Creating a traditional elegant main bathroom takes careful planning and design. By selecting timeless features and finishes, you can craft a soothing, spa-like space that stands the test of time. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore how to design a traditional elegant bathroom, from layout and lighting to fixtures and decor. Read on for tips and inspiration to make your main bathroom an oasis of comfort and style.

Choosing a Layout for Your Elegant Bathroom

The layout of your bathroom will set the foundation for the overall design. Here are some popular layouts to consider for a traditional elegant main bathroom:

Double Vanity

Having two sinks in a shared bathroom creates convenience and flexibility. A double vanity allows two people to get ready at the same time and is ideal for busy households. Opt for his-and-her vanities or two matching vanities separated by an open counter space in between.

Freestanding Tub

A freestanding tub makes a dramatic statement in any bathroom. Placing it as a centerpiece creates a spa-like focal point. Be sure to leave ample space around it to create a relaxing oasis.

Separate Tub and Shower

Having both a tub and a separate shower gives you the best of both bathing options. Go for a classically styled drop-in tub and a roomy shower stall with luxurious details.

Enclosed Toilet Area

An enclosed water closet adds privacy and separation of spaces. Use an elegant freestanding wall or frosted glass enclosure to define the toilet area.


Don’t skimp on space in a main bathroom. Aim for roomy proportions, adequate storage, and easy circulation between areas.

Selecting Fixtures and Features for a Traditional Look

The fixtures and finishes you select will bring your traditional elegant bathroom design to life. Lean on these tips when making your selections:


For a traditional tub, look for a sculptural freestanding tub or alcove tub with sleek, ornate feet and polished nickel or bronze fixtures. Materials like enameled cast iron, acrylic, and natural stone exude elegance.


Frameless glass doors maintain an open, airy aesthetic. Go for marble, porcelain, or glass tile and a matching shower bench for a luxurious spa feel. Opt for wall-mounted fixtures to streamline the look.


Choose a toilet with clean, crisp lines and minimal ornamentation. Wall-hung toilets are a space-saving option to continue the streamlined look.


Traditional style calls for elegant vanities with legs or an apron-front sink basin. Look for vintage-inspired hardware like crystal knobs. Natural stone, wood, or lacquered finishes offer warmth.


Select polished metal faucets with cross handles. Look for vintage-style fixtures or modern takes on old-fashioned designs.


For a soft glow, use mounted wall sconces, chandeliers, and accent lighting around the mirror. Install dimmers to set the desired ambiance.


Timeless subway tile, hexagons, marble, or travertine tiles make an elegant statement underfoot. Hardwood floors also exude traditional sophistication.

Wainscoting and Wall Treatment

Classic touches like wainscoting, shiplap, or wallpaper create visual interest on walls and aid in echo reduction.

Creating a Soothing, Spa-Like Ambiance

Your main bathroom should feel like a peaceful, pampering oasis. Use these tips to create a soothing spa aesthetic:

Tranquil Color Palette

Stick to a neutral, earthy color scheme. White, beige, taupe and pale green are calming backdrops. Add interest with natural textures and patterns.

Soft Fabrics

Incorporate sumptuous fabrics like linen, cotton and silk into shower curtains, rugs, towels and window treatments. Use layers of fabric for a cozy feel.

Floral and Nature-Inspired Accents

Work in jasmine, lavender, eucalyptus or birch accents to enhance the spa vibe. Find inspiration in nature.

Diffused Lighting

Install dimmable lighting and ample ambient sources like pendant lights and sconces. Keep the space free from harsh overhead lighting.


Consider incorporating calming scents through fresh flowers, potpourri, candles or essential oils. Let enchanting fragrance transport you.

Relaxing Music

Add speakers to listen to soothing background spa music, nature sounds or meditative tones.

Incorporating Traditional Elegant Decor Touches

The decor details you integrate will give your bathroom its traditional elegant personality. Concentrate on timeless accessories that feel refined yet comfortable.


Lean into old-world luxury with a statement mirror. Consider a circular mirror above a vanity, beveled accent mirrors, or a sunburst style.


Select large-scale classic art prints featuring portraits, landscapes, or impressionist works. Gold frames add elegance.


Lush potted palms, orchids, ferns, or flowering plants bring life and a spa-like atmosphere.


Install glass-front cabinets or open shelving for display space. Fill with decorative towels, candles, and ceramic accessories.

Vintage-Style Accessories

Display vintage-inspired jars, canisters, perfume bottles or bath trays. Aged bronze, silver or crystal will sparkle.

Area Rug

Define spaces like the tub area with a soft, stylish area rug. Florals, oriental patterns or subtle geometrics make timeless options.

Window Treatments

Select fabric window treatments like embroidered linen curtains or bamboo shades. Crown molding and hardwood valances provide polish.

Traditional Elegant Bathroom Inspiration

Here are some gorgeous traditional elegant bathroom examples to help spark your own design ideas:

Traditional bathroom with white tub and wainscoting

This light and airy bathroom features elegant molding, wainscoting details, and vintage-inspired floor tile. The combination tub/shower maintains a streamlined look. (Source: The Spruce)

Elegant bathroom with chandelier and wallpaper

Dramatic wallpaper, opulent chandelier lighting, and dual vanities create a glamorous traditional statement in this elegant bath. (Source: Houzz)

White bathroom with tile accents and scones

This airy white bathroom gains elegance from marble tile accents and traditional golden sconces flanking the mirror. (Source: Houzz)

Dark elegant bathroom with patterned feature wall

The ornate patterned feature wall and dark color scheme give this bathroom a moody traditional elegance. Golden accents provide a touch of shine. (Source: Houzz)

No matter your decor style, a traditional elegant bathroom never goes out of fashion. By paying attention to timeless details and focusing on comfort and tranquility, you are sure to create a main bathroom that provides joy and rejuvenation for years to come.

Frequently Asked Questions About Designing a Traditional Elegant Main Bathroom

Many questions arise when planning a bathroom design. Here are answers to some of the most common queries around creating a traditional elegant main bathroom:

What size should a main bathroom be?

For a bathroom shared by multiple people, aim for at least 60-75 square feet. This allows ample space for fixtures, storage, and moving around comfortably.

How much does a high-end elegant bathroom remodel cost?

The national average for an upscale bathroom remodel is around $25,000. Many factors affect cost, such as layout, materials, plumbing updates, etc. Budget more for extensive customization.

What flooring works best in an elegant bathroom?

Timeless options like marble, travertine and porcelain tile maintain an elegant look. Make sure tile has anti-slip properties for safety around wet areas.

Should I have a walk-in shower or tub in my main bathroom?

Most prefer having both a spacious walk-in shower and a separate soaking tub if space allows. This gives you diverse bathing options.

How do I add storage to my bathroom?

Floating shelves, wall cabinets, under-sink drawers, freestanding furniture, and built-in cubbies are great for concealed storage. Make use of every spare inch.

What colors work well in a traditional elegant bathroom?

Soothing, light neutrals like white, beige and pale blue exude elegance. Accent with shades inspired by nature like sage green, sand and stone.

How do I add style to my bathroom on a budget?

Update lighting fixtures, framed art, plush towels and window treatments without costly renovations. Paint the walls a elegant new hue. Add wallpaper as an affordable accent.

Should I get a double vanity for my main bathroom?

If more than one person will regularly use the bathroom simultaneously, a double vanity promotes privacy and efficiency.

How do I incorporate greenery into my bathroom decor?

Potted plants, leafy botanical art, and vases of large green fronds are easy ways to bring life and freshness to bathroom spaces.

What maintenance does an elegant bathroom require?

Expect to regularly clean surfaces, address plumbing needs promptly, watch for mildew and treat grout and natural stone. Set a schedule to protect your investment.


Creating a traditional elegant main bathroom requires forethought and attention to detail. Focus on a timeless layout with spacious proportions, soothing ambiance, and high-quality finishes. Lean into vintage glamour with your lighting, fixtures, and accents. By following the design tips above, you can craft a bathroom oasis that feels refined, relaxed, and uniquely your own. The final result will provide comfort and beauty for your household for decades to come.