It’s all very well sticking slavishly to fashion and changing your wardrobe every season when the trends change. But when it comes to decorating our houses, it’s just not cost-effective to change the entire bathroom or kitchen every couple of years when trends change. For that reason, many of us stick to a much simpler design scheme for our bathrooms.
You don’t have to abandon all ideas of following fashion in the home though – vintage themes are hugely popular in all areas of the house and in the bathroom it is easy to adjust what you already have to a more retro or vintage feel without too much expense, inconvenience or effort.
Paint is cheap and readily available, and this makes it one of the best ways to instantly get the retro or vintage feel in your bathroom. The choice of colour will depend very much on the era you are going for; a 1950s bathroom demands pastel shades of pink or pale yellow on the walls, whereas a Victorian bathroom needs stronger shades of dark blue, red or bottle green. Get a few paint testers to try out on the walls at home rather than making the decision based on the picture on the tin. Remember that if you cannot get the exact shade you are looking for; many DIY stores offer a service where paint can be mixed to match a paper or fabric sample. It’s worth considering special kitchen and bathroom paint as this is more water resistant and is less likely to peel or flake in the steamy atmosphere.
Is Wallpaper A Bathroom No-No?
Wallpaper is not something many of us think about for our bathroom walls, as tiles and paint are much more popular and practical. When it comes to the vintage look, wallpaper is used in abundance. Papering all of a bathroom wall might not be appropriate, but if you have tiles half way up the wall and then paint on the rest, think about replacing the paint with paper.
As you’re covering a relatively small area don’t be afraid to look at the more expensive designer wallpapers as you will only need a roll or two at the most, and some gorgeous paper will instantly transform your bathroom. Many stores do a range of bathroom-specific papers which are designed to stand up to the increased moisture in the air, and you can buy special paste designed to be anti-fungal and cut down on problems with mildew and mould.
If you haven’t the budget to rip out all of your bathroom fittings and replace them with vintage items, then think about upcycling what you have, or acquiring new items to fit in with your theme. Storage is often a problem in a bathroom, so scour the local free ads websites to try to find an old shelving unit or chest of drawers for bathroom storage. It doesn’t matter what it looks like, as any unit can be completely transformed when painted or when the varnish is removed. Invest in a few key details like old-fashioned knobs and handles, and if you are really going to town, use techniques like decoupage or other techniques to make your new furniture unique and completely vintage. If you haven’t the time to do all this yourself, there are many small businesses which specialise in buying up old furniture and then renovating it to sell.
For upcycling ideas it’s worth looking at the vast community of upcycling blogs that are out there (great examples included Upcycled Treasures and Upcycle That) and you can also find thousands of ideas as you trawl through the endless delights of Pinterest.
Another good way of getting the retro feel in your bathroom is to look out for accessories and decorative items which fit in with the historical period you are looking at. The internet is a very valuable resource when you are searching for accessories, and you can spend hours browsing through auction sites for 1930s advertising posters or digging around in second-hand shops for old Victorian bottles which can be displayed on a shelf. Take inspiration from websites and magazines, but remember that less is always more when it comes to accessories in a bathroom and one or two key pieces will make more of a statement than having your room cluttered with many things.
For more inspiring bathroom ideas, you should take a look at our ‘Bathroom Inspiration’ Pinterest board.
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