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Simon Brown

16 Vintage Bathroom Ideas That Deserve to Make a Comeback

Go back to simpler times with these charming bathroom details.
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Although we can’t get enough of where design is headed these days, there is just something about a long-ago space, particularly a bathroom, that takes us back in time in the best way possible. In decades gone by, bathroom fixtures, like sinks and bathtubs, were design elements in and of themselves, looking like functional pieces of art. Wallpaper patterns weren’t shy, with elaborate florals living comfortably in bathrooms. And furniture pieces, like a stool or even a chair, could have their place in the bath, too.

These are all elements that you can bring into your bathroom, even though it exists in current times. In fact, there’s something about vintage decor that instantly makes a space look more unique and more charming. To create your ultimate self-care haven that also harkens back to past eras, look to these vintage bathroom ideas.

Bygone Fixtures

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Noel Pittman

This soft and sophisticated guest bathroom created by designer looks like it stepped right out of the 1940s, thanks to milk glass light fixtures (you can buy these new or head to an architectural salvage store). Milk glass was one of the top materials for lighting back in the day, and it’s a surefire way to give a bathroom instant vintage flair.

Art Nouveau Wallpaper

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Jenna Ohnemus Peffley

The Art Nouveau time period is alive and well in this powder room belonging to Elizabeth Law of . Showcasing a floral William Morris pattern, the climbs up the walls, making for ambiance that feels like a greenhouse of yore.

Clawfoot Tubs

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Christopher Horwood

Known for curiosities and antiques all throughout his home, it’s no wonder that the feel continues into designer ’s primary bath. The ornate take on classic clawfoot tubs takes center stage, with a vintage look that still conveys plenty of personality.

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Unique Color Palettes

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Simon Brown

This British bathroom, affectionately called the “Boot Room Loo,” designed by interior design firm goes to show that you can make a green and yellow color palette work, even in a small bath. Temper a busy wallpaper pattern with solid-hued wainscoting, seen here in .

Easy Neutrals

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KeyannaBowen

Many bathrooms of bygone eras, particularly those seen in old country homes, sported a neutral palette. Neutrals make it easy to allow showstopping throwback items, like a metallic clawfoot tub and hanging lantern, stand out. It’s what designer did in her primary bathroom.

Architectural Details

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Adam Kuehl

Long ago, it was not uncommon to spot a radiator in the bathroom. Many old homes still have them today, but interior designer, high-society events planner, and shop owner made hers work in a bathroom. Take a page from her book and cover yours in a patterned grate, with bonus points if you match it to a heat vent overhead.

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Seaside Style

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Ngoc Minh Ngo

The powder room belonging to fashion designer echoes the elements found in the Nantucket waters just beyond the home. Recreate the nautical look with a flea market-found seashell trinket box, hand-hewn wood mirror, and well-loved lighting that looks as if came right from a boat.

Antique Vanities

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Adam Kane Macchia

One way to bring instantaneous vintage charm to your bathroom? By taking a piece of antique furniture and outfitting it to be a bathroom vanity. Pair it with old-fashioned wallpaper and a gilded mirror, and you’ll have a bath inspired by the one that designer crafted for client Elizabeth Brown.

Fireplaces in the Bathroom

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Gordon Beall

Federalist style is showcased in this Washington, D.C. bath belonging to decorator Darryl Carter. Make your found antiques steal the show in your bathroom by starting with a vintage-style tub and then adding authentic light fixtures and a baroque mirror. The fireplace is the finishing touch.

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Hand-Painted Wallpaper

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Amy Neunsinger

Oftentimes in vintage bathrooms, the “go big or go home” philosophy is more than welcome, especially when it comes to , like the print that designer chose for his powder room. For even more of a vintage look, opt for a hand-painted design, like Sikes did.

Bold Florals

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Read McKendree

If you do go with a vintage-inspired wallpaper for your bathroom, be sure to take other details down a notch so they don’t compete with one another. It’s what designer achieved in this powder room, with a classic marble sink and lightly bordered mirror that blend with the wallpaper.

Fine Furniture

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Annie Schlechter

Yes, antique furniture can live in the bathroom, as long as you have enough space for it. That’s the case in this Neoclassical home designed by ., with a grand antique chair acting as a place to rest, reflect, and take part in self-care activities.

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Tropical Touches

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Nickolas Sargent

The Kips Bay Decorator Show House Palm Beach proves that you can bring an old Florida vibe into a vintage bathroom. Replicate the feel of this bathroom with a wallpaper in a punchy hue, vintage rattan pieces, and midcentury bird statues.

Mixed Materials

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Erin Little

In this bathroom, offers a study in simplicity meets timeless style. A powder blue clawfoot tub acts as a subtle color pop, while seagrass furniture and an antique stool further neutralize the visual palette while adding plenty of texture.

Traditional Details

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Christopher Horwood

Perfected by the team at , this bathroom is top-to-bottom classic vintage. Make your bathroom ageless by putting in a subway tile shower (in a contemporary hue), choosing an enduring wallpaper pattern (think: easy leaves and florals), and hanging a mercury glass mirror.

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Shiplap Walls

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Annie Schlechter

Vintage doesn’t always mean heavy colors and materials. It actually can be quite light and breezy, seen in this Michigan inn guest bathroom streamlined by designer . Keeping the look minimal yet vintage, she opted for a white pedestal sink and matching white shiplap to brighten up the bath.

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Shelby Deering
Shelby Deering is a lifestyle writer who specializes in decor, home tours, wellness, travel, vintage, and feel-good stories for national publications. She’s from Madison, Wisconsin, and when she’s not writing, you’ll find her running local trails, shopping flea markets, or going for walks with her husband and corgi.
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