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Modest Arts & Crafts Bungalow Bathroom

Tile adds color & convenience in a small Arts & Crafts bathroom.
By Patricia Poore | Photos by Linda Svendsen

    This bathroom with its one window is quite small, not inappropriately for this modest Bungalow.

    The first wave of revival bathrooms were decidedly Victorian, with clawfoot bathtubs and pull-chain toilets. More recently, the popularity of 20th-century styles—especially Arts & Crafts, as appropriate in this Bungalow—contributes another vocabulary. Like many Victorian-style bathrooms, this one is conjectural and, perhaps, prettier than the prototype. Reproduction or not, though, everything in this room is appropriate to the period and style of this West Coast house.

    For the homeowner, there was no debate as to decorating style: the house, located in a historic Bungalow neighborhood, is a textbook example. To furnish the room in anything but an Arts & Crafts style was unthinkable. At 7 1⁄2-feet square, however, the room was small. Bathrooms of the early-20th century were rarely more than simple, functional spaces. By furnishing this bathroom with some of the best of today’s Arts & Crafts reproductions, the owner matched the bathroom to the period of her home, while introducing the color and pattern that today’s revival prefers.

    Few original bathrooms of this period had wallpaper. A papered bathroom was not unheard of, but white tile and gloss paint were the ubiquitous wall treatments of the time. This room is wallpapered from baseboard to cove, and the reproduction paper was carefully coordinated with reproduction Arts & Crafts tile. Every element reinforces the style: linen panels at the window have period embroidery; stylish sconces light either side of the mirror; an assertive tile motif decorates the modern shower/tub.

    Published in: Old-House Interiors Summer 1997



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