Traditional Style Bathroom Design

Your home should feel like an extension of yourself. Interior design choices in every area of the home reflect a homeowners interests and personality. Even though it’s a small room, the bathroom is no exception. When selecting the right bathroom design for your home and personality, consider a more traditional American bathroom design. Traditional bathroom designs sometimes take inspiration from historic periods, such as colonial styles or the Victorian era; more broadly, however, a traditional design can be defined as a classic look that does not put an emphasis on being sleek or modern.

In this article, we’ll cover the elements that make up a beautiful traditionally designed American bathroom, as well as how to choose a bathroom remodeling contractor you can work with to achieve the bathroom of your dreams.

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    Traditional vs. Modern Bathroom Designs

    Traditional designs are classic and timeless. These designs tend to be neutral and can appeal to a wide range of tastes, including those of potential buyers if you plan to sell your home later on.

    More modern bathroom designs tend to be minimalist, with clean lines, geometric elements, and neutral — often darker — color palettes. The materials used, such as glass and chrome, are more contemporary than those in traditional designs. These bathrooms seem to have a bit more shine and sharpness — and less warmth — than the traditional designs we’ll discuss in this post. They also tend to emphasize the contrast between textures, such as granite or concrete combined with chrome or lacquered wood.

    Let’s go over the features and fixtures that make up a traditional bathroom design.

    Cabinets and vanities

    The cabinets in traditional American bathrooms often have wood cabinetry, typically made from maple, oak, or cherry — quite unlike the lacquered woods used in many contemporary bathrooms. These woods are native to the northeastern United States, home to the original thirteen colonies.

    Vanities in traditional-style bathrooms are often furniture-style pieces that use that same wood. These vanities usually have a great deal of storage space underneath the sink and counters.


    Traditional American bathrooms tend toward classically elegant countertops, typically made from granite. While it can be pricier than other surfaces, granite is durable, practical, and beautiful. Its surface is bacteria resistant, stain-resistant, and scratch-resistant, meaning it will maintain beautifully for many years to come. Granite comes in a wide variety of colors; more traditional homeowners tend to choose neutral colors or warmer tones. The countertops in these bathrooms can also feature other natural or manmade natural-look materials, such as slate or engineered stone.

    Tile flooring and wall tiling are also common in traditional bathrooms. Traditional tile floors are typically laid out in classic designs, such as mosaics or grids, most likely using stone tiles in a neutral color palette. These patterns are often repetitive and give a relaxing base to the rest of the room. The tiles chosen for these designs can be hexagonal tiles, penny tiles, or subway tiles, which are three of the most common styles of bathroom tile.

    Sinks and tubs

    The sinks in traditional style bathrooms are usually basins, pedestal sinks, and/or console sinks. Basin sinks are the classic style of sink seen in most bathrooms. Basins can be self-rimming as part of the countertop or sit on a pedestal or console base. Self-rimming sinks are simple to install into the granite countertops in your traditional bathroom. They have a finished, rolled edge that appears to sit on top of the counter.

    Pedestal sinks are a great choice for smaller traditional bathrooms because the basin is supported by a single freestanding pedestal leg. The simple lines and classic design of pedestal sinks can be a great way to hide unseemly pipes. Console sinks sit on a fixture that resembles a table, with simple legs and no under-sink storage.

    Choosing a sink depends on your bathroom size and style. If you need counter space or storage, that will affect your choice; if you have other storage options or limited space overall, a console or pedestal sink could be your best bet.

    In terms of materials, traditional bathroom designs tend to favor easy-to-clean, durable materials such as enamel-coated china, fireclay, and porcelain. These clay-based ceramic sinks give off a subtle shine and are resistant to discoloration and damage.

    The same materials are popular for bathtubs in traditional bathrooms. The most traditional tub is the porcelain clawfoot tub, which is a timeless classic that also adds a bit of historic elegance to the room.


    Traditional bathrooms leverage natural light for a warm, welcoming feel, so make sure that you have at least one window in the bathroom, as well as lighting that feels warm and natural as opposed to fluorescent or cool. You can even consider adding a skylight to a top-floor bathroom to add natural light from above.

    You can leverage mirrors to brighten up your space as well. A large vanity mirror can reflect the light opposite it to both make the room look brighter and give the appearance of a bigger space. A mirror can also be a great statement piece in a traditional bathroom. Choose a mirror with an ornate metal frame — coordinate it with the other metal accents in your bathroom — for an artistic touch.


    Metals are included in many aspects of bathroom design, from faucets to light fixtures. The most popular metals in traditional bathroom design are iron, copper, and bronze. These metals provide a classic historical beauty to your design and can help enhance the room’s warm color scheme. There are a variety of ways to incorporate metal accents into your bathroom design depending on your vision and tastes.

    For example, copper catches light in a way that makes it ideal for a bathroom full of natural light.  Some even choose a copper bathtub as a statement piece in their otherwise traditional bathroom design. Copper is easy to care for, requiring just warm water and occasionally a bit of dish soap to restore its luster.

    For a more vintage aesthetic, many people choose bronze. Bronze is often not given any sort of finishing treatment, which means that it can be affected by the elements over the years, an effect that many see as a pleasing colonial look. Bronze is a great way to add vintage charm and character to a traditional colonial-style bathrooms


    As mentioned throughout the article, traditional bathroom design features neutral colors and simple palettes with warm tones and bronze, copper, or iron accents. Your bathroom should be a place of relaxation, and your color scheme can help achieve this. Keeping colors light and neutral create a soothing, warm atmosphere throughout the space. Pops of color can include navy, red, or green, and these should be reserved for linens and other small accessories.

    Accessories and linens

    When choosing accessories and linens for your traditional American bathroom design, you can either choose neutral hues such as whites, creams, and tans or use towels and bathmats as an opportunity to add a subtle pop of color, such as red or navy blue.

    Make sure that the accessories and linens you use work well with the natural light in the room. For example, a white shower curtain will help keep the room looking bright and airy, while a darker colored one might dampen the effect of the natural light.

    Choosing a Bathroom Remodeling Contractor 

    Remodeling your bathroom into the design of your dreams isn’t just a job — it’s an art. That’s why it’s so important to work with a bathroom remodeling contractor that you can trust to give you the best remodel and the best price.

    A bathroom remodeling contractor will manage the construction of your dream bathroom, making sure that the result matches your vision (and budget) and potentially working with an architect or designer to create the perfect space. A design-build contractor will oversee both design and construction, which can help streamline the remodeling process.

    Make sure you find a contractor that you trust, has references, and is accredited. Look for a contractor that has experience with similar traditional bathroom design projects in your area.

    Creating the right bathroom for you

    If you’re looking for a beautiful traditional bathroom design, our team can fit both your vision and your budget with our bathroom remodeling services. We will make sure that your bathroom is not just a joy to look at, but a joy to use, too.

    Our team of experts will find a way to create an amazing bathroom at an affordable price, combining quality, workmanship, beauty, and function for years to come. No matter what you would like to get out of your bathroom remodeling project, we can help your vision come true.

    We are the leading local bathroom remodeling contractor in the Greater Boston community, working hard to offer high quality of service and professionalism before, during, and after every bathroom remodeling project we do. Reach out today to get started — you’re one step closer to the bathroom of your dreams. ​

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