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Timeless and Traditional Blue and White Sinks

Written by Sarah Horner-Sigre


Posted on May 27 2021

From the cobalt and white vase on your living room mantlepiece, to the navy and cream lines on your nautical Breton striped jumper, blue and white is such a classic colour combination. We see variations of this colour palette everywhere. This is also true for our homes. We observe as colour trends come and go, but there is something effortlessly timeless about the combination of blue with white or cream. From kitchen decor to bathroom sinks and even whole rooms that have been colour coordinated, this colour scheme is a popular choice.

Perhaps the most timeless and elegant of the blue and white tradition is the porcelain and ceramic vases. Deep rooted in tradition, these ceramics directly influence a lifelong trend for white porcelain with blue details, trickling down form vases, to tiles, to basins.

This decorative design is carried through generations and became an inspiration for many different interior trends, from neutral and traditional, to more contemporary style

Timeless blue and white bedoom interior design

The tradition of timeless blue and white china

Part of what makes this colour palette so timeless is the length of its tradition, and how this decorative interior design style developed over the years. The blue and white vases can be traced all the way back to the Tang Dynasty in China, which dates back to between the years 618 – 906.

On the original vases, striking cobalt pigment was used to draw a stunning illustrative design on the ceramic. The drawings were bright blue outlines of popular Chinese motifs, such as the elegant Phoenix bird.

Timeless beauty of blue and white porcelain vases

The designs were drawn like stencils that left the parts of the white vase exposed, overlapping light shades of blue with dark lines to create depth and detail. Over time, these ceramics were imported all over the world and became a signature design that was associated with the heritage of its Chinese origins.


classic blue and white porcelain vases


The influence of Chinoiserie in interior design

The original Chinese style was adapted throughout time, with variations branching out from the design. Chinoiserie was one of these styles, an 18th century European decorative style that was a fantasy version of the original Chinese ceramics. The Europeans were obsessed by the mystery of Asia, and inspired by the exotic luxurious goods and decor that was imported overseas, filling cabinets with these Chinese vases.


blue and white chinoiserie pattern


The decorative elements of Chinoserie imitates similar beautiful motifs over the original ceramics through the lens of the adoring Europeans, with fanciful landscape scenes, Chinese pagodas and birds.  This was a trend adopted by the wealthy British and colonial housewives, and Chinoiserie wallpaper and furniture was widely used in the living room of stately homes.

blue ans white chinoiserie wash basin sink
Mary deep blue chinois style wash basin


The inspiration for our blue and white collection of basins comes from this timeless style, with intricate blue details painted on white porcelain.


Timeless styling tips for bathrooms with blue and white sinks

How can I make my bathroom look timeless?

Creating a bathroom that will not go out of fashion, involves creating an interior design style that combines traditional elements alongside with trending pieces. To create a traditional and timeless bathroom space, focus on ensuring that the functional furnishings of the bathroom are classic pieces and leave the fleeting trends to changeable decorative elements.

Classic designs, such as a freestanding bath in the master bathroom or traditional tiles, are already proven to withstand time. A ceramic basin with blue detailing adds both timeless quality of traditional Chinoiserie, with the added decoration from the detailed blue patterns.

Invest in quality

When designing a traditional bathroom, remember to consider all the details. As well as the colour palette and style of your bath, sink and toilet, installing the bathroom with quality chrome hardware, means the smaller functional furnishings of the bathroom can be maintained over a long period of time. Similarly with your bath or basin, think about the smaller decorative details that might age over the years, and opt for a timeless design.


Fearne wash basin on the compact Valerie Vanity Unit  


Bathroom ideas for bathrooms with traditional blue and white sinks

Now that we have established why this style is so classic and timeless, how do we transfer this inspiration into a more modern style bathroom or kitchen? There are so many different ways to incorporate this tradition of blue porcelain into your interior design project, without looking too repetitive.

You may have seen the blue and white basins or vases inspired by the chinoierie tradition appearing in interior design projects when flicking through Pinterest bathroom ideas, without even realising it! From a farmhouse style bathroom or elegant master bath, to classically designed kitchen, white and blue porcelain adds a touch of luxury and class to the functional sink.

blue and white bowl wash basin classic chinese porcelain

Chinoiserie Style

Although Chinoiserie has featured more as a trend in recent years, integrating accents of this timeless design into your interiors can create a traditional, rather than trendy, look. Where chinoiserie is often bold in colour and design, simply taking the design element onto a basin in simple white and blue, creates a more timeless aesthetic.

Natural and timeless

Going overboard with the chinoiserie design style can end up making your interiors look like something out of a period drama, rather than a stylish bathroom or kitchen. Focusing on one or two feature accents in this style, creates a more subtle hint to the timeless and traditional charm of the interiors from the Chinoiserie time period, instead of mimicking the style directly.

mordern blue and white style porcelain sink bowl wash basin

Create a statement in your bathroom with an accent basin, placed on a natural wooden vanity, combined with the surrounding neutral tones. Our basins on wooden vanities and cabinets create the perfect vintage style that isn't overpowering and will make your kitchen or bathroom feel timeless, rather than part of stately home on display. For an updated look, our Fearne countertop wash basin is a more modern version of the timeless Chinoiserie style, with its pretty foliage design that encompasses the outside and inside of the bowl.

blue and white wash basin on stand by the way we live London

Adding colour

There is a trend for painting your kitchen entirely blue or entirely white, but a more subtle approach to this timeless design could be to add accents of colour instead. Adding a blue tone to the design of the kitchen or bathroom can bring out the bright blue from the basin. While looking through various bathroom ideas, we found with a bathroom countertop painted blue that makes the traditional basin look even more vibrant.

chinoiserie style wash basin in blue and white porcelain
 Mary wash basin on the Vanessa Vanity Unit


Timeless cabinets for freestanding basins

Freestanding basins look beautiful sat atop cabinets. At The Way We Live London, we create elegant traditional style cabinets that compliment the design of the free-standing basins. Dark wood brings out the bold cobalt blue, whilst the lighter wood shades gently compliments the elegant designs. Perched on the top of these cabinets, the basin stands out and creates a subtle statement.


blue and white bathroom wash basins made from porcelain

Helga on the Vanesa Vanity Unit


Contemporary style basins

Blue and white sinks are often used in bathrooms or on top of a bedroom vanity to create a vintage look. However, adding a porcelain basin to your interior can look as classic as you like, or as modern too. Where the painted motif can look a little too traditional, you can still achieve the same elegant look by using the same colour scheme, white and blue, but with a contemporary twist.


blue and white petal shaped coutnertop wash basin
Delilah on the Violet Vanity Unit


Whilst antique designs often follow a very detailed narrative, with embellished 'traditional' Chinese scenes, such as pergolas and birds, delicate petals designs (such as our Delilah blue and white basin) add a more feminine touch, that are not too traditional.

Blue and white countertop sink
Helga on the Vanesa Vanity Unit


Not all blue china needs to have a drawn or painted design either. The Helga basin from our blue and white range, incorporates the same colour scheme as Chinoiserie, but instead of a detailed traditional design, the basin is in an ombre effect of inky blue seeping into a beautiful warm white porcelain, for a subtlety stunning basin, creating an understated luxurious, timeless design on the soothing textured basin.

When starting a bathroom renovation it is worth considering that this is an investment for many years to come. Classic and elegant choices, from the floor, bath, basins, vanity units, tiles and furniture will not only add value to your house but be enjoyed by you every time you use them.




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