Transforming Your Bathroom into a Vintage Retreat

Vintage style bathrooms evoke refinement and old-world charm with their elegant fixtures, antique-inspired decor, and timeless aesthetic. Remodeling your bathroom with a vintage flair allows you to create a peaceful, spa-like retreat right at home.

The Rising Popularity of Vintage Bathrooms

Vintage design has seen a major resurgence in recent years. More and more homeowners, particularly in areas like Orange County, are moving away from stark, ultra-modern spaces in favor of the warmth and character of decades past. There are several reasons behind the growing popularity of vintage-inspired bathrooms:

Planning Your Vintage Bathroom Remodel
  • Nostalgia and familiarity: Vintage style connects us to beloved design eras of the past. The gentle color palettes, salvaged furnishings, and decorative tile work feel cozy, familiar, and reminiscent of grandparents’ homes.
  • Focus on quality and craftsmanship: Vintage emphasizes crafted details and high-quality, built-to-last materials over mass production and uniformity.
  • Warm, personalized spaces: Vintage allows people to express their unique tastes and create a personalized sanctuary, as opposed to the often cold, generic aesthetic of mass-produced modern spaces.

Key Elements of a Vintage Bathroom

So what defines a vintage-style bathroom exactly? While the look can vary widely, from Victorian elegance to bright and sunny cottage style, most vintage bathrooms incorporate elements like:

  • Clawfoot, slipper, or decorative pedestal bathtubs
  • Ornate or embellished faucets and lighting fixtures
  • Subway tiles, black & white hexagonal tile, or vintage-look ceramic tile
  • Decorative wallpaper
  • Framed mirrors and medicine cabinets
  • Vintage-style accessories like thick monogrammed towels, fluffy rugs, and ceramic soap dispensers

Planning Your Vintage Bathroom Remodel

Careful planning is key to successfully executing your vintage bathroom project. Rushing into a remodel without proper preparation can lead to budget overages, design issues, or other headaches down the road. When beginning your vintage bathroom remodel, be sure to:

Determine Your Overall Desired Aesthetic

Vintage style encompasses a wide spectrum of looks – do you prefer brighter and more playful vintage with painted wood furniture and colorful tile? Or are you going for deeper, moodier Victorian elegance with dark wood tones, ornate clawed tubs, and brocade shower curtains?

Set Your Budget

Understand how much you are able to realistically spend on your remodel given other financial obligations. Get quotes from contractors or estimate costs if taking the DIY route. Factor in potential hidden costs.

Create an Inspiration Board

Collect images of bathrooms with vintage elements you love to guide your design plans. Look for inspiration on Pinterest boards, home decor sites like Houzz, or vintage and antique online shops.

Take Measurements and Map Your Layout

Carefully measure your existing bathroom space and sketch your layout including:

  • Desired placements of fixtures like the vanity, tub, and toilet
  • Traffic flow
  • Where you can incorporate storage furniture
  • Lighting placement

With the vintage style decided and budget set, you can begin selecting the décor and fixtures to create your dream retreat!

Selecting Vintage Bathroom Fixtures and Features

Vintage Bathroom Fixtures And Features

The fixtures and finishes you choose will bring the vintage style of your bathroom to life. From clawfoot tubs to subway tile and pendant lighting, traditional bath elements evoke refined, old-world luxury.


The star of a vintage bathroom is often a clawfoot or slipper tub placed in a prominent position. Other features include:

  • Freestanding tubs – Make a statement with an elegant standalone tub in materials like porcelain, copper, cast iron, or acrylic.
  • Clawfoot tubs – Iconic, elegant tubs with feet in styles from simple to ornate. Allow for freestanding placement.
  • Slipper tubs – Vintage tubs with one rounded end and one fairly flat end to sit flush in small alcoves.


Classic sink silhouettes align with vintage aesthetics. Consider options like:

  • Pedestal sinks – Freestanding sinks featuring a basin atop a single central pedestal base in porcelain or stone.
  • Wall-mounted sinks – Space-saving sinks that mount directly to the wall. Often feature ornate embellishments.
  • Console sinks – Sinks situated atop a furniture-style base providing both storage and display space.


Brass and other metal finish faucets nod to turn-of-the-century style:

  • Cross or widespread handle configurations
  • Lever or crystal handles
  • Spout shapes like goosenecks or arched
  • Finishes like brushed bronze or nickel

Alongside selecting appliances and fixtures, let’s explore some chic vintage styling opportunities.

Vintage Bathroom Styling Ideas and Accessories

Beyond the fixtures, it’s the thoughtful vintage-inspired accents and styling that give bathrooms their charm. Have fun curating an eclectic mix of accessories in your space.

Vintage Wall Decor

  • Framed botanical prints or artwork in antique-style frames
  • Wall mount vintage medicine cabinets with mirrors
  • Patterned or decorative vintage wallpaper

Plush Textiles

  • Window treatments like lace curtains or patterned shower curtains
  • Monogrammed bath towels or plush bathmats
  • Small throw rugs in natural fibers like cotton or jute

Displayed Collections

  • Glass bottles and canisters for cotton balls or bath salts
  • Ceramic soap dispensers and toothbrush holders
  • Candles of varying heights and sizes
  • Small plants or flowers (the Mission San Juan Capistrano gardens provide great inspiration)

Storage Furniture

  • Freestanding cabinets in painted wood tones
  • Floating corner shelves for both storage and display
  • Wooden step stools that provide extra seating and storage
Vintage Bathroom Styling Ideas And Accessories
Vintage Bathroom Styling Ideas And Accessories

Tips for Achieving a Vintage Bathroom Look

While vintage style leaves room for creative expression, there are a few guidelines that can help you nail the aesthetic:

Select Lighter, Antique-Inspired Color Palettes

Vintage bathrooms tend to feature soft, muted color schemes versus stark whites. Some top paint color options include:

  • Powder blue
  • Sage green
  • Antique white
  • Light pink
  • Pale yellow
  • Robin’s egg blue

Accent walls in deeper, moodier hues like navy or burgundy also work well. Mix and match paint with colorful patterned wallpaper.

Incorporate Salvaged Materials and Antique Furnishings

Seek out unique vintage finds to incorporate into your new bathroom:

  • Salvaged and repurposed wood furniture pieces like cabinets, hutches or benches
  • Antique picture frames, mirrors, or light fixtures
  • Vintage accessories like bottles, plates, or candlesticks

Vintage shops, antique stores, flea markets, and salvage yards are great sources.

Layer Textures and Patterns

Create visual interest with an eclectic mix of materials like wicker baskets, ceramic vessels, fluffy cotton towels, and braided rugs alongside colorful tile and wallpaper prints.

Bringing Your Vintage Vision to Life

If you love the idea of a vintage bathroom but don’t know where to start with the remodel, the experts at Dreamcatcher Remodeling can help. We are a full-service home renovation company serving homeowners across Orange County who want to incorporate vintage elements into their homes.

Our team brings decades of combined experience transforming properties into unique, character-filled spaces reflecting our clients’ visions. From start to finish, we handle all aspects of the remodel including:

  • Sourcing vintage-style appliances, lighting, tile and hardware from our trusted supplier network
  • Installation of fixtures like clawfoot tubs, pedestal sinks, and period-style faucets
  • Tasteful integration of antique furnishings and accent pieces
  • Complex structural work like moving plumbing or electrical
  • Project management ensuring the remodel stays on time and on budget

We also offer maintenance and upgrades down the road to keep your vintage sanctuary looking its best. Want to bring your own salvaged finds into the mix? We can seamlessly incorporate treasured pieces into a harmonious, holistic design suited to your needs.

To get started transforming your bathroom into a vintage escape, contact us today for a complimentary design consultation!

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