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How to Create the Ultimate Period Bathroom

Updated on March 24, 2016

If you are looking to create a period bathroom in your home, the first thing to consider is which period you really want to emulate. Bathrooms much as we know them now were introduced into our homes at the beginning of the 19th century. Do you like the resplendent opulence of the Victorian era, or prefer the understated elegance of the Edwardians? Or is the Art Deco style with its square mirrors, angular shapes and clean lines more to your taste? Maybe there are elements of each of them that you find attractive and you want to mix and match.

When you’ve chosen the right tiling and flooring to fit the period style, you’ll have a plan for where things will go. Perhaps you already have your claw foot and roll top bath, a console sink and a high level cistern toilet, and are wondering what else to do to get the period look. It’s time to think about the finishing touches that will make all the difference.

For the Water to Keep you Clean

Sanitation and cleanliness is the point of the bathroom. The water for this comes from your taps, so they may be the next things that come to mind. Will they be chrome or brass? The Victorians often opted for brass, sometimes with a gold plate finish, and you can buy authentic looking replicas today. Since that time, a chrome finish has come to the fore, which is just as acceptable in a period bathroom.

The Victorians did not have showers: they relied on jugs of water to pour over their heads. But nowadays we don’t like to be without a shower, so manufacturers produce versions in the ‘Victorian style’. You can find beautiful gold or chrome plated mixer taps and fittings for over-bath showers, as well as brass piping and needle spray brass showerheads in a variety of finishes for separate showering.

The Victorians did not have showers: they relied on jugs of water to pour over their heads!
The Victorians did not have showers: they relied on jugs of water to pour over their heads!

Stay Within your Theme

Stepping out of the shower or bath, the first thing you need is towel. Keep a selection to hand with the stylish rings and rails that you would have found in those early bathrooms. Unlike our Victorian or Edwardian ancestors, we have a number of ways to keep ourselves warm in the bathroom. If you have under-floor heating, your bathroom will still be toasty without the need for a heated towel rail. Otherwise you may want to select a fairly unobtrusive one or a solid, old fashioned looking radiator. If your toilet has a low level cistern, make sure the cistern handles reflect your theme.

Other accessories that need to stay in the period style are the even smaller details, such as the top and tail of the pull switch, the light fittings and the toilet roll holder. Getting them wrong could completely negate the effect of your period theme bathroom suite. But all of these things can be found in the style you prefer, simple and elegant or fabulously decorative.

Heralding the Style Outside the Door

It’s a good idea to start to set the period theme before you even open the door. An elegant embossed heavy cast polished brass or chrome sign for the bathroom or toilet door will give a clue to the style of what is to be found within.

Anyone who opens the door cannot fail to be impressed with your bathroom as they take in all the period features of the furnishings and fittings that you have so carefully collected together to fit your own vision of the period bathroom.

An elegant embossed heavy cast polished brass or chrome sign for the bathroom or toilet door will give a clue to the style of what is to be found within.
An elegant embossed heavy cast polished brass or chrome sign for the bathroom or toilet door will give a clue to the style of what is to be found within.

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