DEC 20th

It Might Be Your Grandmother’s Bathroom

Amy Vermillion Interiors Blog - Bathrooms

We tend to think we are the first to come up with something.  We tend to think that we invented the wheel in each generation.  Guess what?  It’s ALL been done before.  In some way or shape, most design has happened before.

That might be news to some but it’s not news to those of us who do this design thing for a living.

Take for example the bathroom above.  Pretty out there, right?  Could be a rendering of something pulled from today’s shelter mags.  Black and white marble?  Check.  Pop of color? Check.  Detail on hidden commode room door?  Check.  Sconces? Check.

Actually it’s from a 1929 Crane Plumbing catalog.

And that vaulted ceiling with classical motif detail? I knew I had seen that somewhere before….on a trip to Italy!

Pompeii- Ancient Roman Empire 800 BCE- 300 CE.  The Ancient Romans REALLY knew how to bathe.

Amy Vermillion Interiors Blog - Bathrooms

This detail is from the bath house in Pompeii.

Amy Vermillion Interiors Blog - Bathrooms

This is a  ”sauna table.”  Water was poured over the rocks like today’s saunas.

Amy Vermillion Interiors Blog - Bathrooms

These are not Romans.  This is Mr. V acting like he thinks Romans acted with our guide.  PS…if you go to Rome and travel Southward (we ended up on the Amalfi Coast for most of our trip) you can arrange to have private guides (like this University Professor) for a much more enjoyable and informative trip.

Getting back to our bathrooms of the past century…

Here are some more from the 1920′s:

Amy Vermillion Interiors Blog - Bathrooms

Considered very modern for 1929.  Even has a second “toothbrushing sink.”

Amy Vermillion Interiors Blog - Bathrooms

Antiqued mirrored walls with rosettes in a 1926 bathroom.  I totally dig the caned seat over the commode.  Really though, this could definitely be something we pin on Pinterest today!

I adore this 1929 Chinoiserie bath!  Look at the bench!  The radiator cover! The curtain in front of the toilet! The mirror, the light!

This 1926 Romantic Revival number is so up my alley.  We are seeing the niched tubs everywhere today.  I am not crazy about the utilitarian wall sink but the trellis mullion window is fantastic.  Arches, arches!  I’ll take some arches.

Classical Revival by 1929 standards.  Delish.  Love the little niche for soap above the tub.

I’m sure you noticed that there is hardly ANY storage in these bathrooms.  Why?

Bathroom vanity cabinets didn’t really exist for another couple of decades.  No need for them. People had very little in the way of toiletries.  No hair products besides hair tonic for men and shampoo.  Toothpaste and talcum powder.  Bubble bath and a bar of soap.  YIKES!  I’d look like a wreck without my goodies.

Amy Vermillion interiors Blog

My personal favorite.  How about this 1928 Moorish inspired bath complete with chaise lounge and hookah pipe.  It is very Roaring ’20′s.  Decadent, exotic and totally off the wall.

I am in love.

And since I am posting crazy pictures…

Here’s my hookah picture of Mr. V and my twin brother in Cairo, Egypt smoking sheesha (apple tobacco).  It is a very common way to spend an evening– drinking mint tea and smooking sheesha from the hookah.  It is the Egyptian version of scotch and cigars!

I did not have the nerve to try it.  (And for those of you who know me really well might not believe that but…you would believe I wanted NOTHING to do with getting sick in Egypt).

Amy Vermillion interiors BlogBack to bathrooms for one final round…

Here are some luxury baths of today.  See if you can spot the similarities.

Amy Vermillion interiors Blog Screen Shot 2012-12-20 at 2.35.34 PM Screen Shot 2012-12-20 at 2.38.58 PM Amy Vermillion interiors Blog Screen Shot 2012-12-20 at 2.47.44 PM Screen Shot 2012-12-20 at 2.49.31 PM

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I sure could use a soak with all of the Holiday Hullabaloo!

How about you?


renderings via Antique Home, personal photos via amy vermillion, today’s bath images:1-kellywearstler, 2-Julie Dodson, 3-la belle vie tumblr, 4-the decorista, 5-menossi fotography, 6-suzanne kasler, 7-tobi fairley, 8-pinterest, 9-veranda, 10-walpole mayfair, 11-houzz

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4 Responses to It Might Be Your Grandmother’s Bathroom

  1. Geoffrey says:

    You’re right, the Moorish one is the best of the best. That chandelidr hanging down knocks me out. What a mind-expanding collection of images eh?

  2. great post amy!

    some of those 1920′s baths remind me of the work of ruth winterbotham carters, particularly at chicago’s casino club. why have i never thought of a hookah in the bath?!
    merry christmas girlfriend!

  3. Sarah says:

    Love those renderings from 1929! Reminds me of how David Hicks rooms from the 1960′s look perfectly au courant today!

  4. Mr. V says:

    Believe it or not, one of my favorites posts – the marble bathrooms are fantastic! And they look so big!