Retro-Inspired Bathroom Renovation Tips

Image: Maryfrancesmain

There’s a lot of hype surrounding ‘modern design’ these days, but not everyone wants a home that looks like it fell off the set of Star Trek!

In fact, taking a trip back through time and stepping into a room that seems to come straight out of the fabulous forties or fifties can be so much more exciting, not to mention appearing much cosier and homely than a sleek but clinical space.

So, when it comes to renovating your bathroom, here are my top tips to achieve that funky retro look of days gone by…

Gather Inspiration

First and foremost, you need to work out exactly what it is that you want to achieve. What’s the final look? Jump on eBay and buy some original interior decorating magazines from your chosen era to flick through, or take a virtual trip to Pinterest where you’ll find a wealth of inspiration.

Image: Libertygrace0

Pick a Colour

Now decide on your colour scheme. Forget the lime green and black combination (or really, any combination with black in it) that your future-loving friends have in their bathroom – get the main colour wrong and you’ll get the whole look wrong, no matter how many vintage furnishings you amass. For a truly fifties look you want to stick to pastels, whether that’s a pastel pink bathroom for the retro glamour puss or a light green or blue for a look that’s a bit more unisex and husband-friendly.

Pick Your Pieces

Now comes the fun part, choosing the bathroom furniture! This is one case where coloured sinks and baths can look good, so don’t be afraid to go all out with your chosen colour scheme.

It’s hard to find original sinks and bathtubs from decades gone by that are in good condition – most will be cracked or irreversibly damaged by limescale, or just thrown away and destroyed by their owners when replaced– but luckily there are plenty of companies specialising in imitation vintage furniture such as pedestal sinks that truly look the part!

If you’re a die-hard vintage fan and everything has just got to be original, nip down to your nearest vintage fair in search of hidden treasures – you might have trouble finding a bathtub at a street fair, but old dressers are easier to come by and can be reworked into stunning bathroom vanities with a little waterproof sealant and a hacksaw to cut a hole for the sink!

When it comes to installing a shower though, just an alert, electrical goods that are old can be dangerous due to faults that have come from wear, so it’s best to stick to their new-age alternatives. Plus, just because they had rubbish, low-pressure showers each morning in the fifties doesn’t mean you have to!

Add Finishing Touches

Your bathroom is almost complete! Don’t ruin it at the last stage by filling your gorgeous retro room with modern amenities. Instead, look out for items such as vintage perfume bottles, a pastel coloured hair dryer to match your theme or even vintage liquid dispensers to disguise your modern L’Oreal shampoo!

I’d love to hear from people who’ve gone the retro decoration route – where did you source your furniture, or did you stick to modern imitation pieces?

Estelle Page is an interior designer with a passion for all things vintage! When she’s not helping someone to achieve their dream bathroom, she blogs for Alert Electrical about interior design and DIY.

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