Vin­tage el­e­ments can bring charm to a bath­room

Winnipeg Free Press - Section G - - HOMES - CON­NIE OLIVER

THIS lovely vin­tage bath­room is the per­fect ex­am­ple of how old and new can work to­gether to pro­duce a room with real charm. If you want to cre­ate a room filled with char­ac­ter and are start­ing from scratch, you’ll want to make note of the ar­chi­tec­tural el­e­ments that need to be in­cluded. If you’re work­ing in an older home that has th­ese com­po­nents, then you’ll want to high­light th­ese char­ac­ter traits with the right wall colour. Char­ac­ter homes are revered for their crafts­man­ship. The labour­in­ten­sive mill­work of fea­tures such as wain­scot­ing, or­nate door and win­dow trim, large base­boards, arch­ways, cove ceil­ings and crown mould­ing is now scarce in new builds. Ap­pre­ci­at­ing th­ese char­ac­ter­is­tics and the work that went into them is a given. Thank­fully, we can also re­pro­duce th­ese el­e­ments with to­day’s af­ford­able replica vin­tage mill­work, fix­tures and hard­ware. In our fea­ture pho­to­graph the fo­cal point of the room is the claw-foot tub. If you are lucky enough to have an ac­tual orig­i­nal claw-foot tub to work with you’re well on your way. If not, you can pur­chase new replica tubs that can give you that vin­tage flavour and the lux­ury of a large, free­stand­ing soaker tub. The nat­u­ral wood floor adds tons of warmth and char­ac­ter to this room. Again, re­fin­ish­ing an orig­i­nal floor is well worth the ef­fort, but you can pur­chase floor­ing that will repli­cate this vin­tage charm if you’re start­ing from scratch. The wain­scot­ing is a huge part of the char­ac­ter of this space. Not only does di­vid­ing the wall bring the fo­cus to the sump­tu­ous tub and wood floor, it makes the room feel larger. There are many ways in which to cre­ate the look of wain­scot­ing for ev­ery bud­get. At the high end, you can have a pro­fes­sional cus­tom in­stall high-end wain­scot­ing. At the mid-range bud­get level you can pur­chase wain­scot­ing bead board pan­els that are usu­ally al­ready primed and cut to the right height so you can do the job your­self. Cap it off with a length of chair rail mould­ing and you’ll get the look you de­sire. Add to this by in­stalling base­boards. In a smaller space like a bath­room, MDF base­boards are quite af­ford­able. At the lower end of the wain­scot­ing bud­get you can achieve the look with a sim­ple two-tone paint tech­nique and a chair rail, or a combo of wall­pa­per and paint with a sim­ple chair rail. Paintable, tex­tured wall­pa­per can pro­vide some vis­ual depth, but reg­u­lar pat­terned wall­pa­per can work as well. This is a great op­tion if you’re rent­ing. Keep the paint colours light and fresh, like the soft yel­low in our fea­ture pho­to­graph. Beef up win­dow and door trim by adding ad­di­tional trim to ex­ist­ing. Paint the en­tire area the same colour for a seam­less look. A sim­ple win­dow treat­ment al­lows the win­dow in our fea­ture pho­to­graph to take cen­tre stage. White, in­side-mount shut­ters on the bot­tom half of the win­dow would also look won­der­ful in a space like this and would pro­vide some pri­vacy, while still al­low­ing the win­dow to take the spot­light and the light to shine in. The arched, an­tique mir­ror brings in that sense of old-world charm and the pedestal sink speaks to the by­gone era. Th­ese vin­tage fix­tures are avail­able in replica form. The tin bucket filled with tow­els is a nice way to dis­play and store bath­room linens but one could also use a dec­o­ra­tive lad­der to hang tow­els. Us­ing ver­ti­cal dis­play and stor­age helps free up floor space, which is help­ful if you have a small bath­room. An an­tique coat rack might work as a dec­o­ra­tive ac­cent to hang bathrobes. If your room is large enough, a vin­tage dress­ing screen could be a won­der­ful ac­cent piece, as well. Other items that re­flect the by­gone era are ad­di­tions such as ceil­ing medal­lions, cor­nices, art niches, replica tin ceil­ings and dec­o­ra­tive col­umns. De­pend­ing upon your tastes, you could in­cor­po­rate one or all of th­ese fea­tures in your decor. Ap­pre­ci­at­ing the crafts­man­ship of the past by restor­ing or recre­at­ing it in your cur­rent home will give your decor true char­ac­ter. There’s some­thing so com­fort­ing about a room with char­ac­ter. In­tro­duce some charm by in­cor­po­rat­ing vin­tage ar­chi­tec­tural el­e­ments that will make your decor stun­ning.


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