9 Ways to Embrace Your Vintage Bathroom

So, you’ve got an old bathroom. It’s got a few features that could qualify as vintage–maybe some black and white ceramic tile and a really old built-in wall heater that looks like it could possibly burn down the house–but mostly, it just looks old. How can you make the most of your old bathroom and underscore those vintage touches? The following tips can help.

Vintage Wallpaper

Wallpaper was in, then it was out, then it came back as a retro thing, and now the general consensus seems to be that if you put wallpaper up in your bathroom you’re either a connoisseur of older, finer things, or you’re stuck in the dark ages. To make sure you’re on the right side of that line, look for wallpaper featuring with strong, confident colors and unapologetic retro patterns.

Install Subway Tiles

Distinctive and utilitarian, subway tiles bring to mind thoughts of detective books and noir films. Decidedly ungraceful, yet somehow beautiful at the same time, subway tiles are too hard core to look anything but authentic. Your entire bathroom will be transformed with this one simple decorative touch.

Save the Claw Foot Bathtub

Does your bathroom have a cracked and rusty claw foot bathtub? Are you thinking about throwing it away for something new and notably not a mess? Bathtub reglazing services can save that antique gem and bring your vintage bathroom to a whole new level of cool. As a bonus, claw foot bathtubs are really deep–perfect for long, relaxing afternoon soaks.

Distressed Vanity, Distressed Faucet, Distressed…Everything

Distressed is no longer a word people use to refer to damsels in trouble. These days, distressed is what people say when they talk about furniture and metalwork with gorgeous crackly textures and the look of age (without the problems of age). You can buy old furniture pieces and distress them yourself if you’re into that thing, but it’s much easier purchase a lovingly distressed bathroom vanity or cabinets from a store that sells that kind of thing.

Chair Rail and Panel Molding

Nothing is more vintage than chair rails and panel molding, because nobody goes to the trouble of installing that in their homes anymore. You can make your friends ohh and ahh by installing this decorative detail in your vintage bathroom.

Pedestal Sink

Pedestal sinks are practical in a variety of ways. They’re compact, they’re relatively affordable, and they’ve got “vintage” written all over them. If you’d like to see how pedestle sinks look in action, check out this page where you’ll see many, many pedestle sinks set against a backdrop of chair rail and panel molding-lined bathrooms.

Vintage Art

Vintage art can go in lots of directions, depending on your style and preferences. Whether you choose to hang one or two Edward Hopper reproductions by the wall cabinets, or a couple distinctive vintage-style advertisements above the toilet is up to you. A word to the wise: if you’re going to hang vintage advertisements, link them back to the bathroom. Beauty and hygiene ads of the 1950’s are more appropriate than soda or beer ads.

Old Products

Line one of your cabinets with vintage bottles and hair care products. Or maybe leave a few antique hair combs laying around on the countertop, casual-like. This subtle move creates the illusion that the bathroom isn’t so much vintage as it’s caught in a time warp.

Globe Light Fixture

At one time globe light fixtures were all the rage. Nowadays you typically see them in black and white detective movies and train stations that desperately need to be renovated. The great thing about globe light fixtures is the way they emphasize tall ceilings, like the kind of tall ceilings they used to build in pre-war buildings–which makes them a striking addition if your bathroom is tall enough.

Following these tips, your vintage bathroom won’t just look old anymore–it’ll look fabulous.