What style was your bathroom designed in? If your answer is “I don’t know” or “it’s my style” then you are probably not the type of person who cares much about trends and styles. And it’s perfectly fine to be design-illiterate. You built and decorated your bathroom based on your personal preferences, not some stylebook.
However, being familiar with the key design styles can be useful even if you choose not to follow them. For example, when you see a property listing that mentions a contemporary bathroom or a traditional kitchen – what exactly does this mean? No worries, after reading this article you’ll be an expert.
Traditional style is about craftsmanship and classic elegance. It uses many shapes, forms and materials that resonate with French Country style and Ancient Greek architecture. If you are looking to design and decorate your bathroom in a traditional style and give it that vintage feel, here are a few guidelines.
Color palette: deep, rich colors that can be balanced with lighter shades of the same color. Patterns are welcome and can be used locally or all over. Damask and floral motives are some of the most popular ones.
Plumbing fixtures: look for curved shapes, beveling details and gilded finishes. Traditional fixtures are often stylized to reference classic fountains and elements of ancient Greek columns.
Materials: tile is a must in a traditional bathroom – you can’t go wrong with marble or granite flooring. Natural stone vanity top and accents around the tub area also add to the traditional style. Patterned wallpaper can be used on the walls. Wood stained with a rich color works well for vanities and cabinets.
Design choices: To add that old-world touch to your traditional style bathroom, decorate it with a claw-foot bathtub, vessel or pedestal sink, elaborately framed mirror, stained glass accents or a glass chandelier. Maintain the balance by arranging décor pieces in pairs.
Contemporary (modern) style
A contemporary style bathroom is highly functional, yet quite minimalistic in design. It’s all about simplicity, clean lines and geometric shapes.
Color palette: contrasting colors, occasional bright accents, whites, grays and blacks. It’s not uncommon that a contemporary style bathroom looks very monotone – this is just one of the ways to express simplicity.
Plumbing fixtures: the more streamline, the better. Shapes can be either rounded or angled, but the key characteristic of a contemporary faucet is the lack of embellishment and stylized elements. Finish is typically shiny and metallic, such as chrome or nickel.
Materials: dark wood is a common choice for cabinets and simple ceramic tile works good for floors and/or walls. Glass is another material often used in contemporary style bathrooms.
Design choices: Go with frameless shower doors, large mirrors and glass accents. Choose vanity and cabinets for functionality, rather than looks.
Transitional (eclectic) style
Transitional style combines the best of both worlds – functionality of the contemporary style and warmth of the traditional style. This way you can really get creative and add your personal touches to every aspect of your bathroom.
Color palate: pale and muted colors with occasional bright accents. Edgy contrasts, such as black and white are typically avoided. Whimsical patterns are great as well.
Plumbing fixtures: simple, clean lines combined with rounded edges and subtle curves.
Materials: wood, ceramic tile and natural stone all work in a transitional style. A mix of materials is welcome, as long they balance each other out.
Design choices: Follow your heart and don’t worry about sticking to one particular style. Feel free to combine flea market finds with catalogue staples. To keep the design consistent, repeat colors, materials or shapes throughout the bathroom.
So, which one will you choose?
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This guest post was written by Elena Meadowcroft on behalf of Maryland Re-Bath, bathroom remodeling professionals specializing in budget-friendly bathroom renovations.