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Retro Style in Bathrooms
Bathroom Styles
Wednesday, 07 November 2007 00:00

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  1. What does a retro themed bathroom entail? / What is the inspiration behind this trend?

    The word “retro” according to Wikipedia “can be used to simply mean ‘old fashioned’, functioning much like ‘timeless’ or ‘classic’. Retro is used to describe objects from the recent past that no longer seem ‘modern’. Different from more traditional forms of revivalism, “retro” suggests a half ironic, half longing consideration of the recent past.”

    It is no surprise that some of the best designs from the past are being dusted off and reissued for today’s consumer. The fact that bathrooms designed 50 years ago are still as attractive as they were then, endorses Victorian Bathrooms’ belief that classic styling is ageless and bathrooms in this style retain their ‘wow’ factor for years to come.

    The interest in mid-century design reflects a desire to move away from the sterility of minimalism, toward a maximalist, joyful aesthetic. The ‘retro’ style has an element of familiarity, yet with newness and freshness. Maybe it’s an indication of a longer-term commitment? The mythology of the time is so powerful that even generations who didn’t live through this era yearn for it today.

  2. How does one go about creating a retro bathroom? / What accessories, furniture, cabinetry are involved?

    Keep the design as simple as possible. Too much colour and detail detracts from the overall freshness of this style.

    Subway tiles (Metro Tiles) on the wall, in either white or off white, is an excellent starting point. The texture created by this 75 x 150mm tile, in a flat or a bevelled profile, creates interest without introducing colour.

    Built in cupboards do not find a place in a retro bathroom, but rather a large, well proportioned basin on a pedestal or on a chrome basin stand. Amply sized Consol basins with ‘turned’ ceramic legs were also frequently used.

    The toilet used at this time was a close couple very similar to the NeoClassica from Victorian Bathrooms. A white porcelain cistern handle and toilet seat complete the look.

    All the taps and accessories would be in a chrome finish. A traditional style of faucet would be appropriate, as would a floor mounted heated towel rail. Extra towels could be stored on a wall mounted towel stacker.

    Mirrors would be bevelled, and either circular in shape with movable brackets to tilt for the best reflection, or rectangular with bevelled mirror frames.

    Wall lights with shades, positioned on either side of the mirror, is in keeping with the retro style. Victorian Bathrooms imports a suitable range, all meeting the electrical regulations pertaining to bathroom lighting.

  3. What role does colour and layout play? / does size play a major role?

    Because bathrooms are very often the smaller rooms of the house, the use of white is a good idea. By keeping to white bathroom ware and white wall tiles to dado height, colour can be introduced in the paint on the walls and with towels and toiletries, which is relatively easy to change whenever the urge arises.

    Retro hues include pale turquoise, sky blue, pale yellow and avocado green. Whatever colour you choose, be sure to select one you love. The bathroom is usually the first room you visit when you rise in the morning; make it a room that is calming and refreshing.

  4. Tiling options for wall and floor

    To recapture the distinctive character of a retro bathroom, Metro (also known as Subway) tiles are the only tile capable of reproducing the true character of this by-gone era. The 75mm x 150mm tile is available in white and off white from Victorian Bathrooms, in both a flat and a bevelled profile. Moulded trim tiles are also available for finishing off at dado height, or to demarcate the skirting.

    Plain White hexagonal floor tiles are perfect for a retro bathroom and to this end Victorian Bathrooms is awaiting their first shipment of this most unusual shaped tile.

    Alternatively a wooden floor, either left natural and sealed, or painted glossy white, show off the bathroom ware to advantage

  5. What is the latest must-have item?

    Of course, there is always one item that sets a true retro bathroom apart from the wannabees! The Vipp pedal bin, imported from Belgium, was originally manufactured in the early 1940’s and gained popularity in clinics and hospitals in the area. Over the past 15 years this icon of the 20th Century has been introduced to the interior décor arena where it has become a collector’s item. The Vipp pedal bin is available in various sizes, and is now joined by the Vipp toilet brush and the newly launched Vipp soap dispenser. Available in white, cream, stainless steel and black, stocks are available from Victorian Bathrooms.

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Country Style Bathrooms
Bathroom Styles
Saturday, 15 October 2005 00:00

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Bring the ‘country’ in the city? Honest, simple goodness! What wonderful feelings the thought conjures in one’s mind. And, true it is, for Lance and Margaret Goodale recently launched ‘Urban Country’ at Victorian Bathrooms and invite you to share the freshness of this sophisticated yet laid-back style.

The Goodales, owners of Victorian Bathrooms, moved their family home to the village of Greyton over 6 years ago to enjoy the peace and quiet that the country offers. "Freeing our children to discover the freshness of the country was a dream come true," says Margaret "and we are extremely fortunate to lead two lives – the city for our work and the country for our family life.

More and more families are opting out of the rat race to enjoy a less hurried lifestyle. However in most instances it’s not possible to make this move, so we have brought the ‘simplicity’ of country styling to the city for our friends, family and customers to create their own little sanctuary of wholesomeness."

What constitutes a Country-style Bathroom? "Almost anything that is worn and homely, that is welcoming, unpretentious, friendly and practical" says Margaret Goodale.

Neutral tones ranging from white to bone, earth tones, red barn, blues and greens are all perfect for the Country-style. Wooden cabinets can either be in bare wood, or can be given a rustic look by painting the unit and then rubbing off most of the paint. Once it dries, apply wood stain unevenly for an older weathered appearance. For those who are hesitant, Victorian Bathrooms has a good selection of wooden bathroom cabinets, especially prepared for the Country-style bathroom.

Taps and accessories are best in a worn brushed nickel finish,   although a chrome finish is also timeless. Victorian Bathrooms doesn’t recommend brass taps as this look eventually becomes ‘tired’ and it is important to maintain the freshness of a country morning. Freestanding baths with ball and claw feet continue the theme, as does tongue and groove wall cladding.

The floors are generally made of natural stone or wood materials. Wooden floors were traditionally constructed with boards that were bare and simply waxed and hand polished. If you like floor coverings, use oriental rugs and throws for visual warmth and colour.

Finding lights that are both attractive and meet the regulations concerning the installation of electric lamps in bathrooms has previously been a problem, but Victorian Bathrooms has now launched a range of bathroom wall lights which are perfect for Country-style bathrooms.

Plain white towels are recommended, and the use of wicker baskets for dirty laundry and for holding extra toilet rolls adds a homely quality. Flowers might be considered an unusual accessory for the bathroom, but they bring warmth and tranquillity. Country-style bathrooms lend themselves to a mixed garden bunch and, as space is often at a premium, a jug or other upright container is an ideal holder. And for a romantic look, include plenty of candles and a comfortable chair!

What is the lure and appeal of Country-style decorating? Maybe it’s the desire to escape the rush and demands of a hectic lifestyle. It could be the need to return to a time when life was simpler, perhaps even happier. The necessities of rural life are what influence today’s country style home décor. A décor that is simpler, very personal and warmly inviting.

Whether in a seaside setting, an urban environment, a countryside location of a wooden mountain retreat, country-style bathrooms are cosy and unassuming, combining the past with the present.