There are different bathroom styles that you can apply to your home. The decor and aesthetic of your bathroom won’t just improve the overall feel of the room, it will also reflect your own sense of style and your personality.
From sleek lines and minimalistic details of modern bathrooms to the most ornate decorations of vintage and classic bathrooms, you can choose one that will suit your preferences the best. There are no wrong answers – choose one which feels most at home to you. Let’s take a look at the different bathroom styles that you can draw inspiration from.
Bathroom Styles & Decor
Let’s start with where all bathroom design began: the traditional style. It is challenging to use words to describe what traditional design is, so let’s define it in terms of what it is not: modern, contemporary, sleek, and minimalist.
When designing, focus on surfaces as these are huge factors in traditional style. Your countertops should either be natural or faux-natural materials such as granite, stone, or slate. For your walls and floors, choose tiles that feel vintage (or even historical), such as those with hexagonal, subway, or penny designs.
Contemporary style gained popularity in the 70s, during the same time when postmodernism was also getting recognition.
Contemporary style originally refers to a mix of different styles, until it became distinct enough to be recognized as its own theme. It borrows elements from both modernism and postmodernism, gathering inspiration from futurism, deconstructivism, and art deco.
The common thought is that modern and contemporary styles are the same. If we were to define these words, say, from a dictionary, then yes, they would mean the same thing. But in design, they do have distinguishing features separating them from each other. Despite many similarities, they have differences. For instance, modern design finds its roots all the way back to the mid-1900s. Contemporary design, however, refers to styles of today, i.e., the here and now.
Modern bathrooms focus on having a clean, simple, and minimalistic vibe. You can find clean lines, geometric patterns and shapes, minimal use of colors, and mid-century furniture. Whether big or small, a bathroom can feel sophisticated and luxurious – a space for both relaxation and function.
As its name suggests, mid-century design refers to the interior, furniture, architectural, and graphic style from the mid-19th century (1933 to 1965). This look is all about using natural colors, geometric shapes, and straight lines. The best part to start incorporating this style in the bathroom is through fixtures and furniture.
For instance, use a modern chair as a focal point of the room. Place it in a corner. If you’re up for it, have a small sofa in the bathroom. Go for colors and patterns that reflect the mid-century style, then apply this with mirrors, showerheads, faucets, and other fixtures.
A form of modern design, minimalist design is all about one thing: simplicity. Make sure to keep the bathroom space open and free of any unnecessary clutter if you want a minimalist look. To hide essential items from view and keep a minimalistic look, use built-in cabinets or shelves. Toiletries and novelty items can be tucked away, too, so you can maintain a clean space conducive for relaxing.
It can be tempting to add more – but avoid the temptation as it negates the whole idea. Go for tiles and backsplash with geometric patterns to add some character without giving up the minimalist style.
If we want to go literal, eclectic design can refer to anything you want. But in the decor world (and to prevent the off-chance of looking like a room filled with random stuff from a yard sale), there are some principles to follow. The key lies in choosing the right colors, as they can make or break your decor. Give some thought on choosing the right contrasts. Some colors which might seem mismatch can actually work – but don’t mistake this as “I can put any three colors together randomly and hope for the best.”
Eclectic design allows you to play with materials and textures more than you would be able to with more traditional bathroom styles. Experiment with stone and wood, hard and soft, shiny and matte. Depending on the application (and your goal), things can look new or old, used, and worn.
Asian-style bathrooms use a lot of natural materials and incorporate them seamlessly into the design (and function) of the room. For example, wood and stone are often used for floors, sink tops, and other surfaces. They create the appearance of “drawing the outside in” by using matte or rough-hewn stone, or even untreated wood.
You can add more outdoor elements such as fountains, orchids, ferns, rock gardens, and other natural elements.
Art Deco is a highly popular style today. It blends together architecture, visual arts, and design. It was first conceived before World War I, in France. It is a culmination of modernist styles, rich materials, and fine craftsmanship. The Cubism movement greatly influenced it, particularly with the bold use of geometric forms.
For Art Deco-themed bathrooms, marble is a foolproof way to get on the right track. Any type of marble will do: white, black, gray, or any hue in between. Use marble on walls and on the floor. When using tiles, choose white, emerald, black, or navy shades. You might notice a pattern – art deco does rely heavily on black and white, as well as creating geometric forms and patterns using these colors.
You can also use subway tiles as an alternative, as they cost much less but still look cool and sleek. For a more eye-catching look, you can also opt for printed wallpaper, but make sure that the quality should be good enough for it to withstand constant exposure to moisture and humidity.
If you want to feel like you’re on a vacation every single day, a beach style bathroom might just suit you. This design features soothing colors and hues, as well as tropical patterns, which will seem as if you picked them right off the shores off your favorite beach house. Even if it’s not beach weather, you can feel like it is right in the comfort of home.
There’s no prerequisite to wanting a farmhouse bathroom design. Even if you don’t live on an actual farm, there’s no reason not to enjoy the vintage and rustic feel of this bathroom style. It reminds us of simpler times, when technology wasn’t all around, where daily baths were taken as a highlight of the day after an honest day’s work. You can still do all this – in a farmhouse bathroom. Read a book in the bath, surround yourself with candles, and relax. A quality wooden toilet seat and other wood accents add warmth and character to your bathroom space.
Farmhouse baths can also be functional. There are a lot of manufacturers who understand the demand for this look, so they create tubs, toilets, hardware, sinks, and other fixtures that look retro but function as modern pieces.
Looking like an “unfinished” room is all that industrial design is all about. There is a degree of elegance that comes with this raw look, a minimalist vibe that is both refined and rugged. Embrace concrete countertops and exposed metal pipes to get an industrial bathroom. You can add accents, but keep them minimal to allow the industrial elements to shine and be the focal point of the room.
The secret is drawing attention to the raw elements and keeping everything else in the background. This can be wooden ceilings, shower doors with metal frames, or exposed brass pipes. Achieving this will give you an authentic industrial design.
Mediterranean design draws inspiration from comfortable, casual, and relaxed lifestyles, commonly observed in homes near the Mediterranean Sea. Countries such as Spain, Turkey, and Greece are known for having a “no worries” way of life, with eclectic styles that are part Bohemian, part Beach House. Over time, designs from these regions have blended together to create a unique look known as the Mediterranean style.
Incorporate this design in your bathroom by using colors you’ll naturally see from the Mediterranean, such as deep but warm earth tones – rusty reds and browns – and the brightest, sun-washed colors – yellow, white, turquoise, and blue.
Rustic bathrooms give off a vibe of elegance, relaxation, and ease. They remind us of the bygone days but present modern efficiencies at the same time. Use metal showers, tubs, sinks, and copper basins to get this effect. Accentuate these fixtures with repurposed countertops, textiles, cabinetry, and trinkets you’ll likely find in flea markets.
You don’t have to go all out on being a full country bathroom to achieve a good rustic look. The goal is to look refined and raw at the same time. By adding antique market finds and DIY touches, it’s easy to transform any space into some sort of pastoral spa in your own home.
Clean lines, neutral colors, natural materials, and personal accents are hallmark features of Scandinavian design. These all aim to achieve simplicity and utility without giving up on beauty. To achieve a Nordic-themed bathroom, use faux wood planks made of vinyl (peel and stick is fine!) and natural greenery.
You’ll find that having several beautiful plants can add life to any space. Also – don’t forget about your walls. Hanging a simple Boho painting or display can add to your bathroom’s tangible texture without putting in too much effort.
For a Southwestern theme, use colors that reflect the desert: which is practically all shades of brown. Think of cactus and other elements found in the desert, too. This means turquoise, orange, dark red, green, and bright yellow. If you are thinking that these are quite the blend of bold colors, you’re right. However, using them properly together with calm colors such as browns, you can play accents right and create a subtle Southwestern look.
This style also includes tiles and ceramic that are brightly painted, adding to an authentic cultural feel. By using unique tiles on your walls can increase the Southwestern feel. To enhance this atmosphere, find items that go with the color and pattern theme, such as shower curtains, towels, soap dishes, light fixtures, photo frames, and floor mats. Use Native American rugs and pottery, potted cactus plants, and pinion-scented candles, too, to add to the decor.
In the beginning, the term Transitional design meant a style that’s somewhere between contemporary and traditional. It featured clean lines but isn’t too contemporary. It created an air of comfort and warmth that’s not too “sleek”. It is a space that’s both safe and aesthetic, designed to improve comfort for anyone using the bathroom. This was created with the elderly and individuals having limited ability in mind.
Today, homeowners and designers alike are incorporating luxurious features in transitional bathrooms, so that it doesn’t feel like a hospital bathroom whose main goal is to keep patients safe from falling. Sure, that’s still the main mission, but now we can achieve that while also keeping it stylish and luxurious. By adding saunas, freestanding tubs, chandeliers, heated floors, and beautiful walls, it feels more like a spa at home rather than a senior center.
The tropics are a vacation dream for many. It’s not surprising to want a tropical theme at home. It’s vibrant but not exaggeratedly loud. There are no bold or bright colors. Tropical design has been around for a while, so there are variations with the details used from one country to another, but there is a universal theme of being “laid back”. The focus is on using elements from nature and the great outdoors.
Use fabrics that resemble this, such as bamboo, mahogany, rosewood, rattan, and teak. While most would argue how wood isn’t the best for bathroom use, these particular types of wood fare relatively well in moist environments. Also, make sure to keep the space airy and light by adding lots of plants and greenery.
For an authentic Victorian bathroom, you should make a freestanding bath as the centerpiece. There are different styles to choose from, but we recommend the slipper bath because of its thematic appropriateness to Victorian design.
Adding to this, use wooden floors and white, black, or neutral walls. Alternatively, mix both old and new by using tiled walls, which look great in either contemporary or classic bathroom styles.
Finally, complete your bathroom with a classic, ornate mirror. It would be ideal to find an authentic Victorian piece in antique shops, but that can be difficult and costly. There are many inexpensive options today that still provide ornate frames and are actually equipped to withstand daily exposure to moisture.
It isn’t surprising that European design is making a strong comeback this year. If you have limited floor space, you can take advantage of this style. Designers are skilled in squeezing in luxury and value into a small room. You can take some notes from them, too. European bathrooms have one thing in common: there is a centerpiece that comes from a certain time period, such as the Baroque era.
You can use a French limestone vanity or a Baroque mirror and make them the focal point of the room. These items have a distinct look to them that’ll draw the attention of anyone entering the room. At the same time, they create an illusion that you’re back to the early years of European chic’s peak years.
Japanese bathrooms use a lot of natural materials, such as wood and stone. Use these materials interchangeably for your floors and sink tops. They create the appearance of bringing the outside in. Keep the connection to the outdoors strong by using fountains and rock gardens, as well as tons of greenery.
When it comes to furniture, go for high-quality hardwood that is stained (but unfinished) to enhance the wood’s natural appearance. Japanese like sturdy furniture, with the purpose of being functional while offering a soothing aesthetic at the same time.
Japanese bathrooms follow an open flow, similar to most Asian designs. To achieve this, use low walls or screens to divide the space. If you are up to it, use glass instead of walls wherever possible. Alternatively, you can add a glass shower enclosure to open the space. It won’t take long before you feel like you’re in a local home in Tokyo.
Everyone has the New York dream: living in a Manhattan apartment, walking the streets at night, and taking in the culture of the Big Apple. This dream has led to many homeowners and designers recreating the feel of a true New York home wherever your home might be. The overall appeal is using a monochromatic palette with a focus on white. The idea is to reflect light using white, creating an illusion of space, as most NY apartments have limited space.
To apply this in your bathroom, get rid of the shower rod and curtain and go with clear and clear glass. A glass shower is sleek and minimal, letting the eyes wander across the room with no interruptions. It would be even better if the enclosure and door of the shower are frameless. This mimics the aesthetic of an open floor plan, allowing for complete panoramic views and giving the illusion of a bigger space.
Further enhance this look by keeping a minimalist approach to decorations. Reduce visual clutter whenever applicable. Chrome shower fixtures and faucets can complement this look well.
Moroccan style bathrooms are for homeowners with a liking for rich culture. Achieve the look by using Eastern patterns on tiles, concrete walls, a tub in the room, colorful rugs, mosaic sinks, and candle lanterns. The common misconception is that for a space to be Moroccan, you only need bright and loud colors. This isn’t always true. You can also make a Moroccan bathroom come to life using blues, whites, greens, reds, light grays, and even gold and black.
Go for wooden furniture, curtains with high-quality fabric and Eastern prints. If you prefer bold colors, there’s no limit on how wild your palette can go. Experiment with walls and tiles. If you are willing to go the distance, have a concrete or tiled bathtub! In terms of construction, use arched doorways to mimic traditional Moroccan homes. Hang lanterns or place them on the floor. Decorate the space with ornate mirrors, candles, and painted bowl sinks. A touch of greenery can also add to this perfect ambiance.
French Country is what you get when you marry farmhouse style with French sophistication. It’s similar but with a uniquely different vibe. This type of bathroom will remind you of the old days, enjoying farm-fresh food, good wine with friends over dinner, and delicious cheese. It is a style that is elegant but hinges on simplicity.
To achieve this look, go for organic textures. Use wood as your main material and accentuate it with natural stone floors, fabrics, and pastel colors all around. French country also uses small flower patterns here and there. Place a freestanding tub in the center of the room. Hang checkered curtains. Get a space that’s relaxing, welcoming, and truly elegant.
Cottage-style decor usually uses a lot of white elements. This allows for the needed open and airy ambiance, but this doesn’t mean you have to limit yourself in terms of color options. You can use shower-tub walls and tile backsplashes for opportunities to add color. If you don’t want a permanent color commitment, you can use accessories such as towels, frames, soap holders, candles, and others to add color and energy to the bathroom.
Cottage bathrooms draw inspiration from vintage decor. You can take advantage of repurposed materials and fixtures to create a classic cottage look while still being able to enjoy modern technologies. A marble (black, white, or gray) floor is perfect for this look. Finally, go for faucets, sinks, showers, and light fixtures that have an old-fashioned aesthetic to complete the cottage vibe.