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Victorian Bathroom Ideas: A Guide to Materials, Fixtures and Decor

Victorian style bathroom with white bathtub


The Victorian era saw a significant shift in bathroom design, moving away from purely functional spaces towards rooms that embraced both elegance and practicality. Today, the allure of Victorian bathrooms lies in their timeless aesthetic, characterised by intricate details, luxurious materials, and a focus on craftsmanship. If you're looking for Victorian bathroom ideas, here's a guide with inspo to achieve the perfect Victorian look.

Embrace the Details: Victorian Bathroom ideas

The first step to achieving a Victorian bathroom aesthetic is to pay close attention to the finer details. Unlike modern bathrooms that often prioritise minimalism, Victorian bathrooms revel in the details, creating a sense of grandeur and sophistication. 

One key element is the use of wall-mounted fixtures. This includes everything from faucets and towel racks to soap dispensers and toilet paper holders. Mounting these fixtures on the wall not only frees up valuable floor space, making the bathroom feel more spacious, but also adds a touch of sophistication. Opt for ornate designs with intricate detailing and polished finishes like brass or nickel for an extra touch of elegance. 

Mirrors play a crucial role in Victorian bathrooms, serving both functional and aesthetic purposes. Large, ornately framed mirrors not only enhance the functionality of the space by reflecting light and making it feel larger, but also add a touch of grandeur. Consider bevelled mirrors for added visual interest, or choose mirrors with decorative frames that complement the overall theme of your bathroom. 

Furniture and Appliances that Transport You Back in Time

When choosing furniture and appliances for your Victorian bathroom, it's all about capturing the essence of the era. The quintessential piece in any Victorian bathroom is undoubtedly the clawfoot bathtub. These freestanding bathtubs, typically made from porcelain or cast iron, feature distinctive claw-shaped feet that elevate the tub off the ground. They add a touch of luxury and drama to the space, making them the focal point of the bathroom. 

For a truly authentic experience, pair your clawfoot bathtub with a handheld showerhead. While modern shower enclosures are convenient, they clash with the Victorian aesthetic. Opt for a handheld showerhead on a long extension hose, allowing you to enjoy the functionality of a shower while maintaining the period-specific look.

If space constraints prevent you from installing a bathtub, don't despair. You can still achieve a Victorian feel with a well-designed pedestal sink. These standalone sinks, typically made of porcelain or ceramic, feature a pedestal base that elevates the basin off the ground. Choose a sink with exposed plumbing and vintage-style faucets in brass or nickel finishes to complete the look.

White Victorian bathtub with chandelier and window


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Bathtub Bliss or a Luxurious Shower: Making the Most of Your Space

While the clawfoot bathtub reigns supreme in Victorian bathrooms, it's not always a practical option for every space. If you're limited on space, there are still ways to achieve a Victorian aesthetic with a shower. 

Opt for a walk-in shower instead of a traditional shower enclosure. This creates a more open and spacious feel, which aligns with Victorian design principles. To further enhance the look, consider using patterned tiles on the shower walls. Choose classic Victorian patterns like geometric designs, florals, or damask. Don't forget the vintage-style shower fixtures, including a showerhead and faucet set in brass or nickel finishes to complete the period look.

Wall Decor: From Wainscoting Panels to Textured Wallpaper

The walls in a Victorian bathroom are more than just a blank canvas; they are an opportunity to tell a story and further enhance the period-specific atmosphere. Here are some options to consider:

  • Wainscoting panels: These wooden panels installed on the lower portion of the wall add a touch of sophistication and elegance. Choose rich jewel tones like emerald green, burgundy, or navy blue for a dramatic effect, or opt for classic white for a timeless look.

  • Textured wallpaper: Victorian wallpapers were often adorned with ornate patterns like florals, damask, or geometric designs. Choose a wallpaper that complements the overall colour scheme of your bathroom and avoid overly busy patterns in smaller spaces.

  • Ceramic tiles: These offer a timeless and durable option for your bathroom walls. Consider using geometric patterned tiles or mosaic designs in muted colours for a touch of Victorian charm. 

Flooring for the Ages: Chequered Patterns, Encaustic Tiles and Classic Parquet

The flooring in a Victorian bathroom plays a crucial role in tying the entire design together. While modern options like vinyl or laminate flooring might be practical and affordable, they clash with the Victorian aesthetic. Here are some period-appropriate choices to consider:

  • Checkerboard patterned flooring: This classic black and white checkerboard pattern is a quintessential element of Victorian bathrooms. It adds a touch of playfulness and visual interest to the space while remaining timeless and elegant. Opt for high-quality ceramic tiles for durability and a touch of luxury.

  • Encaustic tiles: These decorative tiles feature intricate geometric patterns embedded within the tile itself. They offer a unique and eye-catching option for your bathroom floor, adding a touch of Victorian grandeur. Choose colours that complement the overall colour scheme of your bathroom, and consider using them for the entire floor or as an accent border.

  • Parquet flooring: This classic flooring option, featuring interlocking wooden tiles in various patterns, adds a touch of warmth and sophistication to the bathroom. Choose a parquet pattern that complements the overall design of your bathroom and opt for a high-quality wood that is resistant to moisture and humidity.

Victorian style bathroom with blue wall tiles and black and white floor tiles


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Material Matters: Brass, Nickel and the Allure of Finishes

When choosing materials for your bathroom fixtures and appliances, it's crucial to stay true to the Victorian aesthetic. While modern chrome and plastic finishes might be readily available and affordable, they detract from the period charm. Instead, focus on materials that evoke a sense of luxury and craftsmanship:

  • Brass: This warm and inviting metal is a popular choice for Victorian bathroom fixtures, from faucets and showerheads to towel racks and cabinet hardware. Its golden hue adds a touch of elegance and complements the other warm tones often used in Victorian design.

  • Nickel: Offering a cooler and more contemporary feel compared to brass, nickel is another popular choice for Victorian bathroom fixtures. It creates a polished and sophisticated look and pairs well with both lighter and darker colour schemes.

  • Porcelain: This timeless material is not only practical but also adds a touch of elegance to Victorian bathrooms. Used for bathtubs, sinks, and even pedestal bases, porcelain's smooth, white surface reflects light and creates a sense of spaciousness. Additionally, its durability ensures your fixtures will withstand the test of time.

Textile Talk: Plush Towels, Textured Fabrics and a Touch of Luxury

The textiles you choose for your Victorian bathroom, from towels and bath mats to shower curtains, can significantly impact the overall feel of the space. Opt for plush materials like cotton or linen that are not only soft and absorbent, but also evoke a sense of luxury. 

When it comes to colour, choose rich jewel tones like emerald green, burgundy, or navy blue to complement the other elements in your bathroom. For shower curtains, opt for textured fabrics, like velvet or damask for an extra touch of elegance, or choose curtains with classic Victorian patterns like florals or damask.

Illuminating Elegance: Chandeliers, Sconces and the Warm Glow of the Past

Lighting plays a crucial role in setting the mood and ambience in any space, and Victorian bathrooms are no exception. The goal is to create a warm and inviting atmosphere that evokes a sense of relaxation and luxury. 

  • Chandeliers: These ornate lighting fixtures, although not always practical for every bathroom, are the epitome of Victorian elegance. If your bathroom has the space, a small chandelier with exposed bulbs or frosted glass shades can add a touch of grandeur and sophistication.

  • Wall sconces: For bathrooms without a chandelier, wall sconces offer a great alternative. Choose sconces with ornate designs and vintage-style bulbs to create a warm and inviting glow. 

  • Dimmers: Consider installing dimmers on your bathroom lights, allowing you to adjust the brightness and create the perfect atmosphere for any occasion.

Bathroom sink with mirror and Victorian style lighting


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Our Final Thoughts

Creating a Victorian bathroom requires careful planning, attention to detail, and a dedication to capturing the essence of the era. By incorporating the elements outlined above, from furniture and fixtures to materials and lighting, you can transform your bathroom into a unique and timeless escape. Remember, the key lies in embracing the intricate details, choosing luxurious materials, and celebrating the craftsmanship that defines the Victorian aesthetic. With careful consideration and a touch of creativity, you can bring a piece of history into your own home, creating a bathroom that is not only functional but also a true reflection of your style and appreciation for a bygone era.

Looking for more Victorian bathroom ideas? Book one of our Interior Design Gurus for a 30-minute video call. Transforming your home into a space you love shouldn't be a daunting task. With HiiGuru you can save time, avoid costly mistakes and bring your goals to life with experts by your side.


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