You’ve been thinking about giving your bathroom a major revamp for a long time. Now you finally have the funds and time to tackle the project—just don’t fall into this old familiar trap.
In our opinion, homeowners don’t take enough chances when it comes to bathroom design. Sure, bathrooms are utilitarian. Maybe that’s why many prefer to play it safe with boring fixtures and accessories. While that might be good advice if you’re trying to sell your home, it’s more fun to shake things up by giving the space a fresh new look and personality.
Start by identifying which materials, colors and finishes are hot among designers and bathroom fixture manufacturers. Or, you can just grab a cup of coffee and check out our amazing gallery—we’ve made it our mission to share the best in bathroom design to help you create a private retreat that’s as gorgeous as it is functional.
The love affair with freestanding bathtubs is reaching a fever pitch. And why not? They’re incredible sculptural elements that exude a sense of calm and relaxation no standard shower or tub can match. We want our bathroom to be the ultimate in decadence. The freestanding bathtub fulfills that fantasy.
When choosing a bathroom vanity or sink surround, consider the finish. Whether you’re looking at a single vessel style or long, double-sink configuration, the easy choice is white cabinetry. White cabinets are the perfect choice for white tile and basic fixtures. If you’re more adventurous, consider a natural hardwood that stands up to humidity, like beautiful teak.
Mix things up with your hard surfaces. Think about using a combination of whites, beiges and grays in the same space. Also vary the shapes of tile you use in the room. Try a tumbled marble on the floor in an offset pattern consisting of squares and rectangles. Add interest in the shower with a mosaic border. Create an easy-to-clean backsplash with solid surface quartz or granite.
Lighting is a critical element in any bathroom. It can make or break the design and your morning routine. Poor lighting choices make it difficult to pluck, shave, apply makeup and style your hair. You need a combination of bright task lighting for personal grooming and soft accent lighting to create a soothing atmosphere for evening bath time.
Don’t overlook faucets, showerheads and cabinet hardware. They are the jewelry for your bathroom. If you walk in to your local home improvement center or bath showroom, you’ll likely be overwhelmed by the myriad of choices available. Bathroom fixtures come in a wide variety of styles and finishes to match any bathroom design. Take your time and give these accessories serious thought.
Is bigger always better? As far as showers go, the answer is yes! Expansive walk-in showers with glass walls or shower rooms closed off from the rest of the space are quite popular among homeowners. Dual showerheads and multi-head shower systems are the way to go in a big shower. You can even transform your shower into a steam room.
Tired of too much tile? Add color and warmth through paint and cabinetry. In areas located away from water, use drywall and a coordinating paint color to create a stylish and sophisticated space. Bring in stain-grade cabinetry to create depth and dimension. The wall color and cabinetry in this bathroom blend well with the natural stone flooring.
Create contrast and visual interest by using warm, natural tile with rich, dark woods. This dark cherry vanity and mirror combo works with the earthy tones of the tile and accent banding in the bath enclosure and backsplash.
Wall colors can affect the mood of your bathroom. Consider soft blues, greens and neutral colors to create a serene, spa-like environment. Conversely, reds and yellows will up the excitement and get you energized and ready to start the day.
Make your bathing area warm and welcoming by looking to nature for inspiration. Start simply by bringing in organic materials like natural wood and stone. Here, this nature-inspired bath features natural stone flooring and walls, a wood vanity and a wood-look tile bathtub surround.
For this stunner, the designer went to the extremes with technology. He chose heated flooring, a steam shower and a fancy toilet featuring a bidet, self-clean settings and a bidet. Large square tiles cover the floors and walls, creating a continuous surface. Sparkling glass vessel sinks rest on the cantilevered stone vanity.
Plants in the bathroom are back. They’re great because they love moisture and act as a natural air purifier. A variety of succulents or air plants on ledges create interesting movement, but a plant wall or vertical garden like this give a fresh alternative to grandma’s trailing ivy plants.
If you are on the verge of remodeling your bathroom, you need to determine your priorities regarding design and function. If you want a functional space that gets the job done and gets you out the door, this bathroom may not be for you. On the other hand, if you are all about relaxing and self-indulgence, this fabulous soaking tub is ideal.
Having a difficult time finding a bathroom vanity to your liking? Consider using a furniture piece instead. You can purchase a new or vintage dresser or chest and make a few minor modifications to add loads of character to the space.
If you’re in a colorful mood, add it with tile on the walls. This bathroom features floor-to-ceiling natural stone tile in dramatic shades of greens, grays and tans. The tile even carries over to the tub surround, giving the room a cohesive and embracing feel.
The owner of this bathroom will never complain about not having enough storage. This custom cabinetry has ample storage for linens and toiletries and looks très elegante to boot! The soft white finish matches the wall color perfectly and complements the granite countertop and herringbone tile backsplash.
In this stylish bathroom, the contractor used different varieties of marble throughout the space to create an eye-catching design. Here’s a neat tip if you are using a single type of marble: make sure the veining pattern in the marble matches as you move from floor to tub or wall to create a seamless look.
Playing with pattern is a fun way to break up a monochromatic bathroom. This space is done in various shades of tan. Creating a horizontal stripe effect in the shower and a grid pattern the floor breaks up the space and creates visual interest without injecting additional color.
Conventional basin and shower fixtures may become a thing of the past. New innovations will help conserve and customize water delivery in the bathroom. Smart faucets can mix and control several water sources and digital touch screen shower settings give the operator the ability to monitor amount of flow and water temperature. These advances will revolutionize the way we bathe.
Homeowners are looking for custom vanities and basins to suit their individual personalities and needs. This vanity area features a floating concrete countertop stained in a lovely raw sienna and topped with an ultra-modern bubble vessel basin in bright white.
While an all white bathroom looks spacious, clean and bright, some of us prefer vivid colors. This bathroom has a funky, contemporary vibe and uses four different hues of tile to tell an entertaining color story. The strip of patchwork mosaic tiles runs along the floor and right up the wall, picking up all the other colors in the space.
Here, the homeowner wanted to use recycled, sustainable and reclaimed materials in the bathroom (and throughout the home). The tiles were made from recycled glass and the cabinetry is eco-friendly lyptus treated with a zero VOC stain in dark chocolate.
While a bathroom of neutrals can be soothing to the soul, a color palette featuring black, brown and tan can be relaxing and invigorating at the same time. These floor-to-ceiling tiles create horizontal bands of alternating color to provide a fresh look and pizzazz to this modern vanity area.
Gray is a popular color for every room of the house and it looks like it is here to stay. If you’re scared gray will make your bathroom look flat and uninteresting, punch it up with warm wood tones and pops of white fixtures and wall art.
Cut down on clutter by creating smart storage in the bathroom. Here, everything is in easy reach thanks to the under counter baskets and built-in storage tower with open shelving. To give this neutral space a little zing, the owner used white towels and accessories to provide visual punch. The open shelves are great for housing everything from candles, a mirror and toiletries.
Visual cues can be used to physically separate space. For example, color and a half wall separate these two vanities. The vanities are not mirror images of each other. They are a positive and negative of the same space.
Unconventional use of tile is becoming more and more prevalent in bathroom design. Take the surround for this claw foot tub. Instead of doing a half wall of tile, the designer used the floor tile and took it all the way up the wall in the tub nook. And rather than using larger tile, she opted for small mosaic glass tile for a big impact.
When you think of a spot for rest and rejuvenation, soft color typically come to mind. The same effect can be created with darker, moody colors and the result is every bit as impressive. The dark brown marble wall creates drama without overpowering the space. The remainder of the walls are done in large white subway tiles in a grid pattern, giving the space a sleek, modern look.
Designers are into creating bathrooms that integrate into the home’s overall design. So your downstairs powder room will look like an extension of your living area more than a bathroom. Incorporating elements like freestanding bathtubs, unusual fixtures and pieces that look more like furniture will help you achieve the look.
Deck out your bathroom in wood paneling. No, not that dreadful paneling in the basement of your childhood home. Think about real wood, contemporary lines and warm color. This bathroom features wood flooring, cabinets and a matching veneer on the walls. The backsplash and water closet wall are done in a stone treatment. Very masculine and sexy.
We love sunken tubs, if they’re done right—and this one certainly gets an A+ for effort! This bathroom contains some of our favorite materials—natural stone, steel, glass and bright white ceramic fixtures. We also like the gray color palette and wood tub surround. The floor-to-ceiling windows give the sunken tub a dramatic backdrop and create fabulous scale.