Traditional vs. Contemporary Bathrooms: Which Style Suits You Best?

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A bathroom serves a critical role in the functioning of a home. People use this room on a daily basis. However, homeowners rarely give much thought to the appearance of this space. They focus on its functionality and never consider its place in the overall interior decor of the residence. That is a mistake.

The style or theme of the bathroom serves as the cornerstone when decorating this space. In fact, this is what defines the atmosphere. While color choices and lighting play a role, they build on the style or theme, which is determined by the shapes and features found in the room. There are two main styles in bathrooms today. Some homeowners choose a contemporary style, but other people prefer one that is more traditional. Which is right for your home? This information is needed when you go shopping for a bathroom vanity or any item in the room.

Traditional Bathrooms

Traditional bathrooms provide a classic look with modern features. The soft edges found in this type of bathroom along with the rounded features fit perfectly into many homes today. Look for cabinets with character, such as those with rounded legs or ornate knobs. Basin pedestals and slipper baths remain popular when a person uses this decorating style, and most people paint the room either white or a softer pastel shade. Choose light or dark grain traditional wood finishes where appropriate in this room, although some designers do opt for richer colors.

Antique-style lighting and ample molding serve as excellent choices for a traditional bathroom. Pay close attention to detail when designing the space, focusing on things such as the tilework and millwork. Finally, choose lusterless finishes for the fixtures for the icing on the cake.

Contemporary Bathrooms

Contemporary bathrooms feature clean lines and very little clutter. They tend to be edgy and break decor conventions. When a person walks into this room, their expectations will be challenged. Those who choose this style love unconventional and exciting forms, including angular ones.

When designing this space, the homeowner wants to go beyond the appearance when it comes to unique features. Expect to see things such as dual eco flushes and pop-up basin wastes. The sink will likely have waterfall or mixer taps, while a wall-mounted or countertop basin won’t look out of place in this room.

Don’t expect to see a slipper tub or clawfoot bathtub in this room. Corner or shower baths remain popular choices. Many people choose to combine white walls with dark wood accents or choose pieces in bright, bold colors. Anything goes in a contemporary bathroom, as it should be a reflection of the owner’s personality and style.

Choosing a Style

The homeowner must decide what they want and need from the bathroom before deciding on a style. Figure out who will use the bathroom most often and how they will use it. Will it be a powder room for guests or an upgrade of the master bathroom for the homeowner? A powder room that is rarely used won’t need the same features as a bathroom that is used multiple times throughout the day.

What do you want this room to say about you? A person’s decorating style shares information about their personality. As people spend more time in the bathroom than they realize, this room truly needs to make the homeowner feel comfortable and relaxed. In fact, the bathroom tends to be the first room a person visits in the morning and the last room they use at night before heading to bed. The wrong style could leave this individual in a bad mood for the rest of the day and make it harder for them to fall asleep at night. Keep this in mind when deciding which style you prefer.


One thing homeowners often fail to consider when redesigning their bathroom is the size of various objects in the room. For instance, a person might fall in love with a vanity they see online and begin planning the entire bathroom around this one piece. They are then disappointed when they find the selected item won’t fit in their bathroom without major modifications.

Traditional pieces typically require more space than their contemporary siblings. Keep this in mind when beginning your bathroom remodeling project and know the measurements of the room as well as how much space can be reserved for different items. This helps you plan out the perfect space and find items that you love and ones that will fit in the allocated area.

The Home’s Interior Design

Furthermore, the bathroom should blend in with the rest of the home. A traditional bathroom in a contemporary home will feel out of place. Try to maintain the same style throughout the residence to allow one area to flow into the next. While some people like to have several styles within the walls of their residence, many people find it jarring and end up hating the work they had done.

If the entire home is to be remodeled, and the bathroom is at the top of the list, the choice of style isn’t as important. A person who currently has a contemporary home that they wish to make traditional can start with the bathroom and transition the other rooms over slowly. When the entire home is complete, the nice flow between areas will be restored.

When the bathroom is the last room to be redone, however, make sure it blends in with other rooms in the home. In addition, consider the overall style of the residence. Nobody wants to pull up to a contemporary home only to walk inside and find the interior is traditional. The contrast tends to be overwhelming.

Every person has their preferences when it comes to home decor. If you want a contemporary bathroom, feel free to update your current room in this style. However, if you prefer a more traditional look and feel for this room, that is perfectly acceptable too. A person should feel completely comfortable in their residence. Whatever you need to achieve this goal is what you should have in your home.

Bella Duckworth

Bella Duckworth

Total posts created: 2173
“Architecture is really about well-being. I think that people want to feel good in a space… On the one hand, it’s about shelter, but it’s also about pleasure.” – Zaha Hadid

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