Design Trend: The Modern Yet Traditional Bathroom
Modern yet traditional. Can you have it both ways? Increasingly, it seems, you can. One of the most popular design trends going right now are bathroom fixtures that recall a past era but in a sleek and very modern way.
These fixtures work perfectly in situations in which a homeowner is looking to update an older bathroom in, for example, an old Victorian home. There will be no mistaking the elegant modernity of it all, but these fixtures will still blend beautifully with the architectural flavor and detail of the rest of the house. The look is called “transitional” in design-speak, which is not so much an identity crisis as a coherent combination of the best of both worlds. The coolest thing about transitional bathroom fixtures is that they are compatible with a wide range of bathroom styles and home decor.
A perfect example is the Americh International Emperor tub above. It is a bathroom tub that harkens back to the big stand alone, clawfoot tubs of the American farmhouse. But this one’s got simple, elegant lines that stylishly declare we’re in a new millenium. It’s available at www.modernbathroom.com and will set you back about $3,000 — but it’s worth it. This baby is hand-built using the cutting edge double-skin acrylic technology, in which two acrylic panels are bonded together as one.
In the same modern/traditional (or transitional, if you prefer) look is the Americh International Boat Freestanding tub below. Yes, it’s got a vintage vibe going, but it’s not your grandmother’s tub! At $2,630, this tub is also available at www.modernbathroom.com. You’ll notice that stand alone sinks complete that vintage feel.
As you may have noticed, one of the best ways to bring back a retro feel is to outfit your bathroom with bathtubs and vanities that feel more like “furniture” than built-ins. An example is the simple vanity below, that with its slatted doors, open shelf and exposed legs, feels like something you might see in a British-influenced West Indian bathroom. In fact, it’s called the Avanity Tropica model, also available at www.modernbathroom.com. The “tradition” is suggested by the antique white finish over distressed birch wood and veneers. The modernity comes in the black granite, countertop. (It’s also avaiable in galala beige, or white carrera countertop with a white porcelain sink.) The vanity is $494.
Finally, we provide one more example of this transitional look. The Design Element Imperial set has a quaint, homesteading look with beveled cabinet edges, Victorian-inspired 4-lite window frames and rounded satin-nickel finish hardware. The white carrerra marble countertop is also a nod to tradition. Yet, this vanity will feel at home in a contemporary bathroom setting, thanks to straight lines, smooth crown, and subtle plinths. This bathtub, available through www.modernbathroom.com costs $1800.
What’s behind the popularity of the “transitional” look? The style is definitely more in vogue in the United States than in Europe, where renovators are more likely to go entirely modern. We think that in a younger, faster-moving culture, people are looking for home furnishings that suggest stability and a link to history, while at the same time feeling fresh and new. Fortunately today, there are plenty of bathroom choices!