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Vintage Bathroom Charm

Bathroom renovations add flair while staying true to form with vintage home style

Emily Minton Redfield

Previous renovations had stripped the vintage charm from the guest bathroom in this 1907 Craftsman style home, but architectural designer Josh Hayton instilled a proper sense of history with new materials that look true to the era. “It’s okay to use reproductions—there is real place for them, especially with lighting and plumbing fixtures which must be up to code,” he says. “And most companies faithfully model reproductions after actual antiques.”

Hayton fabricated a vanity from a piece of quintessential Craftsman-style oak furniture that the homeowners found, adding a custom cut stone top, undermount sink and old-style faucet to create a cohesive look. He combined three styles of tile— subway, cap and frieze—for an authentic-looking mirror frame and wainscoting. The tile is new, but the color and glaze lend it an old-fashioned feel. “You can still find vintage-style designs in new tile,” Hayton says. The window is original to the house, but someone had removed the historic trim, so Hayton added new fir trim in a profile that matches the rest of the house.  Although constructed of mostly new materials, this guest bath has the look of yesteryear with the functionality we expect today.

Updating the Powder Room

The homeowners set the tone for their powder room with this distinctive reproduction wallpaper that fits the era of the 1907 Craftsman home. Although part of a new addition, the bathroom is filled with rich tradition and authentic materials from the Craftsman era. Designer Josh Hayton specified quarter-sawn white oak for the floors and casings. He built the flat panel door in typical Craftsman style, with squared profiles. The wood tones blend beautifully with the warm colors of the wallpaper and an original brick wall.

The vanity console originally sported a contemporary glass top and shelf, but Hayton took it back a century by replacing the glass with time-honored marble. “It’s an older style with a little contemporary flair,” he says. “The chrome and marble are a nice juxtaposition with the wallpaper and the oak door.” The designer repeated room-brightening chrome on reproduction sconces that direct light downward in the high ceilinged room. The glass shades echo the profile of the stylized tulips on the wallpaper. The homeowners finished off the room with a classically styled mirror. “It has the look of the era with the column and capital architectural elements,” notes Hayton.

Josh's Design Tips:

  • Incorporate wooden furniture into a bathroom for warmth and character. Replace worn antique wood tops with stone for lasting durability.
  • Wainscoting throughout the bathroom ties everything together for a consistent look.
  • Use tile to create a mirror frame. Splurge on small amounts of decorative tile for added impact.
  • An open console is a good compromise between a pedestal sink and a vanity in a powder room. The look is light, and there is storage space for towels and decorative items on the bottom shelf.
  • Keep the vanity, mirror and light fixtures fairly simple when using boldly printed wallpaper.
  • It is best to use new electrical and plumbing fixtures. With antiques, you risk leaky faucets, lead material or outdated, dangerous electrical connections.

Designers: Josh Hayton, The Iris Building Group Denver

Angela Otten, William Ohs Denver


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