Home Improvement and DIY, Interior Decor and Styling

How To Design A Timeless Bathroom

Hello again dear readers! I am still working on my home project wish list for 2020, and updating/renovating our main bathroom is on the agenda! For as much as I love vintage style and adding lots of little treasures and collectibles all around my home, I really prefer a less cluttered look when it comes to the bathroom. A “modern-vintage” bathroom is actually very chic and timeless. Many modern styles are more reflective of the original bathrooms in older homes. Most of us with older properties usually want to design our bathrooms to remain in keeping with the character of the building. *This post contains affiliate links and/or sponsored content.


1920 bathroom design---PERFECT for the office renovation!!

A 1920’s Bathroom 

That being said, even if the fixtures are vintage or original, it is probably not a good idea to keep them if they are cracked, discolored and worn, as these may make the room look tired. So how do you design a timeless,  yet chic and “modern” bathroom an older home? Here are a few classic features that will keep a bathroom looking updated, but still traditional in style. *This post contains affiliate links.

Hanging Bracket Bath Sign how to create a classic bathroom

Antique Farmhouse


Keep it monochrome (tone on tone).

To keep your old bathroom looking chic, keep to a monochromatic color scheme of black, white, ivory and grey. Bright colors won’t give your bathroom a classic look and they are likely to date faster. Blacks, whites and greys have a neutral and clean feel.

Chic monochromatic gray bathroom boasts a dark gray washstand placed on gray marble hex floor tiles and fitted with brass knobs and a gray marble countertop holding an oval sink with a polished nickel hook and pout faucet beneath an inset vanity mirror.


You can experiment with materials like hexagon or chessboard tiles for a traditional feel. Black painted wood can also look classy and traditional – consider black painted wood cabinets and a vanity.

Wyndham Collection Andover 48 inch Single Bathroom Vanity in Antique Black, White Carrera Marble Countertop, White Undermount Round Sink, and 44 inch Mirror

Wyndham Collection Andover 48 inch Single Bathroom Vanity in Antique Black, White Carrera Marble Countertop, White Undermount Round Sink, and 44 inch Mirror



I love how they hung the light



Install a fixed shower head.


Hudson Reed 8" Apron Fixed Shower Head & Arm - Chrome Large Image


Many older bathrooms had fixed shower heads. There are lots of modern retro designs such as chrome steel apron shower heads that are as beautiful today.

Square 8" One-function Rainshower Showerhead & 13" x 1" Arm - Polished Chrome


You can incorporate this with a thermostatic power shower mechanism so that you’re still getting the temperature control and water pressure of a modern shower. Another option could be to have a multi-head shower, offering a fixed shower head and a removable shower head. This might still give you the practicality that a removable shower head offers whilst also having an overhead fixed shower to provide that classic look.


Buy a freestanding bath.

free standing tub with rustic metal the ledge above tub for toiletries


Freestanding baths have come back in fashion – being less confined, they offer a more relaxed bathing experience. There are many types of freestanding tubs such as the slipper shape and the more traditional oval tub. Faucets could be positioned on one end, or positioned in the center.

You can shop online for modern freestanding bathtubs and have them delivered to your home. Not all bathrooms may have the space for such a tub, although you may be able to extend so that you have enough room for one. My favorite style will always be a clawfoot tub!

Free Standing Clawfoot bathtub kardiel



Add some new tiles

Tiles look great in a traditional bathroom. Your room may already have tiles, but these might need replacing if they’re starting to look worn. Old grout can really make a bathroom look outdated, but fresh tile can give it a whole “new” look while retaining classic style. You can add tiles to all four walls or create a feature wall by a shower or bathtub. When designing a classic bathroom, try to avoid patterns and stick to one color scheme such as white or grey.

Michelle LeBlanc, Owner Of Shop Mille classic bathroom white tile white subway tile


Elida Ceramica Hand Crafted White Subway Ceramic Wall Tile (Common: 3-in x 8-in; Actual: 2.44-in x 7.97-in)



Attractive Small Bathroom Renovations Combination Foxy Decorating ...


Install a retro radiator.

Another feature that you could add to your bathroom is a retro radiator. Once old-fashioned, these radiators are now coming back as a stylistic feature. Some versions may also double up as a heated towel rack.

Buckingham Wall Mounted Towel Rail

You’ll find lots of retro radiators of all different sizes online. Cast iron radiators are some of the most eye-catching, although these are more expensive and require a lot more work to deliver and install.

simple white-washed bathroom decor. / sfgirlbybay


Overall, a simple and modern bathroom can really look quite vintage! Simply add some nice white towels and only a few accessories to keep the bathroom from looking cluttered. Our family loves Ralph Lauren towels. They last forever and just feel so good!

As you can see, a “modern” bathroom can work well for any home. Minimal decor, monochromatic colors and classic tile choices are the style elements that make up a timeless bathroom. The great thing about decor trends right now such as farmhouse and cottage style bathrooms is that they are also incorporating neutrals, such as black and white and many of these same design concepts.

Modern Farmhouse Style Decorating Ideas On A Budget (23)


Working on this post definitely solidifies my decision to stick with a classic and minimalist look when renovating our bathroom. When our remodel begins, I will be sharing it here on the blog. Be sure to subscribe by email to see join along as we transform our bathroom and other areas of the house in the months ahead!

See you again soon!


Want more inspiring ideas?
Sign up for a weekly highlights newletter with all the latest posts!
Your email is always protected.
Want more inspiring ideas?
Sign up for a weekly highlights newletter with all the latest posts!
Your email is always protected.

Previous Post Next Post

You may also like

No Comments

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.