Bathroom Inspiration | The ivory Medici Collection from Burlington

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Have you noticed how different colours are starting to creep into bathroom design?

We’re about to rip out the old 1970s turquoise bathroom suite that was in our house when we bought it. It’s taken us almost twelve months to get to the stage where we’re ready to fit a new bathroom and during that time I’ve lost count of the number of builders and tradesmen who’ve seen it and commented on how sought after some of the old coloured suites now are on ebay. Ours is far from being a historical treasure, and I will be very happy to see it finally thrown into the skip, but are some of us perhaps getting a little bored of white?

Coloured suites were in fact common in bathroom design pretty much right throughout the 20th century. In the 1970s and 80s colours like avocado and peach were hugely popular, and further back still in the 1930s shades like shell pink, jade green and buttery ivory were often seen in art deco style bathrooms. Coloured ceramics only really started to disappear in the 1990s when most people began opting for white, perhaps mindful of estate agents’ advice that a neutral bathroom would help make their home more saleable. 

If you’re planning to buy a new bathroom suite, the chances are that you still automatically think first and foremost of white, but an increasing number of designs in other shades are now starting to become available. This is particularly true at the higher end of the interiors market where people have the budget to make a real design impact with different materials and finishes. 

While most of us still opt for a fairly neutral palette, in 2019 that no longer necessarily means white and chrome. Taps in brass and black finishes have become increasingly popular in recent years offering the homeowner a much wider range of possibilities.

But when it comes to bathroom ceramics what do you choose if you want something neutral but perhaps a little more individual than white?

May I suggest ivory?

Ivory Medici basin and Kensington taps with Walnut trim by Burlington

Ivory Medici basin and Kensington taps with Walnut trim by Burlington

Burlington Bathrooms have just launched The Medici Collection – a range of classic designs in a warm ivory finish. The collection takes its name from the historical shade, Ivoire de Medici, first introduced as a luxury bathroom colour in 1929 and inspired by the warm ivory hue achieved by Italian potters who worked under the patronage of the Medici family in Florence.

While the purity of white appeals to many of us it can sometimes feel a bit cold and clinical. The original Ivoire de Medici was described as bringing “the warmth of sunlight to bathroom décor” and there’s a similar appeal to this new collection from Burlington.

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The warmth and depth of this colour makes it much more interesting than pure white. It is particularly well suited to older properties - a useful alternative to consider if you are looking to reinstate some period character into an Edwardian or Victorian home.

The Medici collection is the latest addition to Burlington’s extensive range of traditional products with modern functionality. Featuring faithful reproductions of historic designs their product range allows you to create a bathroom that reflects the design styles of different eras - from Victorian to Edwardian or Belle Époque - or simply to opt for a timeless classic contemporary look.

Luckily ivory goes with just about everything, so there are lots of different ways you could style this colour. The classic monochrome look, for example, never goes out of style and it works beautifully in ivory.

Black accents complement the warm ivory finish of the ceramics to create a classic monochrome look created by Burlington Bathrooms.

Black accents complement the warm ivory finish of the ceramics to create a classic monochrome look created by Burlington Bathrooms.

Or for something a little more colourful and eclectic try combining ivory ceramics with this playful contemporary palette of pink and green.

A playful colour palette for a contemporary bathroom with a hint of retro.

A playful colour palette for a contemporary bathroom with a hint of retro.

I’ve created a couple of moodboards for the Medici collection below. In the first one I’ve drawn inspiration from the palm courts of the Edwardian period and a contemporary botanical illustration I was recently sent by artist Diana Stanga.

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1. Mirror - Soho Home | 2. Wall light - Davey Lighting | 3. Botanical print - Diana Stanga | 4. Medici washbasin - Burlington | 5. Shaving brush - The White Company | 6. Body wash - Meraki | 7. Tiles - British Ceramic Tile | 8. Medici roll top bath - Burlington | 9. Taps - Burlington | 10. Faux palm - Dowsing & Reynolds | 11. Paint - Little Greene

I’ve styled the ivory ceramics against a backdrop of Little Greene’s Three Farm Green and included art deco style lighting and tiles alongside arching foliage. A large mirror inspired by 1960s Italian modernist mirrors adds an opulent, luxurious feel. It’s a classic look but one that you might definitely come across in the feed of a stylish instagrammer renovating a beautiful Edwardian or Victorian home.

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For the second look I’ve used some of the same elements, but instead teamed them with copper coloured accessories to add a richness and depth to the classic monochrome scheme. I really love how this colour draws out the soft warmth of the ivory.

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1. dressing gown - H&M | 2. towel - H&M | 3. mirror - Soho Home | 4. wall lamp - Davey Lighting | 5. soap dispenser - H&M | 6. glass pot - H&M | 7. bath - Burlington | 8. taps - Burlington | 9. bath mat - H&M | 10. tiles - British Ceramic Tile

It’s easy to fall into the habit of thinking that something has to be a certain way just because that’s what most other people tend to choose, but I think these images show that you definitely don’t have to stick to white in the bathroom. By opting for ivory it’s possible to create a look that’s every bit as timeless, but just that little more distinctive and individual.

What do you think? Would you ever consider ivory for your bathroom? How would you style it

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Images courtesy of Burlington Bathrooms.