Serving the Greater New Orleans Area for 30+ Years ⚜️

110 James Dr W Suite 100

St Rose, LA 70087

A bathroom incorporating both modern and vintage elements in its design

Modern Vintage Bathroom Ideas for Historic Homes

If you want to remodel your bathroom in a historic home, it’s important to create a space that’s both charming and functional. By mixing vintage designs with modern features, you can design a bathroom that stands out. One that serves your needs while keeping the character of your home intact. 

Maybe it’s a classic bathtub next to a high-tech shower system or pairing retro tiles with contemporary fixtures. In New Orleans, our historic homes come in all shapes and sizes, so there’s an endless amount of options. 

While design is all about personal tastes and needs, there are some good rules of thumb to keep in mind. In this guide, I’ll show you some essentials of crafting a bathroom that brings the best of both worlds.

A beautiful clawfoot tub that appears to be a modern reproduction while offering a very classic, vintage style to a bathroom

Mixing Old and New

In places like Uptown and the Garden District, it’s about blending history into modern living. It’s key to use design elements that preserve the space’s character while utilizing today’s functionality. 

What Makes it Vintage 

It’s important to remember that when it comes to remodeling a bathroom, vintage doesn’t have to mean old. If your Greek Revival in the Garden District has features you love and want to reuse, great! If not, it doesn’t necessarily mean you have to track down genuine antiques.    

Several manufacturers produce, or even specialize in fixtures and features that offer classic styling. This makes them easier to find, and they can offer more efficiency and reliability. Not to mention, they may provide functionality you wouldn’t get from an actual vintage piece.

By using the right elements, whether old or new, your bathroom can provide comfort, convenience, and the style you want.

Mixing it Up

When you’re blending modern elements into a vintage bathroom, it’s important to consider balance. Efficient plumbing and heated floors can be added without overshadowing the character. 

The trick is choosing features that complement each other rather than clash. That’s not to say you can’t use contemporary, or even futuristic features with classic fixtures, or vice versa. Just be sure to think about the finished product as a whole when making your selections. 

A blend of old and new can enhance functionality while still feeling cohesive and well thought out.

A modern bathroom using vintage design elements that were popular in mid-Twentieth Century craftsman style homes

Key Parts of a Modern Vintage Bathroom

There are a few key parts to focus on when mixing old and new styles for your remodel. They can help keep the bathroom’s historic feel, and all the modern comforts you need. 

Choose the right materials and features that fit both the look and the function you’re going for.

Classic Tubs and Sinks

Old-school bathtubs and sinks are practical and add a real vintage feel to your bathroom. A claw-foot tub or a pedestal sink can be the centerpiece, giving the space character. 

They work well in any home and are a good mix of the old look with new function.

Tiles That Tell a Story

Old-style tiles, like certain subway tiles on the walls or hexagonal tiles on the floor, can be perfect for a vintage look. They’re durable, easy to clean, and they look great, keeping that classic feel alive. 

Another thing that’s great about tile is that it comes in a variety of colors. This is perfect for preserving the look and feel of a craftsman style home. Colors like pink and mint green were once the standards. While you might not see them as much now, both look great in the right Uptown bungalow.

Plus, the right classic style of tile can match modern fixtures and fittings, giving you the best of both worlds.

Read this article if you’re not sure which questions to ask your bathroom contractor.

Metals That Look Great

Brass faucets, copper pipes, and other metal details can really shine in a modern vintage bathroom. They add a touch of the past but work perfectly with today’s plumbing. 

Choosing the right metal finishes can tie the whole bathroom together and seamlessly blend the old with the new.

Using Wood Right

Wood brings warmth and a natural feel to any bathroom, especially when going for a vintage look. Whether it’s a wooden vanity or shelving, using wood can make the space feel more inviting.

You can still find plenty of historic homes in New Orleans with hardwood floors in the bathroom as well. So, if that’s a look you’re into, don’t be afraid to go that route. Just make sure to update your plumbing to keep it on the safe side.

Wood is versatile, matching well with both vintage pieces and modern touches.

A bathroom with a modern Jack and Jill vanity incorporating oval mirrors and bright, vintage style lighting

Lights and Mirrors

Lighting and mirrors are crucial for both the look and feel of your modern vintage bathroom. They can make your space brighter, seem larger, and add a lot of character. 

Find the right balance between function and style. Choose lights and mirrors that reflect the vintage appeal while serving modern needs.

Lights from the Past

For lighting, go for fixtures that have a bit of an old-timey vibe. Think about using wall sconces, pendant lights, or even a chandelier if you have the space. 

These types of lights not only brighten up your bathroom but also add to the vintage feel you’re aiming for. They can be new pieces designed to look old, so you get the style with the efficiency of modern lighting.

Also, with the popularity of Edison bulbs and other vintage styles, the design doesn’t have to stop with the fixture!

Mirrors with Character

Mirrors are about more than functionality. They can also be a key design element. Choosing mirrors with unique frames or shapes can add a lot of personality to your bathroom. 

They also help make the room look bigger and brighter. Look for mirrors that have a vintage frame or an interesting shape to add an extra layer of style to your space.

Make sure to find a mirror that doesn’t just help you look good, but looks good itself.

Colors and Fabrics

Choosing the right colors and fabrics is key to pulling off the modern vintage look in your bathroom. They can add warmth, texture, and a historic feel to your space. 

You’ll want shades and materials that look like they’ve been around for a while but still fit in with modern tastes and needs.

Picking Vintage Colors

For colors, think about classic styling. If mint green and pink aren’t your thing, consider soft pastels, creamy whites, or rich, deep tones. The colors should feel like they’d have been used back in the day but still look fresh and clean now. 

When picking paint for the walls or, consider how they’ll blend with the rest of your bathroom’s design. That includes the fixtures and lighting.

Vintage Fabrics

Fabrics are a great way to add texture and color to your bathroom. Towels, shower curtains, and rugs with vintage patterns or materials can really tie the whole look together. 

Look for classic designs or materials that feel a bit old-fashioned. Linen or cotton with traditional weaves can work well. 

These fabrics shouldn’t just look the part. They should also be practical, and hold up to daily use.

Quillen Construction CTA

Adding the Final Touches

Adding the right decorations can pull your entire modern vintage bathroom design together. They help with the room’s overall look while adding a personal touch. 

These final touches should enhance the vintage feel without overcrowding the space, ensuring your bathroom remains functional and stylish.

Quick Thoughts on Decorating

It’s the small details that count. Believe it or not, they can really contribute to the bathroom’s vintage charm. Look for items that match your color scheme and add to the vintage feel without making the space feel cluttered. 

These items can add to the aesthetic, making your bathroom more inviting:

  • Soap holders that have a vintage design can add charm.
  • Wall pictures that reflect vintage themes or styles can enhance the room’s character.
  • Rugs in traditional patterns or textures can add warmth and comfort.
  • Fancy towels with vintage patterns or in colors that complement the room can add a touch of elegance.

Final Thoughts

Mixing old and new styles in your bathroom is a way to create a space that’s both unique and comfortable. This approach allows you to enjoy the best of both worlds.

By choosing wisely, and with the right renovation team, you can create a bathroom that stands out. This blend of styles makes your bathroom more visually appealing, and meets the demands of daily life. It proves that practicality and beauty can go hand in hand.