Traditional Bathroom Designs

Gather ideas and inspiration for traditional bathroom designs, and prepare to install an elegant bathroom design in your home.
Elegant White and Blue Master Bathroom

Elegant White and Blue Master Bathroom

By: Sean McEvoy

Traditional bathroom designs generally take inspiration from design trends, materials and decor connected to specific historical eras. Victorian and colonial styles come to mind when traditional design is mentioned, but in fact, this design style doesn't necessarily have to be overtly era-specific.

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In some respects, it's easier to define traditional bathroom design in terms of what it's not: sleek, modern, contemporary or minimalist designs generally would fail to qualify.

Surfaces are an important element of traditional bathroom designs. Countertops most often feature natural or faux-natural materials, like stone, slate or granite. Floor and wall tile choices range from historical to vintage, with subway, hexagonal or penny tile all popular types. It's also possible to mix and match eras in a traditional bathroom design, although you probably wouldn't want the effect to be too jarring — for example, pairing a stoic, unadorned colonial style with vintage 1940s accessories or classic pink and black tilework would likely cause some visual confusion. If possible, try to pair decorative touches from adjacent eras for a subtle but visually interesting effect.

When it comes to furniture for traditional bathrooms, natural materials are definitely featured most commonly. High-quality wood pieces are often used for sink cabinet bases, benches or chairs. For colonial bathrooms, the wood is often of a type traditionally found in the Northeastern United States, home to the original American colonies. Maple, oak and cherry are commonly featured wood types in colonial bathrooms.

Similarly, sink and other fixtures are generally made from materials with a historic pedigree, like porcelain or stone. Basin, pedestal and console sink types are quite common in traditional bathroom designs. For tubs, the trademark porcelain claw-foot tub is a popular choice — and it's now available in a range of materials that either emulate the look of porcelain or take a slight turn. Wood-paneled versions or ones in a range of metals from bronze to copper are also available.

Speaking of metals, these can be an important feature of traditional bathroom design, especially when used for fixtures like lamps, faucets and furniture hardware. Copper, iron and oil-rubbed bronze are common choices, lending gravity and historical authenticity to the design.

Finally, when it comes to linens and other accessories for your traditional bathroom design, simple, straightforward towels, bath mats, shower curtains and window shades are most commonly featured. Whites, browns and traditional reds, blues and greens are common color choices for both accessories and overall color schemes.

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