More than any other room in the house, a bathroom’s design must effectively combine form and function. It’s not always an easy balance, but get it right and you make this essential room much more comfortable, safer and a stunning part of your home’s design.
Any discussion about bathroom design must actually cover three different spaces: the powder room or half-bath; the separate or guest bath; and the master bathroom. Each presents different design opportunities and challenges, but the basics of sound design underlying successful bathroom style are the same no matter what size the room may be. For instance, safety is the paramount concern in any bathroom because of the combination of water and slick surfaces. Hygiene and cleanliness are also natural issues to consider whenever you choose materials and fixtures for a bathroom design.
Whatever the particulars, one of the great things about a bathroom is that it doesn’t take much to renew the look of the room. A design update can entail a quick makeover or a complete remodel. Add a new faucet, showerhead and towel bars, and you introduce fresh new flair to the room. A little paint and a refinished vanity can do the same. Of course, you can change the look even more dramatically if you’re willing to resurface the walls or floors, or make bigger changes such as adding a standalone shower enclosure, a bidet or a jetted tub. Larger changes can also make the room more usable. Add his-and- her sinks, and you alleviate marital friction and make the morning bathroom rush hour a lot less stressful for everyone.
Luxury, though, is the highest calling for a bathroom design. Steam fittings in a shower stall, towel warmers, super-deep soaking tubs and mini-saunas are all ways to turn the bathroom into less of a purely functional space and more of a spa-like experience. The examples that follow illustrate the full range of possibilities for your bathroom. Choose the options that suit your space, your life, your budget and your tastes, and turn this functional space into a more comfortable design gem that adds to the look, comfort and enjoyment of your home.
REPEAT SHAPES FOR A SOOTHING.
Bathroom design details don’t need to be ostentatious or over the top to make a big impact. This simple black-and-white bathroom is made more stylish with the addition of a frosted-glass divider at the foot of the tub, a simple black bathmat over an understated sisal rug and unusual shelves that offer dynamic shapes and plenty of visual interest. All the fixtures are kept simple and white, and contemporary faucet fittings reinforce the room’s uncomplicated—yet beautiful—aesthetic.
LUXURIATE YOUR BATHROOM WITH PERIOD-STYLE CHAIRS AND ENDTABLES.
Turn to unexpected style features such as the chandelier and period-style chair used in this room and
include top-of-the-line fixtures such as this drop- in whirlpool tub. Captured in a highly detailed custom oval surround, this model includes heated backrests, 36 jets, molded armrests, color-matched grab bars and room enough for two. A luxury shower stall or bathtub like this not only elevates the bathroom’s look, it can vastly improve your day-to-day life.
USE DIFFERENT PATTERNS AND TEXTURES ON BATHROOM BUMPOUTS.
Institute high style in your bathroom by including a mix of textures and patterns to provide increased visual interest anywhere the eye settles. The sleek white marble floor in this lavish bathroom competes for attention with the showy silver patterned wallpaper framing the bump out. The simple modern fixtures and vanity, as well as a glass shower enclosure, reinforce the luxurious style driving the rooms aesthetic. Notice that as stylish as the space is, function and storage have not been sacrificed to the design.
OUTFIT A BATHROOM WITH A WALK-IN CLOSET.
The southwestern flair of this en suite bathroom and walk-in closet combo features a vanity and
storage that not only match the cabinetry in the closet and dressing area but also look custom
made for the space. There is a vanity and matching storage furniture to suit any bathroom—even if the room has adobe walls and irregular stone payers for a floor.
UNEXPECTED FURNISHINGS INVIGORATE BATHROOMS, LIKE THIS EXTERIOR TUB SPOUT AND CHAISE LOUNGE.
Add unexpected elements to a bathroom—especially a large bathroom such as this—to pump up the visual interest. The chaise lounge reinforces the notion of the room as a spa retreat. The open shelving with rolled up towels is a great way to store attractive textiles, but it also provides rounded shapes that contrast the overwhelmingly linear design of the room, up to and including the stylish spout outside the tub. Shape and line are as much a part of the well-designed bathroom as color and texture.
SINK FIXTURES INCORPORATED INTO A MIRROR OR WAIL ARE NOVEL DESIGN DECISIONS.
Mounting sink fixtures through the mirror is an innovative and chic choice for bathrooms. The temperature controls are left on the vanity, while waterproof backsplash tiles create a clear border from countertop to wall. The matte black tile has a scintillating surface relief that invites the hand as well as the eye. Small details such as this can dial your bathroom design up a notch with a modest investment, regardless of the size of the room.
MATCH THE TOILET TO THE ROOM STYLE.
Reinforce your bathrooms design theme with your choice of toilets. The available selection of toilet styles is greater than ever before and, as shown here, includes some eye-catching shapes. This bathroom is equipped with both toilet and bidet, and as is done in almost every case, the two are a matched set. These modern-style fixtures are also low-flow, which is not only the socially responsible way to go, it’s also mandated by many local, regional and state ordinances.
WALL SCONCES EMIT SOFT AND SOOTHING LIGHT THAT IS PERFECT FOR BATHROOMS.
Choose lighting fixtures to not only serve the function, but also add a flashy form to the bathroom’s design. Sconces, like this matched pair, are perfect for bringing a bit of drama into the room. Notice how the blown-glass shades on these units work perfectly with the wall paint color and also complement the handsome vanity-and-mirror combination, If you have your heart set on colorful light fixtures, it’s a wise idea to bring paint and vanity finish samples with you when you go shopping.
CUSTOM TILE MAKES A SHOWER STUNNING.
Looking to impress in your bathroom? If you’re willing to spend a bit more, you can’t go wrong with a custom -tiled shower enclosure like the one shown here. Distinctive motif indicators like the arch used in this shower opening, the alcove shelf and the wall detailing add even more flair. The mix of tile shapes, colors and sizes is a sure way to keep the eye moving and interested. A bench makes this particular shower as luxurious to use as it is to look at.
UPGRADE YOUR SHOWER TO TRANSFORM YOUR LIFE.
Create an unforgettable morning ritual by including multiple showerheads in your shower. The body sprayers shown here combine with an overhead rainwater showerhead to turn a simple shower into a hedonistic daily indulgence. A rail mounted, handheld showerhead increases the adaptability of this shower and makes it even more luxurious. Low-flow versions (pictured here) let you enjoy the sumptuous experience knowing its eco-friendly as well.