Consider the first thing you see when you enter the room; it might be the bath, but you don’t want it to be a loo. Here, a French-style console basin with a decorative mirror above it has enough substance to draw the eye, yet still feels delicate and elegant.
A vast bathroom is not a prerequisite to be successful with the classic style. Here, well-chosen fittings make the most of a compact space. A pair of wall lights make a real feature of the vanity area, providing a far more flattering light than a standard overhead option.
Mirror is a fantastic material to use in the bathroom; it is splashproof and easy to clean, and its reflective qualities improve the sense of space and light. In this bathroom by Camhall Interiors, which featured in the February 2012 issue of Homes & Gardens, designer Alison Papworth has teamed it with marble and a freestanding bath to create an Art Deco mood.
You don’t necessarily need the vast, sweeping space afforded by the Galassia bathroom shown here. Its beauty is in the sharpness of the individual pieces with that gorgeous dark herringbone floor as a foil. Engineered wood flooring will be fine in any bathroom where splashes are mopped up immediately but, if in doubt, opt for similar styles in high end vinyl or porcelain tile.
Dark & Handsome
Working in the classic style doesn’t mean you have to be a slave to the past. Bringing together traditional elements in a new way will create character but offer all the functionality of a modern bathroom. The play on classic black and white tiles here, used as panels and teamed with brass fittings, has something of the gentleman’s club feel about it.
Freestanding and roll-top baths are designed to take centre the stage. If you want to combine with a shower, opt for traditional style fixed head shower and fit a circular rail. This all-white scheme allows the classic shapes to really shine.
Just Add Pattern
A complete refit can be expensive but you can transform a bathroom with standard fittings by simply adding pattern. Most wallpapers can withstand the moisture if the room is properly-ventilated, but avoid using paper directly behind very wet areas such as baths or basins, or cover with a perspex sheet to create a splashback.
Built in furniture is a boon in any room but here, a decent run of painted cabinetry hides a multitude of lotions and potions, and provides a generous vanity area. Shutters are an ideal window treatment, adding to the style and providing instant privacy.
Where space allows, architectural features such as a fireplace are great for adding character, plus, of course, the promise of bathing by firelight. The pewter finish of this bath tones with the fireplace and is set off beautifully by the warm tones of the wooden floor, the blind and the caramel coloured tiles.
Classic is never out of fashion but an updated version will feel smart and fresh. In this room, the fittings might be modern, but they are matched by traditional pieces such as the mirror, shelf, pedestal table and, indeed, the Georgian window to give a very balanced design.