Bold colours, graphic prints and angular features - embracing eclectic designs from different eras can seem daunting, but our art deco bathroom ideas can help you seamlessly achieve this look.
What is art deco?
First things first, what is art deco? And what is an art deco bathroom? Art deco is described as the predominant decorative art style of the 1920s and 1930s, characterised by delineated geometric shapes, sleek, distinctive lines, and bold, strong colours. An art deco bathroom incorporates all of these striking features, adding luxury and elegance to your home, that is utterly timeless.
To this day original art deco architecture, furniture, and interiors are in high demand, and modern takes on the classic look are at the cutting edge of interior design. It’s easy to see why; the look allows room for endless creativity and individuality, bringing together period styling with a modern aesthetic.
How to create an art deco bathroom
If you love the idea of a contemporary yet timeless period bathroom that combines tradition with modernity, or you’re simply in love with the gorgeous style of the ‘20s and ‘30s, an art deco bathroom might just be the style you’re looking for.
Designing and styling an art deco bathroom
Art deco bathrooms are as much about the décor as they are the suite and fittings. An art deco bathroom is your chance to be bold and add some individual flair. Gorgeous tiled walls, intricate tiled floors, bold wallpaper features, and stunning accessories will all add to your unique design. But how do you get started?
Introducing bold designs and patterns can initially overwhelm magnolia lovers or those with only a small space to play with. Don’t let that deter you from embracing bold designs. At the heart of the art deco style are geometric designs and bold patterns and both of these are readily available and ideal for tiles, both on the walls and flooring. You can lay your tiles horizontally, or even as chevrons or in a zig-zag pattern. We recommend white tiles with black grouting to really capture the art deco look. Although, bottle green, black and oyster cream tiles can also work.
You don’t have to have all of your art deco bathroom tiled either. For smaller spaces, this can be a bit claustrophobic. You can tile your bathroom walls halfway and choose either a wallpaper or paint to cover the rest of the walls.
You can also create a feature wall with a bold wallpaper. Or, if you don't want to wallpaper a whole wall in a feature paper, you could look at cutting out some of the pieces, putting them into picture frames and then arranging them in a mixed way.
Colour schemes for an art deco bathroom
The key colours to use to evoke a true art deco feel are of course blacks and whites. We also recommend introducing a burst of green, red, gold or deep blue as these would have been really strong colours in that era.
Art deco bathrooms with Heritage
If you’re after a bathroom suite that will bring your art deco design to life, look for bold yet graceful lines and a classic (yet not old-fashioned) finish. The Granley collection has been designed with the best of art deco design in mind, combining modern appeal with vintage source material for a timeless look. The suite’s silhouette is inspired by the Barber Institute of Fine Arts, a Grade II listed building in Birmingham that epitomises the best of art deco design.
If you fancy an alternative nod to the deco look, the Wynwood collection is another brilliant option for a modern art deco bathroom. The design of Wynwood is inspired by the deco design of the Miami district of the same name, evoking a sleek look with captivating detail that calls to mind the South Beach Tides Hotel.
If you have the space, a freestanding cast iron bath is a brilliant way to complete your new art deco bathroom, as they really do embrace the vintage style. Or, try the Lyddington acrylic bath; available in Steel, Copper and Gold, each metallic tone adds on-trend glamour, while its elegant silhouette pays homage to art deco design.
For more expert tips and advice on using our products and suites in your art deco bathroom, check out our videos over on our YouTube channel.
Art deco bathroom fittings, fixtures and accessories
The smallest things can help make a bathroom, so don’t overlook finishing touches such as art deco shower fittings. As a starting point look for vintage-styled pieces and taps with squared handles; we love this Gracechurch recessed shower valve as part of an art deco look.
Coordinate these with the rest of your suite, using matching bath and tap handles as well, for a perfectly cohesive design. Gracechurch taps feature an elegant, slightly flat spout that widens at the end, adding a contemporary touch to the bold lines that inspire art deco design. These taps are available in chrome, or with a limited-edition mother of pearl handle, adding that all-important extra detail that draws the eye and captures the elegance of the period. The Gracechurch bath shower mixer, with a detailed shower handset set above the bath taps, is another easy way to add a touch of traditional glamour to your suite.
If you have a shower over a fitted bath, consider a glass shower panel instead of a curtain so the eye isn’t drawn to any ultra-modern features. We also offer bath panels in a range of colours - including on-trend Graphite and Dove Grey – a great way to customise your style and add a modern touch to your art deco bathroom.
When it comes to accessories for an art deco bathroom, look for metallic materials and simple, bold shapes. Copper-effect accessories are a brilliant to way include a nod to art deco design, whilst embracing a completely contemporary trend.
Take inspiration from other art deco interiors as well as art deco-style jewellery, clothing and architecture. Art deco has its origins in cubism, so if you’re feeling bold, look for artwork that reflects the experimentalism of cubism for more inspiration – or track down pieces of artwork that will complement your design and create focal points for your art deco bathroom.
Art deco bathroom lighting
It’s important not to forget the part that lighting plays in creating the atmosphere of your new art deco bathroom. If you want to embrace art deco bathroom lighting, the options are almost limitless – and they can add real individuality to your design.
Vintage cut glass lampshades are a gorgeous style statement, and if you can’t track down an original, it’s easy to find contemporary recreations. Look for geometric shapes that are almost architectural in design, and if it matches your colour scheme, green is a classic option that oozes period chic. Globe lightshades made of glass are a more contemporary, but equally elegant, option that will perfectly complement an art deco design. For an art deco bathroom, it’s important to avoid harsh or bright lights, instead opting for warmer bulbs, or soften the glare with a coloured shade.
Another option for an art deco bathroom is to keep things simple with fitted lights that sit flush with the ceiling; this is a particularly good idea if you don’t want to break the all-important art deco lines in your suite, or if you have a smaller bathroom and need to create the feeling of more space. Flush lighting is unobtrusive, won’t draw the eye away from your favourite period art deco features, and helps create an even light.
Key features of an art deco bathroom
An art deco bathroom can be as traditional or modern as you like, but some of the basic features to include are:
• Geometric and angular patterns, with clean, sleek lines - look at using chevrons, zig zag designs
• Hexagons and angular products
• Vintage-styled features
• Sweeping symmetrical shapes
• Smooth, glossy textures
• Black and white with bold colours to contrast.
Art deco bathrooms are seeing a resurgence in popularity, which means that there are more style options that ever for your new suite. Need a little more inspiration? Take a look at this year’s trends, collected by our own interior designer Ali Munro, and get more ideas for your new bathroom theme. Order or download the Heritage Bathrooms brochure and discover our collections.