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Our Timeless Bathroom Design

When designing a bathroom remodel, it’s important to make design decisions that will withstand the test of time. It’s easy to get wrapped up in design trends, but a timeless bathroom design will last for years to come. There are several ways to achieve a timeless bathroom design, like using natural stone, selecting aged brass fixtures, and making classic design decisions.

For our bathroom remodel, I wanted a blank slate that I would be able to decorate and add new small touches to as my style evolves. It was a must to have a classic backdrop that would be beautiful in any home. I wanted to create a space that a potential home buyer would look at and say “wow that’s beautiful,” no matter their style or preferences. Read further as I explain where my ideas came from to create this space, how we hired a professional team for help implementing our designs, the sources we used to create the bathroom, and the story of the bathroom of our dreams!

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Classic white bathroom with natural wood vanity and coconut shell chandelier.

What is a Timeless Design?

When thinking about home decor and making design plans, I prefer to incorporate timeless elements into my designs. What is timeless and what does it mean to decorate with a timeless design? Timeless design is creating a space that will not go out of style. It’s functional and it’s “safe” with high quality products and classic elements. It’s simply not going to age with new fashion trends or styles and won’t date your home in the years to come.

Steven Shell Living faux bamboo wood vanity.

What Bathroom Colors are Timeless?

When selecting paint colors for your classic home, select a color that will never go out of style. White will forever be my favorite choice and a good neutral will be second. White is elegant and pairs nicely with basically any tile color you select. A few of my favorite white paint colors include Chantilly Lace and Cloud White. If you’re looking for the perfect neutral color, Balboa Mist is another timeless paint color that will pair nicely with a multitude of styles.

What Bathroom Never Goes Out of Style?

Those that follow trends will argue with me here, but a white or neutral bathroom will never go out of style. Selecting an all white palette will create a timeless design that you’ll love for years to come. If you love bold colors, consider adding an eye-catching rug, colorful painting, or fun decor and accessories. Polished nickel and brushed brass are great options for finishes in a classsic bathroom. Look for elements that are both traditional and elegant.

Narrow brass mirrors above natural wood bamboo vanity in timeless bathroom.

Tips for Creating a Classic and Timeless Bathroom

  1. Select a timeless paint color. Avoid trends and bold colors.
  2. Get inspired by nature and use natural elements in your design. For example, if you select wallpaper, opt for grasscloth. Consider faux bamboo accent or rattan for a traditional aspect. Think natural for stone and lighting.
  3. Don’t skimp on the details. Think about your molding and trim. Small upgrades to the design go a long way.
  4. Think about how the design makes you feel. A tranquil and serene space will add a sense of luxury.
  5. Lighting and fixtures are jewelry for your space. My favorites include brushed or antiqued brass and chrome.
  6. Go with natural stone, or opt for a faux stone to meet your budget.

Our Bathroom Design

Steven Shell Vanity

I was browsing through one of my favorite local furniture stores, Steven Shell Living, and admiring all of their beautiful furniture. I actually went in hopes of finding a new outdoor dining table and made my way to the back where their bathroom vanities were located. I saw a few and thought, “wow… those are beautiful and so classy. I wish I could use one of those for our home.” But wait, why couldn’t I? I quickly dismissed the idea, not knowing what tile I would select and more. Let me tell you, I thought about their vanities for days. Then I finally made my way back and knew it was meant to be – they still had one in stock with a Carrara marble top. It had the most beautiful natural wood tone with just a touch of warmth. It was meant to be!

Luckily Steven Shell Living is able to custom order their vanities to your liking, so I went with the Grosvenor Double Vanity w/ Sink & Marble Top in “driftwood.” In my bathroom full of white, I knew this would be the warmth we needed to tie in the brass details. First, the faux bamboo front detailing is a classic design seen in 19th century furniture. You will see the bamboo designs used in several types of design, like traditional southern, classic homes, mid-century modern, and more.

Freestanding signature hardware bathtub in bathroom.

If you’re looking at vanities for your classic bathroom design, I’ve rounded up several of my favorites next. Also, you can read more about natural wood vanities if you’re on the hunt for one yourself.

Designer Lighting

I knew that I wanted a beautiful chandelier over the free standing bathtub. It was in the plans from the beginning and one of the last design decisions that I made. Lighting is jewelry for your home and can make such a big statement. I typically save on everything possible so that I can splurge on lighting. My girlfriend saw the Palacek Coco Magnolia Pendant at Market and sent a picture asking if she should use it in her new store location. I said, “I don’t care where you use it, but send me details because I’m using it in my bathroom.”

I knew it would be expensive, given it’s a designer light, so I sat on it for a bit. I found several looks for less and I even ordered a less expensive light. Fortunately, my look for less was backordered and then I saw that Steven Shell Living had the Coco light in stock and I ran…without looking back. It’s one of my favorite items in our bathroom remodel and was worth the splurge for me. The Coco light is made from hand-cut coco shells in petal forms with an off-white finish. It comes with a cream finished chain and canopy hanging kit. Professional installation recommended.

Natural Palacek Coco Magnolia pendant light above bathtub with white coconut shells and cream chain.
Visual Comfort Thomas O’Brien light
  • The Hulton Double Sconce has hand-rubbed antique brass with a crystal backplate and natural paper shades. It pairs nicely with antiqued brass and will age with time, giving it an aged look.
Palecek Coco magnolia Pendant
  • This hand-cut coco shell has petal forms in an off-white finish. The natural markings and indentations are part of the beauty of coconut shells and they add interest to the piece.

Do you love Palacek and designer lights but struggle to wrap your head around the price? I get you. I thrift furniture and decor for a living, but I love a good designer item. You don’t have to spend a fortune on high-end designer lights to achieve a beautiful bathroom design. While we selected lighting at the top of our budget, there are plenty of ways to save on lighting with some of my favorites below.

Chantilly Lace Paint Color

One of my favorite class white paint colors is Chantilly Lace by Benjamin Moore, so it’s no surprise that we used that for our classic bathroom design. It is a crisp and fresh white that pairs perfectly with the cooler tones of our marble. We have Chantilly lace in several areas of our home. We also have several other white paint colors in our home that will work perfectly for a timeless bathroom design.

Ceiling Exhaust Fan and Lights

Sometimes you don’t think about the simple things like exhaust fans and ceiling lights, but I sat in Lowe’s and Home Depot agonizing over which exhaust fans I should select for our new space. I know that sounds crazy but I wanted to be sure that I selected the right items for our bathroom renovation. For this bathroom design, I wanted to choose items that would blend seamlessly, not look cheap, and function well.

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Timeless Bathroom Tiles

If you’re not into an all white bathroom and want to try something else, consider earthy and neutral tones to keep things classic and timeless. Also, consider using different tile designs like herringbone, diamond, and penny tile to create texture and visual interest. Finally, if you’re looking for a bold tile design that is classic, checkerboard marble is a great choice. Adding this formal touch to your bathroom design can elevate your design if you want to step out of the classic, all white bathroom. What tile did we select for our bathroom? Read more below.

Riad zellige tile in snow, vertically stacked in bathroom shower.
Zellige Tile

When selecting bathroom tiles for our renovation, I knew that I wanted to use natural stone and classic items.While I did select Zellige tile for the shower, which is currently a trending bathroom item, I felt that it held those classic properties found in timeless designs. Zellige tile is a Moroccan tile that is hand-cut and handmade – a tradition that dates back thousands of years. You can read more about our zellige tile selections and how it was installed in the shower.

Zellige tile with pure white grout and niche with shower bottles.
Carrara Marble Tile

One of the most classic touches added to this bathroom design is marble, which is a natural stone. Carrara Marble is named after the city of Carrara in Italy. It is white with a blue-gray tone, with a finer and irregular feather like appearance. For our bathroom design, I selected honed Carrara marble for a matte and unpolished look. It is also more durable which is important for our family. I selected a diamond mosaic for the shower floor and niche with a simple marble curb. So many times I was advised against marble with a young family. Marble requires upkeep with annual sealing, which is not a difficult process. Also, you have to clean up any spills quickly. Read more about the most popular types of marble used in bathroom design. While we went with the cooler tones of Carrara Marble to balance out the warmth of our vanity, you can create an elegant bathroom design by using different types of marble like Calacatta gold.

Snow White – Zellige 2″x6″
  • Riad Zellige is a traditional Moroccan tile handcrafted with non-refined natural clay from the Fez region. It is a low-fired terracotta that may be used for all applications, including floor/wall, interior/exterior and water treatments (such as pools).
Casablanca Carrara Marble – Honed – Diamond Mosaic
  • Riad’s grey-streaked Marble Tile is created from carefully-selected marble slabs, giving the tile its signature luster and shimmer with a bit of added color. 
Casablanca Carrara Marble – Honed – 12″x24″ Subway
  • With a subtle coloration and flawlessly smooth texture, this marble tile adds an air of elegance to any space.

A niche is a cut out for storage that can also be decorative. It’s like a little cubby hole cut into the wall with tile. While you’ll find a niche in a shower most of the time, it will look great in other spaces and have a purpose. We had a niche installed above our freestanding tub to add texture and depth to the space. Its great for storing small items like soaking salts. A niche is a great statement piece also for a bold tile or design in a classic bathroom.

Marble niche with mosaic above freestanding tub.
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For our bathroom, the tile job was the most labor intensive part. Installing zellige tile and working with natural stone can be challenging, but Jose from Sanctuary Tile was amazing for this job. He made SO MANY cuts to get the zellige just perfect in our shower. He also meticulously laid the diamond tile to fit perfect over our linear drain. Details like this provide a timeless look that looks and feels luxurious.

Tile Used In Our Bathroom

Classic Bathroom Fixtures

I splurged on bathroom plumbing fixtures for our remodel because I knew I would not be replacing them anytime soon. Selected the perfect faucets stressed me out knowing I would want them for years to come. Also, the Brizo fixtures in Luxe Gold are tough to match, but have no fear, I’ve simplified the process for you! Read more about mixing antique brass finishes.

Looking for more details and additional antique brass fixtures? Read more about antique brass and all of my favorites here.

New Doors & Trim

We considered putting our old doors and trim back in with a fresh coat of paint. While this would have cut costs in the end, it didn’t make sense to use those again with the new style of the home. We opted for a simple trim design to help with costs, using 1×8 baseboards, 1×4 door and window casing, and a 1×2 backbanding. For the doors, we went with solid wood two panel doors. All of our lumber was purchased locally at Buck Lumber.

Emtek Door Levers

One of the best selections for upgrading your bathroom is selecting classic door hardware. We selected classic door levers for our bathroom in Emtek’s French Antique Brass finish. It also has a brighter finish with more warmth than the other antique brass finishes. This finish pairs really nicely with luxe gold and champagne bronze hardware. The Merrimack levers have beautiful detailing and look great when paired with other brass and metal finishes. We also replaced the hinges and all hardware for the doors using the same matching Emtek items.

French antique Merrimack door levers with rectangular backplate.

Freestanding Bathtub

I have always dreamed of a freestanding bath tub in my bathroom. I shopped around for a while and actually ordered two other tubs that were backordered with no delivery date available, so the tub I selected was my third choice. We ended up going with the Signature Hardware Boyce Acrylic Freestanding Tub. I do not regret the purchase, it was fairly priced for free standing tubs with nice and clean lines. It sits two adults comfortably and with the addition of a bath pillow, it’s perfect for soaking the days away!

New Toilet + Hardware

For the toilet room, I did not want anything fancy. I selected a high efficiency elongated toilet with a concealed trapway. The Signature Hardware Bradenton Elongated Toilet is perfect for the small space and sits comfortably. I upgraded to the Invari™ Left-Hand Trip Lever in Luxe Gold.

Frameless Shower Glass

A large frame on shower doors can age the look of a bathroom. I opted for a frameless design with minimal hardware in an antiqued brass to match our Brizo plumbing fixtures. All of our shower door hardware was ordered through DK Hardware and our door handle is still on backorder.

Frameless shower with marble curb.

Bathroom Mirrors

Selecting mirrors for our bathroom was not an easy task. The ceilings are tall but the vanity is not super wide. I was afraid the mirrors would be too short for the space and ideally, we could only put lights over the mirrors or one single light between two mirrors. I expanded my mirror search by using terms like tall mirror, narrow mirror, and rectangular mirror. Finally, I found the perfect fit from Williams Sonoma Home. The Gramercy Mirror comes in a normal width and narrow width with the most beautiful antiqued brass color that compliments our faucet selection. It has a beveled edge with a round disc in each corner.

Bathroom Decor and Accessories

Adding a vintage rug in front of your vanity or bath tub is a guaranteed way to add elegance to a space. It’s also easy to swap out after a few years if you grow tired of the design. We purchased our vintage runner from Zuma Imports in Charleston, SC and they ship as well. An oil-based art piece will add character and sophistication to the white backdrop. I opted for a small painting by Rebecca Hoyle in a wide frame to draw your eye in when entering the bathroom. I also used another painting by Rebecca Hoyle over the toilet in the bathroom closet.

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Fine Art

Living in the Lowcountry, I wanted to add a few coastal touches to our classic design. The section above our niche was perfect for a beautiful piece of art. Sometimes, a smaller piece of art has a bigger impact and draws your eye into the room. For our bathroom, I used two custom paintings by Rebecca Hoyle, a local modern impressionist oil painter. Her canvas is a visual expression of her connection to light and how it impacts environmental elements and landscapes of her local and travel experiences. Read more about Rebecca Hoyle and shop her art here.

Oil painting by Rebecca Hoyle located above freestanding bathtub.

Bathroom Renovation

For our bathroom renovation, we hired Polished Renovations and Designs (PRD). I had a vision for the space and presented it to PRD and they helped bring my ideas to life. With each design selection I presented, they helped achieve the overall design I desired.

One of the biggest changes to our bathroom was swapping the shower and bath tub locations. In our original plans, we wanted to remove the garden tub and replace it with a freestanding tub. Unfortunately, the area was not wide enough and we ultimately would not have loved the size of the tub. We also disliked the half wall to the shower that essentially created a blocked off space, making the bathroom appear smaller. We interviewed a few builders before we found PRD that was comfortable with building a shower in the window space. With their experience and using PVC trim, they were able to waterproof the window, seal it, and install a frosted glass to provide privacy. Finally, we ordered Bahama shutters for the exterior of our home that will provide added privacy.

Bathroom vanity with double mirrors and double sconce in antiqued brass.

If you’re looking for a bathroom that is on trend but still a classic, check out my Top Bathroom Trends in 2022. Have you renovated recently? How did it go? Leave your comments below!

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  1. Thank you for this, Amy! In the midst of a bathroom remodel and I have referred to all of your bathroom posts many times. I used Delta champagne bronze (same as Brizo luxe gold) and have the Gramercy mirror ordered. I have been so worried with the color combo, but you’ve given me the confidence boost I needed in my selections!

    1. Hi Kat, that’s awesome to hear! I know how frustrating it is to select the finishes, I hope you’ll love these! Best, Amy

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