retro bathroom decor

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1 Of 34 Antique AccessoriesThe couple living in this 18-century farmhouse love vintage mirrors, and what better place to showcase them than the bathroom? David A. Land 2 Of 34 Reused MaterialsIn this guest bathroom, designer Melanie Milner dressed windows with valances made from German feed sacks. Lincoln BarbourAdvertisement – Continue Reading Below 3 Of 34 Natural MaterialsThe soapstone countertop, wood paneled walls, and antique sink all work together this give the bathroom in this beautiful Alabama house a less refined look and feel. Helen Norman 4 Of 34 Country WhiteThe texture of the tongue-and-groove planks in this 161-year-old Wisconsin grain mill keeps the all-white palette from feeling too crisp or cold. Annie SchlechterAdvertisement – Continue Reading Below 5 Of 34 Upcycled PiecesIn the master bath of this family’s country dream home, a claw-foot tub sits on wood blocks. The vanity is simply an old work bench with a new vessel sink, while a simple salvaged doorknob became a smart substitute for a plain old nail. Victoria Pearson 6 Of 34 Renovated Farmhouse BathroomAn old copper sink basin (with two faucets), antique sconces and a vintage tub bring back a sense of history to this bathroom space. Monica BuckAdvertisement – Continue Reading Below 7 Of 34 Inherent SimplicityIt comes down to an inherent simplicity, which perhaps explains why blue and white inhabit so many decorating icons: Think spatterware and spongeware; Blue Willow china and Wedgwood. And we never tire of the fabrics, from elegant toile de Jouy to crisp ticking to humble flour-sack stripes. Robin Stubbert 8 Of 34 Antique Details Add DistinctionAn absence of built-in cabinetry carries the theme of Old World charm into the bathroom. For storage, an armoire fronted with chicken wire lets contents breathe — a big plus in a humid room. A small sterling-silver Edwardian purse dangles from the door handle. Stacey BrandfordAdvertisement – Continue Reading Below 9 Of 34 Antique TouchesA new master bathroom looks original, thanks to its apron-front sink with toile skirt; old record cabinets provide storage. Tria Giovan 10 Of 34 Copper TubHomeowners found the gleaming copper tub in the master bath on eBay. Keith Scott Morton
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Retro. This style is ideal for folks who have an appreciation of stylised design from decades past. A Retro bathroom’s appeal lies in its combination of up-to-date conveniences with a nostalgic colour palette of orange, olive green, yellow and brown, plus bold shapes and quirky flower forms that give a sense of character which can sometimes be lacking from more utilitarian spaces.
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Vintage decor is generally defined as incorporating accessories and other decor elements that are from or inspired by design eras less than 100 years old. Most design experts agree that once a decor item passes the century mark, it graduates to antique status — but prior to then, most will fit snugly in the vintage category. Currently popular vintage eras generally stretch from the 1920s to the 1950s. While it’s not uncommon for items from the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s to be referred to as vintage, a design dictionary might be more likely to define these as “retro” until they’ve celebrated a few more birthdays. Additionally, many design elements created from the 1950s on tend to fall into the contemporary or modern design categories prevalent during the post-war era, whereas vintage design is generally viewed as a more fitting description for items crafted from the roaring twenties through World War II.
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If you’re updating an old bathroom or installing a new one, vintage bathroom decor ideas can help you decide on the style for your space. Vintage decor elements can be used in just about any bathroom design style, providing a historical and charming element that hints at days not-too-long past.
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Powder Room & Bath Our powder room and bath section will give you tons of decorating ideas. Going with a vintage theme is easy with our range of nostalgic metal signs, many of which feature art used in actual old-time perfume or soap ads. We also have decor items in ocean, nature and fashion themes, as well as shower curtains that will give your bathroom a fun pop of retro color. For a business or office restroom, we offer durable and attractive typography signs in several styles. Our blog post on decorating with trending colors might trigger more ideas as you peruse this fun section!
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When it comes to individual decor elements, a great place to start incorporating vintage items into your bathroom design is on the walls. Wallpaper featuring chic, soothing, subtle prints in floral or pastoral themes would feel right at home in a 1930s or 1940s bathroom, and it can make a great addition to yours as well. Artwork featuring advertising for all manner of toiletries and bath products from the 1920s, some more snake-oil-seeming than others, can provide entertainment for guests and family members alike. Vintage movie or military recruitment posters from the 1940s have a distinctive, colorful and visually striking style and can add plenty of color and a sense of history to your bath space.
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Accessories can also be a great way to create a vintage feel in your bathroom. Hairbrushes and other styling accessories from years gone by can be stored decoratively in vintage containers, helping to unite the decor theme. Other storage options like bins and containers for toiletries can feature unfinished, natural woods for a hand-made, 1930s farmhouse effect. Chairs, benches and sink cabinets can follow the same style to complete the design.
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Finally, consider incorporating vintage style into your linen choices. Luxurious, thick cotton towels, bathmats and shower curtains can hint at eras gone by when quality and durability were paramount in textiles. Shower curtains might feature fringes or elegant lace top and bottom designs, in a style that would fit in a 1940s or 1950s bathroom as well as it could in yours.
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Drawer Buster Create art that doubles as storage and storage that doubles as art. Find a mini dresser and a few old black-and-white snapshots. Mount the drawers on the wall and tack a picture in each one using photo corners. Use the drawers as shelves, or hang earrings from looped pieces of wire. Jam Packed Coordinated bath canisters are expensive and don’t bring much to the party. So go for classic Ball jars instead. They’re cheap, shabby-chic and available just about anywhere you shop second-hand. Label them with mismatched house numbers and give the cotton balls their own address! Grand Stand A footed dish elevates the mundane and frees up counter space to boot. Fashion a pedestal for your powder room out of a china plate and a short crystal candlestick. To give your soap a lift, flip a fancy teacup upside down and top it with the matching saucer. Smart Cookie People just can’t throw away cookie tins. They feel solid, can still store plenty of goodies, and are just so pretty. Save those printed packages from the landfill and put them to work in your loo. Line them up on an etagere for a delightful display. Who would guess this stylish macaroon tin hides a roll of paper inside? Changed Purse Once a container, always a container! And an unexpected container, such as a cigar box purse, makes a clever caddy. It’s nice and sturdy, plus it’s just the right size for small sundries like lipsticks, nail polishes, and compacts. Regular cigar boxes work, too: they stack nicely and cost about a buck apiece. Rack ‘n Roll Some thrift store finds don’t need a new mission, just a new room. Wine racks hold rolled-up hand towels as well as they hold bottles. Shoe racks are really just shelves, perfect for folded towels. And an old-fashioned hat rack is designed for hanging things, whether they are top hats and cloaks or bath sheets and robes. Merci Bouquet There’s nothing like a lovely vintage vase to turn ordinary items into extraordinary displays. For the bathroom counter, choose a little vase with big personality. Use it to arrange a whimsical bouquet of makeup brushes. Or fill it with toothbrushes for a toothbrush holder worth smiling about. Straw Market A tisket, a tasket, thrift stores have a million baskets. Pick up an unhandled one to hold your blow dryer under the sink. Get pint-sized baskets to tuck into a drawer for toiletries. (Sharing the washroom? Find one for each family member.) Dress up a flower-picking basket with a floral scarf to collect magazines while adding a dash of color.
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“We loved this wood on sight because of its chippy, peely look,” says Jolie Sikes in her book Junk Gypsy. They knew it was just the right element for an unusual bathroom accent, which contrasts nicely with the clean and modern subway tile.
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In this North Dakota home, the husband and wife homeowners aimed to combine both of their tastes in this chic bathroom. The wife picked out the simple black-and-white palette, while the husband chose the wooden ceiling.
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3 Of 87 Rustic Tub”We loved this wood on sight because of its chippy, peely look,” says Jolie Sikes in her book Junk Gypsy. They knew it was just the right element for an unusual bathroom accent, which contrasts nicely with the clean and modern subway tile. Courtesy of Touchstone

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