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Bathing Beauties – Classic and modern bathroom design

Bathing Beauties – Classic and modern bathroom design

Taking a modern twist to a traditional bathroom suite

Showcasing the best of classic and modern bathroom design from House of Kingswood

Traditional bathrooms don’t have to be old fashioned, you can still have a classically elegant bathroom which can blend seamlessly with the rest of the house, in fact you are truly spoilt for choice when it comes to all the accessories, fixtures and fittings available.

Brett Hurley, owner and Director of Buckinghamshire based bathroom and kitchen company, House of Kingswood shares his advice on the essential things you need to know about creating a traditional bathroom with a modern twist.

“If you are at the very beginning of your design journey you need to steer clear of adding anything that looks too modern, this applies to shower screens, plasmas on the wall or ultra-modern units as these are the kinds of things that will turn your traditional bathroom into a modern bathroom. Start by thinking about what you actually need; from toilet to bath to basin and consideration should also be made to the size of the room and where the windows, door and soil pipes sit.

Then comes all the wonderful accessories your bathroom can have when it comes to traditional fittings with the added element of modern technology, this is where you can coordinate certain fixtures that take on vintage design such as traditional towel radiators, roll top baths, flooring and reclaimed pieces which all have a luxurious look about them.

I always break down the design process into sections, otherwise its too much to think about all at once.


Thomas Crapper and Co Ltd, Silverdale and Hurlingham Baths are just some of the luxury, suppliers that we stock and fit. If you have always dreamt of having a bathroom with a freestanding bath with or without claw-feet, then try and incorporate it as your focal point. We will work with you to see if it is possible to have a bathroom with a freestanding bath. If not, due to space constraint, there are other ways to bring in tradition such as a standard straight edged bath finished with painted wooden bath panels.

When it comes to the finish on your bathtub, the choices are almost endless. From plastic, copper, nickel, brass, stainless steel, marble and of course cast iron. Each and every bath comes in a different size, shape and colour, as with every project our team will work with you to match your chosen colour scheme and finish.


Flooring is quite often one of things that is left to the end of the list in bathroom design, I always make sure its one of the things we decide on first. From tiles to laminate, such as Karndean to stripped back wooden flooring which can be stained or painted, flooring plays a big part in bathroom design.

I am a big fan of patterned tiles and have been designing a few bathrooms lately where we’ve created a unique and clean look adding individuality to the bathroom. You can be really outrageous with a busy pattern or asymmetric design. Small rectangular wall tiles with coloured grout are a stylish addition or a high ornate skirting board and dado rail to match is another nice finish. I also like the panelled look but with ceramic half panels, they are easy to clean and a half-tiled wall with dark small rectangular tile up to a featured boarder tile can be very effective against your white sanitary ware. You can be extravagant with your colours in a traditional bathroom, for example a deep blue or forest green or plain white tiles with a coloured grout is effective.

If you are blessed with space in your bathroom, adding an antique chaise lounge, upcycled dresser or retro chair make good finishing touches.


For every piece of sanitary ware or accessory there will be a traditional option on the market. For example, your traditional/contemporary toilet could be a back to wall pan with ceramic cistern and flush handle in chrome and white. To make a real feature, a high-level cistern above with a chrome pipe and long chain flush would create a feeling of walking back in time, but this may be a step too far in a modern house, however it could be a in a featured cloakroom with flowery patterns. Your toilet and basin should be the same make and style, and the traditional wall mounted basin on a washstand is becoming more and more popular.

One of many things I look at when designing bathrooms is storage as it is quite easy for your bathroom to become cluttered if you don’t have sufficient storage. Storage for shampoo bottles, towels and toiletries is important, from wicker baskets to a concealed unit, these are all things to factor in. Exposed shelving is a good place to put any bathroom plants such as Aloe Vera or succulents, aromatherapy oils or little antiques.


When it comes to the brass ware (taps) you can really go to town. Crosshead taps are an obvious choice and there are a lot available, I like the addition of the white featured handles and the cranked bath/shower mixers. To accompany a free-standing bath, a floor standing tap and shower attachment completes the look perfectly.

Traditionally sculpted pedestal basins are a must have feature for a period bathroom. Although sometimes costly, the traditional curvature and vintage design of a pedestal basin is a perfect finishing touch when creating a period space.

House of Kingswood are proud to show you their extensive showroom, less than twenty minutes from the centre of Thame. 4,000 sq.ft of kitchen and bathroom showroom is what puts House of Kingswood in a league of their own. The extensive showroom, aptly named a ‘virtual house’ was designed to inspire from the moment you set foot through the door with its 6 full functioning bathrooms, samples room, kitchens and soft furnishings.

You can read more articles like this one in the latest edition of Thame Out.