Bathroom Accessories

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8 EASY WAYS TO UPDATE YOUR BATH WITH VINTAGE BATHROOM ACCESSORIES

Serene and spa-like might not be the first two words you’d pick to describe your bathroom, but when it comes down to it, let’s face it—they really should be. Your bathroom is your sanctuary, your little corner of the world to decompress and prep yourself for the day ahead. Yet too often bathrooms (and bathroom decorations) fall into the category of I’ll get to it one day. And if your bathroom troubles begin with the floor tile and ends with the outdated, storage-less pedestal sink, it can admittedly be easy to feel like nothing short of a full-out demolition will suffice. Yet, on the contrary, we’ve found a few quick spruces (mostly involving vintage bathroom ornaments and bathroom decorations) can dramatically alter the look and feel of a bath. Want to learn how? Read on below.

SPRUCE UP YOUR SHOWER SITUATION

In a pre-reno bathroom, the ubiquitous shower/tub combo is likely to warrant a bathroom accessory like a shower curtain. Go with something neutral and possibly textural, if you’re looking for an edge. While it might be tempting to opt for a shower curtain with graphics, a clean, white shower curtain will make your bath feel positively luxe (not to mention bigger). To dress it up, opt for a vintage bathroom accessory like a set of vintage shower hooks. Chances are your current hooks are standard metal, so upgrade them to brass or burnished bronze for a glimmer of extra shine. If the budget fits you might also think about swapping out your bathroom fixtures to match, including the shower bar.

USE A SOAP DISH AS A DISPLAY LEDGE

Decorations for the bathroom can be tricky to place. Unless you’re inclined to load up the toilet tank with chotzkies, it’s easy for a bathroom to go sans accessories. Our trick for fitting some in? A wall-anchored soap dish. Most often made of ceramic, these simple dishes can be mounted on either side of a sink, just below a vintage bathroom mirror, or arranged in a group on the wall above the toilet. Once installed, anoint them with a potted orchid or succulent (drop them in a sterling vessel for extra style points), or even a vintage perfume bottle or two.

ADD IN ANTIQUE STORAGE

Want even more space for bathroom decorations? Consider moving a small dresser or nightstand into your bath. If you have the room, a slim furniture piece can be just the thing for storing towels and other bathroom accessories and essentials. In a tiny bath, we like the idea of sleek, draw-no-attention nightstand like a flat-faced lacquer or traditional campaign one. The perfect fit for vintage black and white bathroom décor or contemporary décor, a campaign or lacquer nightstand has the look of a bathroom built-in, making it feel like an extension of your countertop.

UTILIZE A STERLING TRAY

If you’re guilty of leaving stray toiletries on the sink top, then you know how quickly they can turn into level 10 clutter. To help reign them in, try corralling your bathroom ornaments on a sterling or brass tray. You don’t need anything fancy, here, as even a simple sterling tip tray is capable of whipping a cache of rogue pill bottles into shape. If you’re not a clutter offender, however, try outfitting a brass tray with a vignette consisting of perfume bottles, a candle, a book of matches, and maybe something unexpected like a healing crystal.

FACTOR IN A STANDING TOWEL RACK

What is it that makes a hotel bathroom feel just so inviting? While we’re willing to admit a weak spot for those sample-size bottles of body lotion, we’re betting it’s actually the surplus of teddy bear-soft bath towels that make us feel spoiled silly. To factor a few extra towels into your own bath, try a standing towel rack. The much prettier alternative to most hotel baths’ chrome towel shelf, a standing towel rack can be a legitimate decoration for the bathroom, especially when it’s cast in Lucite or brass.

SWITCH OUT A SCONCE

It might not be in your direct eye line, but look up, and you’re likely to notice that the light fixture hanging above your vintage bathroom mirror is in dire need of an update. While there’s no shortage of bathroom sconces to be had at your local hardware store, we like the idea of choosing a fixture with a little more oomph. Our best recommendations? An armed task sconce meant for next to a bed or desk, or an architectural hallway sconce. Ass either one to your bath and it will feel more like art than hardware, perfectly complementing your vintage bathroom décor.

TRADE A TOOTHBRUSH HOLDER FOR A TUMBLER

While we certainly won’t dispute the toothbrush’s place of honor on the sink ledge (hey it’s earned it!), we do think the toothbrush holder—with its less-than-attractive finishes and bowling ball-like surface—could use a refresh. Don’t get us wrong, bathroom décor sets will always have their place, but for a tranquil retreat, a vintage tumbler is a much prettier place for those hard-working brushes to rest. When on the hunt, look for a heavy bottomed glass to prevent tipping and delicate etchings for added interest. But the real reason the tumbler is our favorite vintage bathroom idea ever? Throw it in the dishwasher weekly and cleaning that sucker becomes a non-issue.

SWAP YOUR BATHMAT FOR A RUG

Bathmats might be pros at sopping up water, but when it comes to style they often leave a little to be desired. If you have bathroom floors you’d rather ignore than put on display, skip the bathmat and head straight for an area rug. Not only will a rug showcase more complex patterns and colors than a bathmat (thereby adding interest to your bathroom), but it’s also likely to cover more square footage than a bathmat. Now, we call that a win-win.