1930s retro bathroom ideas

The Art Deco movement swept the country during the 1920s and continued until the 1940s. When you want to renovate your bathroom and give it a 1930s feel, look to that movement for inspiration. Art Deco relied on bright colours and unusual designs to create an expensive look.

Pick Your Colors

Bold and bright colours were key elements of bathroom designs from the 1930s. The colours were typically used in combination with black and white surfaces. Popular colours during the era included salmon pink, lemon yellow, and mint green. Use the same colours in your bathroom, but start with one shade, such as the mint green. A pedestal sink in green immediately transforms the look of your space. Stick to one colour choice and use black and white shades as accent pieces in the room. Black and white colours almost function as a neutral when paired with the brighter colours.

Plumbing Fixtures

Glossy surfaces were commonly used during the 1930s. Claw foot tubs have an old-fashioned edge and adding one to your bathroom creates that Art Deco feel. Opt for porcelain handles on bathroom fixtures or choose a shiny silver material, like chrome or stainless steel. Art Deco Style suggests whimsical taps for the bathroom faucet, such as ones made to resemble an aeroplane and wings.


Give the room an instant update with the addition of an Art Deco styled lighting fixtures. Fixtures of this type were traditionally large and meant to draw immediate attention. A chandelier with glass panels or a cloth-covered lighting fixture with swags fits the theme. The lighting fixture serves as a focal point in your bathroom. If you have a smaller bathroom or low ceilings, then opt for decorative wall sconces. The sconces add a decorative element without overpowering the small room.

Other Accessories

Mirrored surfaces are a key element for your 1930s bathroom, but you want to choose those with an unusual shape. For example, pick a skyscraper mirror, which has a long and thin shape, or pick a mirror with geometric designs printed on the edges. Opt for decorative pieces, including vases and sculptures with a tall and thin design. Add an elegant wood dressing set, with a matching bench covered in a complementary colour.

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About the Author

Jennifer Eblin has been a full-time freelance writer since 2006. Her work has appeared on several websites, including Tool Box Tales and Zonder. Eblin received a master's degree in historic preservation from the Savannah College of Art and Design.