The ultimate Victorian bathroom


2016-04-05 13:46:09


The Victorians were good at a few things. Subjugating indigenous peoples, high infant mortality rates and, of course, inventing the bathroom.

Prior to 1880, most activities we carry out in the warmth of our own homes today were performed outside.

Thanks Victorians.  

The Victorian bathroom, with its decadent combinations of brass, porcelain and ceramic tiling, is very much the last word in luxury.

Here are our top picks for designing your own.

The bath

The cast-iron, roll top bath is at the centre of the Victorian bathroom.

Image: eBay

Image: eBay

Often literally, which will necessitate re-routing your plumbing should you just decide to go for it.

While reproductions can be very expensive, selling for several hundred dollars, you can actually pick up originals for substantially less – think around $70, if you don’t mind doing a bit of cleaning, that is.

The floor tiles

It’s unlikely that you’ll come across an original set of bathroom floor tiles, so it may be an idea to use reproductions.

Image: Abbey Fountains

Image: Abbey Fountains

This set by Abbey Fountains features a classic encaustic design.

The wall tiles

 Image: eBayImage: eBay

Metro green is a classic shade for wall tiles, giving a decadent and intimate feel to any bathroom. Try offsetting it with white for a timeless look.

The toilet

Image: eBay

Image: eBay

Famed Victorian designer William Morris once said to have nothing in your house that is not beautiful or useful. This toilet is both. It will also set you back close to $2,000.

The washstand

This marble-topped washstand is ideal for adding some Victorian atmosphere to a bathroom, especially considering the range of modern plumbing displayed in most bathrooms.

Image: eBay

Image: eBay

Artfully place an antique wash basin on it for maximum effect. Hey, you’re getting the hang of this.

The sink

Image: eBay

Image: eBay

This sink is hugely impractical to install in a modern home and is thus perfect for your new bathroom.

It’s produced by Peck Brothers & Co and features a real marble deck, an elaborate foliate porcelain bowl and its original taps.

The mirror

Image: eBay

Image: eBay

Victorian mirrors swing between big, ornate and Gothic or simple and constructed from something like walnut. I suggest you let your inner Goth run wild.  This one even has candle holders!

The towel rack

It goes without saying that all your fittings should be made from brass.

Image: eBay

Image: eBay

Don’t fall into the trap of putting dials everywhere though, you’re not a steampunk.

These brass and glass towel racks look vaguely anachronistic, but are in fact the real deal.

The soap holder

Image: eBay

Image: eBay

More brass…also extremely rare and very expensive.  

The taps

Image: eBay

Image: eBay

These taps are original, made from brass and will cost you several hundred dollars.

Again this is definitely overkill and you can easily get something similar for much less money, but this is supposed to be the ultimate Victorian bathroom so let’s roll with it. 

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