Unique Bathroom Ideas: Victorian Style with a Modern Twist

No matter how trends in interior design change over the years, Victorian bathrooms and vintage styles continue to fascinate and delight us in equal measure. Even though contemporary bathrooms are the norm, there are people who still have a love for vintage designs. The good news for them is that in the past few years, Victorian style bathrooms came back into fashion, but this time with a modern twist.

If you are thinking that recreating the Victorian style in a modern bathroom is difficult, you are wrong. You just need to choose the right pieces and accessories and you will get your perfect, romantic vintage bathroom. But first let’s get to know what exactly a Victorian bathroom is.

The Look of Traditional Victorian Bathrooms

The earliest Victorian bathrooms were all fitted into wood to make them look like any other room. They were decorated with lavish wallpaper, pictures, fabrics and rugs in addition to the standard fixtures such as a toilet, bathtub and sink. These bathrooms featured the recognisable Victorian bathtub at their centre that were usually with a claw foot design and were initially installed to a gas water heater.

Sinks in the earliest Victorian bathrooms were just a pitcher and basin on a washstand, usually with a marble top, but later on, marble sinks with legs or brackets were invented. As for toilets, in the beginning, they were decorated with different patterns and florals and looked like a giant cup of tea. However, when Victorians realized that wood is not the best choice for a bathroom, they started to cover the walls with tiles and to use fixtures made of porcelain.

Now that you’re aware of what the traditional bathroom in the Victorian era looked like, here are some ideas on how you can give it a stylish modern twist that will make it fit perfectly into your 21st century home.

Victorian Tub

When it first appeared in 18th century in England, a bathtub was considered as a luxury item. It was very expensive and only the top layers of the aristocracy could afford to have one in their bathroom. Because there was no indoor plumbing at that time, bathtubs were placed in the middle of the room and filled by pouring buckets of water into the tub. Victorian bathtubs are also called slipper bathtubs because they are built to be higher on one end like a shoe or slipper which offers head, neck and back support.

Nowadays, there are single or double slipper-designs that offer a comfortable lounging position you take the moment you sit down. Today, many bathroom suppliers reproduce the traditional clawfoot tub design, but made of modern materials such as acrylic and fibreglass. These options are more affordable when you compare them to antique clawfoot tubs that have incredibly high prices. That being said, you can easily find a genuine-looking Victorian bathtub for every budget.

Whether you go for a brand new design or antique, this type of bathtub will add extravagance and grace to your bathroom. However, it won’t be only a stylish addition, but it will also offer you a luxurious bathing experience too. Compared to standard tubs, Victorian bathtubs hold significantly more water so you can sink and soak comfortably as long as you wish. If you decide to add a clawfoot tub in your bathroom, first make sure that the floors can deal with the weight as they are really heavy.

You can choose from double or single slipper-deigns, cast iron baths that come in white or black colour and can easily fit in your bathroom, or acrylic baths that are more affordable but still comfortable. There are even Victorian bathtubs for sale made from cast stone or copper that will add a beautiful modern touch to your bathroom.

Victorian Sinks

A pedestal basin provides a delicate, vintage look that fits Victorian style well. It’s perfect for smaller bathrooms because it doesn’t take up much space and make your bathroom appear bigger. With its carved pillar, it draws attention and adds some variety to the space. Even if you are more into other Victorian-style sinks such as sinks with legs or brackets, or free-standing sinks, you won’t make a mistake. Today there is a number of timeless styles and designs that will make your bathroom basin a focal point.

Wall Decoration

If you want an authentic Victorian look, your bathroom should have textured walls. You can also go for tiles featuring beautifully detailed patterns which are always a good choice to give your bathroom a colourful and rich look. A porcelain tile with glazed finish can be used as a standalone accent or combined with other décorative tiles to create a full motif and give a dramatic makeover.

If you are more into the traditional look, flocked wallpaper with floral or damask patterns can add plenty of vintage charm that works well in a Victorian-style bathroom. If you don’t want to go the wallpaper route, choose a Venetian plaster or sponged faux finish that will add a modern note to your bathroom. But if you want your bathroom to look like the earliest Victorian bathrooms, go for classic wood wainscoting. Moreover, you can always paint the wood in muted colours like mauve, sage or blue grey to give your bathroom a more modern vibe.

Flooring Design

victorian bathtubs style

The most common flooring in traditional Victorian bathrooms is a basket-weave mosaic tile. If you are inspired by monochrome designs, a black and white pattern would be a great choice too. But if you want a softer look, opt for light pink and black designs. Since Persian carpets are also common in Victorian décor, you may want to top your tile floor with one beautiful rug that will add a bold decorative element and will warm your feet on cold winter mornings.


Victorian décor allows you to use some opulent victorian accessories to add a more lavish and dramatic look to your bathroom. For the windows, you can use wooden blinds with a lace valance or delicate sheer curtains for a softer decorative look. If you have a shower stall in your bathroom instead of a clawfoot tub, you can hide it with a vintage-inspired floral print curtain.

In Victorian bathrooms there are often pictures and photos in ornate gold frames which are often popped up on the radiator or placed on free surfaces, so you don’t need to hang them on the walls. When choosing a mirror, if you want to mix minimalism with Victorian style, instead of going for an ornate gold frame mirror, you can opt for a sleek and minimalist style bathroom mirror that will give your Victorian-style bathroom a contemporary touch.

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