Heritage Bathrooms Style Guide

Whether you’re renovating a heritage home or starting a-new, there’s something very special about period-style bathrooms. The heritage tessellated tiles, claw foot baths and vintage mirrors are just the beginning.


No matter if it’s Federation style, Victorian or Art Deco, we are here to help guide your renovation - celebrating ‘old world’ charm with contemporary functionality.  

But first, what is the difference between Federation, Victorian and Art Deco?


Victorian Style (1840-1890)

Named after Queen Victoria, the Victorian era spans from the 1860s through to the early 1900s. Known for its traditional and romantic aesthetic - oriental rugs, draping, tapestries, roll-top baths and luxurious styling, the Victorian style is a sure-fire way to design a bold and opulent bathroom.

At times Victorian bathrooms can feel more like an elegant bedroom than a bathroom, however it’s easy to take aspects from the style you enjoy and incorporate it into a contemporary space.

Victorian bathroom Featuring the Glasgow pattern in a green inverted colour scheme 
Classic bath Black and white checkerboard was popular during Victorian and carried through to Federation design. Image Credit: Pinterest 

Patterns We Suggest 

OETA 100 Cool 
Nottingham Dark
Killara Classic

Wall Tiles We Suggest

Sage Subway 
victoria blue
Victoria Blue Subway
white bevelled edge
White Bevelled Edge Subway

Federation Style (1890-1915)


Federation Style houses were initially built in the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth century. A celebration of Australia’s budding national identity, the style combined inspiration from America, Britain and France with an Australian touch. Flora and fauna symbolism, sunrise motifs and intricate timber-work are all recognizable characteristics of the style, a far more ‘pared-down’ version of their Victorian-era predecessors. 

Federation Style bathroom Image Credit: Pinterest

Federation style bathroom 

The Federation style bathroom favoured intricately designed heritage tessellated tiles whilst featuring glamorous claw foot baths, antique mirrors and distinctive tapware.

Known for its earthy tones, modern complex patterns and single-coloured encaustics the Federation style was a period of profound change, with a profusion of new ideas, new styles, and new products.

The Olde English 150 Cool / Plain Image Credit: Homes to Love

Floor Patterns We Suggest 

Bath pattern  
OETA 100 Classic pattern
Glasgow Classic 

Wall tiles we suggest 

Burgundy Subway tile 
Vanilla Subway tile
Honey Subway tile


Art Deco Style (1930-1950)

The Art Deco style reached its height in Britain in the 1920s. Known for its glamour and timelessness, the Art Deco look was all about having a modern take on a classic look with sleek lines and luxurious materials. Because of this, Art Deco remains one of the most commonly requested styles by designers, allowing for a creative, playful-like nature.


art deco
Art Deco bathroom Image Credit: Bloglovin'

Art deco style bathroom


Monochromatic patterns are a staple in Art Deco design, with the style favouring geometric mosaic shapes, elegant styling and a mix of vintage accessories. These can be utilized within the incorporation of lighting and fittings - vintage cut lampshades, warm bulbs and soft coloured lights were often featured in Art Deco bathrooms. Taking its inspiration from the art movement of Cubism, Art Deco bathrooms were often littered with creative pieces - whether they be paintings, photographs, bold copper-effect accessories or intricate geometric Art Deco wall tiles, it’s important to keep a playful-like nature when designing an Art Deco space.


Strong use of geometric pattern Featuring an angular motif, classic zag zag border in Bristol pattern and Waldorf screen-printed wall tile.
art deco
The ultimate Art Deco bathroom The Hexagon mosaic patterns echo geometric accents pertinent to the style. Image Credit: Becki Owens

Floor patterns we suggest

Algonquin 25 White with Black pattern
Chrysler 20 Black and White pattern
The Empire Multi 25 Black with Dark Blue, White & Special Red pattern 

Wall Tiles We Suggest

Aurora Art Deco tile pattern
The Greek Key Art Deco tile pattern


The Fanfare Art Deco tile


How can I use these styles in a contemporary space?


Renovating your heritage-style bathroom does not have to be stressful. It can be as easy as doing a little research into the history of your home and picking and choosing the features of the style you like. The process should feel playful. Play with colours, shapes, patterns and lighting. Look into geometric tiling. Find artworks that suit your colour scheme. Create atmosphere with warm lighting and draping.

Most of all, have fun.

Feeling inspired? Check out other bathroom projects we've completed, browse more patterns or contact us today to discuss your project.