14 Retro Bathrooms That Prove Modern Isn't Always Best

Hello, pedestal sinks, clawfoot tubs, and square subway tile walls.

retro bathroom with pedestal sink

 Zeke Ruelas; DESIGN: Brady Tolbert for Emily Henderson Design

Over the years, we've seen our fair share of homes with well-designed modern bathrooms. From a light-drenched home in North Vancouver with a jaw-dropping black marble bathroom to a boho-chic Los Angeles abode with a striking green zellige tiled primary bathroom, and even a minimalistic Lower East Side apartment with a dramatic, jet-black guest bathroom, our home tour library is filled with stunning, on-trend bathroom designs.

Primary Bathroom

The term “Primary Bathroom” is now widely used to describe the largest bathroom in the home, as it better reflects the space’s purpose. Many realtors, architects, interior designers, and the Real Estate Standards Association have recognized the potentially discriminatory connotations in the term “Master.” Read more about our Diversity and Inclusion Pledge.

That said, we'd be remiss if we overlooked charming homes with comparatively "outdated" retro bathrooms. Boasting porcelain pedestal sinks, clawfoot tubs, and square subway tile backsplashes, these retro bathrooms are rife with delightful design details that are all too often misinterpreted as out-of-date. Need a bit more convincing? Ahead, we've rounded up 14 retro bathrooms that prove modern isn't always best. Keep scrolling to see them all.

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The Retro Bathroom With a Pedestal Sink and Flat Panel Wainscoting

In sought-after stylist Scott Horne's light-filled bathroom, a porcelain pedestal sink, and a flat-panel wainscoting wall treatment exude retro vibes. Meanwhile, a round metal framed mirror, a sleek silver faucet, and contemporary art demonstrate that a few updates can go a long way in giving a retro space a bit of a modern edge.

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The Retro Bathroom With Penny Tile Floors and a Clawfoot Tub

Charming details abound in this bathroom designed by Emma Reddington, editor-in-chief of House & Home and founder of the popular design site The Marion House Book. Complete with penny tile floors, a pedestal sink, beadboard wainscoting, and a clawfoot tub, this retro bath is proof that sometimes more is more.

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The Retro Bathroom With Hexagon Tile Floors and a Clawfoot Tub

Hexagon tile floors? Check. A square subway tile wall? Check. A clawfoot tub complete with an exposed pipe shower and tub faucet and a wall-mounted shower curtain? Check, check, and check. In other words, this retro-inspired bathroom designed by Anthony Dargenzio of Zio & Sons checks all the boxes.

04 of 14

The Retro Bathroom With an Open-Framework Double Sink Console

Although nearly everything in this vintage-inspired bathroom designed by Jessica Helgerson of Jessica Helgerson Interior Design is new, the space exudes retro vibes, thanks in part to an open-framework double sink console, penny tile floors, and brass fixtures. Plus, plenty of classic white subway tile for good measure.

05 of 14

The Retro Bathroom With a Freestanding Tub and Exposed Pipe Faucet

Light wood shiplap paneled walls act as the perfect backdrop for this vintage-inspired bathroom designed by Dargenzio. The space boasts a freestanding tub outfitted with an exposed pipe shower and tub faucet as well as a ceiling-mounted shower curtain. A wire bath caddy completes the look.

06 of 14

The Retro Bathroom With an Enameled Cast Iron Double Sink

There's no mistaking the standout feature in this retro bathroom: an enameled cast iron double sink outfitted with a pair of classic curved faucets. Penny tile floors and square subway tile add to the retro aesthetic of this charming bathroom conceptualized by the designers at the interior design studio Nune.

07 of 14

The Retro Bathroom With Ethereal Wallpaper and a Solid Brass Sconce

A porcelain pedestal sink and clay-coated wallpaper lend retro vibes to this vintage-inspired bathroom, which was also designed by the talented team behind Nune. At once classic and modern, a solid brass double sconce outfitted with glossy white bulbs sheds light on the space.

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The Retro Bathroom With a Pedestal Sink and a Brass Lavatory Faucet

Allow Brady Tolbert to demonstrate how to make the most of a rather dated rental bathroom. Here, the interior designer embraces the space's vintage aesthetic—note the basketweave tile floors and square subway tile walls—by installing a porcelain pedestal sink complete with a brass lavatory faucet and cross handles.

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The Retro Bathroom With Penny Tile Floors and Subway Tile Walls

Leave it to Leanne Ford to design a retro-inspired bathroom that pulls out all the stops. Seriously, this space has everything: penny tile floors, subway tile walls, vintage-looking faucets and showerheads, and an ornate clawfoot tub. Even a classic all-white color palette that will never get old or go out of style.

10 of 14

The Retro Bathroom With an Open-Framework Sink Console

In this vintage-inspired bathroom by designer Stefani Stein, an open-framework sink console with a brass pedestal takes center stage. A complimentary brass lavatory faucet with corresponding cross handles and a brass-framed mirror complete the look. Wallpaper boasting a botanical print lends a touch of whimsy.

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The Retro Bathroom With an Ornate Clawfoot Tub and Wood-Paneled Walls

A luxurious clawfoot tub with ornate feet steals the spotlight in this retro bathroom designed by Emily Henderson. Juxtaposed against wood-paneled walls painted in a deep shade of navy and floors laid with gray marble tile, the white, vintage-looking tub stands out in a room dominated by dark, moody hues.

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The Retro Bathroom With Square Subway Tile Walls and Penny Tile Floors

This classic bathroom by Stefani Stein is filled with vintage-inspired details worth pointing out. Note the penny tile floors, the square subway tile walls, and the antique dresser turned vanity. Traditional-leaning décor and finishes—the seascape painting, the vintage rug, and the gilded seashell planter—complete the look.

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The Retro Bathroom With a Weathered Cast Iron Clawfoot Tub

Nothing says retro quite like a weathered cast iron clawfoot tub, as this vintage bathroom demonstrates. Instead of a traditional bathmat, a plush rug is layered over a vintage rug, adding a tactile element to the space that contrasts nicely with the worn tub. An oversized mirror visually doubles the small space's square footage.

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The Retro Bathroom Boasting a Dramatic Green Hue and a Clawfoot Tub

At once vintage and modern, this stunning bathroom designed by the talented team at the New York City-based design studio Workstead represents the best of both worlds. Dark green paint coats the walls and the molding in the space, instantly making the space's historic architectural details look and feel new and modern. A contemporary chandelier and abstract painting further update the retro bathroom.

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