Best vintage bathroom accessories

Written by stephanie smithken
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Best vintage bathroom accessories
This typical vintage bath fixture is reminiscent of those found in the early 1900s. (bath time image by MAXFX from

Today's vision of a vintage bathroom is shaped primarily by the bathrooms from the early 1900s. This style vintage bathroom evokes memories of the past and a sense of security. The designs prevalent during this time period were known for their clean, crisp aesthetic and are readily available today. While a vintage bath conjures up images of clawfoot tubs and white subway tile, the best vintage bath accessories complete the look effortlessly.

Towel Racks

Vintage towel racks and rings were an important part of bathroom design in the early 1900s and remain an integral part of vintage design today. A heated towel rack adds a touch of luxury and were quite popular in bathrooms of the 1920s. Another common vintage look is the attached towel rack, strategically integrated into the side of the sink. This design was commonly used in the early 1900s, as part of the effort to create a clean aesthetic. Vintage towel rods are traditionally nickel-plated or chrome, with very simple ornamentation and clean lines. Finally, the best vintage towels are embroidered with either an understated decorative trim or a monogram for a more personalised, classic effect.

Small Accessories

No vintage bathroom is complete without the appropriate small bath accessories. Built-in cup holders and soap dishes look best in either a smooth porcelain that matches the tile or an antiqued nickel finish. Freestanding accessories, such as a soap dish or toothbrush holder, typically work well in either porcelain or glass, often with chrome or nickel-plated accents. In addition, vintage baths make use of ceramic and glass bowls to neatly store small items. Last but not least, every clawfoot tub deserves a tub caddie to catch loose bath items and instantly evoke the vintage look.


The right wall decor adds the finishing touch to a vintage bathroom. A set of glass-framed prints or black and white photographs looks most appropriate for a retro look. Lighting should include sconces, either in a glass and chrome combination for a modernised version of vintage or topped with a vintage shade for a charming, more nostalgic look.


Chrome- and nickel-plated finishes are common in a vintage bathroom and are most often combined with glass and porcelain for a bright, clean retro design. Brass fixtures were also found in bathrooms during that period, but are not as common in today's vintage styles. Most important, accessories should be made from natural rather than synthetic materials. Whichever approach you use, the pieces should follow a common theme for a more unified look.

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