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15 traditional bathroom ideas you can try at home


Traditional bathrooms are as popular today as they have ever been, thanks to the timeless appeal and luxurious aesthetic of the classical elements — looking at you, clawfoot tub.

While they’re a popular choice for heritage properties, traditional bathroom elements can be incorporated into more modern bathroom designs, too.

Traditional bathrooms often have an opulent design with ornate tapware, profiled cabinetry, and decorative handles and elegant mirrors. Free-standing bathtubs are a common feature of traditional bathrooms, along with decorative furniture like ottomans and side tables.

A truly traditional bathroom will include many of these characteristics, but with so many individual features of traditional bathroom designs, it’s easy to mix it up and add a few traditional elements to a more contemporary space.

We chatted to interior design experts Stephanie Atanasovski and Patrizia Romeo from Porter Davis Homes to get their ideas, tips and tricks for designing and styling traditional bathrooms.

1. Profiled bathroom cabinetry

Colonial square or shaker profiling on cabinet doors is a key element of classic or traditional bathrooms © Porter Davis World of Style

One of the defining features of a traditional-looking bathroom is profiled cabinetry. “Colonial square or shaker profiling on your cabinet doors achieves a true traditional look”, says Stephanie.

2. Decorative cabinet handles

Ornate or decorative handles are a simple way to add a traditional touch to bathrooms © Porter Davis World of Style

Decorative cabinet handles are a popular feature of traditional bathrooms, according to Patrizia. Enhance the classic appeal of profiled bathroom cabinetry by adding in some ornate or decorative handles.

3. Ornate tap fittings

Complete the look of a traditional bathroom or add a classic touch to a modern bathroom with elegant tap fittings © Porter Davis World of Style

Ornate and classic-looking tap fittings work beautifully in a traditional bathroom and can add a classic touch to modern bathrooms, too.

4. Feature lighting

Enhance the classic appeal of traditional bathrooms with ornate feature lighting © Porter Davis World of Style

Feature lighting can add character and enhance a traditional bathroom. “Glass and metal light fittings are a great way to bring in a classic looking ambience to your space with a touch of glam”, says Stephanie.

Read more: 6 lighting tips for every room in your house

5. Herringbone bathroom tiles

Opt for decorative bathroom tiles or opt for a herringbone pattern to give your bathroom a more traditional look © Porter Davis World of Style

Feature tiling is a popular choice for traditional bathrooms, and the classic herringbone pattern has become increasingly popular. “Herringbone tiling fits in beautifully with a traditional looking bathroom on the shower wall or behind your vanity”, says Stephanie.

6. Ornate feature mirrors

Oversized traditional-looking mirrors give that extra wow factor to your bathroom © Porter Davis World of Style

Complement the traditional design of the bathroom with ornate feature mirrors. “Oversized traditional-looking mirrors give that extra wow factor to your bathroom”, says Stephanie.

7. Clawfoot tub

Clawfoot bathtubs are a popular choice for traditional bathrooms © Porter Davis World of Style

Considered a luxury item when they first appeared in the 19th century, clawfoot tubs are an elegant addition to any traditional bathroom. Their ergonomic design and decorative feet exude character and charm.

8. Large oval basins

Enhance the classic appeal of a bathroom with large basins © Porter Davis World of Style

According to Patrizia, large basins are a neat way to enhance the classical feel. Large oval-shaped basins add a luxurious, yet practical, element for a traditional looking bathroom.

9. Marble benchtops

Marble benchtops add an element of luxury to traditional bathrooms © Porter Davis World of Style

Marble benchtops are an opulent choice for traditional bathrooms, adding character and depth to the space as well as complementing profile cabinetry and ornate tapware.

Read more: How to clean marble

10. Floral elements

Décor and styling complete any space, and traditional bathrooms are no different. “Add subtle accent colours through tiling or décor, and a touch of soft blues or greens through hand towels, flowers and greenery”, says Stephanie.

11. Elegant furniture

Furniture can make a traditional bathroom feel more luxurious © Porter Davis World of Style

Elegant furniture can make the space feel more opulent and relaxing. For larger spaces consider adding a chaise lounge or bench, and in smaller spaces a decorative side table or stool.

12. Natural stone-look floor and wall tiling

Natural stone floor and wall tiles accentuate the look of more ornate elements in a traditional bathroom © Porter Davis World of Style

Natural stone, or natural stone-look, floor and wall tiling complements traditional bathroom design and showcases the more ornate features.

13. Detailed walls

Decorative tiles and pressed metal walls to offer a nod to traditional bathroom designs © Porter Davis World of Style

Ornate and decorative tiles and pressed metal surfaces create interest and add character, as well as being a more traditional style feature.

14. Light and dark tones

Create contrast in traditional bathrooms with light and dark tones © Porter Davis World of Style

Contrast is a key element of traditional bathrooms. Dark cabinetry with lighter benchtops — like those made from marble or marble-look materials — exudes classical elegance with a contemporary edge.

Read more: 3 simple tips to decorate with monochrome

15. Open shelving

Traditional bathrooms featuring profiled cabinetry and open shelving offer the best of both worlds — space to put decor on display, and cupboards to keep clutter at bay © Porter Davis World of Style

Open shelving is a great way to put some beautiful towels or decor on display and paired with profiled cabinetry it adds charm to traditional bathrooms.

This article was originally published as Traditional bathroom ideas by written by Erin Morris

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