Bath Time: Rustic Remembrances


Before plumbing was standard, the way to wash up was with a pitcher and basin. Thank goodness we are in the age of modern plumbing, but the look of porcelain on wood is beautiful. Well, the good news is 19th century charm can be incorporated into your bath design with all the benefits of modern plumbing. It’s easier than ever to find unique wooden tables that can be converted into a vanity through on-line antique dealers or custom designers.

The possibilities are exciting: old desks, farm tables and antique sideboards can all be candidates when a hole is cut in the top and a vessel sink dropped in. Look for tables with a deep apron in front or furniture with drawers in front, which are best for hiding the plumbing (though a pipe peeking through can add to its rustic allure).

We love this handmade wood vanity outfitted with a Pfister Ashfield faucet from BP Sheely Designs in Oakley, Utah.


The copper sink is beautiful, but this round vessel sink would also look lovely.


Are you ready for the rustic look?

Try This At Home:

Consider your geography. If you live in Florida, a bathroom that feels like an alpine cabin would feel out of place. Consider native (reclaimed) woods for your vanity and cabinets. Same goes for your basin choice: which makes the most sense? Stone, porcelain or metal?

Do your research. When choosing paint or wallpaper for your rustic look, seek out a local historian who may be able to suggest period appropriate colors and patterns. There are also various clubs in most towns that take interest in historic restoration. Or, try your local library—they may be able to provide ideas for free. We like this rustic vineyard design from Ronald Redding designs.


Get a Disguise. Antiques should be left at cabinetry and accessories. As tempting as it may be, antique fixtures and basins are not a good idea. Look for fixtures that look like they could be from another era but are modern and fully functional. Antique fixtures may contain heavy metals such as lead.

Think Teak. Looking for a little extra space to store frequently used bath items. Take advantage of an empty corner or a walk-in shower with thiscorner Teak Bench.


A rustic inspired bathroom should feel as cozy as quilt stitched by grandma, but provide necessary sanitation of modern living. Do you have the Pfister Ashfield faucet installed for that rustic look? What does your “pre-plumbing-inspired” bath look like? Post your photos on our Facebook fan page!

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