwarf bathrooms in any other country. But throughout Europe, they enjoy exceptionally minimalist. Most European bathrooms focus on utility and functionality, not on design. A minimalist bathroom might have a toilet, mirror, sink, and shower. Hardly ever do you find full vanities and spa-like accommodations in European bathrooms.
If you’re trying to emulate the minimalistic European design, you should consider using white tile, black finishing, and removing any vanity tables.
Bathroom Design Over the Years
When you look at the materials, fixtures, and features of bathrooms it might seem like the current design in your bathroom has always been around. But, many different styles and trends have come and gone through the years. \
Inspiration from the 1880s is popular in major cities such as Los Angeles, and San Francisco. Victorian bathroom design focuses on comfort and luxury. The sinks should provide you with a lot of counter space, while your floors may reflect a marble or deep colored heavy wood. Look for brass hardware to complete a Victorian bathroom design.
Americans immediately began to demand more from the rooms in their house. Although indoor plumbing might not have been accessible yet, powder and dressing rooms created the colonial design we grew to love. Colonial designs rely on color schemes for comfort. Deep and dusty blues paired with ivory and heavy wood can complete any colonial design.
Something about bright colors in bathrooms leaves a shock and awe factor for new homeowners that come across a bathroom from this time frame. From cheery pink toilets to green tubs, there is a particularly dated quality about these designs.
Luxury entered the American bathroom at home at this time. Including muted pastels, floral print wallpaper, and jacuzzi bathtubs these were rooms that would stand apart from the rest of the house. These designs would inspire the current trends of spa-like bathrooms that pop up even in small apartments.
Somewhere along the way, people are starting to use a vintage style with modern or contemporary design. This style is most commonly seen with wide-plank board wainscoting and freestanding tubs. Pedestal sinks are becoming a focal point in modern vintage bathrooms.
The latest trend has nothing to do with design, but more with feeling. People want their bathrooms to feel comforting. There are even commercials now that show parents retreating to the bathroom as a sanctuary. Bathrooms can feel like an inviting spa escape instead of a gaudy showpiece.
You don’t need claw-foot tubs and plush white hand towels for comfort. Instead, a lot of people are turning their focus towards the availability of luxury with low maintenance. A focus on sustainability and space make bathtubs with removable showerheads, or rainfall shower heads a recently popular choice.
Always consider what means comfort or luxury to you. If you don’t need a bathtub but want a glass and stone shower, you should go with that option. Work with a bathroom contractor to learn how you can take your current bathroom and transform it into a comfortable, safe haven.
The right bathroom for you is probably well within your budget. If you’re interested in a full or partial bathroom remodel, call a good bathroom contractor today. Contractors can help you achieve your vision and work with your budget. Make your designs real.