Shell – Give a coastal style half-bath an elegant upgrade with an oversized shell sink basin. You can find an authentic one if you’re willing to hunt, but be prepared for a hefty price tag. Composite reproductions can save money but won’t look as genuine. Tip: If you do find an authentic shell, the edges can be sharp and dangerous. Ask your contractor or builder to carefully file them down so your sink is safe.
Black and white – Black and white tiles have long signaled that you’re in a traditional period bathroom. A border of black — on walls, the floor or both — adds a focal point and is elegant, timeless and chic. Also note how the vintage cast-iron radiator is painted to match. The console sink is another stylish traditional touch.
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Slipper tub – Free-standing bathtubs come in all shapes and sizes these days, but the slipper version offers a special kind of indulgence. Originally a Victorian design, it features a higher back at one end, which provides support as well as privacy when you sink into the bubbles, wallow and relax. This luxe room ups the traditional look further with a wall of oil paintings, a Victorian-style towel rail and a gleaming wooden floor. I love the floor-length curtains too.
Wainscoting – Vintage-style wallpaper paired with tongue-and-groove wainscoting gives this compact bathroom a cozy atmosphere. Also note the toilet with a high tank — a classic historic design. Swap slick modern spotlights for a decorative chandelier, like this brass number, to keep things traditional. Claw-foot tub – A rolled-edge, claw-foot bathtub is a timeless luxury. For an indulgent, traditional look, combine it with wallpaper, plantation shutters and a marble-topped vanity. Painting the sides of the bath a dark color, like this French navy, adds a period detail.
Sink skirts have been a lasting style, derived more out of necessity to cover unsightly plumbing fixtures or bathroom toiletries than for aesthetics. But they’re not only highly functional and economical — they also provide softness to both kitchens and baths.