Whether you choose an eclectic bathroom design vs. a timeless one, your fixed finishes should relate or match. The eclectic or collected look is achieved with decor, art and accessories. Let me explain.
The Eclectic Bathroom
In all the 12 years I’ve been writing this blog, it never occurred to me to search online for an ‘eclectic bathroom’.
If you search it, you will see all kind of fun bathrooms. Including this one:
One thing that’s true about ‘matchy-matchy’ decorating is that the fixed finishes in your bathroom – in other words, anything that you can’t just pick up and take out of the room – should in actual fact, match.
For example, it looks best if your sink and tub faucet actually match (like above).
While your bathroom can have an eclectic look in terms of the items you choose for the art, carpet or accessories, a bathroom with fixed finishes from different eras rarely looks right. Like the lighting, vanity, tile, and hardware.
The bathroom that most of us inherit, looks a lot like this bathroom I came across recently (below).
So first, let me say that I didn’t look at this bathroom and think “Oh wow, this person has bad taste,” whoever chose these finishes, likely did not know that it was a marriage of wildly different worlds.
So let’s just treat this as a learning exercise, NOT from the perspective that I’m out to rip every bathroom that isn’t perfect.
When nothing relates
Okay, so check out all the different finishes:
Next, I thought it would be a fun exercise to place each of these items in the bathroom they should have been installed in:
How we know that this vanity is from the 90s, is because when granite was first introduced into the world of countertops, this is what it looked like:
This is another reason why the typical 80s unpainted oak kitchen never seems to look that great with granite countertops, because we simply were not doing granite in the 80s.
Oak is definitely back for kitchen cabinets but of course the colour and style is nothing like the honey oak cabinets from the 80s.
Yes you could go with a grey hex tile too, but since pink is back and you can find it in a colour to coordinate, why not, I say!
Then the Tuscan mirror, likely just picked up from a big box home decor store as well:
And the square tile with the inset, in this particular bathroom has a modern vibe that would look better in a bathroom like this one (right):
And then the builder light fixture. Probably picked up by one spouse running around completing errands on a Saturday.
Why am I saying that? Because it’s obvious by the look of the sconce in the context of this bathroom that zero thought went into, “Which light fixture would look best in this bathroom?”
In other words, if you were able to go out bathroom shopping and actually come home with everything you needed for a bathroom renovation, your bathroom has very little hope of being perfect.
Perfectly nice maybe? But not perfect. To achieve a perfect bathroom takes thought, coordination and most of all special ordering items that you would not find at your local big box store.
Okay, back to the builder sconce; whatever shall we do with this?
And finally, the installation of this faucet was clearly not done by a plumber who likely would have known where the handles should go:
More Eclectic Bathroom Designs
My search for an eclectic bathroom pulled up many that were over-decorated but fabulous like this one:
Notice the toilet and pedestal sink do coordinate. No one threw in a modern sink just to be ‘different’. In the context of a bathroom, that kind of mixing and matching mostly doesn’t work.
And, I love the idea I heard recently, that even your kitchen and bathroom should have a living room feeling to them.
For example, why not add an oriental rug instead of just a bath mat (below)?
Add a dramatic colour, an interesting rug and a fabulous shower curtain to take the attention away from the dated finishes and TADA:
Why not hang art this close to the bathroom floor? So elegant!
So keep the decorating eclectic but for a classic and timeless look, coordinate your bathroom so that if you have a boho farmhouse vanity for example, the rest of the bathroom fixtures are the same.
If you’d like help with your bathroom colours and finishes, you can buy my Create a Classic Bathroom package here.