Whether you are fitting out a bathroom in a period property or seeking an unusual theme for a modern home, a vintage design can be a great way to achieve a look that is unique and stylish. And it can often be achieved without breaking the bank.

A vintage theme does not necessarily mean you have to put up with old fashioned technology and fittings – a most impressive vintage look can still be achieved while at the same time enjoying modern comforts of contemporary bathroom fixtures and fittings from a company like Better Bathrooms.

Defining vintage

The phrase actually covers a multitude of eras. While most experts agree that anything more than a century old is classed as “antique,” it seems that almost anything newer than that could be called vintage. In general, any design taken from the 1920s up to the 1950s seems to fit the “vintage” label, while anything from the 1960s to 1980s is more often classified as “retro.”


Your choice of wall coverings has a major impact on the overall impression and theme of your bathroom, and for a vintage look, it is worth considering paper instead of paint. Choose chic and subtle prints that feature pastoral or floral themes and you will immediately create a look that could be straight out of a bathroom from pre-war times.

Also consider some period artwork for the walls. You could look for old advertisements for toiletries from years gone by, or even some vintage film posters to add to that period feel, and provide a talking point for guests.

Fixtures and fittings

Second hand stores can be a great source of inspiration for fitting out your vintage bathroom. Look out for classic and art deco-styled mirrors and cabinets. These can always be re-imagined in the style of your choice through use of paint and varnish, to create a finish that is all your own. You could even consider an unfinished, natural wood effect, to convey that 1930s farmhouse feel.


While you are in those second hand and antique stores, keep a look out for accessories that can complete the vintage look. Old pots, jars, hairbrushes and razors can add a fantastic finishing touch. Also, look for tins or boxes of a similar era, where you can store them decoratively.

Linen and soft furnishings

By choosing thick cotton towels, you are keeping the vintage theme while at the same time treating yourself and your family to a taste of luxury. You might also consider adding a shower curtain around the bath, whether you need one or not, featuring elegant designs in keeping with the wallpaper and a lacy finish at the top and bottom.

Create your own vintage look

A vintage design gives you the freedom and scope to create a look that is unique to you and will never go out of fashion. Best of all, it does not mean stinting on modern conveniences, and can be achieved for far less money than you might think.