The Old World style reflects a sense of European history and grandness of space, while still evoking feelings of homey comfort and warmth. It often shows traditional, European design elements that make the home bright, open and airy. When used in a bathroom, this style can transport your guests and family to an illusion of time travel using a tub. If you want a bathroom to remodel that exudes classic elegance and flair, the Old World style is for you. Here are some tips to help you achieve the look:
- Embrace natural elements.
The Old World style relies on natural elements like stone, wood, glass, and porcelain because of their timeless appeal. It is translated into the framework of the bathroom itself. Old World bathrooms are typically made of stone, marble or ceramic slabs or tiles for the countertops and flooring; detailed wood trim, moldings, and wainscoting for the ceiling and walls; and wood for vanity and other cabinetry. Traditional architectural details like period windows, columns and arches can also be found in an Old World bathroom. Steer clear of manufactured surfaces and materials like stainless steel, laminate, and plastic.
- Get a dramatic tub.
The bathtub is a grand feature in an Old World bathroom. A dramatic claw-foot tub serves as a charming focal point placed on the center of a spacious bathroom, or against the wall or in an alcove of a smaller bathroom. It would also work better if the tub is made of cast iron – it’s the perfect material in an antique or traditional bathroom style like Old World because of its durability and the elegant look it radiates. Also, cast iron bathtubs maintain the water temperature longer, making the bath more comfortable. But if getting a new, claw-foot, cast iron bathtub won’t be possible, tilting a modern whirlpool tub also works.
- Incorporate metals and glass in fixtures and accessories.
Metals like copper, brass, nickel or wrought iron are the elements used in Old World bathroom fixtures. Incorporate them on faucets, towel racks, baskets, drawer handles, mirror frames, lighting and more. Choose a pedestal sink to capture the Old World atmosphere, together with the claw-foot tub. Use etched glass for shower doors and window panes. Make an attractive display of antique perfume bottles that are made of glass and plated in gold or silver. Simple, white or cream candlesticks on wrought iron candleholders serve as a perfect decoration and mood setter in an Old World bath.
- Use elegant colors and patterns.
In adapting an Old World bathroom, you can get to play with patterns and texture. Besides the color of the natural elements and metals you are going to use, namely: brown, white, cream, tan, beige, silver, gold or bronze – you can use a whole lot of other colors that can look rich and deep, or soft and subtle. If you want a bold and dramatic atmosphere, use deep shades of red, blue, purple or green. But if you want a romantic feel, use creamy pink, light green, lilac, purple, light turquoise with white, beige, cream, black or gold undertones. You may also use intricately designed wallpapers with floral or Victorian patterns. If you want to create a timeless atmosphere, stick with the neutrals and earthy tones.
- Make it grand.
An Old World bathroom should look grand and luxurious, no matter how big or small your space is, but a spacious bathroom would definitely have the edge. If you have the space, think big! Use larger showerheads. Hang oversized mirrors and display towels. Speaking of mirrors, the frames must have elaborate gilt or pewter finish, or intricate wood carving. Use heavy, elegant curtains like velvet or silk in the window far from the shower. If you have upholstery inside, like a chair or an ottoman, it’s best if it is covered with needlepoint upholstery fabrics that show ornamental designs and patterns. And don’t forget to decorate the floor with oriental, needlepoint rugs.
- Use traditional lighting.
Since the Old World style is more traditional than modern, your choice of lighting fixtures should also blend. The lights should be warm, soft and romantic, not bright and stark. Use crystal chandeliers with a metallic or wrought iron framework. Add wall-mounted sconces as accent lights.