Remodeling or redesigning your bathroom can be an exciting project. With so many design styles and options to choose from, it can also feel overwhelming trying to settle on the right look. This article explores some of the most popular bathroom design styles and ideas to consider when renovating your bathroom.

Traditional Bathroom Design

The traditional bathroom design style is classic and timeless. It takes inspiration from vintage styles and focuses on elegant finishes and materials like marble, tile, clawfoot tubs, and chandeliers. Some elements of the traditional bathroom design include:

  • Ornate mirrors like framed medicine cabinets or mirrors with built-in lighting
  • Marble or ceramic tile floors
  • Clawfoot, slipper, or freestanding oval tubs
  • Separate sinks and vanities
  • Granite or marble countertops
  • Vintage style plumbing fixtures in finishes like polished chrome or nickel
  • Soft color palettes like sage green or light blue

This style has an old-world, glamorous feel that works well in vintage homes but can also provide a touch of luxury to modern bathrooms.

Contemporary Bathroom Design

For a more modern, sleek look, the contemporary bathroom design style uses clean lines, modern materials, and the latest trends. Hallmarks of this style include:

  • Floating vanities and wall-mounted sinks
  • Frameless glass shower enclosures
  • High-tech shower systems with multiple showerheads
  • Seamless glass shower doors
  • Automated toilets and sensor faucets
  • Porcelain, glass, or stone tile floors
  • Quartz or solid surface countertops
  • Vessel, bowl, or square undermount sinks
  • Chrome fixtures
  • LED lighting and accent lighting

Contemporary bathroom designs have a minimalist, spa-like vibe and are easy to keep looking neat and new. This style works well in modern homes.

Rustic/Farmhouse Bathroom Design

Give your bathroom a cozy, timeworn look with a rustic or farmhouse design. Some elements of this style include:

  • Wood finishes like weathered barn wood or reclaimed wood on walls or ceilings
  • Vintage-look tile floors with a worn patina
  • Round copper sinks on a wood vanity
  • Double vanity sinks with a wood, metal, or stone countertop
  • Freestanding soaking tub
  • Classic subway tiles as accents
  • Pendant lighting over vanities
  • Soft hues like sage green, sky blue, or muted red

The rustic bathroom has natural warmth and vintage appeal. Worn wood, galvanized metal touches, and vintage accents are characteristic of this look.

Spa Bathroom Design

To make your bathroom an at-home oasis, try a spa-inspired design. Elements of this style include:

  • Neutral colors like white, beige, or gray
  • Natural stone wall and floor tiles
  • Floating wood or river rock vanities
  • Vessel sinks
  • Freestanding soaker tub
  • Walk-in shower with a built-in bench
  • Rainfall showerhead and hand-held shower wand
  • Heated floors
  • Fluffy towels and robes
  • Aromatherapy candles

The spa bathroom focuses on creating a calm, tranquil environment for relaxation. Luxurious materials, neutral colors, and elements like rainfall showers evoke the sensory experience of an upscale spa.

Eclectic Bathroom Design

Don’t feel like sticking with one particular style? The eclectic bathroom combines your favorite design elements to create a unique, custom look. Some ideas include:

  • Mixing modern vessel sinks with antique dressers as vanities
  • Distressed wood floor with contemporary geometric tiles as accents
  • Stainless steel or copper tub with vintage clawfoot tub feet
  • Hanging modern pendant lights over a retro pedestal sink
  • Combining marble and travertine tile work
  • Painting vanities in bold, non-traditional colors like navy blue

The eclectic bathroom can be daring and full of personality. Blending old and new, sleek and rustic, can result in a one-of-a-kind space.

Key Bathroom Design Elements to Consider

Beyond just overall style, there are some key elements you’ll want to consider when renovating your bathroom:


Do you prefer a separate tub and shower, or would you like to maximize space with a combination tub/shower? Is there room for double sinks or do you need compact furniture? Take measurements and create a floorplan to help determine the best layout for both form and function.


Incorporate drawers, cabinets, shelves, and other storage solutions to keep toiletries tidy. Consider your needs before deciding between open shelving vs. closed storage.


Proper lighting can make a bathroom feel bright and airy. Opt for lighting fixtures like recessed cans, sconces, and vanity lighting. Natural light is ideal, so add windows if possible.


Prevent mold and mildew with exhaust fans, operable windows, and dehumidifiers. Proper ventilation is critical in moisture-prone bathrooms.


Water-resistant flooring that can withstand humidity is best for bathrooms. Top options include tile, vinyl, linoleum, concrete, and water-resistant wood.

Plumbing Fixtures

Choose durable and water-efficient options. Pick faucets, showerheads, toilets, and tubs that match your style but are still functional.


The finishing touches like mirrors, art, plants, towels, and shower curtains help tie the whole room together. Accessorize to suit your tastes.

Bathroom Design Ideas

Here are some specific bathroom design ideas that exemplify popular styles:

Modern Spa Bathroom

This luxurious contemporary bathroom uses a soft color palette of cream and gray. Natural stone wall tiles, woven shades, and leafy plants give an earthy spa vibe. The oversized walk-in shower and freestanding tub with a view provide a spectacular spa experience at home.

Rustic Farmhouse Bathroom

Weathered wood grain on the walls and vintage-look hexagon floor tiles give this bright, airy bathroom rustic farmhouse charm. Double vanities with arched mirrors and metal accents keep the look light and airy. Vintage elements like the anatomical drawings and repurposed barrels for sinks give this room updated country appeal.

Traditional Victorian Bathroom

The Victorian-era style is revived in this elegant bathroom with its chandelier, shimmery subway tiles, ornate gold mirror frame, and clawfoot tub. A marble basketweave floor, Persian rug, velvet chair, and artful sconces emphasize luxury. Neutral grays and whites keep the traditional look serene rather than stuffy.

Contemporary Industrial Bathroom

Exposed pipes, a stainless steel utility sink, and modern wall sconces give this contemporary bathroom an urban industrial vibe. The subway tile wainscoting and mosaic floor provide contrast to the stark gray walls. Floating wood shelves, geometric accents, and lush green plants keep the look current.

Frequently Asked Questions About Bathroom Design

What are some budget-friendly bathroom remodel ideas?

Here are some budget bathroom updates:

  • Refresh walls with paint and add new shower curtains
  • Replace existing lighting and hardware with modern fixtures
  • Resurface tile and grout
  • Install peel-and-stick tile as an affordable backsplash
  • Use budget finds like bargains from home improvement stores

Focus on small upgrades vs. a complete remodel to save on a bathroom refresh.

How can I make a small bathroom feel bigger?

To maximize a small bathroom space visually, use these design tricks:

  • Install a pedestal sink or floating vanity to open up floor space
  • Use glass partitions or shower doors rather than curtains
  • Use a mirror wall or reflective surfaces to create the illusion of more space
  • Opt for wall-mounted faucets and toilets
  • Use lighter colors on walls, floors, and counters
  • Add recessed lighting in the ceiling for an airier feel
  • Declutter and use storage solutions to keep surfaces clear

What are some must-have bathroom features?

Here are some of the most useful bathroom features:

  • Good ventilation from an exterior window or exhaust fan
  • Plenty of lighting with overhead and task lighting at vanities
  • GFI electrical outlets near sinks and counters
  • Easy-clean surfaces like tile floors and granite counters
  • Ample storage with cabinets, shelves, and drawers
  • Dual vanities in master bathrooms
  • Built-in shower seats and grab bars for accessibility
  • Water efficiency with low-flow toilets and faucets

Carefully planning the layout and selecting functional fixtures and finishes ensures your bathroom not only looks great, but works well.

How can I add character to a basic, builder-grade bathroom?

To infuse personality into a basic bathroom, try these DIY ideas:

  • Add a bold wallpaper statement wall or geometric tile backsplash
  • Paint the vanity an unexpected color like navy blue or emerald green
  • Replace generic mirrors with unique framed mirrors or a glass mirror wall
  • Swap out dome light fixtures for stylish sconces or pendant lights
  • Get creative with paint – try using two tones or a painted floor design
  • Incorporate art, from gallery prints to 3D tile mosaics and metal wall sculpture
  • Add an unexpected material like wood for window shutters or wainscoting


Remodeling your bathroom is an exciting opportunity to make this essential room reflect your personal style and meet your unique needs. Whether you prefer a timeless traditional look, a sleek contemporary feel, or an unexpected eclectic vibe, there are so many design directions to explore. Focus on colors, textures, and materials you find calming yet chic. Ensure the layout is functional for your space with adequate storage solutions built-in. Select durable, water-resistant materials that are easy to clean and maintain. With strategic planning and creative design choices, you can craft your dream bathroom oasis.