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BATH | Go Vintage with 6 Easy Steps


BATH | Go Vintage with 6 Easy Steps

Going vintage is an attractive and refreshing change from more modern and traditional bathroom designs. It can be easily accomplished with just a few steps that involve a little styling and researching as to just what vintage entails in a bathroom space. With ideas in mind, a bathroom area can be transformed from plain to vintage in six easy steps.

Historical and Charming
Vintage decor is usually thought of as decorative elements that are from design periods of less than 100 years. Beyond the 100-year mark, antique standing comes into play. Popular vintage themes today place the approximate period from the 1920s through World War II. Vintage bathroom looks incorporate style elements that are historical as well as charming, winsome, and eye-catching in appearance.

Six (6) Easy Steps to Vintage

1. Wall Surfaces
Wall surfaces that are adaptable to a vintage bathroom look include a number of finishes, such as:

• Tile – tiling was often used in vintage bathrooms, particularly square tiles. Vintage looks can be achieved by using tiles around mirrors for a framing effect and as borders to a baseboard finish as well as highlights to bathtub enclosures or through a floor to ceiling or wainscoting effect.

• Wallpaper – subtle yet classy floral or idyllic themes go well with a vintage look and can add simple nuances to a bathroom space, particularly if different patterns or scenes are used above traditional wainscoting or bead board.

• Wainscoting – white wainscoting and its other panel-like offshoots definitely characterize vintage and can be used in almost any bathroom to add a solidness and textural element to a space. For a vintage bathroom wall, wainscoting should be placed approximately 36 inches from the floor up, and the space above the wainscoting should be painted or wallpapered in a vintage paint color or pattern.

• Murals – murals are considered a vintage standard and a design solution that is appealing as well as practical and easy to apply to almost any surface. A variety of images are available today, many of which portray the ideal vision of vintage.

2. Color
• Color is essential in a vintage bathroom and paint colors, particularly those used above wainscoting, tile, or on another wall for contrast should be subtle and faded or Art Deco inspired to achieve a vintage look. Other vintage colors that typify those from the 1920s on into the 1940s include white, cream, ivory, beige, mint green, turquoise, soft yellow as well as the more exotic pastels of the Art Deco period, such as tangerine, pink, brick, gold, emerald, and brown.

3. Floors
• Vintage flooring from the 1920s and on into the 1940s was mostly porcelain tile that came in many styles. It was hexagonal in shape and was finished with a decorative border around the flooring perimeter. Geometric patterns were prominent as was wood flooring and though linoleum was available, it wasn’t used as much in bathrooms. Any one of these vintage flooring examples are available today in updated and easy to maintain versions of their older selves and can transform an ordinary bathroom floor to a vintage look in a matter of a few hours.

4. Fixtures
• Most vintage fixtures are white, though colors were introduced and used during the era and included pastels and even black. Sinks were wall-hung with a rolled-rim, single-post pedestal, or vanity types with marble tops, porcelain sink that stood on narrow legs. Clawfoot and pedestal tubs were still in use but were upgraded to corner style tubs, recessed tub enclosures or standard tubs with an integrated shower. Sinks, tubs, showers and older wall hung tank toilets have all been redesigned today to reflect an original vintage appeal, so there is no reason a vintage bathroom cannot be replicated with the same types of fixtures.

5. Lighting
• Vintage bathroom lighting today is patterned after porcelain, white glazed one bracket wall lights of the 1920s that were used throughout the Depression and the Second World War. There were ceiling fixtures with dainty and decorative designs in which the light bulbs would extend outside of the fixture. Later there were brass and chrome-plated sconce-like fixtures with glass bell-shaped shades. Today, those same types of fixtures have been modified into sophisticated vintage lighting that is used to light and enhance vintage bathrooms. Bathroom pendants, wall sconces, vanity lights, ceiling lights and Art Deco inspired lights are all designed to bring out the character of a dimly-lit vintage bathroom.

6. Accessories
• Bathroom accessories can bring a vintage feel to a bathroom. Advertisements from toiletries and bath products from the era or old movie or military recruitment posters accessorize with color, depth, texture can add historical significance to a vintage bath. Other bath, styling and makeup accessories of the time could be displayed in vintage toiletry containers or wooden bins. Textile choices that echo vintage quality can be incorporated through luxurious cotton towels, bathmats and shower curtains with elaborate bottom designs, lace tops or decorative valances.

Imagining and actually putting together a vintage bathroom can be an easy process with the ideas presented here and many of the designs of the era are adaptable to almost any current bathroom design situation. Go vintage for a change of pace and space. The old yet new look will update any bathroom.

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