Retro Bathroom Refresh: Why Older Bathroom Suites are Still Sweet

updated May 3, 2019
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Post Image
(Image credit: Rebecca Proctor)

Common wisdom says that when it comes to bathroom suites, newer, more streamlined, and whiter is better. The bathroom is often the first room homeowners want to gut, but this isn’t the only option. If you’re lucky enough to have a suite of retro bathware in good nick, whether it be pink, mint green, or even avocado, maybe think twice about ripping it out. Read on for some swoon-worthy retro bathrooms.

In Sophie and Nick’s Manchester home, above, a pink bathroom suite (not original to the house, but sourced on eBay) was brought up-to-date with a simple white and grey color scheme, co-ordinating modern tile, and lots of rustic and natural elements.

(Image credit: Toby Scott)

In this Australian home snapped by Toby Scott for Real Living, a jade suite stands out—nay, glows—in an otherwise white and modern bathroom. When the color itself is this beautiful, you really don’t need any other tricks.

(Image credit: Bolaget)

Further proof that green is good: Emma Parkinson’s Scandi-chic space. Builder-basic square white tiles actually work better here than something fancier would, as it’s the simplicity of this look that works.

Blue suites are a rarer find, but in certain locations—by the sea, I think, or in a child’s bathroom—they can work. This suite, which belongs to Gabrielle of the green gables blog, is as simple as they come, but the shiplap tub siding and gilded mirror elevate it to something special.

(Image credit: BYGGFSBRIKEN)

I promised you a chic avocado bathroom, and this one featured on BYGGFABRIKEN is as good as I can do. Though I think these basins are actually new, reclaiming something similar would be easy (not to mention cheap—I doubt they’re high in demand these days). The combination of retro-green sinks, bright taps and accessories, and a killer black-and-white patterned floor is a recipe for a style.

(Image credit: Casa Aberta)

I’m including this image from Casa Aberta to show just how well a retro pedestal sink works in an eclectic, colorful home. I mean, look at that colorblocking!

Finally, don’t despair if you don’t have a super-cool pastel suite to play with. Classic white in a retro style works perfectly as well, especially when contrasted with colorful retro tiling, as in this bathroom by Tim Barber Ltd Architecture. I suppose that’s another post for another day, however…

Do you, or have you ever, lived with a colored bathroom suite? How do/did you feel about it? Has anything here changed your mind?