Designing a modern bathroom

Traditionally, the bathroom is not the largest room in your home, unless you’re starting from scratch, perhaps in a former bedroom. For this reason, you may well benefit from a few pointers that will help you create a feeling of spaciousness in a moderately sized room. You may also want to make your bathroom as comfortable as you possibly can, especially if you love a long, hot soak in the tub. Add to this the concept of a dazzling contemporary look and you are ready to proceed with an exciting remodeling project.


As with any room, paler shades make a room look larger, and darker ones make it look smaller. White or cream bathroom décor remains steadily popular, so if you’re happy to stick with those, you can first introduce a modern theme by choosing interesting materials. White wooden floors and ceilings make a change from tiles, and you can use special bathroom paint to protect wood from moisture and mildew.

If you don’t want to stick with lighter shades or variations on white, then go with your gut feeling and splash on a statement color. There are some beautiful bathrooms that work really well dressed in dark gray, plum, and even shiny bronze. If you want to show off a little, there’s always Pantone’s new color created in memory of Prince – a vibrant purple known as Love Symbol #2. These darker shades are bold hues, so it’s important to get your lighting right if you want to work with them. A useful compromise, of course, is to blend both by using paler colors and adding darker accents, perhaps on a feature wall or via some quirky bathroom accessories.


Every room in your home looks better with plenty of natural light, and your bathroom is no exception. Try dressing your windows with DIY shutters to make the most of their contours and let in as much daylight as possible. You can choose different styles, finishes, and colors depending on what works best, and maneuverable louvers will protect your privacy and help to lessen external noise.

In terms of artificial lighting, there are lots of fittings and arrangements from which to choose. Recessed ceiling lights are increasingly standard, and decorative electrical wall sconces either side of an attractive mirror look very elegant. Truly palatial bathrooms can get away with a fancy chandelier; however, in smaller spaces, they can look out of place, if not a little ridiculous, though pendant lights of a modest size can work really well.

Reflected light is your friend in the bathroom, and many designers advocate fitting as big a mirror as space will allow. Whether daylight streams in from a window or a rooflight, it will bounce off a mirror beautifully, as will artificial lighting. This all helps to make your bathroom look bigger and more inviting.


Contemporary ceramic sanitary ware has certainly come a long way since the original version of a flush toilet was invented in 1596 (it was built for Queen Elizabeth I of England by her godson, Sir John Harrington). After various configurations through the centuries, often involving copious and mostly unattractive pipe work, today’s modern bathroom is pared back for a clean and seamless finish. White is still considered the most elegant option for bathroom suites, which is something of a relief unless you’re really keen on the retro 1970s avocado green look.

Freestanding tubs have been making a comeback, water closets and washbasins are lifted clear of the floor, and walk-in wet rooms are proving more popular than shower cubicles.

Top designers favor statement bathtubs in creative shapes as the centerpiece of the whole room, plus discreet storage so that your bathroom surfaces are kept clean and clear. If you’ve gone for the paler color palette, use accessories to add a pop of brightness via matching towels, bath mats, and decorative flowers or soaps in the same shade.


Finally, though the bathroom may not be considered appropriate for the display of creative endeavors, you’d be amazed what a difference a well-chosen piece can make. From strategically placed Art Deco statuettes to framed works by your favorite contemporary painter or modern posters and prints, you can definitely make a big difference to the littlest room in the house with some artsy additions. Of course, you may also have to add a miniature library for those family members who love a good read. If so, build it carefully into your discreet storage so that you avoid cluttering up your beautiful modern bathroom.

We hope that you’ve found these tips useful – good luck!

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