From "The Da Vinci Code" to "Marie Antoinette" to "The Queen," these European-influenced designs have made their way into many homes - especially bathrooms - across the country.
In addition to its pop-culture popularity, Old World styling allows homeowners to create a timeless and comfortable atmosphere. Unlike modern styles that are sleek and clean, this features a more broken-in look that shows the wear and tear of usage - ideal for active lifestyles.
So how do you create this look in your bath? Whether your house was built last month or last century, infusing it with Old World charm is simple.
New Age Shopping
When it comes to adding relics from the past, "architectural salvage" is the new buzzword. In fact, if you Google the term, you'll find a variety of online vendors reselling everything from knobs to knick-knacks. So whether you scavenge on the Web or shop at your local flea market, you're likely to find items such as unique vanities or bowl sinks to add Old World charm to your bath. In addition to saving money by buying these previously owned items, you're also saving the environment by reusing rather than adding to landfills. Even old dressers and vanities can be converted into bases for a gorgeous vessel sink. With a little modification, you can create a one-of-a-kind centerpiece for your bath.
New Paints, Old Colors
The colors of yesteryear don't need to be boring. During the renovation of Colonial Williamsburg, vibrant and bold colors were not the exception, but the norm. For an authentic, antique color in your bathroom, try a shade from Pratt and Lambert's Williamsburg line of paints. You can choose from nearly 180 colors to find the perfect hue.
New Technology, Old World Look
You want the look of a bygone era by means of products with today's functionality - especially in the bathroom. But a new design doesn't need to ruin your old-time feel. Add a wall-mount faucet, paired with a bowl-shaped vessel sink, for a truly unique design. Moen's new Kingsley wall-mount faucet features a traditional two-handle style and is available in a variety of Old World finishes, such as Oil Rubbed Bronze, Antique Bronze, Antique Nickel or Wrought Iron. Additionally, you can update your entire bathroom with matching accessories, showerheads or tub faucets - all in the same design and finishes.
Light Up the Walls
Nothing can ruin the look of an Old World bath like fluorescent lighting. The solution? Wall lighting. Whether an authentic, antique lighting fixture or a wall sconce from your local home improvement store, warm incandescent lighting will add a calming, nostalgic feel. Add some unexpected whimsy and charm with a vintage-inspired crystal chandelier and use bulbs shaped like candle flames. For the perfect amount of light no matter what your bathroom activity, install a dimmer. You can set the mood for shaving or relaxing in an instant.
Step into any older house and you'll see beautiful architectural details, from floor to ceiling. These elements, easily installed, provide the final touch to your bathroom. Use ornate crown molding around the ceiling of your bath and quality trim at the base. In addition to the detailing, it will provide a clean break between the walls, ceilings and floors for a dramatic look.
Once the larger elements are in place, add the finishing touches. Spruce up the walls with framed vintage photos and advertisements, or create your own nostalgia by framing black and white family photos. For mirrors, include wood-framed mirrors that coordinate with the vanity or trim details.
"Be sure to make your new frames look antique by using an aging glaze," says Leslie Segrete, designer and carpenter for "While You Were Out" and "Trading Spaces." "Just brush into the areas that would show age, such as decorative edges or corners."
Finally, add a touch of warmth and comfort with plush towels and an inviting rug. Keep the feeling fresh by changing out the soft goods for season-appropriate colors, like deep browns and rich exotic greens for the fall.
Before you know it, your new bath will exude Old World charm, making it a relaxing and romantic oasis to enjoy daily.
For more information about the Kingsley Collection from Moen Incorporated and to find a store near you, visit www.moen.com.