Creating a contemporary stone guest bathroom can be a fun and stylish way to update your home’s second bath. Using natural stone materials paired with modern fixtures and accents results in a space that feels upscale yet relaxed. With careful planning and design choices, you can achieve the ideal contemporary guest bath for entertaining visitors or everyday family use.
Selecting Stone Materials for Contemporary Style
The stone you select for your contemporary guest bathroom sets the tone for the whole space. For a current, clean-lined look, steer clear of heavily veined or patterned stone. Opt instead for more solid, neutral hues in polished, honed or leathered finishes.
Some great contemporary stone options include:
- Marble: Carrara, Calacatta, or Statuario marbles are soft white stones ideal for a light, bright bathroom. Avoid heavily greyed or toned marble for contemporary style.
- Quartzite: Taj Mahal, Nacarado or white Macaubas quartzite bring texture but minimal pattern. These are durable, low-maintenance stones.
- Limestone: Creams, taupes and light greys create a muted, organic look. Limestone offers more subtle surface detail than marble.
- Concrete: For contemporary industrial flair, opt for custom concrete vanities, bathtubs or shower benches. Concrete makes a statement but requires sealing.
- Slate: Black slate can be a striking, modern choice for tile accents, tub surrounds or vanities. It has inherently non-slip texture.
- Soapstone: Soapstone’s soft greys and inherent water-resistance make it ideal for contemporary bath counters and sinks. It is mid-range price-wise.
Select a stone with minimal veining or mottling for a seamless, contemporary look. Polished, honed and leathered finishes all work well. Pay attention to replica patterns if using stone tile to avoid a dated appearance.
Design Elements for a Contemporary Style
Once you’ve selected your stone materials, incorporate these design details to craft a fully contemporary bath:
Faucets, shower systems, lighting and accessories should have simple, straight lines and a lack of ornamentation. Look for:
- Vessel or floating vanities with discreet legs or supports.
- Wall-mounted faucets or minimalist widespread faucets.
- Fixed shower heads instead of showy rainheads.
- LED strip lighting or sconce lighting on dimmers.
- Accessories in glass, ceramic or metal instead of ornate carved pieces.
Clean-lined fixtures keep the look contemporary and highlight your stone materials.
Neutral Color Palette
Keep the color scheme for your contemporary bathroom neutral and relaxed. Stick to:
- Light stone materials as outlined above.
- Off-whites, grays or taupes for wall tile and paint.
- Espresso or black wood vanities for contrast.
- Chrome, nickel or oil-rubbed bronze fixture finishes.
- Clear glass for shower enclosures to maximize light.
Too many bright colors or contrasting tones make the space feel dated. Keep things muted.
Open, Airy Layout
Contemporary style emphasizes openness and simplicity. Consider these layout tips:
- Use a sliding barn door instead of a swing door if space allows.
- Install frameless glass for the shower enclosure.
- Float the vanity away from the walls for ease of cleaning.
- Omit shower doors for an accessible, sleek look.
- Add windows and skylights to bring in natural light.
- Limit decorative wallhangings and accessories in favor of negative space.
Keeping the layout clean and clutter-free enhances the contemporary vibe. Focus on making the room feel light and airy overall.
Ideal Contemporary Stone Finishes
One key to achieving a contemporary look is choosing the right stone finish. Here are some top options:
A polished stone finish has a shiny, reflective, glass-like appearance. It maximizes the color vibrancy and provides visual depth. Polished stone is beautiful but does require frequent sealing. It’s best for low traffic guest baths.
Honed stone has a matte, soft finish with little to no reflectivity. It has a more muted, modern appearance than polished stone. Honed finishes still need occasional sealing but are less prone to etching or scratching. This popular finish works well in contemporary baths.
Leathered stone is textured through brushing and chiseling for a softer surface texture. It hides fingerprints and watermarks nicely. Leathering is often applied to marble to make it more durable. The finish lends a subtle, contemporary feel.
Poured concrete gives you the ability to customize and sculpt vanities, sinks or bathtubs seamlessly. The matte grey material paired with the clean lines of concrete makes it ideal for industrial style bathrooms. Sealing is a must.
Select a finish with little reflectivity and a neutral tone for the most contemporary look. Softer, matte textures fit this style best. Ask your stone supplier for advice specific to your material type.
Choosing Contemporary Stone Tiles and Patterns
Stone tiles lend versatility in finishing bathroom walls, floors and niches. Keep these tips in mind for tile selection:
- Choose larger format 12×24 tiles or even slab tiles for a seamless look. Avoid intricate mosaic patterns.
- Opt for rectangular, square or hexagonal shaped tiles rather than ornate decorative tiles.
- Use rectangular tile vertically on walls and horizontally on floors for contemporary style.
- Mimic the appearance of slab stone with tiles that have a low contrast, neutral consistency.
- Install shower benches using the same tile as on shower walls for a cohesive, contemporary effect.
- Use stone tile as an accent behind sinks, on shower floors or as a trim border.
Larger tile formats with consistent texture and tone help walls, floors and surfaces appear more sleek and contemporary. Contrasting mosaic patterns and ornate tile shapes take away from the desired minimalist aesthetic.
Tub Options for Contemporary Bathrooms
Freestanding tubs make a particularly good focal point in a contemporary bathroom. Consider these contemporary tub options:
Rectangular Soaking Tub
Clean-lined, rectangular tubs lend a modern, spa-like feel. Choose this style made with smooth contemporary materials like acrylic, porcelain or even weathered wood. Neutral colors work best. Add contempoary bronze or nickel trim accents.
Oval Stone Tub
Oval tubs offer a softer but still sleek silhouette. Seek out versions carved from solid marble, granite or sandstone. Allow space to highlight an oval tub’s smooth lines. Keep fixtures and accents around it simple.
For contemporary flair, select a sculptural tub shaped like an oval, cone or egg on a stand. Opt for a matte, neutral solid surface material that complements your bath stone. Let this tub be the focal point and keep accessories to a minimum.
Black Soaking Tub
Black makes a dramatic contemporary statement. Subtly grained black granite, matte black porcelain or even recycled glass tubs instantly make modern style stand out. Backlighting and minimalist fixtures complete the look.
Focus on clean, simple forms whether you prefer rectangular, oval, egg-shaped or asymmetric. Materials like stone, concrete, porcelain and solid surface nicely fit the contemporary aesthetic.
Integrating Hardware for Contemporary Style
Plumbing fixtures, faucets, shower systems and other hardware choices make a big impact on the overall contemporary vibe. Seek out:
Matte Black Fixtures
Matte black finish on faucets, shower heads, towel bars and other bath fittings pairs beautifully with white and grey contemporary stones. The muted black provides just enough contrast without feeling ornate.
With a deep, muddy appearance, oil-rubbed bronze makes a nice change from standard chrome or nickel fixtures. The dark finish harmonizes with black accents against lighter contemporary stones.
Faucets mounted directly to the wall or vanity surface fit seamlessly into contemporary design. They draw attention to your stone countertop and provide visual space. Look for single-handle or low-profile double-handle styles.
Wood Vanity Accents
Natural wood shelves, drawers or vanity legs make a gorgeous complement to stone surfaces in contemporary baths. The contrast of matte black or blonde wood against white marble, for example, feels sleek and modern.
Hidden Shower Mechanisms
Conceal overhead shower mechanisms, valves, handles and diverters behind wall niches or tile surfaces. This hidden plumbing keeps the contemporary minimalist vibe. Set any necessary handles discretely into the stone walls.
Focusing on modern, minimalist hardware suited to your particular stone materials ensures your bathroom stays styled in the contemporary fashion.
Creative Contemporary Tile Ideas
While stone slabs are popular for vanities, floors, walls and showers, don’t overlook the creative possibilities with stone tile. Some ideas include:
Linear Vertical Strips
Run vertical strips of elongated stone tile from floor to ceiling on one wall for a dramatic modern look. Varying the tiles from polished to honed finish adds eye-catching texture.
Use white, black or grey stone tiles on walls or floors to create geometric patterns like zigzags, diamonds or intersecting lines. Keep the design clean and consistent.
Picture Frame Niche
Frame out a wall niche with the same tile used elsewhere in the bath for a cohesive effect. Display bath accessories, candles or decor in your custom picture frame.
Alternating Tile Stacks
Stack rectangular stone tiles with alternating sizes (12×24 next to 4×24, etc.) for contemporary flair. Work the varied stacks randomly into a larger field tile installation.
Cover the bathroom floor in large-format hexagonal stone tiles laid horizontally. Hexagons create movement and interest underfoot without a busy feel.
Mixing up stone tile styles, patterns and finishes makes for an on-trend contemporary bathroom. Just keep any patterns minimalist and clean-lined.
FAQ About Contemporary Stone Bathrooms
Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about creating a contemporary-styled bath with natural stone:
What colors work well in a contemporary stone bathroom?
Neutrals like white, cream, gray and black are best for contemporary bathrooms. Avoid strong colors like red, yellow or green unless using as accents.
What kind of tile is most contemporary?
Large format 12×24 or rectangular tiles with little pattern look most contemporary. Concrete, porcelain and marble tiles are ideal.
Can you mix metals in a contemporary bathroom?
It’s best to stick to one consistent finish like chrome, nickel or black for contemporary style. Don’t mix silver with gold/bronze finishes.
Is ceramic tile contemporary?
Ceramic can work for floors, walls or tub/shower surrounds. Look for ceramic tiles with simple, clean-lined patterns that mimic stone’s look at a lower price point.
Is quartz contemporary?
Engineered quartz makes an excellent choice for contemporary vanities and shower benches. It comes in solid, muted colors ideal for this look.
Do vessel sinks look modern?
Yes, glass or stone vessel sinks look fantastic mounted on natural stone vanities. Their simplicity pairs perfectly with contemporary bath style.
Can you use rustic wood in a contemporary bathroom?
Weathered natural woods like oak accent vanities and add warmth, but avoid ornate carvings. Keep wood use minimal for balance.
What kind of tub faucet is most contemporary?
Look for wall-mounted or deck-mounted tub fillers as they keep lines clean and draw attention to soaking tubs. Single-handle options look most modern.
Should lighting be matching in a contemporary bath?
Matching fixtures aren’t required if they share a simple, minimalist form. Just keep lighting choices cohesive to complement the overall contemporary vibe.
Designing a Contemporary Stone Bathroom
Creating a gorgeous contemporary bathroom requires thoughtful planning and design. Follow this process for the best results:
Define Your Style
Look at photos of contemporary bathrooms and make note of what draws you – walk-in showers, soaking tubs, floating vanities, linear lighting, etc. Define the contemporary look you most want to emulate.
Choose low-maintenance contemporary stones like marble or quartzite for shower walls, tub surrounds, floors and vanities. Contrast with wood, glass or metal accents. Establish a neutral color palette.
Add recessed can lights, stylish pendants and sconces. Look for opportunities to install skylights or windows to naturally brighten the space. Light colored stone also helps.
Create an open, airy floor plan suited to your fixtures. Use a sliding door if possible. Float the vanity away from walls for easy cleaning. Include storage without clutter.
Select Fixtures and Finishes
Opt for wall-mounted or minimalist faucets, simple shower mechanisms, and discreet glass enclosure panels. Stick to matte black, oiled bronze or chrome.
Accent With Care
Include some greenery, geometric prints and bath linens with subtle contemporary patterns if desired. Less is more with accessories.
Review Overall Flow
Ensure your layout allows for comfortable circulation. Contemporary bathrooms balance style with practical relaxing function for guests or family.
Take a thoughtful, streamlined approach to the design process for a contemporary stone bath guests will admire.
Achieving Spa-Like Relaxation in Contemporary Baths
A contemporary bathroom should no doubt feel soothing and relaxing despite its sleek, modern style. Follow these tips to enhance the spa-like ambiance:
Include a Soaking Tub
Install a roomy rectangular soaking tub or sculptural oval tub as a focal point. Surround it with serene grey stone walls, sconce lighting and minimalist hardware. Offer a space to truly decompress.
Select Spa Materials
Incorporate naturally therapeutic materials like marble and limestone which stay cool to the touch. Or opt for the ultimate spa material – custom cut solid stone for a seamless tub, shower or vanity.
Install Water Features
The sound of running water enhances relaxation. Add a wall-mounted waterfall fixture or horizontal water wall along one stone accent wall for tranquil background noise.
Provide Space to Unwind
Install a cushioned bench or chair in the contemporary bathroom for lounging and enjoying music, reading material or a cup of tea. Small details make a difference.
Dim the Lights
Mood lighting sets a soothing vibe. Install dimmable LEDs on multiple circuits to customize the amount and color of light. Or place geometric glass sconces around a tub soak.
Display Live Greenery
Live plants lend an organic, spa-like atmosphere. Place small trees or bamboo in woven baskets to complement the contemporary aesthetic.
Add Essential Oils
Scent enhances the overall sensory experience. Include wall-mounted or tabletop diffusers for calming essential oils like eucalyptus, lavender, or ylang ylang.
With careful attention to relaxing elements, it’s possible for stone-clad contemporary bathrooms to feel like a luxury spa retreat.
In summary, creating a contemporary stone guest bathroom requires blending simple clean lines, minimalist details and natural materials for a cohesive modern style. Focus on large-scale stone features, ample lighting and an open layout. Keep fixtures sleek and finishes matte. Accent with wood, black metals, concrete and greenery for a look that is both current and inviting. Use these contemporary stone bathroom tips to design a functional, stylish modern bath.