Tips on Creating a 'Modern Classic' Look for your Bathroom | Vellum Interiors | Sydney Interior Designer and Decorator

Tips on Creating a ‘Modern Classic’ Look for your Bathroom

Recently, Vellum Interiors was featured in Australian House & Garden’s bathroom design special (see the article here). Along with insights into the featured project, Alex gives tips on achieving a ‘modern classic’ look for your bathroom. Read an extended version of the article below.

Why I love this look

What I love about a modern classic style bathroom is that it give a nod to the past, while being firmly rooted in the present. Especially in older homes, I think this is a beautiful way to honour its history without having to replicate how people lived back then — it’s the perfect combination of recognising a home’s heritage while having all the best in modern fittings and fixtures. This style also has a sense of luxury and quiet to it, which is very much needed to balance out our busy, digitally-led lives.

A beautiful ensuite in a Sydney beachside home, designed by Vellum Interiors

The view to the lush gardens in the ensuite at our Collaroy Basin project. View the whole project here


My approach and inspiration

The way I approach a design (of any room) often begins with the history of a house. If it’s a Victorian house, for example, I look to that as my inspiration, and bring in elements from that period as a starting point. I might use tessellated or herringbone floor tiles as a starting point, for instance. There are also many great options available for classically-inspired basins, tap ware and toilets which really add that luxurious look and feel, which I love to use as well. I then go about personalising and adding a modern edge to it with colours and finishes that suit my clients, and that work well within the overall look and feel I’m trying to create. Vintage items are always an easy way to add character as well, which can be something really small like a mirror or robe hooks.

Handmade green subway tiles were used to reflect the greenery from the window. A hand-held and an overhead shower means everyone is happy!

Tips for creating a modern classic look

My top tip for staying ‘classic’ is to keep the colour palette fairly neutral and restrained, perhaps with just one or two non-neutral colours. Black, white, grey and one other colour always works well for this look, and won’t date. Although I am quite partial to using a bit more colour than that! 

A strong, clear colour palette and vision is essential so you don’t end up with something that looks ‘planted’ and inauthentic. Great quality fittings and fixtures are also a must — I don’t recommend scrimping on these, as you’ll lose the luxurious feel of the space very quickly!

Life these days is, in many ways, more laid back and less formal than the past. Keeping an element of comfort, playfulness or informality helps to bring a classic look into the modern age.


Bathrooms can make such a difference to your lifestyle and your everyday enjoyment. If you’re looking to update your bathroom, we’d love to hear from you!  Get in touch here to book a consultation in your home. 

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