Reviving Nostalgia: A Journey through 90s Bathroom Remodeling

The 1990s are a decade filled with fond memories, from iconic fashion trends to memorable pop culture moments. However, when it comes to home design, many people are eager to say goodbye to the trends of that era. This is particularly true for bathroom design. 90s bathrooms often feature outdated fixtures, bold color schemes, and an overall aesthetic that many homeowners are eager to update. In this article, we’ll take a journey through 90s bathroom remodeling, exploring the trends of the time and offering tips on how to transform a dated bathroom into a modern, functional, and stylish space.

The 90s Bathroom Aesthetic

Bathroom design in the 1990s was heavily influenced by the trends and styles of the era. Here are some of the key features of 90s bathrooms:

  1. Color Schemes:
    90s bathrooms often featured bold and vibrant color schemes. Teal, mauve, hunter green, and various shades of pink were common choices. These colors were used on tiles, fixtures, and even walls.

  2. Floral Patterns:
    Floral patterns were ubiquitous in 90s bathrooms. They could be found on wallpaper, shower curtains, and even on the tiles themselves. These patterns ranged from delicate to eye-catching.

  3. Brass Fixtures:
    Brass or gold-toned fixtures were a hallmark of 90s bathroom design. Faucets, showerheads, and towel bars often had a shiny brass finish.

  4. Tile Borders:
    Border tiles were a popular way to add visual interest. These border tiles were often used to create decorative patterns or to separate different tile designs.

  5. Shiny Surfaces:
    Glossy finishes were in vogue. High-gloss tiles, mirrored surfaces, and shiny laminate countertops were commonly used.

  6. Large Mirrored Medicine Cabinets:
    Large, frameless mirrored medicine cabinets were a staple of 90s bathrooms. These often provided ample storage but had a dated look.

  7. Pastel-Colored Accessories:
    Towels, bathmats, and other bathroom accessories often featured pastel colors to match the overall color scheme of the bathroom.

  8. Shower and Tub Combinations:
    Many 90s bathrooms featured shower and tub combinations. This design choice can be practical but is often considered outdated in modern bathroom design.

Transforming a 90s Bathroom

90s bathroom remodeling  requires a thoughtful approach to update the space while retaining some of the nostalgia. Here are some steps and ideas for transforming a 90s bathroom into a modern and stylish oasis:

  1. Color Scheme:
    Start by replacing the bold, outdated colors with a fresh, modern palette. Neutral tones like white, gray, and beige can create a timeless and elegant look. You can also add pops of color with accessories or a colorful vanity.

  2. Tile Update:
    If your bathroom is covered in dated tile, consider retiling. Subway tiles and hexagonal tiles are popular choices for a timeless look. To maintain a touch of nostalgia, you can add a few tiles in a retro pattern or color.

  3. New Fixtures:
    Replace the old brass fixtures with contemporary options in finishes like brushed nickel, matte black, or polished chrome. Choose fixtures that match the overall style you’re aiming for, whether it’s traditional, modern, or something in between.

  4. Frameless Glass Shower:
    Replace the shower curtain or dated sliding shower doors with a sleek, frameless glass shower enclosure. This not only modernizes the space but also adds an open and airy feel.

  5. Vanity Upgrade:
    Swap out the dated vanity for a modern one with ample storage. Choose a countertop material like quartz or granite for durability. This is also an opportunity to add under-cabinet lighting for both functionality and ambiance.

  6. New Mirror and Lighting:
    Replace the large mirrored medicine cabinet with a modern framed mirror that complements your new design. Install contemporary vanity lights for improved visibility and aesthetics.

  7. Storage Solutions:
    Consider adding built-in storage solutions, such as recessed shelves or niches in the shower area or above the bathtub. This provides convenient storage for toiletries and adds visual interest.

  8. Modern Accessories:
    Update the bathroom with modern accessories, such as sleek towel bars, robe hooks, and a stylish shower curtain. These details can add a contemporary touch to the space.

  9. Flooring:
    Replace outdated flooring with a more modern option, such as porcelain or ceramic tile. You can choose a tile that complements the new color scheme and design.

  10. Art and Decor:
    Add art and decor that reflects your personal style. This is where you can infuse the bathroom with your own personality. Consider artwork, decorative shelving, or even indoor plants to enhance the space.

Maintaining a Nostalgic Touch

While updating a 90s bathroom is often about modernizing the space, some homeowners may want to maintain a touch of nostalgia. Here are some ways to do that:

  1. Keep a Retro Accent:
    If there’s a particular element from the 90s bathroom that you have a soft spot for, consider keeping it as a retro accent. For example, you could retain a vintage mirror or a specific tile pattern.

  2. Incorporate Vintage Accessories:
    Add vintage accessories or decor items that reflect the 90s era. This could be an antique soap dispenser, vintage prints, or even a retro-inspired shower curtain.

  3. Blend Old and New:
    Mix and match elements from the 90s with modern updates. For instance, you can keep the original bathtub but update the fixtures and tiles for a fresh look.


Remodeling a 90s bathroom is an opportunity to blend nostalgia with modern design, creating a space that is both stylish and functional. By carefully updating the color scheme, fixtures, and design elements, you can transform a dated bathroom into a modern and elegant oasis while preserving some of the charm of the 90s. Whether you choose to go for a complete overhaul or a more subtle update, a well-planned bathroom remodel will bring your space into the present while honoring the memories of the past.