How to Design a Period-Appropriate Bathroom for a Victorian Terrace House?

April 5, 2024

Designing a period-appropriate bathroom for a Victorian terrace house can be an exciting yet challenging task. The key is to balance modern conveniences with a nod to the past, incorporating traditional features and elements that reflect the Victorian era. Let’s explore how you can achieve this balance and create a bathroom space that is both stylish and true to its Victorian roots.

Incorporating Victorian Style into Your Bathroom Design

Victorian design is renowned for its ornate detailing, rich colours, and stately elegance. When designing a Victorian-style bathroom, you should focus on maintaining these essential features while also ensuring the room is functional for its modern-day use.

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Begin with the walls. Victorian houses typically feature high ceilings and bold wall colours, so consider adding a deep, rich colour to your bathroom walls. Wallpaper was also very popular during the Victorian era, so a period-appropriate pattern could be an excellent choice. You might also consider adding a chair rail or wainscoting for an extra layer of detail.

Tiles are another crucial element in Victorian bathrooms. Traditional Victorian tiles are typically colourful and often feature intricate patterns. Consider using these types of tiles for your bathroom floor or as a backsplash behind the bath.

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Baths were a luxury in the Victorian era, and a central feature of the bathroom. Opt for a freestanding, claw-footed tub to truly capture that Victorian style. If space allows, a separate walk-in shower with a traditional showerhead can add modern functionality while maintaining the period style.

Making the Most of Small Spaces

Victorian terrace houses are often characterised by their compact, efficient use of space. Bathrooms in these homes were generally small, so when designing your Victorian bathroom, it’s important to consider how to make the most of the space.

First and foremost, choose your fixtures carefully. A pedestal sink or a wall-mounted basin can save floor space, while a corner tub can provide a bathing area without dominating the room.

Storage can be tricky in small bathrooms, but with some creativity, you can find solutions that are both stylish and functional. Consider incorporating built-in shelves or recessed wall niches. A mirrored medicine cabinet can also provide storage while adding a bit of vintage charm. Floating shelves or wrought-iron racks can be used to store towels and other bathroom essentials.

Modern Features in a Victorian Bathroom

While designing a period-appropriate bathroom is all about capturing the essence of the Victorian era, it’s also important to incorporate modern conveniences to ensure the space is comfortable and functional.

Underfloor heating can be a worthwhile addition, adding a touch of modern luxury to your Victorian bathroom. Modern lighting fixtures that are designed with a vintage look can also add to the charm without compromising the functionality.

Remember, however, that not all modern features may suit a Victorian bathroom. For example, a large, wall-mounted television or a whirlpool tub may look out of place. It’s essential to carefully consider each modern feature you want to incorporate and make sure it complements rather than detracts from the Victorian style.

Traditional Victorian Bathroom Ideas

Let’s venture into some traditional ideas that can help you design a perfect, period-appropriate Victorian bathroom.

Lavish, ornate mirrors were common in Victorian bathrooms, and this can be a fantastic feature to include. Look for an antique or replica mirror with an ornate gold or dark wood frame.

In terms of fixtures, brass or copper taps and showerheads with a vintage design can add to the authenticity of the room. A high-level cistern toilet with a pull chain can also be a great period feature.

Your choice of bathroom accessories can add the finishing touches to the Victorian design. Consider soap dishes, towel holders, and toilet roll holders in brass or bronze. A traditional, freestanding towel rail can also enhance the period look.

The Role of a Professional in Victorian Bathroom Design

While designing a Victorian bathroom can be an exciting DIY project, working with a professional can bring additional advantages. They possess a deep understanding of Victorian style and can help you find the balance between the period features and modern functionality.

Not only can they help you source the right fixtures, tiles, and accessories, but they can also advise on color schemes, layout, and lighting. Whether you choose to go it alone or work with a professional, designing a Victorian bathroom is a rewarding project that can add value and charm to your period home.

Exploring Inspirational Victorian Bathroom Designs

Victorian-inspired bathrooms are all about class and elegance. Delving into some design inspiration can help you understand the intricacies of this intricate style better.

The first thing to be noted is the freestanding bath. A signature element of the Victorian era, it adds a touch of sophistication to the bathroom. Often made of cast iron and enamelled with a crisp white finish, these baths are usually paired with brass or bronze fixtures for an authentic look. An image credit to designer Paul Massey can be given for introducing these vintage-inspired bathrooms into the modern design sphere.

Next in line are the tiles. They play a crucial role in setting the tone in any Victorian bathroom. Traditional Victorian homes often featured patterned tiles in bold, vibrant colours. However, if you prefer a more subdued look, opt for simple white tiles with a touch of detail, like bevelled edges.

High ceilings were a common feature in Victorian houses and can greatly enhance the feeling of space in a small bathroom. If your Victorian terrace house boasts high ceilings, consider adding a roll top detailing to make the most of this architectural feature.

When it comes to lighting, a chandelier or wall sconces can add a touch of elegance, reminiscent of the Victorian era. However, remember to opt for the ones that have been rewired and meet modern safety standards.

Conclusion: Reflecting on Victorian Style Bathroom Design

Designing a period-appropriate bathroom for a Victorian terrace house is all about finding the perfect balance between the classic charm of the Victorian era and the comfort of modern conveniences. The challenge lies in honoring the vintage appeal of Victorian style while incorporating the functionality of contemporary design elements.

Remember, the goal is to create a space that echoes the rich, detailed and elegant features synonymous with Victorian homes. From the deep, bold colours and ornate detailing to the high ceilings and Victorian inspired fixtures, every element you choose should contribute to this classic aesthetic.

While it’s important to adhere to the period charm, don’t shy away from introducing modern touches where they fit naturally. Innovative features like underfloor heating and vintage-inspired modern lighting can seamlessly blend the past and the present.

In conclusion, whether you’re a native share of a Victorian era property or a new owner of a Victorian terrace house, designing a bathroom that reflects the charm of the era can be incredibly rewarding. Not only does it allow you to immerse yourself in a different time period, but it also adds a unique character and value to your home. And, if you do feel overwhelmed, remember that professionals are there to guide you in your design journey, helping you to achieve that perfect Victorian bathroom.