Vintage style isn’t just for your living rooms. Why not revamp your bathroom, flapper style, and create a glamorous haven from the modern world? The art deco style of the Twenties lends itself to modern bathrooms incredibly easily. Art deco and modernism are based on notions of glamour and sophistication, using shiny materials such as mirrors, chrome and glass. Nell Darby looks at un-modernising your bathroom.

In your bathroom, choose a large art deco mirror as the focal point, look for geometric designs and square shapes. The more straight lines, the better.

It’s possible to find old Twenties fashion magazines very cheaply, I’ve got some I found hidden away at a French market,  the trader thought  they were worthless.

In narrow silver frames, they look fantastic on the wall. The front covers are often large drawings of fashion models and are incredibly stylish in themselves.

Alternatively, you could go for the Hollywood feel, and frame pictures of the early movie stars, but go for Louise Brooks or Clara Bow, Douglas Fairbanks Sr or Rudolph Valentino, rather than Charlie Chaplin or Laurel and Hardy.

Old baths and basins, with angular shapes and art deco touches, can still be found today, and these really make a bathroom, but you can still make your bathroom have a good Twenties feel without going this far.

feb29_cologne_bottle_01Look for old perfume bottles and make-up cases yo decant your smellies into them. They ask to be displayed, so get a simple glass shelf to put them on. If your bathroom is big enough, put a second-hand tub chair in there and add a cushion with a Chinese style cover. There was a great fad for all things Oriental in the Twenties. Decorative boxes inlaid with mother-of-pearl, or japanned, can also be added.

With regard to lighting, try to look for Bakelite light switches and a glass angular light shade.  To get an even stronger art deco feel, your flooring should be either black and white squared vinyl or linoleum. Alternatively try a plain floor with a circular bath mat in a contrasting colour. Add touches of silver to your colour scheme to keep the glamour level high.

Remember not to make your bathroom too cluttered or dark. It was a modern age that broke away with the overly-decorated Victorian or Edwardian home, and so light and bright are the keywords. Keep things simple by using  lots of white, chrome and silver.

Keep in mind that he key to an art deco bathroom is extravagance. Be inspired by the Jazz Age, and you can enjoy a really indulgent bathtime!

4 Responses

  1. rebecka

    If you want to see some fab deco bathrooms go to Eltham Palace (Eltham, London). Stephen and Virgina Courtauld had one each – Virginias with a sunken bath with gold theme, and Stephens’ (my favourite) with the most amazing jade/blue coloured tiles.
    Its worth knowing that darining 20s society hostesses took to the habit of welcoming their guests in their bathrooms, just stepping out of their baths, more naked than less – so the opulence of the 20s of the bathroom was not purely for personal appreciation..

  2. Annabella Freeman

    Oh if only. I would be happy to have a bathroom a fraction of that size let alone the style. Two bed terraces only have bathrooms as an afterthought. Thanks for the inspiration!