Vintage elements can bring charm to a bathroom
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.