A traditional bathroom design brings elegance and timeless style to any home. With careful attention to detail and quality materials, you can create a bathroom that feels like a peaceful oasis. In this article, we will explore popular elements of traditional bathroom designs and provide tips for achieving this classic look in your own home.

Overall Aesthetic

The hallmarks of a traditional bathroom design are clean lines, neutral colors, natural materials, and ornate details. The overall look is polished yet comfortable – think luxury hotels and English countryside manors. Timeless patterns like subway tiles, hexagons, and chevron add visual interest while remaining classic. Instead of following trends, focus on high-quality building materials and furniture that will last for years to come.

Fixtures and Hardware

Traditional bathrooms feature clawfoot tubs, pedestal sinks, and exposed plumbing with cross handles. Brass, nickel, and antique metals bring an elegant touch. Extensive molding and trimwork around mirrors and windows lends a refined style. Consider freestanding tub fillers, robe hooks, and vintage-inspired lighting and hardware.


Natural stone tiles, like marble and travertine, make timeless choices for traditional bath flooring. Black and white chevron patterns, herringbone, and geometric designs add interest. Well-sealed natural stone provides an elegant feel underfoot but requires sealing to prevent damage and stains. Porcelain tile mimics the veining look of marble at a lower price point.

Hexagon tiles in neutral colors make another classic traditional bath flooring option, often laid out in a diamond pattern. Small mosaics reflect old-world style with modern durability. Warm-hued wood also suits traditional décor and withstands humidity with proper treatment and sealing.

Wall Treatments

Simple wainscoting using reclaimed tongue-and-groove boards, beadboard, or milled panels instantly dresses up walls with traditional flair. Paint or stain it in white or light neutrals for a clean, timeless look. Pair with wallpaper on upper walls, selecting classic prints like damask, stripes, or floral patterns in muted shades.

Natural materials like marble tile or slabs bring elegant detail to walls and niches. Use marble subway tiles or listellos stacked vertically as accents behind sinks and tubs. Frame mirrors and artwork with crown molding or paneling to continue the refined style.

Furniture and Storage

Traditional bathrooms feature furniture with clean lines and turned legs. Look for vanities and cabinets with raised panel doors, shiplap or beadboard drawer fronts, and brass or crystal knobs. Avoid overtly modern styles with sharp lines. Add interest with open shelving displaying neatly folded thick towels and natural baskets.

Curved built-in bench seating provides a spot to sit when dressing. An antique chair or slipper bath fits nicely in large traditional baths. Look for furniture made from natural woods like oak or cherry that gain character over time. Painted finishes in neutral shades also suit the timeless aesthetic.

Tub and Shower Enclosures

Clawfoot tubs serve as centerpiece of traditional baths, often placed in front of sunny windows. Complete the look with gooseneck faucets and a freestanding tub filler. Walk-in showers work well with multiple showerheads and body sprays. Frame the entryway with detailed molding and classic shower doors.

Use marble and natural stone continues inside shower enclosures. Accent walls or the floor with marble mosaics or subway tiles. Install recessed and sconce lighting to provide an ambient glow during baths.

Lighting and Details

Crystal chandeliers, sconces, and pendants illuminate traditional bathrooms with elegance. Vintage-inspired light fixtures and woven fabric shade provide a soft glow. Incorporate layered lighting with recessed cans for task lighting and accent lighting under cabinets and inside niches.

Elaborate molding, raised paneling, and trim detailing finish traditional bathrooms. Niches and accent walls covered in marble or natural stone provide visual texture. Iron or brass hardware and matching plumbing fixtures create a polished, luxe feel. Mirror frames, brackets, and corbels further enhance ornamental charm.

The overall effect is a comfortable retreat with timeless beauty and character. Infuse your own style with favorite art, plants, towels, and accessories. Traditional bathroom designs stand the test of time and provide a welcome escape from life’s hustle.

Frequently Asked Questions About Traditional Bathroom Designs

What are some key features of a traditional bathroom design?

Some key features of traditional bathroom design include clawfoot tubs, pedestal sinks, marble/stone materials, ornate hardware and lighting fixtures, neutral colors like white and beige, subway tiles, wainscoting, and vintage-inspired details.

What types of flooring work best in a traditional bathroom?

Natural stone tiles like marble or travertine are classic traditional bathroom flooring options. Other good choices include black and white hexagon tile, herringbone patterns, geometric mosaics, and wood floors.

Should I choose a walk-in shower or a bathtub?

This depends on your personal preference and available space. Clawfoot tubs serve as a centerpiece in many traditional bathrooms. Walk-in showers with marble tile also suit the elegant style. Choose whichever you will enjoy using most.

What color scheme is best for a traditional bathroom?

Stick with neutral shades like white, beige, cream, and light gray. You can add interest with natural materials like wood or marble. Avoid bold colors that will clash with traditional style. Pastels can work as accents.

How can I add storage to my traditional bathroom?

Incorporate furniture like cabinets, vanities, and shelving for concealed storage. Add vintage open shelves or niches to display rolled towels and baskets. If space allows, consider a vintage cabinet for linens and toiletries.

Should I use marble or granite countertops?

Marble countertops make a gorgeous and traditional choice. However, marble requires resealing yearly. Granite is naturally more water-resistant, making it a lower maintenance option. Both can suit traditional bathrooms beautifully.


A thoughtfully designed traditional bathroom provides a little escape from the stresses of everyday life. By selecting high-quality natural materials, vintage-inspired fixtures, and neutral elegant details, you can create a peaceful space to start and end each day. Focus on finding durable furniture, tile, and finishes that will last for years. With careful craftsmanship and attention to ornamental details, your traditional bath will provide comfort and beauty for generations to enjoy.