Ultimate Combinations: Retro-Modern Bathrooms

When we were deciding how to present this theme to you it became obvious pretty quickly that some of the most successful interior design schemes have elements of both modern and retro styles. One highlights the other – for example, a bathroom can be sleek and shiny, with modern lighting and on-trend tiles, but can have a focal-point old-fashioned retro bath tub. We take a closer look at how these seemingly contrasting styles work a treat in a bathroom setting in this months edition of Ultimate Combinations!

Perfect Contrasts

A gorgeous illustration of retro and modern elements working in harmony; our Elements Panna wall tiles have that distinct retro look, but within the setting of an ultra-modern bathroom. Look again and there’s a beautiful period-style bath tub (with appropriately retro taps and fittings). And yet, the basin bench and shelf systems are super-modern too. What a combination – and at the same time, practical and workable. For dark porcelain floor tiles, try our Helton Silver large format tiles with rectified edges for a crisp, regimented look.

Magnificent Marble Looks

Consider a marble-style bath panel for the ‘retro’ part of this look…try our Hellas marble effect tiles, and then for the ‘modern’ aspect, team with sparkling Quartz Stone Snow White tiles for the walls and floor. And can we just point out a few of the practical elements of this room design – a wall hung WC allows for easy cleaning, and inset tiled shelving keeps the showering area neat and tidy too!

Absolutely Minted!

Mint green is undoubtedly a very retro bathroom colour, along with pastel pink. We’re thinking not just retro as in old-fashioned, period colours, but also as typical ‘bathroom suite’ colours of the 1960s and 70s. (We’ll address the issue of avocado and burgundy bathroom suites at a later date!) But back to our Village Mint tiles, which emphasise the retro look here, and which are a great contrast to the ultra-modern cabinetry, vessel basin and contemporary taps. Just add a touch of vintage style with a metal wall light and jug of wild flowers.

As ever, it’s impossible to resist suggesting some colourful accessories for our tiling project suggestions. From left; the Hanno 100% Cotton bathmat from Made.com, shown here in paprika, which is a gorgeous soft shade with a pinky undertone that would look great with pale greens or with black and white. Centre; the Marseilles Soap Bar from Plastics Free is a natural eco-friendly soap that suite for virtually all cleaning purposes – from body wash. shaving soap and hair washing, to general household cleaning. Right; a beautiful Pink Luxury Egyptian Cotton bath towel from Soak & Sleep will add a subtle finishing touch to a new pink and green colour scheme.

On The Face of It…

This bathroom, at first glance, looks rather modern. And it most definitely is, but we can also point out a few little retro touches which round the whole scheme off. The main shower wall tiles are our Yosemite Split Face wall tiles are designed to replicate slithers of natural stone, and are teamed here with the complimentary Yosemite Grey plain wall and floor tiles. Retro elements for this scheme include the wash stand style furniture and retro-style radiator. Lots of inspirational contrasts here, in a perfectly nuanced scheme.

Pretty In Pink

Definitely a retro-modern look for this bathroom, with our Piastrella Rose rectangular tiles installed diagonally for a fresh new look. The retro aspect is supplied by the washstand and taps, the plain oval mirror and diagonal tiles provide the modern background style.

Gorgeous in Green

A successful combination of modern and retro (with the emphasis on ‘retro’ as far as the wallpaper and tiles are concerned), with the modern aspect addressed with simple cabinetry and the plain basin. Top Tip: When tiling a feature area in the bathroom (or kitchen) using whole tiles and avoiding cuts creates a neat, streamlined look, as shown here, where our Emerald Green Village tiles are used in strictly regimented rows of five.

Confident Colour Choices

Following our pink and green themes once more, consider these suggestions for colourful additions to a Retro-Modern scheme. From left; Miami Pink Inga tap from Dowsing & Reynolds, and there’s also a smaller version called Neo Mint Kagera. Both are deck-mounted and feature ceramic disc technology. Right; add colour and greenery to the new bathroom with these jolly Hanging Pot Trio from Annabel James, shown here in Mushroom, Aqua and Petrol Blue.

Everything is Rosy

And finally, one of the more recent additions to our range…these are Artesano Rose Mallow which are possibly the most perfect vintage or retro pink we’ve seen. We love the way these brick-format tiles can be used vertically or horizontally (or even diagonally if you feel like an installation challenge). Best of all, these tiles look stunning with a very contemporary basin, tap and shelf. Definitely one for our favourite Ultimate Combinations list!

Will you be going for the retro-modern look in your interiors? If so then we would love to see your pics – tweet us @TileMountainUK, hit us up on Facebook or tag us on Instagram!

You might also like these posts on the Tile Mountain blog…

Ultimate Combinations: Pale Floors & Contrasting Walls

Ultimate Combinations: The Dark & The Light

Ultimate Combinations: Patterns & Plain

Linda has worked as a freelance interiors writer and blogger for many years; she has written for most of the major home and design magazines, including KBB Magazine, Grand Designs, Homes & Gardens, House Beautiful, Period Homes and Good Homes. She made the break and moved from London back to her home town of Shrewsbury three years ago and has just finished renovating her house. She also works in an interior design studio, produces copy for brochures and website, tries to tame her garden, aims to finish all the home furnishing projects she has on the go … and loves walking.