As one of the hottest trends of recent years, and one that shows no signs of abating in the near future, the repurposed look is the cornerstone to many of the bigger movements in design today, including sustainability, shabby chic, and modern rustic.
Celebrating natural materials and a sense of history, this look champions the creation of truly unique designs through upcycled, recycled, reclaimed, and salvaged items. Think of every aspect you add to your bathroom, whether it's a rubbish bin or a lighting fixture, as bringing an intriguing story or appealing character to enrich the overall ambience with life and possibility.
Search architectural and industrial salvage yards
Become a frequent visitor at your favourite reclamation yards to find one-of-a-kind pieces and impressive materials that will bring your design to a new level. You can easily enhance the cosy rustic feel of your bathroom with stained glass windows, antique mirrors, enamel jugs, weathered tin pails, distressed pewter coal scuttles, brass buckets, wicker baskets, nautical or industrial lanterns, old wooden crates, rope and unusual lighting fixtures.
Look for materials such as reclaimed flagstone, slate, brick, timber, oak beams, and barn siding. Natural or man-made imperfections, unusual grains and textures, and signs of wear and tear offer compelling clues that hint at a rich past, entice the imagination, and tell stories of a forgotten heritage.
Copper is a great choice for adding hints of industrial chic to your bathroom. The warm, burnished glow it brings to a room belies its highly durable nature. Reuse vintage copper accessories such as charming copper pails or add a new lease of life to old copper piping perfect for shelving and towel rails. For another stylish option, many are turning to recycled copper light shades to add that extra bit of nostalgic charm.
Bring natural wood back to the bathroom
Although it has been used in bathing areas for centuries, wood has received a bad reputation in recent decades for being vulnerable to the humid bathroom environment. However, with a proper finish and regular maintenance, you can bring the soft, inviting, and comforting presence of wood accents to your bathroom without repercussions. The best choices include teak, oak, cedar, cherry, maple, ash, walnut, and hickory. If you're making a statement with salvaged wood panelling on the walls or handsome reclaimed hardwood floors, strategically placing bath mats, tile surrounds, and stone backsplashes will go a long way toward protecting the natural beauty of your design. You can even get the same look with wood-effect tiling or wallpaper.
Take cues from architectural features
When considering the repurposed look for your bathroom, let the individual character of its construction be the inspiration for your design. You can choose to complement these elements with a neutral palette and soft, organic shapes, or go bold with contrasting colours, crisp edges, and sharp lines. Exposed brick walls can be mirrored with reused terracotta planters, old oak beams can be continued with reclaimed timber flooring, original slate tiles can be emphasised by antique brass fixtures, and heritage stone floors can be counterpoised with recycled glass accents.
Craft homely furnishings
Parallel to the repurposed trend, a new emphasis on erasing design divisions between the bathroom and living room means that furnishings take on increased importance. Consider adding a weathered leather chair to imbue the space with a feeling of leisure and timelessness. Convert a heavy, weathered oak door into a remarkable frame for a full-length mirror. Place a hand-hewn wooden bench by the bath. As you transform these items to their new uses, you can paint them, distress them further, add different finishes and adornments, and swap out handles to align with your overall vision.