The Mediterranean style is known for its elegant, yet relaxed aesthetic that draws inspiration from countries like Italy, Greece, and Spain. This look evokes a soothing, spa-like atmosphere with the use of neutral colors, natural materials, and decorative accents. When designed properly, a Mediterranean-style bathroom can become a peaceful oasis to escape the stresses of everyday life.
Elements of Mediterranean Style
There are several key elements that define the Mediterranean design style:
Stone, tile, wood, wrought iron, and terracotta are commonly used throughout the bathroom. Travertine and limestone tiles are especially popular for their texture and earthy tones. Wood features like cabinets and shelving add warmth. Wrought iron accents and hardware provide an antique elegance. Terracotta introduces reddish-orange hues.
Neutral Color Palette
Soft whites, beiges, browns, and pale blues keep the aesthetic subdued and soothing. Painting walls in a neutral tile or a very light sky blue adds to the spa-like ambiance. Save the bolder blues, greens and reds for accents and decor.
Tile is used abundantly in Mediterranean design to cover walls, floors, showers and backsplashes. Opt for tiles with visible veining, cracks, chips and an handcrafted appearance, over uniform modern tiles. Mix different tile shapes for added interest.
Arches are a quintessential detail found throughout Mediterranean architecture. Incorporate arches in the bathroom through the mirror frame, windows, built-in shelving, recessed niches, or cabinetry for an authentic touch.
Wrought Iron Accents
Wrought iron is worked into Mediterranean bathrooms through sconces, chandeliers, towel racks, window frames and other decorative elements. The black metal provides a feeling of antiquity. Opt for simple, elegant designs over anything too ornate.
Large windows, skylights and glass door showers usher in natural sunlight to keep the space feeling open and airy. Reflective tiles also maximize the light. Strategic lighting transforms the bathroom into a glowing oasis.
Patterned throw pillows, ceramic vases, candles, greenery and framed artwork infuse visual interest and personality. Keep decor simple and avoid clutter. Bring in textures like rattan, wood, iron and terra cotta.
Choosing Mediterranean Style Tiles
Tile selection lays the foundation for this look. Stick to classic patterns like subway tile, hexagon and Moroccan fish scale in neutral hues. Here are some top options:
For flooring, travertine’s pitted surface and earthy beige color embodies Mediterranean style. Honed travertine has a matte finish, while tumbled travertine is aged for a textured appearance. Use extra large format travertine tiles for drama.
Similar aesthetics as travertine, but slightly darker with grey and brown striations. Great for a stone-like mosaic backsplash or patterned shower floor.
Elegant and timeless, marble tile comes in a spectrum of grey, white, black, and blue hues. Carrara marble is most popular, with subtle grey veining. Emperadic marble has a striking blue-grey color.
The reddish, burnt orange tones of terracotta tile lend a handcrafted, Old World appearance. Works beautifully for Mediterranean backsplashes and accents.
Classic white 3×6” glossy subway tile maintains a clean, crisp look. Use sparingly between bolder accent tiles.
Moroccan Fish Scale
This ornate tile features a pattern of varied shapes resembling fish scales. Often seen in seafoam green, blue, or terra cotta. Provides a dose of personality.
Patterned Encaustic Cement Tile
Encaustic cement tiles showcase intricate patterns and colors set in cement. Made by hand for hundreds of years in Europe and Morocco. A true Mediterranean style detail.
Mediterranean Bathroom Floor Plans
The floor plan possibilities are endless for a Mediterranean bathroom. Large, airy spaces immediately convey the coastal influence. Here are a few layouts to consider:
For those working with a generously sized bathroom, think about including separate areas for the toilet, shower, soaking tub, and vanity. Frame each zone with Mediterranean-style arches for definition. Incorporate windows and skylights to boost natural light. Add visually weighty elements like wainscoting, columns, or stone walls for grand architectural interest.
Take advantage of extra square footage with a substantial double vanity, perfect for couples. Choose two vintage inspired vessel sinks and a wide wood or tile vanity countertop. Hang artful pendants lights above the vanity. Include open shelving or arched mirrors to expand visual space.
Step into pure tranquility with an expansive walk-in shower. Use large format tile on the walls and floor to exaggerate dimensions. Add built-in bench seating under a skylight. Include niches for bath accessories. Open the space even further with glass doors. Add a frameless glass partition for the water closet area.
Combined Tub and Shower
For more modest bathrooms, position a deep soaking tub near a glass door shower enclosure. Separate the wet and dry areas with a partial wall. Float the tub in the center for a sculptural look. Incorporate natural stone on the shared wall to unite the spaces.
Wet Room Style
Channel coastal Italy with a wet room style layout that has no doors or screens between the shower, sink and toilet. Everything exists together in one continuous space washed with Mediterranean tile. Ensure proper drainage so water flows toward the linearly positioned floor drain.
Stylish Mediterranean Bathroom Features
Thoughtfully designed details provide visual impact and harmoniously blend form with function. Here are some features to include:
Stone Bathtub Surround
Make a statement with a floor-to-ceiling stone surround for the bathtub. Travertine subway tiles or stacked stone veneer lend incredible texture. Flank the bath with columns for drama. Include sconces and floating shelves.
Arched mirrors effortlessly match the aesthetic. Lean into the old-world style with an antique standing mirror outfitted with sconces. For double vanities, hang two arched mirrors side-by-side.
Wrought Iron Light Fixtures
Handcrafted wrought iron lighting easily transforms the ambiance from basic to brilliant. For Italian flair, opt for a statement chandelier over the bathtub. Iron sconces provide mood lighting by the mirror and shower.
Swapping out basic brass hardware for unique vintage pieces brings everything together. Wrought iron pull handles, tub feet, drawer knobs and towel bars add ornamental appeal.
Natural Stone Sinks
A stone vessel sink atop a wood vanity adds organic texture. Travertine, limestone and marble all complement the color scheme. Bonus points for a hand carved sink base for Mediterranean authenticity.
Work arched niches into the shower or tub surround to stash bath products. Line them with decorative tile and include built-in shelving. Great alternative to boring shower caddies.
Patterned Shower Floor
Lay a Moroccan fish scale tile pattern or geometric mosaic on the shower floor. Continue the tile into a recess to create a built-in bench seat. Use glass tile for glittery impact.
Ornate Mirror Frames
Choose mirror frames with architectural details like arches, columns, corners and layers of trim. Iron, wood, weathered cement and carved stone are ideal frame materials.
Mediterranean Bathroom Color Palettes
Keep colors subtle and natural to complement the Mediterranean design. Monochromatic color schemes work beautifully. Here are some soothing, on-theme options:
Crisp whites paired with grey veining marble tile, wood cabinets, and black iron accents emit a fresh, beachy vibe. Add greenery for a pop of color.
Mix warm beiges, gentle taupes, sandy browns, and creams for a calming neutral scheme. Travertine tile provides most of the visual interest.
Blue + White
Different shades of blue and white feel pleasant and breezy. Try a classic navy and white palette or soft sky blue with off-white travertine floors.
Sage greens and sea glass blues complement the natural color scheme. Use green subway tiles, encaustic floor tile, or throw pillows to liven things up.
The warm orange undertones of terracotta floor tile or mosaic backsplash add energy. Pair with cool grey stone walls and white cabinetry.
Black and White
For dramatic contrast, combine graphic black and white cement floor tile with white subway tile walls. Add in natural wood shelving for warmth.
Decorating a Mediterranean Style Bathroom
Finish off your Mediterranean oasis with decor that enhances the relaxed charm. Focus on quality over quantity.
Incorporate woven details like wicker baskets, rattan frames, bamboo roman shades, and natural fiber bath mats. Maintains a casual, beachy vibe.
Plants infuse fresh life and vibrancy. Set a potted palm in the corner, cluster succulents on the window sill or display branches in a vase.
Glazed ceramic vases in colors like aqua blue, seaglass and sunshine yellow provide Mediterranean flair. Use for fresh or faux flowers.
A few candles can set the ambiance. Opt for light floral or citrus scents that evoke the Mediterranean. Group candles together on shelves or windowsills.
Bath sheets and towels in neutral, nubby linen or cotton complete the spa-like setting. Include a cozy throw blanket at the foot of the tub.
Wood shelving adds warmth and plenty of storage space. Install corner shelves or a mounted rack near the tub to stow books and bath accessories.
Hang framed maps, pressed botanicals, black and white photography, or abstract paintings. Coordinate simple black frames for cohesion.
A mirrored tray visually expands surfaces while keeping items organized. Stylishly displays perfumes, candles, jewelry and more by the sink.
The Final Touch: Mediterranean Style Lighting
From statement fixtures to subtle ambiance, lighting rounds out the aesthetic:
Wrought Iron Chandelier
Nothing makes a visual impact over a bathtub like an ornate wrought iron chandelier. Bonus points for candles instead of bulbs.
Use elegant black iron candle sconces or wall mounted lamps to flank the mirror and provide mood lighting.
Hang pendant lights with drum lampshades on either side of a double vanity. Choose fabric shades for softness.
Recessed lighting washes the room with a subtle glow. Use at shower and tub areas that need task lighting. Dimmer switch recommended.
Incorporate drapery, roman shades and shutters that filter natural light. Iron hardware and leather accents add Mediterranean personality.
Evoke Tranquility with Mediterranean Style
Allow the beauty and tranquility of the Mediterranean coast to inspire your bathroom oasis. Incorporate natural stone, tile, wrought iron and neutral hues throughout the space. Focus on quality artisanal materials and decorative accents that capture the region’s relaxed elegance. With an indoor retreat that channels the color palette, materials and details of Italy, Greece or coastal Spain, you can de-stress in a charming Mediterranean setting anytime.