Bathroom Designs Tips

Creating the Perfect Victorian-style Bathroom


Will Victorian-style houses ever go out of fashion? It seems doubtful. Their solid construction, elegant proportions, fine workmanship and attention to detail have planted them as firm favorites on both sides of the Atlantic since the reign of Queen Victoria right up to the present day. Victorian housing still makes up a phenomenal 25% of housing stock in the UK over a hundred years later, while on the other side of the ocean, architectural styles such as Second Empire, Queen Anne, Stick, Shingle and Richardsonian Romanesque are perennially popular among house buyers.

The Victorian-style home has the ability to engender a passion in its owners, and many people go to great lengths to lovingly restore period features right down to the smallest detail in order to evoke the age of elegance in which their homes were built. Here we’re going to focus on the traditional features which can help you to create your very own perfect Victorian-style bathroom.

The focal point of any bathroom is, of course, the bath itself and the iconic roll top bath would have had pride of place in some of the most opulent bathrooms of the day. The Guardian has a great article on choosing the fixtures and fittings for an authentic vintage-style bathtub. Frequently adorned with ornate features such as claw feet, the bath would in many cases occupy the centre of the room, though there are plenty of other styles to choose from if you need something more economical on space but don’t want to lose any of that Victorian character. Though the shower is typically a later addition, most home owners would consider it a necessity these days. You can install an over-bath shower or a separate cubicle, depending on available space; and by sticking with sleek chrome lines, a large shower head and taps that are in keeping with the period, your bathroom can still exude Victorian style without compromising on 21st century convenience. Completing the bathroom suite, we of course need to look at wash basins and WCs, which tended to be rather geometric in shape. The Victorian period can be recalled equally effectively in your bathroom with a pedestal basin as it can with a console basin unit mounted on ceramic legs or chrome washstand.

Today, we demand to have modern heating in our bathrooms just as we do in the rest of our homes. A decorative radiator can bring the flavor of the Victorian age whilst satisfying all of your family’s modern requirements. Lighting is another essential in any bathroom, though the Victorians would obviously not have had the fluorescent lighting of today; electricity did not become commonplace in the home until at least the 1920s so the Victorian bathroom would have been lit by gas or oil lamps. Reverting to these outdated forms of lighting is probably a step too far for even the most ardent restorer, but it is still possible to capture their essence in electric form by installing wall lights and ceiling roses or chandeliers which are close reproductions of the sort of lighting under which our Victorian ancestors would have bathed.

Finally your bathroom needs the finishing touches which pull together the whole look, so seek out faithful reproductions of fixtures like mirrors, towel rails, robe hooks and soap dish holders to complete your Victorian sanctuary, and you’ll have the perfect setting in which to bathe, relax and unwind.


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