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Reviving Retro: Modernising Older Bathrooms in Melbourne

by Abdus Subhan
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One of the joys of living in Melbourne is its rich tapestry of architectural styles, which ranges from Victorian terraces to art deco apartments and everything in-between. But while these older homes often ooze charm, there’s one area where style can sometimes veer into the downright impractical: the bathroom.

Embracing the Charm

Why not just rip everything out and start again? There’s certainly a place for ultra-modern bathroom design, but in an older home, you risk losing a part of its unique character. After all, heritage isn’t just about cornicing and fireplaces; it’s also about mint-green tiles and pedestal sinks.

Embracing retro doesn’t mean sacrificing comfort or convenience. On the contrary, a skilful blend of old and new can bring both practicality and personality to your bathroom. From updating essential fixtures to incorporating vintage-inspired elements, there are plenty of ways to modernise while still preserving that retro charm.

Investing in a Timeless Suite

A great starting point is to invest in a timeless bathroom suite that subtly nods to the past while embracing the conveniences of the present. Choose a classic clawfoot bath, a pedestal basin, or a high-level cistern toilet — modern versions of these can offer the charm of their older counterparts, but with better water efficiency and easier maintenance.

Tiles: From Dated to Timeless

Let’s talk tiles — often the trickiest part of modernising an older bathroom. The funky colours and patterns of yesteryear might not be to everyone’s taste, but replacing tiles can be a costly and invasive process. Instead, consider working with what you’ve got. For instance, if you’re lucky enough to have original art deco black and white tiles, play up their geometric charm with contemporary fixtures and accessories.

Lighting the Way

Lighting is a powerful tool for bridging the gap between old and new. A vintage-inspired pendant light can act as a charming focal point, while LED strip lights under a traditional cabinet can offer modern convenience without detracting from the overall look.

Incorporating Technology

Don’t be afraid to incorporate technology into your retro revival. Digital showers, underfloor heating, or even smart mirrors can add a layer of 21st-century comfort to your bathroom without compromising its retro charm.

Final Touches

Last but not least, don’t forget the finishing touches. Vintage mirrors, reclaimed towel rails, and classic soap dishes can all add a touch of authenticity. Plus, if you’re modernising an older bathroom in a period Melbourne property, you may also be able to incorporate elements from other parts of the house, such as stained glass or repurposed timber, for a truly unique finish.

In summary, there’s no need to choose between retro charm and modern convenience when modernising your older bathroom. With a careful blend of timeless fixtures, creative tiling, considered lighting, subtle technology, and thoughtful touches, you can create a space that pays tribute to the past while firmly stepping into the future. Don’t forget to get help from a team of bathroom remodelling experts in Melbourne to make your vision a reality. Melbourne’s architectural heritage is yours to embrace — and there’s no better place to start than with your bathroom.

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