Tile and bathroom retailer Easy Bathrooms teams up with interior designer Gina Everett of Create Perfect to explain how to achieve a timelessly retro finish in the bathroom
While the bathroom is often a place for speedily getting ready for the day ahead, it’s also a space that most people consider a ‘haven’, away from the stresses of the outside world.
So with everyday life becoming increasingly demanding, it perhaps comes as no surprise that we are spending more time in our bathrooms than we ever have before. According to a study by Houzz, the average person now enjoys up to an hour a day in this one room.
It’s therefore one of the most crucial areas to consider when building or renovating a property.
A modern take on retro
When creating a stand-out master bathroom, we love to look beyond the typical white suite and inject some personality into the space.
Recent projects have been inspired by the ‘retro’ trend, which takes products and tiles from a bygone era and reinvents them for the 21st century.
But before anyone starts installing Artex ceilings or avocado bathroom suites, we stress that this is a style that must be well executed.
In order to create an eclectic feel for example, we like to mix patterned tiles with elegant, simplistic fittings. A retro handleless vanity unit with a matching cabinet can form the basis for creating this look, allowing the floor and walls to take centre stage. The tiles — which are a must for this trend — should be bold in colour or pattern, with two styles often being paired together.
For a fresh, modern take, we would paint the top half of walls either pale pink or mint green, and install white metro tiles on the lower part. The slight ‘pop’ of colour can then be used in other fittings and accessories such as the mirror and sink to tie the scheme together.
This allows you to go bold with the flooring, with intricately-patterned tiles often working well. A hexagonal shape — which is bang on-trend for 2018 — would give another dimension to the room and add interest to the space.
Alternatively, for a look that packs a punch, we would go for a 1930s monochrome design scheme. Although very current, it’s a timeless combination — perfect for a bathroom, which is only updated every 10-15 years.
Black and white floor tiles create clean lines and strong angles, which work well in a functional space. Use white grout to give it a consistent finish.
The walls could then extend this monochrome feel — again, tiling the bottom half in white and painting the top part in a soft colour. We would also add a trim of black tiles to act as a skirting board.
In one scheme, for example, we opted to reverse the white suite and coloured walls — placing the french-grey units against warm, neutral walls, which creates a light and bright space whilst helping the room to feel larger.
This would work well with chrome fittings and plants to soften the stark contrast between white and black. Choose greenery that doesn’t require much light and can withstand high levels of moisture — Aloe Vera and bamboo are both good options.
Creating a luxurious finish
For a ‘wow’ factor, we have helped clients to create the ’Great Gatsby’ look, with touches of gold across lighting, taps and accessories. This offers a luxurious style, and looks great paired with a dark grey or navy wall, which makes a real statement.
Sconces placed on opposite walls to the suite would also fit in well with this somewhat ‘palatial’ take on the retro trend. And if we were trying to achieve a truly opulent bathroom, we would fit a glass chandelier in the centre of the space and add a mirror with integrated lighting — creating a layered yet balanced scheme.
Wiring these lights on different switches — or even being set on a dimmer — will also help to set a soft, ‘moody’ atmosphere for when relaxing in the bath. If the space allows, a freestanding unit will add to the luxurious environment, and you could even complete the look with ornate, gold feet.
Retro styling provides a timeless statement, that if well executed, will still be beautiful in years to come. It oozes a quality feel that we love in a bathroom, which creates more than just a place you bath or wash, but a space that you can also relax in and enjoy.