I adore a simple black and white tiled vintage and/or vintage-inspired bathroom. The Denver area has a lot of homes from the 1910’s-1930’s and I get a lot of clients who want to update their bathrooms, but keep a vintage look. For those of you out there who want a little bit of history with your design – did you know that white bathrooms became very popular in the early 1910’s with the discovery of germs? People thought that you could see germs better against a white background with the idea that all white bathrooms were the sterile choice. Typically, small white, glazed floor tiles were accented with black tiles to add some interest to the floor. A few black subway tiles were mixed in with the white subway wall tiles to give the walls some interest. In the 1920’s and 30’s, designers and consumers started introducing pale color into these areas (in lieu of the black) and I think we’ve all seen the pink sinks from the 1950’s! I kind of like knowing about the germaphobic start to the white and black “design” trend for bathrooms.
Enough with the history lesson and on to the inspiration images! I have sources for more reading about early bathroom trends and preservation at the end of this post if you want to pursue it further, along with sources for preservation tile if you’re trying to match or replicate something in particular.
Laura is a Denver Interior Designer who runs an Interior Design Studio based in sunny Colorado with a strong commitment to livable and interesting interiors. She also runs The Colorado Nest, a Denver blog about Design, Art and Life in the Mountain West and co-hosts the book podcast "The Inside Flap" on iTunes, Stitcher and Google Play.
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