Traditional bathroom ideas – timeless styles and classic decor inspiration

We've got a whole host of traditional bathroom ideas to inspire your room's design, from roll-top baths to statement tiles

traditional bathroom ideas - pink freestanding bath in a traditional bathroom
(Image credit: BC Designs)

These traditional bathroom ideas will create inviting, characterful spaces with all the benefits of modern fittings, but all the advantages of timeless style.

So, if you are wondering where to start with designing your space, look no further: from freestanding tubs to eye-catching fittings, we have gathered our favorite selection of traditional bathroom ideas to inspire your project.

See: Bathroom ideas – stylish decor ideas for washrooms, ensuites and more

What is a traditional bathroom?

A traditional bathroom is one that tends to feature white ceramicware, a roll-top bath and copper or brass faucets rather than chrome. Walls can either be painted in soft colors, like cream, taupe and gray, or can equally feature deeper, moody shades like plums and emeralds. Natural materials whether marble tiles or a stone basin are also a favorite features, adding personality to the space.

See: Traditional decorating ideas – inspiration for stylish, timeless interiors

1. Create the perfect place to relax with a moody color scheme

traditional bathroom ideas with otto tiles, copper bath and chandelier

(Image credit: Otto Tiles)

Combining a deep emerald shade reminiscent of traditional metro tiles with an on-trend scalloped design, these Fish Scale green tiles from Otto Tiles reflect the light from the copper bath, creating a dreamy backdrop for luxuriating. The tiles are complemented by its handmade Birds design. Inspired by the Amazon rainforest, the hardwearing ceramic tiles are the perfect, waterproof way to add a statement print to your traditional bathroom ideas list. 

2. Add opulence to a traditional bathroom with a double console basin

Traditional bathroom ideas

(Image credit: Drummonds)

Symmetry in interior design is a neat trick you can use within your traditional bathroom ideas because it creates a balanced look that's practical, too. Here, symmetry and practicality combine within a twin basin, providing more than enough space for both you and your partner to get ready in the morning.

The exposed design of the washstand, here in a smart stainless steel finish with matching taps, lets the richly colored marble top do the talking, while a hanging rail provides useful towel storage.

Love this look? Find out more about the contemporary Chinoiserie trend in our dedicated feature.

3. Use natural pieces to add character

traditional bathroom ideas - mandarin stone pebble basin

(Image credit: Mandarin Stone)

Evoke the serenity of the natural world by incorporating raw materials into your traditional bathroom ideas design scheme. Mandarin Stone 's Lavastone basin is created from volcanic boulders sourced from Indonesia, and each basin is unique in size, color and design. Pair it with the beautiful mink-gray shaded Fume Emperador honed limestone tiles to complete the natural look.

4. Look to freestanding furniture for the perfect storage solution 

neptune traditional bathroom ideas – storage and basin

(Image credit: Neptune)

'Finding a home for all of your belongings can be a challenge, especially with little storage space built in.' says Amber Greenman, home designer at Neptune.

'Investing in a single piece of freestanding furniture, like our Chawton dresser, or Shepton cabinet, can be the perfect solution for creating a little storage wherever you want. It looks the part in every corner of the house.'

See: Traditional bedroom ideas – classic ways to combine tradition, luxury and comfort

5. Statement wallpaper is one of the secret traditional bathroom ideas that creates the illusion of space

traditional bathroom ideas - cp hart small traditional bathroom with built in bath, wallpapered walls and radiator

(Image credit: CP Hart)

Grand traditional bathroom ideas can still work beautifully in small spaces. Accentuate the height of the room by pairing marble-effect tiles with a statement monochromatic wallpaper, like Zoffany’s Richmond Park design which evokes the beauty of nature. Add to the luxe look with metallic accents such as C.P. Hart’s bespoke heated towel rail and Samuel Heath Style Moderne Flow taps in Urban Brass which pop against the white. 

This feature was created by H&G's sister brand, Period Living magazine 

Subscribe to Period Living for more inspiration  Period Living is the UK's best-selling period homes magazine. A subscription provides you with all you need to know about caring for and improving a traditional house and garden.

6. Find out how to pick the right color for a traditional bathroom

traditional bathroom ideas - pink traditional bathroom with basin and dark blue door

(Image credit: Farrow & Ball)

'If your traditional bathroom is large, then any color goes but by painting a light tone will enhance the luxury of space, so perhaps save the deeper shades for accents such as the bath panel or door.' says Farrow & Ball says Charlotte Cosby, head of creative at Farrow & Ball 

'Dark colors work particularly well for a small traditional bathroom as it will make the room feel more intimate.'

7. Opt for blinds in a traditional bathroom for flexible lighting and privacy

traditional bathroom ideas - blinds2go venetian blinds in traditional bathroom

(Image credit: Blinds2Go)

Privacy is essential in a bathroom, but it can be a struggle to find the best window dressing for the job. Curtains and fabric blinds don’t work well with damp conditions, and untreated wood can warp. With a flexible slatted design, Blinds2Go’s Metropolitan Snow and Parchment wooden blind, is made from kiln-dried and treated solid basswood, making it waterproof and warp-resistant, so you can shut off from the world and relax.

8. Install a towel warmer for a touch of indulgence

traditional bathroom ideas drummonds towel rail radiator next to marble shower

(Image credit: Drummonds)

Nothing feels more luxurious than wrapping yourself in a warm, fluffy towel after a hot shower. A towel warmer makes this hotel-like indulgence a day-to-day reality, while also heating your traditional bathroom. Manufactured in high-quality brass and finished with an antique copper or nickel effect, Victorian-inspired design blends seamlessly into a period scheme.

9. Choose a waterproof flooring that adds character and warmth

traditional bathroom ideas - wood-look karndean flooring

(Image credit: Karndean)

Wood flooring is not recommended for traditional bathrooms as the humidity causes warping and splitting, but Karndean’s luxury vinyl offers the ideal solution. With the look of real wood, this Van Gogh design in Classic Oak features the near indistinguishable grain and warmth of real timber. Karndean flooring can also be fitted with underfloor heating for sumptuous warmth underfoot. 

10. Create a statement with a beautiful bath

traditional bathroom ideas - pink bath in traditional bathroom with marble tiles and white saintaryware

(Image credit: BC Designs)

The bath is the focal point of your bathroom, so let it take centre stage. Create an elevated platform to draw the eye, giving it a glamorous touch with a marble-effect surface. Then pick a bath with a stylish silhouette in an eye-catching shade – we love the Art Deco-inspired Casini bath in Satin Rose from BC Designs. Alternatively, opt for a traditional roll-top with a colored exterior – many companies offer bespoke painting services.

11. Or opt for traditional elegance with a timeless bath design

traditional bathroom ideas - white roll top bath in large traditional bathroom

(Image credit: Burlington)

Considered a luxury in the late 19th century, the claw-foot bath was the epitome of bathing opulence. This Burlington Windsor acrylic roll-top bath with chrome claw feet from UK Bathrooms, features adjustable legs, meaning it’s easy to level your bath on an uneven floor – ideal for period homes. Its double-ended design also makes it more flexible, allowing it to be sited in the middle of the room.

12. Embrace luxury with a copper bath in a traditional bathroom

traditional bathroom ideas - william holland copper bath with tin interior by window with blinds

(Image credit: William Holland)

A copper bath is a stunning addition to a traditional bathroom. Its polished exterior ages gradually over time, transforming from a deep pinkish hue to a warming red-brown. Plus, copper’s inherent properties means that it heats up faster and retains its warmth longer than enamel or acrylic tubs. The deep style of William Holland's bateau bath with artisan tin interior allows you to fully immerse yourself for the ultimate soak.

What makes a timeless bathroom?

White sanitaryware is a great choice for a timeless traditional bathroom as it goes with any wall color, giving you the flexibility to refresh your interior as and when you want to. Light colored walls always look sophisticated and will help to create a bright and airy traditional bathroom, perfect for relaxing. Pair this with copper or brass faucets to add touch of timeless charm.