Roman Bathroom Theme

No one who has studied the history of Ancient Rome could be unaware of the Romans' luxurious public bathing facilities. The most elaborate of these were the domain of Roman society's elite. They included numerous vast chambers, housing steam rooms, hot and cold pools, and areas for massage and scrubbing. They were incredibly technologically advanced, with underground heating systems and flawless drainage. Decorative features included intricate tiling, wall murals, stone floors and marble statues.

Of course, unless you live in a massive house and have an unlimited budget, you won't be able to recreate all these features. There are, however, a number of decorative touches you can add to your bathroom design to make it reminiscent of Ancient Rome.

Rural Or Opulent?

Although there are certain features which run right across Roman bathroom design, such as stone flooring, you basically have two directions in which you can go when creating a Roman style bathroom in your own home: rustic country house or opulent city baths.

Country House Tones

The richest Romans had country abodes ("villas") to which they retired for certain months of the year. If you want to recreate this feel, think of modern-day Italian countryside. You need earthy, warm, reds, browns, and olive colors. Think of a slightly rougher stone feel as opposed to polished marble. Natural wood tones are in order for bathroom furniture.

Luxury Design

If you're leaning towards a more opulent and luxurious look, think of the colors which Romans associated with wealth: ivory, gold, red and black. Go for smooth, expensive looking surfaces.

Fundamental Features

The floor - traditional Roman bathroom floors were made of stone or tile. You have many choices: stone, ceramic, marble, etc. Small, slightly irregular tiles create a more authentic look. The Romans also used mosaics (images of humans or animals created by assembling pieces of colored glass or stone). Consider installing under-floor heating to recreate that Roman feel. If this is too expensive, perhaps purchase a rug with a Roman design.

The walls - Roman walls were tiled and often covered in pictures. You can recreate this by having a wall mural painted in your bathroom onto the tiling. Again, mosaic is another, perhaps more impressive way of creating this effect.

The tub and sink - a true Roman tub would be carved from marble or stone, and filled from a faucet at the side. If you can't afford to install an expensive tub like this, or if you don't have the space, consider tiling around the tub, or using mosaic to create a Roman look. A simple bowl-shaped sink that actually sits on a bathroom surface, perhaps filled from a high-mounted faucet on the wall, gives an authentic feel.

Furniture - a long Roman chair, on which the rich of society reclined to eat, would add an intriguing touch to this bathroom design.

Doing It Yourself

In short, if you want to go all out with a Roman design, you'll have to spend a lot of money and perhaps even have some plumbing redesigned in your home. On the other hand, if you're doing it yourself on a limited budget, wall painting and color scheme go a long way towards achieving your goal.