When your home was built, it had a style. If that style happens to have been Victorian, that style was so charming, so interesting, so distinctive, that it is likely to have continued to inspire the decoration of the house through all the decades since it was built. But however historically distinctive a house’s style may be, there are certain rooms in which that historical character must somehow be peaceably meshed with modern ideas of convenience, comfort, and function. The bathroom is one of those rooms.
The first ingredient of a Victorian bathroom is, of course, a cast iron clawfoot bathtub. Such a bathtub not only fits into the historical character of the house but maintains a comfortable water temperature longer than a conventional tub, thus inviting a longer stay. To enhance this sensation of a haven of relaxation and romance, the tub can be surrounded by a shower curtain in a heavy luxurious fabric hung on vintage style fixtures or even taken all the way to the ceiling. A subdued gray-purple or brown-green paisley or damask or a pretty floral will fit in with heritage colors.
There are several choices for an appropriate sink. A pedestal sink works for a small space, or the sink can be sunk into a marble-top vintage-style chest or a bowl-type sink placed on top. Use the same fabric chosen for the shower curtains or a coordinating fabric as skirting for the sink or for an accessory vanity table. Add a frivolous vanity chair or stool upholstered in a needlepoint or tapestry fabric in coordinating colors or covered in one of the same fabrics used elsewhere in the room. The toilet style should coordinate with the style of the sink and bathtub, and be sure to choose vintage style metal fixtures as well.
Nothing is too much when it comes to Victorian window treatments. Tiers and balloons, fringed or beaded scallops, ruffles, frills, and jabots were all used. Calm the pattern riot by using a lavish solid silk, or add to it with yet another pattern, but quality was always king. More than one layer of curtains is almost a requirement for Victorian style. Victorian homes didn’t have central heat, so they provided extra insulation to make a bathroom cosy.
If the view isn’t the best, or if privacy is a concern, add a lace panel underneath. Shutters or wooden blinds might also serve your purposes
, and if you’d like to have your blinds or curtains or shutters motorized, don’t worry. The Victorians loved new technology and would have been delighted had such an option been available to them.
A tufted bench upholstered in the same fabric as the curtains and placed elsewhere in the room provides a luxurious and elegant echo and adds to the overall comfort of the room.
Add a Persian-style rug to the floor, a chandelier to the ceiling, and gilt-framed mirrors all around. To all your fabric choices, add the details of cording, tassels, and fringe. Abandon restraint, when it comes to decorating your Victorian bathroom. It is practically impossible to overdo Victorian style.