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The classic “sanitary“ white bungalow bathroom.
(Photo: Chris Considine)

Restoring a bathroom in your bungalow? Congratulations-the fun is about to begin! The market is overflowing with period-perfect products for turn-of-the-century baths, from gorgeous hex tiles to luxurious pedestal tubs. Whether you go for a strict era-appropriate restoration with “sanitary“ white fixtures or an interpretive approach that plays on some of the Arts & Crafts movement’s decorative touches (think hammered copper and handmade art tile), the ideas below will get you started on the right foot. Limited space? Check out our tips on how design a small bathroom.

The Classic Bungalow Bath

For a bathroom with universal appeal, you can’t go wrong with white fixtures and chrome accents. Both were de rigueur at the turn of the 20th century, thanks to new thinking on keeping germs at bay-white made dirt (and thus, germs) easier to see, so it was considered sanitary. This combo looks authentic in any bungalow.

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The Wood & Copper Bungalow Bath

Woodwork and metalwork (especially copper) are intertwined with the Arts & Crafts movement’s emphasis on all things handmade, which makes wood and copper accents-especially those with a hand-finished feel-appropriate for a more creative take on bungalow baths. The best choices give a nod to hand-worked effects and a mix of textures and patinas.

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The Artistic Bungalow Bath

While white ruled in bungalow bathrooms in the early 20th century, the rest of the house was typically awash in rich earth tones. If floor-to-ceiling white strikes you as too sterile, we suggest reinterpreting the preferred palette of the era to create a bathroom that puts the “art“ in Arts & Crafts.

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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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