Are you getting tired of the old-fashioned look of your bathroom? Well, instead of renovating it completely, why don´t you use some of the elements you already have and add a few well-chosen items to create a "vintage" look, which seems to be all the rage at the moment. A daring, but at the same time very popular, idea is mixing black and white. An easy and inexpensive way to give the walls a new look would be to leave the original white tiles and paint one or two walls black. Just one word of caution here: make sure the room receives enough natural light, failing which you might end up with a claustrophobic effect. One way of ensuring this does not happen is to paint all doors and window frames white - as well as the ceiling if possible - to help create a greater sense of space.
Another interesting idea for the tiling in your bathroom is to replace the tiles you have with reclaimed vintage tiles. These can be found from architectural salvage merchants and are often decorated in a style which you just don't find with modern tiles. Their lived-in, slightly tatty look will work perfectly if you are trying to create a vintage style, shabby chic effect. For best results use these tiles on the floor and take the colour scheme from the tiles as your cue for the rest of the room. For example if your reclaimed vintage floor tiles are decorated in yellow and blue, use these same colours on the walls. You could paint the walls yellow, picking out any details, such as a dado rail or cornice, in blue. The effect when done properly is stunning and is a design approach which has been used to great effect when restoring a large number of older properties and hotels in the South of France and in Italy.
If you do not want to go down the route of replacing the tiling altogether, another idea is to change the colour of your tiles using paint specifically for this purpose, although this is a job which is probably best left to the professionals.
Shower screens are undoubtedly very practical and can be decorative, but, let's face it, they are not very appropriate if your aim is to create a vintage style bathroom. A perspex shower screen with stainless steel fittings simply will not look the part in your period style bathroom. Instead, the best solution is to buy an attractive bath or shower curtain. While they may not be as effective as a shower screen, they are more in keeping with the vintage look you are trying to create.
Fortunately, you can find a wide variety of shower curtains in any well-known department store and you will have no trouble finding the perfect one to finish off your 'new' vintage bathroom. An easy way to make this effect more attractive is to hang another curtain, perhaps in heavy cotton or linen over the shower curtain. This heavier curtain keeps the flimsier plastic shower curtain in place, but as it does not come into contact with the water, it stays dry. Needless to say, this outer curtain can be made in a material and pattern of your choosing, so that you can ensure it is in keeping with your overall design approach for the bathroom.
The choice of accessories for your vintage-style bathroom is also important. If you need a new bathroom cabinet or perhaps a new mirror, you could always look around in antique shops to find something suitable and repaint in a colour which matches with the rest of the decor. Flowers, either fresh or dried, will look great in an appropriate vase. Glass or crystal are timeless and work well in vintage surroundings. Mirrors and prints can also make an impact, but, again, go for frames in keeping with your overall design theme. Finally, decorative scented candles will help give your bathroom a relaxed elegant appeal.
The author is owner of the Scented Candle Store where you will find a wide range of home fragrances including scented candles and Yankee candles