Vintage Bathroom Decor Ideas

Explore vintage bathroom decor ideas, and prepare to add a classic and elegant decor theme to your bathroom.
Vintage Drawers Contain Bathroom Clutter

Contain Bathroom Clutter With Vintage Wooden Drawers

Small vintage wooden drawers can be repurposed as bathroom storage organizers for toiletries and perfumes.

Photo by: Photo courtesy of Jen Jafarzadeh L'Italien

Photo courtesy of Jen Jafarzadeh L'Italien

By: Sean McEvoy

If you're updating an old bathroom or installing a new one, vintage bathroom decor ideas can help you decide on the style for your space. Vintage decor elements can be used in just about any bathroom design style, providing a historical and charming element that hints at days not-too-long past.

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Vintage decor is generally defined as incorporating accessories and other decor elements that are from or inspired by design eras less than 100 years old. Most design experts agree that once a decor item passes the century mark, it graduates to antique status — but prior to then, most will fit snugly in the vintage category. Currently popular vintage eras generally stretch from the 1920s to the 1950s. While it's not uncommon for items from the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s to be referred to as vintage, a design dictionary might be more likely to define these as "retro" until they've celebrated a few more birthdays. Additionally, many design elements created from the 1950s on tend to fall into the contemporary or modern design categories prevalent during the post-war era, whereas vintage design is generally viewed as a more fitting description for items crafted from the roaring twenties through World War II.

When it comes to individual decor elements, a great place to start incorporating vintage items into your bathroom design is on the walls. Wallpaper featuring chic, soothing, subtle prints in floral or pastoral themes would feel right at home in a 1930s or 1940s bathroom, and it can make a great addition to yours as well. Artwork featuring advertising for all manner of toiletries and bath products from the 1920s, some more snake-oil-seeming than others, can provide entertainment for guests and family members alike. Vintage movie or military recruitment posters from the 1940s have a distinctive, colorful and visually striking style and can add plenty of color and a sense of history to your bath space.

Accessories can also be a great way to create a vintage feel in your bathroom. Hairbrushes and other styling accessories from years gone by can be stored decoratively in vintage containers, helping to unite the decor theme. Other storage options like bins and containers for toiletries can feature unfinished, natural woods for a hand-made, 1930s farmhouse effect. Chairs, benches and sink cabinets can follow the same style to complete the design.

Finally, consider incorporating vintage style into your linen choices. Luxurious, thick cotton towels, bathmats and shower curtains can hint at eras gone by when quality and durability were paramount in textiles. Shower curtains might feature fringes or elegant lace top and bottom designs, in a style that would fit in a 1940s or 1950s bathroom as well as it could in yours.

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