The bathroom is the one room that I advocate going all-out on luxury. It’s a room that should be dedicated to new beginnings, to starting fresh, and to pampering ourselves as much as possible. It’s also a room that a lot of people tend to decorate last, but a fresh and luxurious bathroom will give you renewed energy and is the perfect get-away.
Figure out what luxury means to you. For me, I like sleek materials, minimal colour, comfort, and functionality. I like to use polished metals and to mix traditional and modern elements. For someone else, it could mean channeling Japanese decor, or mixing bright colours. Once you know what you want and how you define your style, decorating becomes much easier.
Carve out dedicated spaces. When I design my dream home, I’m opting to have a separate vanity, and a dual sink system for tooth brushing and face washing. Having a space dedicated to a certain task will let you focus on what you’re doing, rather than having everything going on at once.
Utilise unique lighting. I really like things like toe-kick lighting and small lights inside of cupboards. If you have to have lighting on display, opt for something a little more unique rather than something cheap and commercial.
Highlight architectural details. If you have fascinating architectural details in your bathroom, you should bring attention to it. In this particular bathroom, this is achieved with the stunning reflective tiles on the partial wall, and the darker paint on the tray ceiling.
When in doubt, go neutral. Neutral colours are the easiest way to make something look harmonious and luxurious. Pick one colour, and use shades of the same to decorate. Neutrals also create a good background, which will allow any other elements to stand out.
Balance modern and traditional. I absolutely love modern twists on traditional design. It’s a contrast that works so perfectly. Layered or mixed styles add interest and gives you more freedom with your design. In this bathroom, the traditional bathtub and mirror are balanced with the tile and the towel rail.
Install a fireplace. One of the best things to bring to your bathroom is a fireplace. You’ll be able to luxuriate in a bath tub by the warmth of the fire, and let the soft lighting relax you. A fireplace in a bathroom is still an unexpected luxury, so take advantage if you can.
Try maximising darker colours. Black and grey are timelessly elegant colours. If you can handle the scheme, mix shades of black and grey to create a more moody and seductive atmosphere. Everything looks sexier with a dark backdrop.
Bring in items that you wouldn’t traditionally find in a bathroom, such as soft curtains and chandeliers. As I’ve mentioned earlier, unexpected items are things that attract attention, so make sure to use quality pieces. Don’t just bring things in on a whim; think about it carefully – does it match your theme? Can it withstand the environment? Does it look out of place?
Take advantage of a view. If you have the privacy to highlight an incredible view, do it. This is something that brings in instant luxury. Not only do you have the free decor from the outside world, but you also have the rare opportunity to go for the biggest window possible. This contemporary move is still highly coveted – and something not a lot of people get to have.
A shower room is cooler than a shower. If you’re someone who likes to use showers to escape the world a little bit, then a shower room is for you. You’ll be able to actually close the door on the world, and have a cozy nook where you can wash away all of your troubles. You can also turn these into steam showers with the addition of a closable transom over your shower door.
Black marble is more unique than white. White marble is definitely luxurious, which is why so many people choose it. However, if you’re looking for something a bit more edgy, opt for black marble. It still has the incredible pattern that white marble does, but it will ground the room better.
Use unique mirrors. A lot of people go for a simple square mirror, but if you can find something truly unique, you should go for it. Venetian mirrors are intricate and well-crafted. Another thing I like in bathrooms is a full-length mirror with a detailed frame. It may be uncomfortable at first, but it will add light and dimension, and you’ll be able to take some incredible selfies.
Elaborate or gold items will stand out. I love using gold in bathrooms. Whether it’s tap ware or drawer handles, it gives a pop of richness. Gold is still thought of as a luxurious metal, so people instantly think luxury when they see it. The ceiling detail is something that also adds luxury. Your home will feel more elevated with interesting mouldings.
Mix tone-on-tone materials. If you want different patterns, different materials, or different shapes, opt for items in the same colour. You’ll need to tie them together, unless you’re aiming for as eclectic and mismatched as possible. Using similar tones and colours will create harmony and feel calmer.
Go big or go home. If you’ve got the space and the budget, go ridiculously luxurious. The sauna and the waterfall style bath tub are so over-the-top that they actually work. Not only that, but they’re things that will encourage you to use them. This bathroom feels like something you’d find at a high-end spa.
White and gold is a traditional colour scheme that you can manipulate. These two colours suit almost every different decor style, and they’re easy to use. White in bathrooms feels light and clean, and the gold adds an opulent feel. If you don’t like too much gold, consider something simple like drawer handles.
Glass walls open a space and look sleek. Although they require a decent amount of maintenance, glass will open up your space and make it look expansive. It’s also the best option for bathrooms that don’t have a lot of natural light. If you’re uncomfortable with clear glass, frost portions of it for privacy.
Add actual furniture pieces. Comfortable chairs are an odd thing to have in a bathroom, but can be great if you need to sit down while moisturising, or if you’re painting your toenails. If you share a bathroom with your partner or spouse, they can come and sit with you while you have a bath.
Plenty of white and grey will look sophisticated and elegant. I’m sure we don’t need to go over how much I love white and grey, but in a bathroom they’re two colours that work incredibly well. In this bathroom, it’s grounded by the wood of the vanity, which prevents the room from looking too airy.
If you have a smaller bathroom, a lot of these tips can be scaled back and applied in your own home. I have a minuscule bathroom that needs a lot of work!
If you’re not ready to invest in a full on renovation, here’s my top tip: the most important factor is the styling. Styling is what takes a room from functional to exceptional. From open shelving to counter tops, pare your items down to things that look best on display. Less clutter and well collected vignettes make it a pretty space to be in.
Header image is via Britto Charette.