For many people, the bathroom is a sacred place, a retreat, a place to shut out the rest of the world, even if just for a few stolen moments of time.
For others, the bathroom is something of an afterthought—purely functional and little else. Shower, toilet, sink—what else matters?
Considering that we each spend around 200 hours in the bathroom every year, these spaces deserve the same design attention we devote to other rooms in the house. From the smallest half-bath to the grandest master suite, each detail colors how we—and our guests—feel in these most private of all rooms.
If you’ve been neglecting your bathroom among the chaos that has defined 2020, perhaps now is the time to refresh this vital space. Enjoy this carefully coalesced collection of our best bathroom ideas and be inspired to transform your bathroom into the beautiful, efficient retreat you deserve.
1. Small Bathroom Ideas
Small bathrooms can present several challenges to the people who use them. Storage is often an issue, and it can be hard to choose colors and textures that visually expand the room. However, settling on the right small bathroom ideas can give a loud voice to these quiet little spaces.
Don’t be afraid of bold colors or strong tile patterns in a small bathroom. In fact, these are the perfect places to showcase high-end finishes that would be cost-prohibitive in larger quantities. As for storage, look up. Use your vertical space to hang shelves, small cabinets, and wire baskets. They can hold towels, extra TP, and your toiletries.
2. Bathroom Tile Ideas
The quantity and quality of tile in your bathroom depend largely on your interior design style. A rustic bathroom may confine tile to the shower surround only, utilizing hardwood on the floors and stucco on the walls. A contemporary bathroom could embrace the cool, clean lines of tile on every surface—even the ceiling. Most bathrooms fall somewhere between these extremes.
Good bathroom tile ideas exist for every budget, from basic porcelain squares to hand-painted, imported mosaics. Classic subway tile suits most design styles, and its horizontal lines visually widen a small bathroom. An accent wall can be the perfect place to showcase an expensive or unique tile without overpowering the space.
3. Bathroom Decor Ideas
Your bathroom decor ideas should reflect your personality and preferences. However, there are certain elements that you should focus on to design a great bathroom. First, pay attention to the colors you use. Would you rather have exciting colors to invigorate you each morning, or soothing colors to accompany your pre-bed soak in the tub?
Because you get ready for work in front of the bathroom mirror, the lighting should complement your skin tone. Overly yellow or blue light can distort the “me you see” in the mirror.
As for the mirror itself, think beyond the builder-grade rectangle. Choose a circular or framed mirror or a series of mirrored tiles. Hang a piece of favorite artwork, add a green plant to the countertop, lay the plushest of rugs and towels. Let your bathroom decor ideas showcase everything you love.
4. Master Bathroom Ideas
A shared bathroom should be welcoming to all, but the master bathroom is your retreat alone. Even if you share it with your significant other, there’s a sense of privacy and honor devoted to this secluded hideaway. Your master bathroom ideas can be as high-end, rustic, or contemporary as you wish.
Glass shower doors are perfect for making beautiful tile the main focal point of your master bath. Follow the trend and install multiple shower heads for a spa-like experience each time you bathe. Freestanding tubs and sinks look elegant and luxurious, whether you choose sleek modern lines or classic clawfoot style.
Remember the impact of smaller details, such as door and drawer handles, light fixtures, and plumbing fixtures. Glass or shiny gold knobs turn plain cabinets into something special. Buy the highest quality linens you can afford for your personal luxury retreat.
5. Bathroom Storage Ideas
The ideal bathroom has enough integrated storage to allow each family member to keep their essential bathroom items in the room itself. With an exceptionally small bathroom, expansive bathroom storage ideas may not be realistic. However, no room is so tiny that you can’t add extra storage.
An extra towel bar or an over-the-door set of hooks can double the amount of room you have to store towels and washcloths. A pretty fabric shoe organizer can hang over the door, its pockets used to hold shampoo bottles, hair styling tools, extra soap, and toothpaste.
Baskets are among the most flexible bathroom storage ideas, whether hung on the wall or set upon a shelf. If you have the counter space or cabinet space, use baskets to organize your makeup and other toiletries. Assign each family member his or her own basket so that mornings are less hectic.
6. Modern Bathroom Ideas
The definition of “modern” states a departure from traditional styles, a progression beyond things of the past.” Indeed, today’s modern bathroom ideas include features never before imagined in bathroom design. From waterfall showers with programmable lighting to heated floors, the modern bathroom is a departure from the water closets of old.
The simplicity of contemporary design is perfect for the bathroom, where clean, uncomplicated surfaces are welcome. Boxy sinks and toilets fit well in modern bathroom design, but curved geometric shapes work as well. Sleek, black marble walls or floors are a perfect modern canvas for shiny chrome fixtures.
7. Bathroom Shower Ideas
A long soak in the bathtub is a treat many enjoy, but when it comes to keeping clean, most of us prefer a hop in the shower. Showers generally use less water than baths, making them an environmentally sound choice. Then again, today’s multiple shower heads encourage us to linger longer beneath the cleansing streams, probably negating any water savings.
Spa-like showers are becoming ever more commonplace, with built-in benches, programmable lighting, and illuminated niches. Designers are constantly amping up the creativity with unique combinations of tile and textures. A pebble tile shower floor may intersect with 18-inch marble tiles, or an entirely different tile pattern may appear on every surface. Glass shower walls and doors are increasingly popular and allow you to show off impressive tile or stone designs.
8. Bathroom Lighting Ideas
The best bathroom lighting ideas send old-school fluorescent harshness right where it belongs: filed away with other memories we never wish to revisit. A dimly-lit bathroom is just as bad as an overly bright one. Not only is it hard to get ready for work without adequate light, but dim lighting also prevents you from seeing how clean (or dirty) the bathroom really is.
State-of-the-art LED light fixtures come in a dizzying array of designs, and above or below cabinet ambient lighting is beginning to show up in bathrooms. If classic design is more your style, chandeliers are perfect bathroom light fixtures, provided that their size fits the scale. Dimmable and programmable lighting systems are perhaps the best bathroom lighting ideas of all. Brighten things up when you need to get ready and dim the room when it’s time to relax.
9. Powder Room Ideas
Homes with petite powder rooms are great for people who love to entertain. These small rooms can be fantastically functional. Usually sporting only a sink and toilet, a powder room or half-bath allows you and your guests to take care of business without climbing stairs or venturing into the bedroom area of the house.
Powder rooms are great places to install a dramatic sink or vanity. Powerful punches of color work well in these diminutive zones, whether it’s a contrasting color of paint on one wall or an embossed gold wallpaper. Hardwood, tile, or stone are equally excellent powder room floor ideas. Feel free to get creative with faucet fixtures and even the shape of your toilet.
10. Bathroom Mirror Ideas
The bathroom mirror: It’s one of the first things you look at in the morning, and one of the last things you see at night. It’s where you check in with yourself throughout the day and find out how well your hair is holding up. It’s one of the most useful tools in your home and one that is easy to take for granted.
An over-the-sink mirror is a fixture in nearly every bathroom and can range from a small-framed square to an entire mirrored wall.
Bathroom mirror ideas no longer need to adhere to simple design. Scalloped edges, ornate frames, and in-mirror lighting are all features becoming more common even in average suburban homes.
11. Rustic Bathroom Ideas
Rustic bathroom ideas take you back to your favorite mountain retreat, or perhaps the camp you loved so much as a child. The use of rustic finishes such as unfinished wood, stucco, stacked stone, and exposed ceiling beams add a natural warmth to your bathroom. Pair these finishes with a warm color palette and you can create the perfect marriage between modern bathroom design and the great outdoors.
Note that you don’t have to go full-lumberjack to enjoy the beauty of rustic bathroom design. Just incorporate a few rustic elements into your current design. Industrial lofts and log cabins are two places where rustic bathroom touches are welcome. Metal sinks, copper basins, thick wood countertops, and rolling barn doors all come together in perfect rustic harmony.
12. Bathroom Flooring Ideas
Most of us grew up in homes that sported the most basic bathroom flooring ideas. As we sat upon the porcelain throne, all we saw between our feet was a grid of simple square tiles. Today’s bathroom flooring ideas are infinitely more interesting, with nearly limitless options for these functional zones. Classic flooring options in neutral colors work well in most bathrooms.
From the tiniest hexagonal tiles to two-foot-square marble panels, tile reigns supreme when it comes to bathroom flooring ideas. However, waterproof laminate products and tiles that look like hardwood flooring are popular alternatives. Ornate Moroccan arabesque tiles or rectangular subway tiles laid in a herringbone pattern add interest to any bathroom floor.
13. Bathroom Color Ideas
There are no hard-and-fast rules when it comes to choosing bathroom color ideas. In fact, color is one of the easiest ways to revitalize a bathroom. It’s also one of the easiest things to change, as long as your floors and fixtures are neutral enough to adapt.
Grey is a beautiful neutral color for bathrooms, whether it’s a pale dove grey or the deepest shade of charcoal. It goes well with black, white, and any type of natural wood finish. Grey is also an excellent background for showcasing a pop of bright color, such as sunny yellow or cherry red.
Blue is another natural color for the bathroom. Not only does it represent water, it’s also soothing and goes well with other hues. Consider a blue and green color palette to bring the outdoors inside. Pink and peach are softer bathroom color ideas, perfect for creating a more feminine-feeling space.
14. Bathroom Floor Tile Ideas
As mentioned, tile is king for bathroom floors. It’s waterproof, easy to clean, durable, and stylish. Note that it’s important to choose the right kind of tile to flesh out your bathroom floor tile ideas. Tiles designed for walls may become too slippery underfoot, creating a fall hazard for all who use the bathroom.
Bathroom floor tile ideas needn’t be boring, monotonous grids. Ordinary tile can be arranged in chevron or basketweave patterns to add visual interest. Hexagonal tiles are hugely popular now and range in size from little pennies to 12 inches or more. Use a contrasting grout color to draw attention to the tile shape or use a matching shade to make the lines less noticeable.
15. Bathroom Shower Tile Ideas
While simple, classic bathroom shower tile ideas are best if you don’t want to rip it all out every time your design scheme changes, there’s nothing wrong with getting creative with shower tile. Stunning patterns, colors, and inlaid designs all add signature style to your shower and could be just the key needed to amp your bathroom from ordinary to exciting.
Tile needn’t stand alone, as it works well alongside marble or granite. Pebble-shaped tiles add a touch of nature to your shower stall, and you can use them as an accent stripe between ordinary square wall tiles. Plain white subway tile is a classic addition to shower stalls, and you can arrange them in a staggered or herringbone pattern.
16. Bathroom Cabinet Ideas
Solid, boxy cabinets can work well in many bathrooms, but there are hundreds of creative alternatives to the classic builder’s style. Farmhouse style bathrooms often eliminate closed cabinets entirely, opting for open, basket-filled shelves instead. You can use custom cabinets and vanities to suit any interior design style.
Cabinets often look like pieces of furniture instead of built-ins. Floating cabinets are popular in contemporary spaces, and the open area beneath them can add a sense of spaciousness in a smaller bathroom. You can replace solid cabinet doors with glass or mirrored panels.
For an inexpensive change of pace in your bathroom, repaint your cabinets a new, bold color. Note that replacing the handles and drawer pulls might be the only bathroom cabinet ideas needed to refresh your bathroom’s appearance.
17. Farmhouse Bathroom Ideas
If your tastes flow from vintage to modern, rustic to refined, farmhouse bathroom ideas might end up being your favorite. These somewhat eclectic spaces carry the warmth of Grandma’s farm and the comfort of your local thrift shop. Many accent their white walls with shiplap panels or beadboard. Natural wood and metal fixtures abound.
Although black, white, grey, and wood tones are most common in farmhouse bathrooms, color is equally at-home. The simple, homey touches of farmhouse design work well with deep shades of blue or soft sage greens. Black and white painted floor tiles add whimsy to this design style, while white subway tiles on shower walls keep true to the classic side of farmhouse style.
18. Bathroom Vanity Ideas
Bathroom vanity ideas run the gamut, from simple craftsman panels to ornate, sink-topped antique dressers. Dual vanities are practically a must in shared bathrooms. Two sinks, two cabinets, and an open vanity between them are common in master bathrooms everywhere. Double vanities are also helpful in bathrooms shared by multiple children.
In a modern, mid-century, or contemporary home, floating vanities provide vital counter surfaces while keeping the room’s overall feeling open and uncluttered. Slate, soapstone, limestone, marble, and granite are all excellent materials for modern floating vanities. For extra drama—and ambient nighttime lighting—install LED light strips beneath the floating vanity.
19. Bathroom Shelf Ideas
Nearly any bathroom can benefit from the addition of a new shelf or two—or ten. From floating shelves to interlocking geometric shelf configurations, bathroom shelf ideas open up all-new storage and design ideas. Shelves can be a great place to store your toiletries or display decorative items that add personality to your bathroom. This includes artwork, flowers, green plants, or candles.
Most shelving ideas are easy to DIY. Simply look up how to hang floating shelves or simple wooden planks atop metal brackets. If that still seems too daunting, hang rectangular baskets or crates on the wall instead of traditional shelves and use them to store everything from toilet paper rolls to shaving cream.
20. Tiny Bathroom Ideas
Let’s face it: Some bathrooms are just plain tiny. That doesn’t necessarily have to be a bad thing. It isn’t as if a great deal of room is necessary for the activities that take place inside its four walls. That said, smaller bathrooms can present certain design challenges. Utilizing these tiny bathroom ideas can turn your small space into one of your favorite rooms.
White is a logical color choice for a tiny bathroom, as it provides the greatest sense of openness and space. It works well with modern design, farmhouse design, and even traditional design styles. Shiplap or horizontal stripes help to widen the room.
Be sure to include as much storage as the space allows, whether this is through built-in cabinetry or a series of shelves stacked ceiling high. If you’re replacing your toilet, sink, shower, or tub, shop for fixtures with smaller profiles. In most cases, these work just as well as fixtures that take up more space.
21. Shower Niche Ideas
A niche is a shallow recess built in between a wall’s studs. These nooks work especially well in bathrooms, whether inside the shower enclosure or one of the room’s four walls. Also called an alcove or hollow, a shower niche is a perfect place to line up your shampoo, conditioner, soap, and other products you use on a daily basis.
Shower niche ideas usually include some way to turn the recessed area into a focal point. It’s often covered in a different color or type of tile and can even include lighting to make it stand out.
A shower niche doesn’t have to be box-shaped. Some of the more elaborate shower niche ideas include arched tops and mirrored or highly detailed, embossed trim.
22. Half Bath Ideas
Tucked under the stairs or off the laundry room, a simple half-bath adds a lot of convenience to everyday life at home. Easily accessible yet discrete, these small toilet-and-sink closets can be a fun little space to showcase design ideas that might not work elsewhere in your home.
Don’t be afraid to go bold with color in your half-bath. Bright, bohemian colors such as teal and magenta create a warm environment, especially when highlighted with gold Moroccan lanterns and mirrors. Or keep it clean and simple, with neutral colors, modern fixtures, and minimal clutter. A half-bath is a great place to install an expensive textured wallpaper or high-end painted tiles. Because such a small amount of these materials will be necessary, using them in the half-bath is a great way to enjoy these beautiful accents on a budget.
23. Guest Bathroom Ideas
You should give as much attention to your guest bathroom as you give to your guest bedroom. Whether lifelong family members or new friends occupy these guest zones, you want them to feel comfortable and have access to everything they need during their stay.
While you don’t want to overwhelm your guest bathroom with clutter, a stark space devoid of personal touches doesn’t feel welcoming. Hang some interesting art on the wall, set a cluster of succulents on a mirrored tray, and include a stack of plush, clean towels.
When thinking of guest bathroom ideas, recall what makes you feel comfortable in someone else’s home and replicate that to the best of your ability. Make sure your guest bathroom is stocked with soap, shampoo, toothpaste, and a new toothbrush to make up for anything your guest may have forgotten to pack.
24. Small Bathroom Tile Ideas
Unique options abound when coming up with small bathroom tile ideas. You may opt for larger tiles in a light color, which opens up the space and keeps the eye from being distracted by too many patterns. Or you may want to go in the other direction and install tiny tiles whose scale matches the size of the room.
Smaller tiles come in all kinds of shapes, from hexagons to circles, from squares to narrow rectangles and even triangles. Take home samples to see how they look beside your lighting and fixtures before settling on your small bathroom tile ideas.
25. Bathroom Organization Ideas
Mornings are crazy enough without having to navigate a disorganized bathroom. Whether you’re redesigning your bathroom for better organization or trying to get your current room under control, our best bathroom organization ideas will help.
Maximize your existing storage to keep countertop clutter under control. Add baskets and bins to drawers and cabinets. Use them to sort toiletries, grooming tools, and cleaning supplies so that each type of product has its own designated place.
Glass jars look elegant on shelves or counters, and they’re great for holding cotton balls, hair accessories, and first aid supplies. If you need more places to hide things, hang a cabinet/towel bar combo over the toilet. Many bathrooms are big enough to accommodate a corner cabinet or a tall, narrow storage unit.