In the past couple of years, the nation’s bathroom ideas have undergone something of a dramatic transformation. No longer simply functional rooms where we could begin and end our days, bathroom decor ideas are now much more likely to be at-home wellness centers where we unwind, escape, rejuvenate, and repair – and this has had a big effect on not just how bathrooms look but how we design them.
This means giving what space we can in our existing bathrooms to luxury features, which means good bathroom design relies on a good combination of form and function.
Whether you are planning on updating your master bathroom, or small bathroom, upgrading a shower room, or turning unused space into a luxurious ensuite, we can help you with a vast array of bathroom ideas to suit your taste, from bathroom colors and materials to finishes and shapes. Plus, we have selected the world’s top bathroom and design experts to offer you unrivaled bathroom design advice.
Before you dive into bathroom decor, think about the investment you wish to make. Write down your must-have items (for instance, is a bathtub a non-negotiable?) as well as any changes that need to be made to the existing size and layout of the space that will take up a significant portion of your total spend.
‘Bathrooms are much more complicated than people realize,’ says luxury bathroom specialist CP Hart (opens in new tab) managing director Paul Rowland. ‘There are a great many behind-the-scenes mechanics that need to be considered when creating a functional and reliable space.’
Below, we have listed our favorite bathroom pictures and top picks of the best bathroom ideas along with expert design advice, giving you inspiration and know-how to create your dream bathroom.
1. Marvel at marble
This enduringly popular material is sure to evoke a sense of luxury and elegance in a modern bathroom.
More is undoubtedly more here in this divine marble bathroom by Australian interior designer Tamsin Johnson. Decorative New York marble envelops the vanity unity, climbs the walls and wraps around the lozenge-shaped mirrors. The scheme is completed with Perrin & Rowe taps, Thirties Murano glass sconces and Venetian plaster wall finishes.
2. Add interest with patterned tiles
‘Add a little pizzazz to a space that might otherwise become a series of sharp edges and straight lines,’ says Rob Whitaker, creative director and founder of Claybrook. ‘Porcelain and marble bathroom tiles work well, often with geometric or fluid patterns.’ The marble mosaic seen here – Columbus by Haven Mosaics – is a case in point. The motif is repeated in a chic palette of green, white and black and the tiling pairs beautifully with the elegant fluted design of the vanity.
3. Play up to architectural lines
The dynamic relationship between the room’s architecture and the shapely, curvaceous sanitaryware strikes a note here. ‘Bathrooms are becoming more and more minimalistic through the use of organic shapes, refined details, and hidden features,’ says Erdem Akan, design director at Vitra (opens in new tab). ‘We are turning to curves and rounded contours as they are more fun and playful in contrast to sharp and straight lines.’ This is the Plural Monoblock basin and Small table with ceramic countertop and oak shelf in Matt Black.
4. Blend colors seamlessly
Interior designer Nicola Harding masterminded this blue bathroom in a Regency London villa. Nicola is known for her excellent eye for bathroom color, and indeed it is this flair that drew the client to her work in the first place. This chic scheme mixes the Rockwell bath in Blue from The Water Monopoly with a soft pink on walls and floors, creating a truly romantic space. The powder blue appears again on the Rockwell crosshead taps and shower handle – a nice additional touch.
5. Enhance visual texture
Terrazzo bathrooms have seen a resurgence on the design scene. Traditionally made by exposing marble chips on the surface of concrete and then polishing until smooth, there are now myriad options that replicate this original look. The effect is arresting, bringing interest and flair to contemporary schemes.
‘Pair practical terrazzo effect porcelain tiles, in Cosmic Ivory, with the soft tones and classic brick format of Pigment Mocha gloss ceramics, to create a stylish and harmonious spa bathroom space,’ says Louisa Morgan, Mandarin Stone.
6. Invest in raw materials
Raw limestone and brushed oak make a compelling duo that champions nature’s imperfections. For this modern bespoke bathroom vanity unit by Hetherington Newman (opens in new tab), interior designer Lisa Keates specified an unfilled Belgian limestone for the external elements of the vanity top, and the same material honed and filled for the basin interiors.
‘The idea was to enjoy the beautiful texture and practical durability without switching materials, while the brushed fumed oak cabinet featuring a bronze shadow gap adds yet more texture,’ explains Lisa, founder of Keates Interiors (opens in new tab). ‘Stone needs resealing regularly to stop agents such as soap or toothpaste from etching the surface finish,’ she advises.
7. Emphasize soft and gentle curves
Sometimes it only takes one gentle curve to transform the entire energy of your white bathroom. Here, it comes via a simple horseshoe configuration of wardrobes. ‘We took inspiration from the egg-shape bath, with the curve echoing the radius to give a sense of connection,’ recalls interior designer Chantel Elshout (opens in new tab).
‘Opting for standard angular wardrobes instead would have made the corner storage harder to reach and, crucially, we would have missed the opportunity to make the dressing area more interesting. The softening effect curves provide is so worth the extra effort required in their design and construction.’
8. Lay down eye-catching flooring
Busy patterns can prove too intense, especially when embraced on both walls and bathroom flooring. However, in this Parisian apartment lsl Architects (opens in new tab) painted the window frame and shutters in the tile’s base color – a calming duck egg blue – to create a tranquil moment amid the kaleidoscope pattern.
9. Add pretty details and stylish flourishes
Interior design practice Salvesen Graham (opens in new tab) was adamant that this scheme would have the feeling of a ‘room’. ‘It has all the features you’d expect of a country house interior,’ says Nicole Salvesen. ‘We used fabric wherever we could, added antiques, bathroom wallpaper (Lattice by Nile & York), a blind, and a generous fabric shower curtain. This country bathroom is practical but ultimately comfortable.’
10. Let materials take center stage
Simplicity and purity ensure that the gorgeous cloud-like pattern of the marble takes center stage in this compact bathroom. Rising star interior designer Hollie Bowden (opens in new tab) chose this striking book-matched Arabescato marble and specified Drummonds fittings in a classic nickel finish. Her restrained choices ensure that the materials sing out and that the space remains crisp and clean.
11. Introduce bathroom art to create a curated look
One element of bathroom design that is often neglected is artwork on walls. ‘In any other room of our homes, artwork is always a finishing touch that we add to bring in color, personality and a unique feel,’ says Lucy Searle, Editor in Chief of Homes & Gardens. ‘However, it’s often overlooked in bathrooms, which can leave the room feeling a little soulless.
‘However, it’s an easy fix. I’m not a huge fan of room-themed artwork, such as coastal images in a bathroom, food images in a kitchen, for example, however, the beauty of bathroom art ideas is that they are rarely seen by guests and can be entirely personal to you.’
12. Soften a bathroom’s edges with textiles
When we decorate bathrooms, we tend to concentrate and fixate on the practicalities: bathroom fixtures, storage, flooring and walls. However, softer, more decorative finishes shouldn’t be neglected, especially textiles, which can be used not just to make a bathroom feel more inviting, but to add color and layering, too, as in this bathroom above by Henriette von Stockhausen of VSP Interiors (opens in new tab).
‘Aesthetics are just as important as practical elements when it comes to creating an inviting bathroom,’ says Henriette.
‘We use as much fabric as we can in bathrooms because it stops them from being cold, hard and echoey,’ says Emily Todhunter of Todhunter Earle (opens in new tab).
13. Choose the most classic of bathroom color schemes
If you are not sure which way to go with your bathroom design, you can’t go too far wrong with a classic: blue and white bathroom ideas. This classic combination, as seen in the bathroom above by Surface View (opens in new tab), never dates and always looks fresh.
But there is a but. ‘Blue and white can feel cold in the wrong shade or the wrong bathroom,’ says Lucy Searle. ‘The key to success is to analyse the temperature of the daylight in your bathroom and to choose a blue that will complement it. North- or east- facing rooms, or those with tiny windows, tend to feel cool, so need warm blues. South- and west-facing bathrooms will naturally feel warmer so can take a cooler tone.’
14. Create a spa escape
The wellness trend has seen bathroom ideas as sanctuaries, for the ultimate in hedonistic relaxation.
‘Spa bathrooms offer a place to escape to, where the very essence is to be able to relax and unwind in a luxurious setting,’ says Barrie Cutchie, Design Director at BC Designs (opens in new tab).
‘We’re seeing customers taking luxury to the next level, with huge bathtubs, double shower heads in wet room-style showers, along with the continued trend for double vanity units with luxury marble, granite or quartz countertops and sunken under-mount sinks.’
For a standout spa style, choose an opulent tub with a chandelier above to create a focal point, as well as looking to inspire bathroom vanity ideas – adding bathroom plants will also enhance the spa-like feel.
15. Choose warm-colored bathroom decor
We tend to play it safe with rustic bathroom decor but that can make for these spaces feeling a little clinical. So why not think outside of the box?
Take this stone and olive bathroom as an example – not necessarily two shades you’d put together – but it works really well. And why? Because the two colors are the same tone, this means they have the same intensity of color, neither is brighter or darker than the other, and the white floor tiles act as a blank canvas that holds the look together.
16. Add decorative touches with wallpaper
When we think of decorating our bathrooms, paint and tiles are usually at the forefront of our minds, and bathroom wallpaper ideas tend to get neglected as an option. But it can work really well, and look how this Cavendish Stripe design from Little Greene (opens in new tab) has been hung – both vertically and horizontally – what a clever trick!
So how do you make it work if you don’t want more color added to your scheme? You opt for metallics, as Phil Etherden, Managing Director of The Albion Bath Company (opens in new tab) explains:
‘Our burnished and polished bath finishes are a popular option for anyone looking for a luxurious look. They’re ideal for creating a focal point and adding structure and glamor to a bathroom scheme. Metallic touches in the bathroom are hugely fashionable at the moment, and bronze gives a real sense of luxury.
Incorporating a freestanding bath in a bold metallic finish really does change the feel of the whole room. We’ve seen customers match a brightly colored bath to a feature wall for a really strong look, while others make a statement by making a metallic bath the star of the show in a more pared back space.’
17. Introduce texture for interest and warmth
Bathroom vanities can offer up the opportunity to add important texture to a room that is often dominated by hard, cold, shiny surfaces. This bathroom designed by Utah-based House of Jade (opens in new tab) Interiors provides the perfect combination of tranquility and on-trend design elements to the bathroom’s decor. It’s light, airy and full of fabulous textures. The wood adds character and warmth whilst the vintage rug is the main source of color – which shows how subtle a bathroom decor scheme can be.
The boucle stool is so inviting with its tactile quality and contrasts with the white marble countertops. As before, brass is used to soften visually and counts as another color.
18. Install a sauna
A sauna is the ultimate wellbeing treat, with dry heat to soothe muscles and de-stress the spirit. While the typical wood box is fine in a home gym, it can overpower a bathroom at home, so look for a design with stylish paneling or even glass walls for your personal spa space.
‘With a larger variety of wooden finishes than ever before, a sauna can now fit into your desired scheme, rather than dictate it,’ agrees Yousef Mansuri, director of design at CP Hart. ‘Effegibi (opens in new tab)’s Sky Sauna is a versatile design, ideal for made-to-measure solutions, with wide floor-to-ceiling glass panels and a glazed roof that create a beautifully light and airy feel.’
Saunas like this can also be customized with different woods, colored LED lighting and audio speakers.
19. Consider a dark and moody look for drama
Although some of us may prefer bathroom ideas in light colors, they’re not for us all. The drama of dark shades is appealing and certainly creates a cocoon-like feel during the evenings and winter months. This bathroom decor features three shades, all of which work well together to create a warmth – mainly from the ochre, and the smoky grey woodwork invites in the light.
It’s still worth introducing some brighter elements to create a visual balance – a marble topped pale wood washstand and cliched fluffy white towels will do the trick nicely.
20. Create a calming space
‘The bathroom is one of the only rooms in the house where you can, literally, lock yourself in for some “me” time. Rather than creating a purely utilitarian space, it makes sense to create a sanctuary where you can relax, refresh and revive,’ explains Emma Joyce, Brand Manager at House of Rohl (opens in new tab).
‘It’s all about creating a calm sanctuary, where every item is carefully considered and designed in. Freestanding baths are synonymous with luxury bathroom design, and they create a real statement in a serene spa environment. Rainfall showers with a generously proportioned shower head are now standard in spa-style bathrooms.’
21. Use subtle visual tricks to stretch space
Note the only-just-discernable horizontal stripes of the marble tiles in this bathroom? This, together with the reflective surfaces and pale colors will make the bathroom feel larger: wider and longer. The fact that the marble is carried through to the vanity unit will ensure the space feels larger, too.
One big misconception is that if you love neutrals you don’t love color, but actually there are a myriad of stunning, neutral shades that work so well together to create a perfect bathroom decor scheme, like this sophisticated grey bathroom idea shown above.
Clara Ewart, Head of Design at Kitesgrove (opens in new tab) explains, ‘An effective way to add character to a neutral bathroom space is to introduce a rich, warm finish such as brass within the sanitary ware and detailing. This helps to create visual interest as the brass complements pared back, neutral palettes particularly well, whilst further enhancing the natural beauty of the marble.’
22. Make it twin tubs
Looking for luxury ideas? What could be more luxurious than a deep freestanding bath? Two, of course! Even if you don’t have a room large enough for twin tubs, space is an essential ingredient of truly decadent bathing spaces.
‘The first essential ingredient of a spa-like bathroom is having enough space to indulge and relax in luxury,’ agrees James Lentaigne, Creative Director, Drummonds (opens in new tab). Your bath should be big enough to let you really stretch out and soak and your shower should be large and powerful, preferably with several types of jet, as in our freestanding showers.
‘Heated towel rails are another must, keeping warm towels always ready to hand,’ continues James. ‘And finally, lighting. Again, this should be from several sources and be controllable, with different settings to match your mood and good close-up lighting by the mirrors.
‘The decorative aspect is, of course, a personal choice, but I would always recommend placing the emphasis on classic quality and luxury, using materials such as natural marble, mirror glass and polished metal.’
23. Opt for traditional style, with a twist
The interest in sustainability means we’re seeing more reclaimed sanitaryware, such as traditional baths, being integrated into new bathroom spaces – perfect for traditional bathroom ideas that include all the contemporary luxuries.
‘This look is about how you successfully combine period and contemporary styles,’ explains Darren Allison, Managing Director at BC Designs (opens in new tab). ‘We find people are more informed in what they love and want and are also willing to take more risks when it comes to their bathroom decor, to create something truly unique.
‘The secret to making it work is in the mix. Just remember, opposites attract! Traditional bath with modern and sleek faucet. Period faucets with a modern shaped sink.’
‘Painting a traditionally shaped bath in an on-trend color will bring a 21st century look to your bathroom.’
24. Add drama with tiles
We tend to think of bathroom decor ideas as light and bright, but a cocooning deep hue can instill a sense of calm and serenity.
‘For a moody-yet-chic finish, go for a deep green hue,’ suggests Mike Head, director at Atlas Ceramics (opens in new tab). ‘Team dark tiles with metallic accents, such as a gold mirror. If your bathroom is on the smaller side, don’t be afraid to keep some white in the room to make it feel lighter.’
Here, large format floor tiles and white walls create a crisp contrast with the deep room colors introduced in the form of green scallop tiles, without reducing their dramatic impact.
25. Set your style in stone
New materials, such as stone mixed with resin, have enabled innovative designs for baths and showers that draw on the beauty of the natural world, with a contemporary, seamless finish.
‘A combination of two of the purist elements, earth and water, the use of natural stone within the bathroom can bring you closer to nature and evoke a feeling of relaxation thanks to its earthborn properties,’ says Becky Dix, Head of Design at The Luxury Bath Company (opens in new tab).
‘When designing a bathroom, the positioning of your furnishings is just as important as the color and accessories you place in it,’ continues Becky. ‘Ensure you are maximizing the space you have with a freestanding bath, and position it in a spot that will naturally draw the eye.’
26. Use natural materials and color to create a stand-out space
Wood-panelled walls introduce a warm and tactile quality in a way that a standard painted finish can never achieve, which makes them perfect for a supremely comfortable, cossetting bathroom environment.
In this Shoreditch apartment, based on the fourth floor of a former shoe factory, the architects Chan and Earys (opens in new tab) used a blend of limed oak brushed timber planks with traditional lime plaster mixed with a natural green pigment on the walls and ceiling. The result is a soft and tactile finish, which is then carried through in the curves of the avocado-green roll top bath by Water Monopoly (opens in new tab), a beautiful look for bathroom ceiling ideas.
‘For a more decorative finish it’s all about the finer details that will make your bathroom ooze with elegance. Consider lighting in the form of beautiful pendants and wall fittings, opt for bespoke statement furniture pieces and incorporate softer furnishings, wallpapers and muted pastel colors,’ says Leanne Robey, senior designer, Ripples (opens in new tab).
27. Double up on showers for a spa space
Looking for bathroom shower ideas with impact? Uneven polished plaster finishes are a natural complement to smooth glossy elements such as brass and marble often found in luxurious bathroom schemes. The Moroccan tadelackt bathroom wall idea in particular, with its natural grittiness, strikes an interesting counter tone to the even and shiny surfaces.
Installing it is an artisanal skill, explains Jamie Blake of Blakes London (opens in new tab) who used the finish for this concealed shower and WC: ‘You’re looking to add just enough movement in the plaster to create interest but not so much that the end result looks messy.’
To add a touch of wow factor, the floors are clad in Carrara marble tiles laid a herringbone pattern which is seamlessly carried up the internal walls.
28. Use unusual tile shapes to create understated drama
When it comes to adding a decorative touch to a bathroom, nothing beats the versatility of tiles ideas – for the floors, walls, alcoves, or bathroom backsplashes. For an understated look, play with the shape of the tile rather than the pattern.
Here, Joel Fry of West One Bathrooms (opens in new tab) chose Ca’Pietra (opens in new tab)’s Zen marble mosaic, a scallop-shaped design that forms a pretty backdrop for the brushed brass tap fittings (a finish that is thoughtfully carried through to the trap under the sink). The curvy border of the backsplash is echoed in the recessed mirror cabinets which add an Art Deco touch to this bathroom.
‘I love to mix wallpaper and tiles as it is a fantastic way to play with scale and bring personality to what is often a small space. If I use a large patterned wallpaper, I will usually use a smaller scale tile–it’s all about finding the right balance,’ says Kate Aslangui, founder, Oakley Moore Interior Design (opens in new tab).
29. Create secret storage – imaginatively
Whenever planning bathroom ideas from scratch, calculate how much bathroom storage is required and be careful not to underestimate the amount. Items used on a daily basis will need open bathroom shelves, but others should be stored out of sight to ensure the space feels serene and uncluttered.
This is particularly true where anything visible might disrupt the impact of the design such as in this bathroom covered in colorful kismet tiles which was designed by Paris-based LSL Architects (opens in new tab). The alcove adjacent to the shower has been turned into a unit of drawers built in from the ceiling down and painted in a sky blue to link in with the tile colours. The antique French basin was restored by Water Monopoly.
‘Tiles are a good way to inject a bit of color into a bathroom and there are lots of inexpensive, pretty ones around. To save on costs only use wall tiles where you actually need them such as inside showers then get busy with your paintbrush and add colour to the vanity and bath to add warmth,’ says Beth Dadswell, Imperfect Interiors (opens in new tab).
Otherwise, if you are looking for somewhere to store fluffy towels (or even wet ones that need to dry) then be sure to go for either a freestanding towel rack or a wall-mounted rail, depending on the space at hand.
30. Embrace the new trend for patterned bathware
Across the board, bathroom decor ideas are taking bold strides away from the decades-long unwritten rule that they should only ever be white.
From the ’70s favorites of avocado or dusty pink to sunny yellows and elegant navy, there’s been an explosion of color on the market recently. But why stop at plain color ideas when you can have patterns?
That’s the approach that interior decorator Irene Gunter (opens in new tab) took to this lower ground floor bathroom, with the bath wrapped in woven fabric: ‘Everything about this space was about creating warmth. It had no natural focal point, so I hung the mirror behind the bath to ground the space and painted the walls in mustard yellow to tie in with the brassy tones of the tapware.’
31. Choose bold brassware for a showstopping look
Brassware is an important part of any bathroom and should be considered early on when you start thinking about how to design a bathroom.
‘You can create a statement in any bathroom, even the most compact ones, with more essential elements, such as a sculptural shaped basin, a striking-coloured vanity or an unusual finish of brassware. Faucets are working parts that have continuous water flowing through them,’ explains Yousef Mansuri, Head of Design at C P Hart. (opens in new tab) ‘They are the most used and have the highest potential to break, so investing in high-quality fittings that stand the test of time is essential.’
32. Embrace interesting materials
Marble bathrooms add a sense of luxury and help make your space feel more expensive, too. This is why, more often than not, it’s a design feature often found in hotel bathrooms and spas. High-quality slabs will be water-resistant, but due to their mineral nature, marble still requires regular maintenance.
‘What I love most with marble are the activity and coloration,’ comments Cara Woodhouse (opens in new tab), who designed this bathroom above. ‘I also love the fact that all stones are different and have their one-of-a-kind unique markings and colors.’
Applying an additional sealant during installation will help avoid premature wear from harsh cleaning products.
33. Highlight architectural details using bold colors
When deciding on your bathroom decor, you may want to choose art ideas as a starting point and use the colors present throughout your space. Remember that water-resistant formulas should be used if your bathroom is being painted.
‘Don’t forget to paint your ceiling in the same tone or one that complements the walls – you will be amazed at how often your eyes are drawn upwards when you are relaxing in the bathtub,’ suggests Ruth Mottershead, Creative Director at Little Greene (opens in new tab).
34. Create a rustic feel with wood panelling
Lighting designer Tom Raffield’s home is a masterclass in designing with timber – and this ethos goes right through to the bathroom ideas.
The untreated floorboards are reminiscent of a beach hut, while the pendant lights were inspired by sea urchins, a bold choice for bathroom wall ideas.
35. Keep the bathroom floor clear
When you have a tiny bathroom and limited space to work with, opt for wall-hung sanitaryware or sanitaryware that sits on very slim legs, like in the bathroom above.
Wall-hung units will create the illusion of more space and make a small bathroom look bigger. If you want a freestanding bathtub, choose one with feet to elevate the tub – that way, your flooring ideas will be fully on show.
36. Choose lighting that stands out (rather than blending in)
Lighting should not be overlooked, as the bathroom lighting ideas you choose can have a huge impact on the look and feel of your bathroom.
‘Assess your lighting at the planning stage to maximise opportunities,’ advises Peter Bowles, founder of Davey Lighting at Original BTC (opens in new tab).
‘You need two types of illumination when planning your bathroom lighting: shadow-free task lighting for functional tasks, such as shaving and applying make-up, and ambient lighting for when you simply want to lie back and enjoy a soak,’ he adds.
37. Paint the bathroom floor for vintage appeal
Frills and ruffles are back on trend as we hanker after nostalgic decorative bathroom trends. But for us, the star of the show in this space is one of those bathroom ideas you don’t see too often in a wet space: painted wooden floorboards.
‘I have a wooden floor in my bathroom, and those floorboards are over 100 years old, because they are original to the house. However, they stand up really well to moisture because they are well protected with yacht varnish,’ says Homes & Gardens’ Editor in Chief, Lucy Searle. ‘Mine are lime-washed but I love this look which is crisp but vintage.’
38. Squeeze in a tub – even in a tiny space
If you have your heart set on a freestanding tub but are restricted on space, consider a reduced-depth model, like this compact design from The Albion Bath Company (opens in new tab).
What material the bathtub is made of may be a deciding factor, too – while a cast-iron tub may have a high-quality appearance, it’s weight may be a drawback if your floorboards are not reinforced.
39. Opt for sanitaryware that stands out
Bright pops of color don’t have to be restricted to the wall anymore, with options to have colorful washbasins and toilets, tiles and even brassware greater than ever before. Warm, earthy tones create a sense of calm, whereas bolder hues can feel more energizing.
40. Indulge in an exotic wallpaper design
Chinoiserie is having a resurgence in popularity at the moment – and the bathroom is a wonderful place to indulge in it – although we should mention that it looks fabulous in powder rooms, too.
41. Delight in the details
Want to create a cohesive look? Try sticking to a theme. Wherever possible, make sure you see samples of all the bathroom paint ideas you are considering, fabrics, tiles and even your brassware. Check they work well together before committing to a full order.
You don’t want to have your whole bathroom tiled before realizing it doesn’t match with the furniture you picked out.
42. Pick an on trend tile shape
Hexagons are the tile shape for the year ahead. Importantly, larger format, matte, one-color tiled walls are more on trend than intricate patterns for this tile-shape.
This, of course, gives you a wonderful opportunity to use color-blocking within the bathroom for a dramatic finish – whether you choose bold shades or a more neutral approach.
43. Combine vintage pieces with new hardware
Vintage bathroom vanity ideas are on the rise in bathroom design, and can be combined with new traditional-style fittings that match without compromising on functionality.
And wall-mounted mixer faucets work well in compact bathrooms, as the pipework can be hidden without the need for a pedestal.
44. Include exotic stone for a stand-out feature
Introducing exotic stone is another wonderful way of lifting a bathroom scheme. Real stone requires a larger budget, but you can find convincing lookalikes that are just as beautiful, without the high price tag or care and maintenance.
This basin is actually custom-made from 6mm-thick porcelain tiles to create a convincing natural agate.
Bathroom Design Studio (opens in new tab)’s managing director John Naughten says, ‘Thanks to the many advances in surface technologies, the design of porcelains inspired by precious stones are now incredibly lifelike, yet offer far easier cleaning and no aftercare.’
45. Be smart about storage
Maintain a clean and clutter-free washroom by making sure you have plenty of storage worked into your design. Compact spaces especially will benefit from smart small bathroom storage ideas.
Keep everyday items such as toothbrushes and soap close to hand, while cleaning products and extra toilet rolls can be stored out of sight in cupboards or drawers.
46. Introduce terrazzo for color and texture
Terrazzo bathrooms are seeing a resurgence in our homes – something to consider when looking for bathroom ideas for surfaces such as countertops, backsplashes and even floors. Or, you could use it in a focal space, such as to line a shower.
It comes in a myriad of finishes and colors, so you can create a scheme that’s unique and perfect for your space.
47. Add accessories to make your bathroom characterful
Don’t forget about finishing touches – towels, soap dispensers and objets d’art can help pull together the final look of your bathroom. Folded clean bathroom towels are a thoughtful touch in a guest bathroom.
Just make sure any valued items are situated away from wet areas of the bathroom to avoid getting splashed.
48. Make a feature of your bathroom heating
Not only will a heated radiator keep towels warm and dry in your bathroom, but it can also help reduce the relative moisture in the air.
But how about going one step further and installing underfloor heating? This is definitley worth considering if you’re looking at wet room ideas and there are two options to choose from – an electric system or a wet system.
Electric systems are often preferable in smaller spaces as they are easier to install, whereas a wet system connected to your central heating tends to have an expensive initial outlay but may be more cost-effective in the long run.
49. Create a decorative link between your bedroom and ensuite
Create a link between your bedroom and adjoining ensuite bathroom by using similar design cues throughout both spaces. With this in mind, you may adopt the same colors or use complementary materials between the two rooms.
For example, here, the monochrome pattern on the wallpaper in the bedroom is complimented by a similarly colored pattern on the bathroom floor, and the rich copper hue on the lampshade is echoed by the bathroom lighting.
50. Choose organic materials
While organic materials such as wood and stone are becoming more popular shower flooring ideas to evoke a feeling of wellbeing and connection to nature, they are not always the most practical solution.
Fortunately, there are alternatives available. ‘It is now possible to achieve the look you want without the challenges and maintenance the real material can bring,’ says Jo Oliver, Director at Stone & Ceramic Warehouse (opens in new tab).
‘Wood-effect porcelain tiles, for example, can also be supplied in large formats, which reduces the potential for leaks,’ she adds.
51. Express yourself in your bathroom decor
The terms ‘classic bathroom’ and ‘maximalism’ don’t tend to go hand in hand, but that’s not to say they shouldn’t.
Now’s the time to bring your personality into your bathroom decor. If bright colors and bold patterns bring you joy, then you are more likely to enjoy spending time in your bathroom.
52. Go for gold bathroom fittings
Another way to elevate your bathroom ideas is to switch up your brassware.
While chrome fixtures offer a classic look, popular finishes such as gold and even rose-gold can add an interesting element – and are one of those bathroom ideas that can even be retro-fitted if you are not planning a complete renovation.
53. Play with pattern on walls and floors
To make a real impact in a small shower room or wet room, match your bathroom floor tile ideas to the tiles on your walls. Not only will this add wow-factor to your bathroom, but the continuous running pattern creates a sleek, seamless look. Think of it as the equivalent of using a bold wallpaper.
54. Define zones with decorative bathroom ideas
Larger bathrooms benefit from definitive zones. Use different colors and materials as markers in your bathroom, such as patterned or colored bathroom tiles in the shower or around a vanity unit.
Another option is to add privacy screens in front of the shower or WC, which can be particularly useful for busy family bathrooms.
55. Work in hidden storage to enhance space
When working with a smaller space, pieces with dual-functionality are a must.
Take a mirrored cabinet as an example; not only can you keep your bathroom tidy by hiding away toiletries, but mirrors will help to reflect light around the room.
56. Go bold with wallpaper
‘Don’t be afraid to use a bold, statement wallpaper in the bathroom, it’s a great way of injecting personality into a small space and can bring character and warmth,’ says Lee Clarke, Director at Warner House (opens in new tab).
‘If you are worried about using wallpaper in a bathroom, ask your decorator to use a water-resistant finish when installing,’ he adds.
57. Go all white to stretch the space
Whether your main bathroom or guest bathroom is on the compact side, opting for a white bathroom will make it feel larger, lighter and brighter.
In this bathroom by LA-based designer Stefani Stein (opens in new tab), the bathroom has been made to feel larger with narrow tiles hung horizontally, which tricks the eye into seeing the space as wider than it is – this visual trick is useful for correcting awkward proportions.
In an all-white bathroom, it’s important to add some texture, detail and warmth. Here, gold-finish fittings add warmth, detail is added in the patterned floor tiles and, of course, you can easily add texture with accessories such as baskets and towels.
58. Hide the toilet behind a screen
This is a simple but very effective bathroom idea – a see-through screen that hides the toilet. Of course, you could erect a half- or foreshortened wall here, but his simple solution allows light to penetrate into the entirety of the room, and allows a clear view of the window beyond.
59. Go for a monochromatic bathroom scheme
Black and white bathrooms can be extremely elegant if you get the balance right: namely, more white than black, but black in key places, such as the sides of a freestanding bathtub.
Our advice? Add warmth to the space with natural accessories, such as basketwork and colorful towels.
60. Be adventurous with the layout
This bathroom layout is planned for impact. The glass panel directly behind the bath in this bathroom is also the shower screen for the enormous walk-in double shower.
The other clever detail is the tiled wall that matches the floor: it creates a smart, streamlined finish that not only frames the bath in the view, but is also warm and interesting to look at.
61. Maximize natural light with smart shutters
Bathrooms benefit from plenty of natural light so if your washroom is lucky to have an excess of bathroom windows, it’s worth investing in shutters instead of light blocking drapes of blinds.
Shutters will to allow you to maintain the right amount of privacy when required and open out the space to full light when not.
62. Pair black bathroom fittings with bold colors
Black works wonderfully well with a large selection of colors. Colored tiles laid diagonally are all the more eye-catching against dark flooring and fittings.
63. Choose sage green for a relaxing haven
Green bathroom ideas are still incredibly popular and sage is a chic green hue that adds a more mature spin on the pastel trend that comes back year on year. Its muted tones are softer on the eye, but it still uplifts a room as much as a brighter more poignant shade would do.
64. Repeat tiles on an accent wall to enhance space
In a small bathroom, running tiles from the floor up on to the accent wall behind the bath will help make your space feel cohesive – and will trick the eye into seeing it as bigger as it really is. Pick a tile that’s not too busy – a two-color tile will be calmer, especially if it is in a cool color.
65. Choose vintage chic for charm and character
Whether you want to ensure your interiors are in keeping with your period property, or jump on the trend for vintage, this timeless theme will always be here to stay.
In the bathroom, think gold tones, curvy accents, artworks, statement chandeliers and a statement freestanding bath.
66. Let statement tiles take the limelight
Statement bathroom tiles can bring a new dimension to a washspace and elevate the space. Whether you choose monochrome patterns for the floor or tile up the wall by your basin, it will add a point of visual interest.
To elevate your design further, mix it up with different shaped tiles such as hexagons or a mixture of large and small squares joined together.
67. Pick steel framing for screens
Fitting well into the industrial style, these dark and rather striking windows add sharp angles and allow for plenty of light to flood into the modern bathroom above.
But they don’t have to just be used as windows; Crittall shower screens are also proving ultra-popular and make a cool alternative to clear glass.
In this inviting bathroom, the block color of the wall panelling and floor allows a wonderfully whimsical wallpaper with a strong motif to shine. Meanwhile, understated border details on the curtain and the towels help to pull the look together for a cohesive feel.
You can find more cottage bathroom ideas in our dedicated gallery if you love this style.
69. Be bold with tiles
Tiles are a very effective way to create a decorative effect and you can balance the scheme by keeping the walls white. It’s also a great way to zone an area – like this shower, for example.
Using two simple bathroom color ideas in your scheme will work wonders and if you can find a beautiful antique piece that can be converted for basins then go for it – the warm wood and detailing add to the decorative feel of this bathroom.
70. Use unexpected colors in bathroom decor
Throw out the ‘paint your trim in white or a pale shade’ rule, and do the opposite for a thoroughly modern bathroom, even if your home is a period property.
We love this bathroom decor scheme, it’s calming yet edgy due to the black bath and window frame, which is complemented by the antique mahogany console and rattan mirror – they provide a color bridge between the black and off white walls.
How can I make my bathroom nicer?
The easiest way to make a bathroom nicer is to ensure the storage has enough capacity to efficiently hide away unsightly bathroom clutter – from cleaning products to piled towels. Swapping out old linen, bathmats, shower curtains and even window treatments for new can create an instant refresh, introducing new accent colors, too. As you would in any other room of your home, hang art, introduce greenery with indoor plants, and bring some fresh room scents in.
How should I decorate my bathroom?
If you’re wondering how to decorate your bathroom, there are several aspects you need to consider – no matter what size the space is.
Firstly, the essentials. Every bathroom will need a WC, basin, bath or shower (often both), including all the accompanying brassware.
The layout of your space will determine the placement of these elements, as well as the size and style. Lighting should also be planned early on, as ideally you will need to account for both overhead lighting and task lighting. The same goes for heating, too.
Once you have an idea of where everything will go, you can start to decide on the bathroom decor. ‘Bathrooms can sometimes be the last room that’s thought about when it comes to decorating, and it can be easy to forget that it should also be a space to decompress, relax and enjoy,’ says materials specialist Fameed Khalique (opens in new tab).
‘The same attention to detail and personal touches applied to other rooms in the home can be done here, too.’
Finally, when all the work is finished and your new bathroom is ready, put in place your towels, soap dispensers, candles and artwork to complete the look.
What are the on-trend colors for bathrooms in 2022?
So, you’ve got your layout sorted, now it’s time to think about the on-trend colors for bathrooms in 2022.
In keeping with the popular opinion that bathrooms are a place for rest and relaxation, there is currently a shift towards warmer colors.
‘The ever-so-popular cool grey is moving towards softer shades of clay and beige, and trendy baby pinks are also being replaced by earthy terracottas,’ says Yousef Mansuri, Head of Design at C.P. Hart.
‘Keeping in line with the natural trend, wood is increasing in popularity, with raw or reclaimed textures becoming more of a stable,’ he adds.