The Key Characteristics of a Traditional English Bathroom

Traditional English Bathroom

For many people, the bathroom is one of the most important rooms in the home. It is a room that is used by everyone in your home and by any visiting guests. It is a room that serves many practical purposes that you will use daily. Therefore, it is important to get the décor in this room just right, and you need to combine visual appeal with functionality. One attractive design style that you may wish to apply to your bathroom is the traditional English interior design style. Here is an overview of the characteristics that define a traditional English bathroom.

What is a Traditional English Bathroom?

A traditional English bathroom is a bathroom inspired by the traditional English interior design style. According to House & Garden, this is a style that is influenced by the country homes in England from a period including the 17th and 18th century. There are two main interpretations of this style. The first is the elegance of the country homes of aristocrats. The second is the rustic charm of English country farmhouses. It is also possible to take a more modern approach to this style by using just a few key elements of the interior design style and incorporating them into a room with a modern design.


Natural materials are a key aspect of traditional English interior design, so you should remember this when choosing materials for your bathroom. Wood is one of the most important materials, but stone and tiles are also widely used in this design style.

  • Colors – You can use almost any color scheme for the traditional English style. Neutrals and pastels will give you a lighter and more sophisticated look to your bathroom. On the other hand, deep greens, reds, or blues will create a bold and dramatic look. If you only have a small bathroom, then opt for lighter colors as this will create a greater sense of light and space in your bathroom. Only add darker and bolder colors in a larger bathroom.
  • Walls – There are many different ways that you can go when it comes to decorating the walls. One option is to paint the walls in one color or to have three walls painted in a neutral color and a feature wall in a bolder color. The second option is to completely or partially tile the walls. Finally, wood paneling works well with the traditional English style, so you can cover the lower half of the walls in wood paneling and then paint the upper walls. Wallpaper is not the best option for bathrooms due to the moisture in the air that can cause peeling and mold can grow behind the wallpaper.
  • Floors – There are three options for flooring in a traditional English bathroom. If you are going for the rustic look, then you should opt for either stone or wood flooring. However, if you are trying to create an elegant bathroom that reflects the style used in the country homes of aristocrats, then you should opt for tiled flooring. You can lay these in a simple chequered style or in intricate mosaic patterns.

Architectural Features

If you live in a period property that has interesting architectural features, then you should leave these in place as it is likely that they will reflect the traditional English style. For example, cornices, alcoves, and dado or picture rails are characteristics of this style. If the room is plain and has no features, it is sometimes possible to add them without too much expense. The easiest options are to add a picture rail and fake cornices.

  • Fittings and Furniture – The bath is usually the central feature of a bathroom, and Victoria Plumbing suggests choosing a freestanding bath. This is the most traditional option and it is fitting for the style. This type of bath will work equally as well with the rustic theme or the aristocratic interpretation of traditional English design. A freestanding bath with clawed feet is the best option. Both chrome and brass fittings are suitable to create a traditional English bathroom.
  • Tiles – You can use tiles in several areas of the bathroom. The first option is to add tiles to the floor. Another option is to tile the walls. Wall and floor tiles are usually made from different materials, so it is important that you buy the tiles that are the most suitable for where you are intending to use them. Although white tiles are the most popular option because they create a blank canvas for your bathroom, you can use any color of tiles you wish. If you opt for patterned tiles, choose one with a traditional pattern that reflects the period that inspired this look.
  • Accessories – The English Home says that there is an opportunity to add some opulent details to your traditional English bathroom. An ornate gold-effect mirror above the sink is the perfect addition for this style. Not only will it add detail, but it will also create a sense of light and space. Furthermore, it serves a practical purpose. You can also add traditional paintings to the wall for extra detail and color. Plants are widely used as accessories for this style, so you might consider adding some potted plants to the window ledge.

Traditional English Bathrooms – The Final Verdict

A traditional English bathroom is inspired by the bathrooms in English country homes in the period covering the 17th and 18th century. Although there are many ways that you can interpret this theme, a freestanding bath works well with any of the style interpretations. Tiles, wood, and stone are the typical materials used with this style, while the color scheme options are more relaxed and you can use any color of your choice. Accessories are an important characteristic of the traditional English country style, and paintings, mirrors, and potted plants are the best accessories to use in this room.

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