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5 Traditional Features for the Modern Bathroom

Something old, something new...

Follow our quick guide to introducing 5 traditional features to a modern bathroom and create a fresh, minimal take on a classic theme.

Roper Rhodes Burford Slate Grey
  • Burford Slate Grey

    A nod to heritage styling, this finish will give your bathroom a sophisticated yet modern feel.


  • Elate Chrome Tap

    Also available in Brass and Matt Black, our Elate basin mixer is a great example of transitional brassware.


  • Note Back to Wall

    A simply styled WC versatile enough for a modern or traditional home.


They say opposites attract. If you’re designing for a new build or renovating a modern home, you may feel limited by your choices where it comes to introducing an element of the traditional into your bathroom space. Minimal and classic are two bathroom styles which, conventionally, may seem too disparate to combine.

Yet a move to shaker-style, artisan bathroom furniture and pared-back, tailored design mean that achieving a minimal look with classic styling is now more achievable than ever. According to Apartment Therapy, adopting a Shaker style bathroom is 'the key to timeless home design'- a trend-proof style that works as well in a modern home as it does in a period property.

Follow our quick guide to introducing 5 traditional features to a modern bathroom and create a fresh, minimal take on a classic theme.

1. Furniture

Don’t let a modern space limit you to contemporary fittings- opt for a warm, rustic feel while maintaining a fresh look with styles that are minimal in structure but rich in texture and finish.

A firm favourite, our Shaker style Burford fitted furniture range merges elements of traditional carpentry with simple styling and clean, unfussy lines. Being simple yet rustic, tongue and groove panelling is an especially effective way of introducing a touch of the traditional into your home while maintaining a minimal, clean aesthetic.

Likewise, our Hampton furniture collection is a classic design that marries the beautiful quality of craftsmanship with Shaker lines and a muted palette. Opt for a wall mounted vanity style, such as our Hampton 700mm wall mounted unit, to seamlessly blend this traditional style with existing contemporary architecture.

Burford mocha lifetyle v01

Burford Fitted Furniture


The muted tone of Burford mocha fitted furniture adds to its timeless appeal. A classic and comprehensive range designed to suit any bathroom.

Burford unit profile mocha lifestyle v01
Burford mocha back to wall unit lifestyle v01

2. Basins, Baths & Suites

From deep, generous ceramic basins to roll top and cast iron baths, nowhere has the demand for classic styling been greater than in sanitaryware. Made popular by the introduction of the Belfast sink to modern kitchen design, the solid ceramic, the semi-recessed sink has since become a popular basin choice in the contemporary bathroom. Pairing clean lines with softly squared edges, a semi-countertop basin such as our Geo sink creates a charming focal point in a bathroom.

One of the first indicators of a move to the more traditional style of bathroom, roll top, claw-footed and freestanding baths are the perfect way to seamlessly merge contemporary and traditional styles, and their continued popularity has proven to stand the test of time.

Hampton chalk white lifestyle v02
  • Geo Back to Wall Pan

    The soft squares of the Geo collection mean it looks great when used with Roper Rhodes traditional bathroom furniture.


  • Wessex Basin Mixer

    A new classic style of faucet with modern features and a historical sensibility.


3. Brassware & Fittings

Maybe the easiest and quickest way to introduce a hint of heritage into your home, traditional brassware has come leaps and bounds from the highly decorative designs of the mock-Victorian look. The latest brassware offerings honour traditional design while being sympathetic to the modern home. Sleeker, more pared back brassware styles are now available throughout taps and shower fittings in a range of finishes that still maintain the traditional feel.

The most classic style, the pillar tap is a popular option suited to a wide variety of bathroom styles. Opt for a set of taps with ceramic indices and a crosshead, lever or star taphead, in a classic chrome finish. Low profile taps have also seen a growth in popularity. This look is distinctly industrial- traditional in style and will instantly add a touch of heritage to your bathroom. Add a real sense of 1900s traditional with brass or aged fittings on your furniture. Classic, industrial style pulls are especially effective at creating an elegant, more styled and of-the-moment look to accompany your traditional bathroom furniture.

4. Paint & Surfaces

By all accounts, ceramic, wood and marble are the materials favoured by style traditionalists. While stone lends a sense of permanence and timelessness to a room, cutting and shaping marble can be time-consuming and costly. Keep materials looking natural by introducing solid surface countertops; our Cararra marble lends an authentic, stone-like beauty to the surface- for a hint of classic styling tailored to the modern home.

When it comes to colour, no doubt the key to a timeless look is to keep tones neutral. Until the introduction of crude oil into the manufacture of paint, colours were made with earth, clay and mineral pigments and adhering to this natural colour scheme in your home lends a traditional style to your bathroom space. Opt for matte over gloss in off white, light and slate greys, sage greens and navy colour schemes for a look with staying power.

5. Tiles

Floor, wall or even feature tiles are a perfect way to introduce an element of the traditional into an otherwise modern bathroom. Maybe the most popular style seen in the last decade has been the resurgence of the trend in industrial tiling- the metro or subway tile being the most prevalent and a common feature in many contemporary bathrooms. Made famous by their use in the London Underground, these rectangular tiles are now available in a wide range of colours and finishes- from the timeless, beveled tile style to the edgier flat tile, both available in matte and gloss.

Why not share your bathroom ideas and inspirational interiors via @myroperrhodes on our Instagram page?