Planning a remodel or redesign of your master bathroom can be an exciting project. As one of the most private and luxurious rooms in your home, the master bath deserves special attention to detail. Every design decision, from surfaces and lighting to layout and accessories, should be carefully considered to create a soothing, spa-like retreat. Here are seven key design details to focus on when planning your dream master bathroom.

Select Surfaces for Beauty and Functionality

The surfaces you choose for your master bathroom can greatly impact the aesthetic as well as functionality of the space. Consider the following when selecting fixtures and finishes:


Freestanding tubs make a dramatic style statement and provide an inviting focal point in the room. Take into account size, depth, and material when choosing your tub. Deeper tubs allow for a more immersive bathing experience. Materials like cast iron, acrylic, and stone resin offer durability and easy cleaning.


Frameless glass shower enclosures lend an open, airy vibe to the bathroom. Select stylish finishes like bronze, nickel, or black hardware. Choose a spacious shower with multiple body jets for a true spa experience. A bench or ledges for toiletries also come in handy.


Water-resistant surfaces like porcelain or ceramic tile, natural stone, and glass are ideal for bathroom flooring. Mosaic tiles in an accent pattern or a luxurious heated floor are eye-catching options. Ensure proper sealing and slope to allow for drainage.


Quartz and solid surface materials like Corian are popular choices for bathroom vanities as they are non-porous and withstand humidity well. Marble, granite, or tile countertops can also make elegant statements, just be sure to properly seal them.

Wall Finishes

Consider water-resistant paint or colorful tile for the walls. Glass, stone mosaic, or metallic tile accents add personality. In the shower area, select surfaces that won’t succumb to moisture such as ceramic tile or waterproof laminate panels.

Create a Spa-Like Ambience with Lighting

Proper lighting is key to setting the desired mood in your master bath. Include layers of illumination for comfort and style:

Ambient Lighting

Overhead can lights or LED panels give even ambient lighting throughout the space. Dimming capabilities allow you to adjust the mood.

Task Lighting

Focus task lighting over the vanity and shower area for visibility doing makeup and bathing. Wall sconces or pendant lights framed by your mirror provide ideal vanity illumination.

Accent Lighting

Accent lighting adds drama and transforms the vibe in the bathroom. Try wall-mounted fixtures or recessed lights to spotlight artwork or bathtubs. Undercabinet lighting or toe-kick lighting also accentuates display areas.

Natural Light

Maximize sunlight with windows, skylights, and sun tunnels. For privacy, use textured or frosted glass to diffuse the light.frameless glass shower enclosures lend an open, airy vibe to the bathroom

Design for Relaxation and Pampering

Make your master bath a true escape with these must-have amenities for relaxation:

  • Bathtub tray – A mounted or freestanding tub tray holds bath accessories like candles, a speaker, or a book/tablet holder for indulgent soaks.
  • Towel warmer – Heated towel racks feel luxurious and keep towels warm and dry. Free up counter space with wall-mounted options.
  • Robes and slippers – Plush robes and slippers add a spa vibe. Have a designated hook or wall storage for them.
  • Candles/oil diffuser – Set the mood with candlelight and calming essential oils. Make sure to place flameless candles safely.
  • Speakers – Add a speaker system to play soothing music during baths and showers. Waterproof Bluetooth speakers can mount directly in the shower area.
  • Magazine basket – A handy magazine rack provides reading material for leisurely soaks in the tub.
  • Plants – Strategically placed greenery enhances relaxation. Hang trailing plants or place succulents in wall planters. Select indoor varieties that can handle the humidity.

Design a Functional Layout

When laying out your master bathroom, keep functionality in mind. Smart layout and storage solutions make everyday use more convenient.

Clear Pathways

Allow ample pathways and space between vanities, showers, tubs and toilets for comfortable mobility. At least 36 inches for doorways and passages is ideal.

Practical Storage

Incorporate places to neatly store towels, toiletries and hair styling tools. Drawers, cabinets, under-sink organizers and shelving all help keep items tidy yet accessible.

Smart Selections

Choose space-savvy narrow depth vanities. Opt for wall-hung vanities and toilets to save floor space. Determine ideal lighting placements to avoid blocking pathways and fixtures.

Zoned Areas

Designing separate zones for key areas helps reduce clutter. Define the tub area, two-person vanity space, shower area, and toilet area via flooring changes, lighting or layout.

Multi-User Functionality

For two users, opt for his and hers sinks and mirrors along with a large shared shower area. Make sure each partner has their own storage and counter space.

Include High-End Fixtures and Finishes

Elevate the look with upscale fixtures and finishes that make getting ready feel like a luxury:

  • Stone vessel sinks – These gorgeous freestanding sinks bring striking focal points to the vanity area. Opt for hand-carved marble or travertine.
  • Elegant faucets – Ornate bronze, nickel or matte black faucets lend sophistication with their intricate detailing and swiveling spouts.
  • Designer mirrors – Frameless beveled mirrors or those outlined with eye-catching metal trim give the vanity area allure. Opt for anti-fog features.
  • High-end showers – Treat yourself to steam showers, rain showerheads, body spray jets and temperature-adjusting fixtures for a true spa experience.
  • Radiant heated floors – Warm from the ground up with radiant heated flooring, especially nice for tile floors. This luxury instantly feels soothing underfoot.
  • Premium windows – Upgrade to dual-pane windows with custom trim and built-in shelving to make the most of natural light views. Automated shades also add panache.

Make It Yours with Personal Touches

Look for ways to personalize your master bathroom with unique details that reflect your taste and personality:

  • Display favorite art, photos or cherished objects to showcase your style.
  • Monogram plush towels and robes to give them a custom luxury hotel feel.
  • Choose fixtures like sinks, mirrors and hardware in your preferred metallic finish or color.
  • Select a signature scent for soap, candles and diffused oils that you adore.
  • Include decorative items like fresh flowers, potted plants, or seashells that have personal meaning.
  • Incorporate custom tile designs, handpainted murals or display shadowboxes to exhibit mementos.
  • Pick a color palette that energizes or relaxes you. Use as an accent or make it the main event.

Carefully Select Bathroom Hardware

Even small details like hardware make a big impact in the master bath. Follow these tips when selecting:

  • Choose hardware finishes like polished chrome, brushed nickel or oil-rubbed bronze that coordinate with other metallic elements in the space.
  • For a cohesive upscale look, opt for matching faucet, drawer pull and shower fixture hardware suites.
  • Seek quality solid construction on hardware like cabinet pulls and robe hooks to prevent loosening or breakage.
  • Ensure door knobs and pulls are ADA compliant levers rather than round knobs for ease of use.
  • Select water-efficient faucet fixtures to help reduce your environmental footprint. Look for EPA WaterSense-certified labels.
  • For safety, choose hardware like grab bars and non-slip shower mats in contrasting colors to make them visible.
  • Where moisture or condensation is common, choose hardware made of non-corrosive materials like aluminum or stainless steel.

Frequently Asked Questions

Still have questions about designing your dream master bathroom? Here are answers to some common FAQs:

What size should my master bathroom be?

This depends on your space, but most master bathrooms range from 50 to 200 square feet. Ideally have room for his and hers sinks, a roomy shower, separate tub, private toilet space and ample storage.

How much does a master bathroom remodel cost?

The average master bathroom remodel costs $10,000-$35,000. Custom showers, heated floors, upscale tile and expansive layouts can drive costs over $50,000. Focus on classics over trends to maximize investment.

What layout works best?

A common layout has double vanities next to each other with the shower and tub areas across from them. Separate the toilet into its own alcove for privacy. However, make changes as needed to fit your home’s footprint.

Should I get a walk-in shower or jacuzzi tub?

Prioritize what will get used and bring most enjoyment. For frequent use, a large walk-in shower with body sprays may be ideal. For occasional pampering, a jetted soaking tub provides a home spa experience.

How do I make a small bathroom feel bigger?

Use floor-to-ceiling tile, frameless glass doors, wall-hung furniture and neutral colors to open up the space. Strategic lighting and mirrored surfaces also helps small master baths feel more expansive.

What are the most popular 2021 bathroom trends?

Current top trends include neutral earthy tones, organic textures like wood and stone, curves and clean lines, metallic accents, smart home tech and eco-conscious fixtures. Focus on elements with longevity over fleeting trends.


Designing your dream master bathroom involves thinking through details both big and small. Focus first on the hardworking surfaces and fixtures that provide an enjoyable bathing experience day after day. Then build on the ambiance with posh amenities and personal touches that transform the space into your private sanctuary. Use this list of seven key design considerations as your master bathroom planning checklist. Doing so will ensure your renovated space provides a luxury retreat to relax, recharge and indulge in self-care.