The Difference Between A Modern-Style and A Traditional-Style Bathroom

The Difference Between A Modern-Style and A Traditional-Style Bathroom
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    If you’ve spent any time in home stores or on design sites, you’ve probably seen or heard the terms “modern” and “traditional.”

    Someone might call a certain faucet “modern” or refer to a particular bathroom tile as “traditional.”


What do they mean? What are the key differences between modern and traditional designs, and how do you know which one pertains to your bathroom? To help answer these questions, here is a look at some key characteristics of these two terms and how they relate to bathroom spaces.

The Modern-Style Bathroom

Frequently confused with the term “contemporary,” modern design is actually design that “breaks with those pre-Industrial Revolution traditional styles,” says interior design and architecture site, whereas contemporary style refers to current design trends. Typically, modern design includes styles created between the 1920s and 1950s, although it may include the entire 20th century. Focused on sleek style and clean lines, modern bathroom design tends to be streamlined, simple and uncluttered. Hallmarks of this look in a bathroom include:

  • Fixture and features with clean lines
  • Simple, geometric shapes
  • White walls, sometimes with pops of color elsewhere
  • Clutter-free space with less decorative detailing
  • Concealed storage
  • Natural materials (wood, stone, linen) incorporated
  • Stainless steel and glass
  • Chrome accents

The Traditional-Style Bathroom

In contrast to modern style, traditional design finds its roots in older days — like “18th-century England, the French countryside or even the exotic lands of the East,” according to HGTV. Traditional design emphasizes timeless features, vintage styles and more embellishments or decorative detailing. In a traditional-style bathroom, you can expect to find these features:

  • Warm wood tones
  • Bronze or gold accents
  • Repurposed vintage furniture used as vanities
  • Rustic accessories
  • Clawfoot tub
  • Ornate details
  • Classic shapes such as columns, curves or scrolling leaves
  • Subtle or bold colors

The Right Bathroom Style for You

In many cases, the style of your home will dictate the best style for your bathrooms. Have a highly traditional, classic look in your kitchen and living areas? Carry that over to the bathroom spaces. Have a sleek and modern layout and design? Go for a more modern bathroom look. At the same time, don’t feel like you have to box yourself into just one or the other option. Contemporary home design will often combine aspects of both modern and traditional design in order to suit a particular homeowner, and you can certainly incorporate the elements you like best to create a preferred style.

Whether you’re analyzing your current home, evaluating available properties on the market or just trying to decide how you might renovate your current bathroom space, understanding the difference between modern and traditional style is a good place to start. Think through the possibilities and see which elements appeal to you most. Whether you want to incorporate more traditional pieces into your bathroom renovation or are interested in picking a modern faucet to match your modern bath, you’ll be better prepared to move forward when you have a good understanding of what it is you’re working with in a bathroom design.

Author bio: Erica Garland is Content Marketing Manager at Modern Bathroom, and has 15 years of experience in the bathroom renovation industry. Modern Bathroom sells a variety of products you would need for any bathroom renovation project. With such a large selection of vanities, faucets, sinks, toilets and modern shower enclosures, Modern Bathroom is sure to have the perfect piece to give your bathroom an updated look.

Home Improvement reference:

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