The bathrooms of the Edwardian era were usually simple affairs. Walls were tiled with small white rectangular tiles laid in a brick like pattern. Sometimes feature, border capping or pencil tiles were used. Decorative borders in flat strips or of candy twist, egg and dart designs were popular. Patterned feature tiles varied from classic, Art Deco, Art Nouveau and floral motifs Floor tiles were often white mosaic tiles, with feature tiles of black. You can see an example of this in the photograph of the house I am working on below.
Tessellated tiles were another option for the floor.The colours and patterns used varied from check board black and white designs, to octagon shaped tiles and designs to patterns with names like Chelsea. Wealthy home owners also used marble on the floor and walls.
Vanities were often timber cabinets with white sinks or white wash basins on legs. Baths and sinks were usually white porcelain or enameled cast iron. White toilets with timber seats and cisterns were situation in a separate room.
Showers were attached to the bath with a semi circular surround. Or placed on a flat porcelain or marble basin and surrounded with a water proof curtain. A huge shower rose and semi circular pierced piping allowed the water to shower the body. Heated towel rails were popular features of the Edwardian bathroom.
The wall above the tiling, the cornice, ceiling and joinery were usually painted white. Sometimes a dado placed about 2100mm from the floor was used and painted in the BS381 107 colour called strong blue or harbor blue.
There are a number of sources of items from the Edwardian period for example the Edwardian Tile company if you visit http://edwardiantile.com.au you will find numerous tiles available.
The client of the Edwardian home I am working on wanted to honor the integrity of the house but wanted a contemporary look. He has already selected a modern free standing bath. I suggested using the lead light stained glassed windows (see image above) as a starting point and presented some ideas on sample boards.
The bathroom is very small so I suggested using white wall tiles. However instead of using the small rectangular tiles similar to the ones used during the Edwardian era using a much larger version would give a contemporary look. The addition of a horizontally placed line of feature wall tiles as illustrated on the sample boards was another suggestion. Using some 10mm aluminum trims powered coated in colours to match the stained glass colours is another and/or option.
I also suggested painting the very high ceiling darker. The walls above the tiles, the architraves, doors and other architectural features will be painted white to match the wall tiles. The aim of the white colour scheme is to make the rooms appear bigger. This bathroom is not open plan like many modern bathrooms. There is a separated toilet, sink room and the bathroom has a bath, shower and vanity (see floor plan and elevations above).
Both sink cabinets will be custom made. The doors will be white and the bench top in a colour to match one of the suggested colours schemes presented on the sample boards. This will add another horizontal line of colour overcoming the verticality of the room.
We (that is the architect and I) spent some time consulting with the client and I presented the client with a number of sample boards to help him visualise the different colour options for the room and help him make decisions. There is another bathroom and one of the suggested colour schemes will be used for that room.
Well that’s all for this week. The creative Edwardian buzz continues…..