When asked about the first thing they associate with a bathroom, most people have a quick answer – freshness. And it’s the logical answer – after all, the bathroom is the place where we get a fresh start for the day, refresh ourselves, and freshen up whenever needed. Isn’t it natural, then, that this “sanctuary of freshness” should be kept as fresh and delightful as possible? Not just clean and bright, but also sleek and modern, equipped with luxurious features and state-of-the-art accessories and boasting an elegant and stylish design.
If you wish for a vintage look, however, or if the rest of your home’s interior has a classical style décor, incorporating prominent modernistic features in your bathroom design may not seem appropriate. Fortunately, there is an easy solution to your dilemma – you can create a vintage look with modern materials. This will allow you to maintain the integrity of the home, while also enjoying all kinds of contemporary luxuries and conveniences – the bathroom features will reflect the desired time period, but the modern materials will make the space sleek and functional.
Planning a Bathroom Remodel
Remodeling your bathroom provides you with the chance to bring your personal design vision to reality, enhance the integrity of your home, and add value and comfort to your property. To achieve the best possible result, however, you need to plan your bathroom renovation project with great care and attention to the details:
- Research your options – Browse different bathroom remodeling ideas to find the design that best suits your aesthetic preferences and practical needs, the size and layout of your bathroom, and the rest of your interior décor;
- Think over bathroom features – Make a list of all the features and accessories that you’d like to have in your renovated bathroom. Then, assess the existing elements of your old bathroom and decide which of them you can keep and renovate and which ones you need to replace. Have in mind that a vintage piece – a claw-foot bathtub, a console sink, a stained-glass window, etc. – can help you achieve the classic look you wish to have in your bathroom. Even if the old piece is not in mint condition, it can be easily refinished with quality modern materials to attain the sleek, beautiful appearance you want. If you don’t have the vintage bathroom items you need for your bathroom remodel design, you can order them from a vintage dealer;
- Select appropriate bathroom materials – From the shower tiles to the bathtub coating, the materials used in your remodeled bathroom will set the overall tone of the space and will define not only the appearance, but also the practicality and ease of maintenance of your bathing area;
- Create a bathroom restoration budget – Bathroom remodeling is an expensive, time-consuming and laborious project. Plan your finances wisely and make informed decisions about every aspect of the renovation process in order to avoid costly mistakes:
- Decide what exactly you can afford and what luxuries you can do without;
- Invest in high quality materials (the investment will pay off in the long run);
- Have your old bathroom features and surfaces refinished instead of replacing them with new ones – Refinishing will take less time and will create less hassle than full replacement. You will get the desired high-end look of your bathroom and will save up to 50% of the overall bathroom improvement cost;
- Hire an experienced and affordable bathroom remodeling contractor – Get several written estimates from different bathroom remodeling specialists in your area, discuss the details of your bathroom restoration project with the remodelers, compare the offers (materials, services, deadlines, costs, etc.), research the competitors to make sure you’re dealing with licensed and insured professionals, and pick the contractor who offers the highest quality service for the most reasonable price;
- Account for unexpected repairs – you may have to deal with inadequate or unsafe wiring or plumbing systems, a small leak may have remained unnoticed and caused damage to some of the structural elements of your bathroom, such as the framing or subfloor, etc. Any necessitated repairs and/or replacements will incur extra expenses you’ll have to provide for.
Creating a Vintage Look with Modern Materials
As already mentioned above, refinishing a vintage piece provides the best way to create a retro look in your bathroom and, at the same time, enjoy the benefits of modern materials and contemporary bathroom conveniences. Here are some bathroom restoration ideas you may find highly appropriate for your renovation project:
- Bathroom sink restoration – Have your vintage pedestal sink or console sink refinished with high-style modern materials, such as glass, hammered bronze, or copper (instead of the traditional porcelain or ceramic tile) to integrate old-world elegance with present-day functionality and sleekness in appearance;
- Bathroom fixtures restoration – Vintage faucets, tub handles, shower heads and other bathroom fixtures can be finished with chrome, brushed nickel, oil-rubbed bronze, steel or brass to create a strong impact on the overall bathroom décor. The metallic ornamental hardware will allow you to re-create the typical ambiance of the retro period;
- Bathroom vanity restoration – You can have your natural stone bathroom countertops refinished and resealed or you can opt for new countertops made of synthetic materials such as manufactured quartz, laminate, etc. Just make sure your chosen vanity countertop has rich colors and intricate patterns that will add a splash of vintage style to the space;
- Bathtub resurfacing – Incorporating a refinished claw-foot bathtub in your renovated bathing space is a simple and cost-effective way to create a vintage look in your modern bathroom. Have in mind, though, that many contemporary bathtub coatings contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that can affect indoor air quality and result in health problems. Therefore, it’s advisable to look for eco-friendly tub coatings, such as NAPCO’s Eco Glaze, that are waterborne and have no VOCs and no odor – they are easy to maintain, look and feel great, and pose no hazards to your health;
- Lighting and mirrors – There is nothing more effective than gold-rimmed bathroom mirrors and Victorian bathroom lighting when it comes to creating a classical look in a bathroom. Brass pendants, wall sconces in polished chrome, and vintage bathroom mirrors in exquisite wood frames add a warm and sophisticated note to the ambiance and make the space look open and bright.
Octagonal floor tile, rich wall colors, and other period-specific elements in contemporary finishes also help create a vintage style bathroom while using modern materials and manufacturing techniques.
The options for blending a traditional look with modern functionality are endless – what you need to do is research them well and remodel your bathroom in an efficient and aesthetic way that reflects your personal design visions and matches your overall home décor. Then you will have the vintage bathroom of your dreams.