One of the most functional rooms in the house is the bathroom. Frequently used, and exposed to high humidity, heat, chemicals, etc. aggressive environment, no wonder that the wear-and- tear processes in this particular room occur faster and are more obviously noticed than in any other room at home. Add to this the issue of the also frequently occurring changes in the interior design styles, which with time makes the bathroom look outdated and dull.
And so it happens that, being one of the first rooms to be finished and furnished, the bathroom turns out to need attentive and frequent maintenance, remodeling, renovations and design ‘face-lifts’. Renovating it however is anything but easy! Materials and bathroom furniture and essentials are pricey, in addition to plastering, tiling, installation, etc. costs involved.
Image credit: Mark Williams Design Associates
That all said, haven’t you ever thought of how wonderful it could’ve been to achieve a timeless bathroom look right from the beginning, a timeless bathroom design that will never go out of fashion and will always look pleasant and fresh!?
#1 Color Palette
If any color deserves to be ‘crowned’ as timeless, it must be white. So, to achieve a timelessly fresh look of your bathroom, go for white.
Image credit: Daniel Contelmo Architects
Think about it! There must be a reason why bathroom essentials, such as toilets, tubs and washbasins, are produced and offered mostly in white. Everything in white looks clean, fresh and attractive and so will your bathroom, too.
In addition, white allows infinite combinations with other colors. Soft neutral colors such as cream, beige and the very light tones of green, blue or yellow will bring lots of light and soothing ambiance. Darker and contrasting colors will, on the other hand, provide a more dramatic feel and bolder statement.
White is also an excellent background against which you can create various focal points or color accents using smaller details, such as stand-out tiles or bathroom accessories, for example. And as such details can be frequently changed, your bathroom will always look trendy and attractive. Finally, white can easily be combined with any material, be it stone, wood, ceramics, or metal. This provides a vast freedom when it comes to choosing the bathroom flooring, tiles, furniture and accessories.
Another “secret” to a timeless and ever classy looking bathroom is the choice and use of the right materials for flooring, tiling, and bathroom essentials. The top classical materials are marble, stone and ceramics. Not only these provide a sense of luxury and quality, but they are also strong, long-lasting and easy to maintain. What more would a timeless bathroom require?! In addition, such materials allow perfect temperature control. In summer they ensure pleasant coolness, while in winter, with addition of in-floor heating, the bathroom is warm and pleasant.
Image credit: Kitchen Kraft Inc.
Another classical material that is always welcome in the bathroom is wood. Wood has a remarkable resistance to high humidity. That is why it is mostly implemented in bathroom furniture items, such as vanities, storage armoires, shelves, etc. cabinetry, used for storing, protecting or displaying various items. Moreover, the cozy feel and ambiance this material creates is priceless! Its presence only makes the bathroom look like a soothing retreat perfect for a total relax.
Finally, wood never goes out of fashion! It has been around in bathrooms for as long as we can remember. Stained and whitewashed wooden bathroom items have lately become core elements of the contemporary fashionable trends of bathroom designs. Bathroom accessories, decorations, etc. elements in wood are therefore highly recommended by the top interior designers.
Image credit: Etelamaki Architecture
Uncovered and opened-to-view metallic elements in the bathroom there are not that many. Yet, not only these are on the list of bathroom essentials, but they also create a beautiful contrast to the lavishly displayed natural materials.
Faucets, showers and various bathroom accessories are offered in some basic metals, such as stainless steel, nickel, silver, bronze, as well as brass, copper, or chrome. Some come with natural finish, while others are offered as gold-plated, oil-rubbed, with a matte or shiny finish, a smooth satin sheen, and even textured. In spite of the large variety however, for a timeless look of your bathroom, experts and designers advise using sleek shiny chrome or classical matte brass metalware.
#3 Bathroom Essentials
These don’t actually make a long list – a washbasin, a bathtub/shower, a toilet, a vanity with a mirror … Anything else? Not much really. Perhaps, a couple of shelves, too. In any case, few that these are, the designs and materials they are offered in are almost limitless. There are however a few features that would make each such item practically timeless. First, as already mentioned above, it would be best to choose tubs, sinks and toilets in white, for an everlasting fresh and clean look.
Second, choose them in classical shapes. Industry has been offering hundreds of designs, some totally whimsical, too, but the classical shapes are called so for a reason. They fit anywhere, they match everything, and in their simplicity they preserve timeless beauty and stile.
And third, go for free-standing items. A pedestal sink or a free standing bathtub with classical elegant lines – such items not only provide a fabulous classical look, but make perfect focal points in the bathroom, too.
Image credit: International Custom Designs
As for the bathroom vanity, etc. cabinetry and storage/display units, natural materials and simpler designs are that matter most for a timeless look.
A free standing wooden vanity of a simple classical design, for example, would perfectly withstand time.
A simple wooden ladder as a towel holder is another example of introducing an element with a timeless effect.
Avoid plastic or metal for such bathroom furniture items, though. Plastic quickly loses its looks and breaks easily, while metal may quickly rust and corrode.
Mirror is also one of the bathroom essentials. While contemporary bathroom designs tend to introduce larger, even wall-size mirrors, a timeless bathroom would require not more than one or two mirrors of smaller size and in traditional rectangular shape, hung on the wall above the vanity/washbasin in simple wooden frames. Remember, timeless authenticity comes in clean lines, traditional shapes and classic natural finishes.
Bathroom lighting is a matter of choice, taste, and envisioned purpose, and it strongly depends on the overall bathroom design style and furnishing. But we’re looking for a timeless solution, aren’t we?! Basically, apart from a window letting plenty of natural light in, there are two classical and traditional types of artificial lighting in a bathroom – wall and ceiling lighting. A classical, therefore timeless, bathroom would have wall fixed sconces with metallic hardware and crisp white shades in a simple traditional design. Timeless simplicity!
As for the ceiling lighting, classical bathrooms would most often feature a chandelier. Not only it provides light, but its crystal or glass pendants also reflect light and project it out in beautiful shapes and sparkles all over the room.
Image credit: Square Footage
Candles can also become part of your timeless bathroom Grand Design Plan. A good option would be to use scented candles. Not only their flickering light but also their fragrances will create a soothing ambiance to stop time from fleeting away.
A classical bathroom would require soft styling, without excess of decoration, where bathroom accessories are turned into decorations, while purely decorative items are present to only produce subtle accents. Less is more! By applying this simple principle you can achieve a timeless décor in your bathroom.
‘Return to Basics’ is the hottest trend in contemporary bathroom designs. But hasn’t it always been?! That’s what makes it timeless! Apart from involving natural materials and classical shapes, this trend shows in bathroom décor items and accessories, too. It features soft towels, shower and window curtains, etc. textile elements, in light uniform colors, white or aqua mostly. Bathroom accessories are in bright, mostly white, enameled ceramics, paired with rough ‘country’ glass and few metallic items, all components however being in the same classical style and following the same classical trend.
Image credit: Holst Brothers
This classical look is further complemented by vintage wallpapers (where possible), window draperies, framed wall art, plenty of candles, and just a few decorative items on display.
To finish the timeless look, lush green plants are introduced and placed in single pots or on flower stands, by the window, on shelves or by some of the focal bathroom items.
At the end, let’s sum it up by saying that it takes returning to the roots and re-discovering the time-withstanding beauty of classical designs and natural materials, to achieve a timeless effect for your bathroom.