Glasgow School in the Bathroom

A tutorial in bracing color and geometric, stylized forms.

This cool, clean bathroom was designed by the English tile company Original Style, and photographed in Devon. Its design evokes the era of Charles Rennie Mackintosh and the Glasgow School of architecture and art—a fusion of Arts & Crafts, Art Nouveau, and early Modernist design. Mackintosh (1868–1928) was a Scottish architect and designer, watercolorist, and fine artist who spent most of his career in Glasgow. His unique work blends geometric angularity with subtle curves and abstracted naturalistic forms. The Mackintosh Rose is among his most famous motifs, and the inspiration for the decorative, three-tile set.

This bathroom design evokes the era of Charles Rennie Mackintosh and the Glasgow School of architecture and art. 

This room’s historical look is enhanced by a mirror with a geometric frame, Art Deco light sconces, and an unusual console sink. Separate taps on the curvy tub, as well as a towel-warming wall radiator, are period-inspired and very English.

Tiles shown include Glasgow Border, Glasgow Rose, and field tiles in Colonial White, Palm Green, and Jet Black—all part of Original Style’s Artworks Collection, which began in 1986 as tile sets designed for cast-iron fireplaces. Today’s authentic styles run from neoclassical through Victorian, Art Nouveau, and Art Deco/Egyptian Revival. The full range includes floor mosaics: originalstyle.com


The Glasgow Rose three-tile panel (shown here in a different installation) introduces Art Nouveau curves; available right- or left-facing.

1. THE GLASGOW ROSE

Introduction of this decorative tile set adds curves, the gentle, complementary rose color, and an unmistakable reference to Charles Rennie Mackintosh and the Art Nouveau period.

2. PERIOD COLORS

The scheme of black, warm white, and English green has a period feel. Yet it’s lively, fresh, modern—clean without being stark. A spare “frieze” of black squares, border tiles, and black tile skirting create a frame.

3. STRONG GEOMETRY

The theme carries through in the staccato of black accents on walls and floor, and the black mirror and sink console. Decorative tile panels soften the assemblage of elements.

4. SHOWER AND TUB

A modern shower is transparent, keeping visible the tiled perimeter of the room instead of diminishing the room’s apparent size. Fitted with twin taps, the enameled iron tub is separate.

BE INSPIRED…

‘Payne’ one-light bar sconce.

The ‘Payne’ one-light bar sconce by Feiss is shown in polished nickel (also sold in brushed steel and plated bronze finishes) with the opal etched-glass shade. Damp-rated, the fixture is 4 1/2” wide by 14 1/4” high with a 43/4” projection. Through online retailers or murrayfeisslight.com

From Signature Hardware, the 34″ Burleson porcelain console sink has a brass stand in black and chrome that’s corrosion resistant. The rectangular, glossy porcelain sink has counter space; 33 1/4” x 19 7/8“. signaturehardware.com

Randolph Morris single basin taps.

Randolph Morris single basin taps have a traditional design in solid brass with classic metal cross handles. The spout reach is 3″ and height is 41/2“. Available through Vintage Tub and Bath, vintagetub.com

C.R. Mackintosh’s 1902 Tree Motif

Here is C.R. Mackintosh’s 1902 Tree Motif printed on white towels (brushed microfiber with a 100% cotton back). Available as a hand towel, bath towel, or bath sheet from Fine Art America, fineartamerica.com


By Old House Journal

Founded in 1973, Old House Journal is the original authority when it comes to old-house restoration, traditional house styles, period kitchens, bath & kitchen restoration, DIY projects, gardens & landscaping, and more-- from Colonial and Victorian through Arts & Crafts and Mid-century Modern homes. 

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