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How to create a Modern Classic Bathroom

For a look that never goes out of style, combine traditional elements with more modern and practical fixtures, to create a bathroom that will stand the test of time.


We shouldn’t underestimate the power of a bathroom. Apparently a great bathroom can add 20% value to a property. You’ve only got to look at the surge in bathroom inspiration images, as everyone toys with choices on how to create that perfect bathroom. When it comes to bathroom design, the ‘trend’ word can be hard to avoid. Whilst we like to be aware of the newest ideas out there, when it comes to interior design, one of the key elements must be longevity of style, well it is for me anyway. The last thing we want is a bathroom to look out of date after a couple of years and ultimately the style we come back to, time and time again, is the classic bathroom.

A classic bathroom is both timeless and elegant, plus don’t think you have to have a huge, high-ceiled Georgian room to create one. This style can work equally well in both small and large bathrooms. Maybe you’re wondering if this look is a little old-fashioned? Opting for a more traditional bathroom design doesn’t mean just looking to the past, traditional elements can be combined with more modern and practical fixtures.

Interior stylist, Susie Clegg, combines the latest finishes to create a modern classic bathroom…

  1. Carrara Honed Marble 2. Calacatta Viola Polished Marble 3.The Mull Classic 3 Hole Wall Basin, Mixer & Taps, Drummonds 4. Luca Bianco Matt Porcelain 5. Mimica Bianco Ravenna Gold Gloss Porcelain Book match 6. Arena Porcelain 7. Onyx Nouveau Opal Gloss Porcelain 8. Single Lowther Vanity Basin, Drummonds 9. Circus Prismatic Wall Light, Original BTC 10. Pyrenees Honed Polished Chevron Mosaic with Calacatta Honed Marble Pluto Basin 11. Gauze Deep, paint by Little Greene Paint Company

There’s a few key elements to consider when creating a modern classic bathroom. Choose one statement piece to give a focal point. This could be a beautiful freestanding bath, an elegant exposed shower, a French-style console basin, a statement pendant light or a decorative mirror. Free standing elements will bring the character required to create a classic bathroom so avoid using any fitted bathroom furniture, incorporate painted cabinetry instead.  If the property allows, architectural features such as fireplaces or window shutters are perfect for adding that elegant, antique charm. However to bring this style of bathroom in to the 21st century, team with elements of a functional modern bathroom such as underfloor heating and an open walk-in shower

Colour schemes in classic style bathrooms should be kept to soft, light tones to allow the room to feel as fresh and spacious as possible. Tiling on wall and floors is generally the most practical surface solution, especially in shower areas and around basins and baths. Marble tiles or marble effect porcelain tiles tend to work particularly well for this look. Timeless grey/white marbles such as Carrara, Calacatta and Alsace will work beautifully or for a touch more colour, whilst still keeping it light, consider Calacatta Amber or Calacatta Viola marbles.

Marble effect porcelain tiles offer an alternative to the real deal, they are normally more cost-effective and no need for sealing, together with the added bonus of large formats in minimal thicknesses. For the most classic look, our Mimica Bianco Ravenna collections are a great choice. With the recent ‘Gold’ addition as well as extra formats including porcelain slabs, available in both matt and gloss finishes, it’s extremely versatile. Two new 2020 collections which work perfectly for the classic bathroom style are ‘Luca’ and ‘Onyx Nouveau’. Whilst ‘Luca’ offers a more subtle and traditional marble look, the impressive ‘Onyx Nouveau’ cleverly mimics real onyx in a ranges of dreamy shades.

Pattern can also help to create a classic style bathroom. Consider a traditional chequer board black and white floor such as Di Scacchi Marble or for a more delicate pattern Carrara Marble basket weave mosaics. Patterned porcelain tiles in traditional monochrome designs from our Harlequin or Freya collections would work well or alternatively create more subtle pattern through the tile laying pattern, herringbone and chevron style tiling work beautifully.

Many of the products featured in this post are from our New 2020 Collections, these can all be viewed here