Get that retro look in your bathroom… without taking a step back in time

Having nearly finished my retro-inspired makeover of my living, I am now looking at the other rooms in my home to see which needs attention next, and my out-dated bathroom is definitely near the top of the list! I was discussing this with fellow blogger and my twitter friend Helen Davies, and she immediately came up with this article on using retro design inspirations in modern bathrooms. I am very grateful for her advice and expert knowledge, and I wanted to share it with you all so you can get ideas for your own bathroom makeover this spring:

If, like me, you’re a fan of retro style, then you’ll already know that to perfect a vintage vibe you sometimes have to sacrifice just a little bit of the comfort and convenience that modern life has brought us. But bathrooms are practical spaces: you need your bathroom to perform a vital function. Can retro style really work in a 21st century bathroom?

I think so. By taking a period (or an eclectic mix of complementary styles from different periods) as your inspiration, rather than sticking rigidly to the use of 100% vintage materials, you can create a look that’s truly unique, that pays homage to your favourite design style, and that allows you to have some design fun. Because that’s what it’s all about – having fun!

retro bathrooms 60s flower power decor style

And all of this means that you can use a modern bathroom suite in your retro bathroom without losing any style points. Which is a relief, because while an authentic vintage bathroom suite, reclaimed and rejuvenated, can set you back a huge amount of money considering someone else used it half to death before you bought it, contemporary bathroom suites can be sourced relatively cheaply and in a range of sizes to suit any space.

For me, building a new look in a room is all about the silhouette. If you do a quick image search, you’ll see what I mean. You only have to look at the first few results for ‘art nouveau mirror’ to realise that those Gaudi-esque curves and swirls are central to the style.

retro bathrooms vintage curved basin cast iron bath

So when you’re looking to create your retro bathroom, your starting point should be a modern bathroom suite that has all the up-to-the-minute features you need – but that also has a silhouette (be that curvy, boxy, slim or angular) that echoes the designs you adore. Once you’ve installed your basic suite, you can use accessories (vintage originals or modern copies – use whatever works for you) and gorgeous decor to bring your room to life.

This month I’m loving a glamorous 1930s feel: floor to ceiling white metro tiles with slim black grout lines for a striking effect, and a huge art deco mirror above an angular basin. Add a cool monochrome chandelier (who said you can’t have fabulous lighting in a bathroom?), a luxurious cast iron bath with some modern, minimalist, wall mounted brassware for contrast, and the look is complete!

 retro bathrooms angular basin cast iron bath

Helen Davies is a content writer for Better Bathrooms, who sell good looking contemporary and traditional bathrooms at realistic prices.

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Cassie is a freelance writer with a Masters degree in lifestyle promotion studies. She loves to 'get the look for less' so regularly shares thrifty fashion posts, DIY interior design ideas and low-cost recipes on her blog.

8 thoughts on “Get that retro look in your bathroom… without taking a step back in time

  1. Thank you so much Claudine! I’m glad you like it 😀 I actually just painted the floor of my bathroom this weekend & it’s looking much better! Good luck with your renovations, I’d love I see photos of your progress 🙂

  2. Cassie – you treasure – I am about to commence my renovations and you have truly inspired me – I especially love your bathroom ideas – perfection! Many thanks

  3. Ooh I’m sorry I don’t know about that – My friend Helen wrote the article and she works for this company Betterbathrooms.com so they might have the sink in their product range if you have a search through the site?? Hope this helps! 🙂

  4. What a lovely selection of bathroom ideas. It is important that you have a bathroom that suits both your personality and your style of living. There are so many bathroom suites to choose from and accessories and tiles for you to decorate with, the possibilities are endless!

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