27 Bathroom Ideas For an Uplifting Space
Take some time to browse these bathroom ideas that are certain to help you elevate your space, from the H&A archives and beyond...
Often the first room we enter when we wake up and the last we use before we head to bed, the bathroom is one of the most used rooms in the home, so it's important the space feels calming and serene.
A bathroom can often feel like a difficult room to decorate, mainly because of its overtly functional use and the need for materials and schemes that have to cope with lots of water and steam. In more modern homes, bathrooms are often small and can be awkward in shape and, in period homes, the bathroom was likely created in a room that wasn't originally intended for such a purpose.
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There are plenty of ways to make the most of any bathroom space, and while there may be lots of restrictions and regulations, you don't have to compromise on style. Think roll-top bathtubs, statement floor tiles, traditional-style sinks and vanity units.
Once you've finished the larger instalments and bathroom furniture, thoughtful decoration can truly take your bathroom space to the next level. A statement mirror is not only useful, but will add depth to your bathroom while making it feel more spacious. In some bathrooms, a carefully selected wallpaper will add colour and interest and, in older homes, embracing original features such as wooden beams and exposed brick walls will exude character.
If you're an avid buyer of antiques or see the appeal of salvaged pieces, your bathroom is the perfect place to incorporate them. Reclaimed bathroom fixtures and furniture are easier to come by than you might expect and, in bathrooms lacking storage, an antique dresser, cabinet or shelving cabinet offers function and aged beauty.
From calming, neutral havens to bold, maximalist spaces, these bathroom ideas are sure to inspire you.
Create rustic charm with an exposed brick or stone wall
For a rustic, country house feel, leaving a wall exposed in your bathroom can look really effective. This bathroom by Burlington is a fabulous example, with the exposed stone perfectly contrasted by the use of white paint on the surrounding walls, allowing the accent wall to truly sing.
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Choose heritage colours
There's no easier way to give your bathroom a period look than with heritage colours. Here, the deep green tiles work brilliantly with the dark wood unit and aged brass metal throughout the space, including the sink basin legs, shower frame and carefully chosen taps and shower head. Plus, an old wooden unit is the perfect way to bring antiques into an otherwise contemporary space.
Lean into your home's history
Period homes are filled to the brim with quirky features and uniquely shaped spaces, so why not embrace them? In Helen Ward's Edwardian home, she's embraced the style of her property by opting for bathroom tiles reminiscent of original Edwardian era tiles, in both layout and size. She's paired them with a beautiful wallpaper mural by Lucy Tiffney, which adds a more colourful and contemporary touch.
Add interest with antiques
In Robert Hirschhorn's 18th-century home, the bathroom offers a considered balance of old and new. The early 19th-century French hanging cupboard adds character and dimension to the otherwise light-toned bathroom.
Capture vintage bathroom style
The bathroom is a great place to make a statement, and in this 1980s home, bold colours and vintage accessories are at the heart of the bathroom design. The fabulous bathtub has been painted turquoise and then topped with gold leaf, leaving this wonderful patina effect. Elsewhere, antique and vintage pieces complete the decoration, including the 1930s wall mirror found in a local antiques shop.
Go mad for monochrome
You don't need bright colours for maximum impact – in fact, a carefully considered use of tiles can make a bathroom really pop. In this example, patterned tiles have been used on the floor and two walls, with contrasting classic white tiles added to the back wall to prevent the space from feeling overwhelmed. We particularly like the use of gold hardware and decorative items, which really have their moment in a monochrome bathroom.
Add intrigue with a wall mural
You might associate wall murals with spaces like the living room or the bedroom, but the bathroom is a great place to include some eye-catching imagery. In a well-ventilated bathroom you could opt for a wallpaper, or to stay safe, why not source some fabulous wall tiles featuring a pretty design?
Decorate bare walls with your favourite art
Who says gallery walls are reserved for halls and living rooms only? Displaying a few of your favourite artworks (in water-tight frames) is a lovely way to add personality to your bathroom and makes a feature of what would be an otherwise empty wall. Here, six large art pieces have been hung above the bath, drawing your eye to the cosy, relaxing corner.
Make a feature of a bathroom fireplace
If you're lucky enough to have a spacious bathroom like this example from Will and Charlotte Fisher's London home, you can really play around with the layout. But if you have an original fireplace, why not make it a focal point? Make sure you leave an open walkway from the door to the fireplace, this way any guest's eyes will be drawn straight to it.
Create a focal point with the shower
If your bathroom is a long narrow space, making a focal point of the shower is a great way to create zones. In this Drummonds bathroom designed by Orla Read, green and white tiles have been used to create a bold, striped design, creating a truly intriguing space.
Add character with patterned floor tiles
Smaller bathrooms can benefit from a more minimalistic approach – colour, pattern and decoration covering every wall can make the space feel small and cluttered. But if you still want to add some character and interest to the space, try using patterned floor tiles. Not only can they make a bathroom feel larger, but they add personality without being overpowering.
Embrace a pop of colour
It's so easy to fall into the comfort of keeping your bathroom neutral, but adding a pop of bright colour can be incredibly inviting, and looks fabulous, too. In the bathroom of this eclectic Victorian home in St Leonards, vibrant pink accents have been added in the form of towels, floral arrangements and a patterned blind. Elsewhere in the space, a freestanding bath has been sourced on eBay and a pretty chandelier has been passed down through the family.
Double up on sink space
If you have enough space in your bathroom, a double sink not only adds a sense of luxury, but it gives you double the surface space and means you don't have to fight over the bathroom in the morning! Take it one step further with a vanity offering plenty of storage, so you can hide products, extra bathroom essentials and cleaning supplies out of sight.
Add texture with wallpaper
If you have a bathroom slightly on the larger size that benefits from good ventilation, a charming wallpaper can truly transform the space. In her Arts and Crafts home, Laura Wallace has chosen a lively floral design called Camellia by Cole & Son.
Create a calming space with colour
Your bathroom is usually the last room you visit before heading to bed, and probably the first you enter upon waking up. So ensuring the space feels a calm and relaxing is a top priority for many, especially those who love a bath to unwind. A careful balance of colour and white space can help you to create zen bathroom space – these green tiles used on the lower portion of the wall are balanced by the use of white paint on the rest of the walls and ceiling.
Bring colour to sanitaryware
You might be familiar with colourful bathtubs, especially when it comes the the freestanding variety, but why not take it one step further with a colourful toilet (and bidet if you have one)? Using the same colour in varying tones through your bathroom is a great way to add depth, and a colourful toilet will certainly get people talking!
Embrace blue hues
When done right, shades of blue can look lovely in the bathroom. In Vicki Savage's Victorian home, subtle hints of blue have been added through tiles on the wall and and floor. Balanced carefully with other neutral tones, it offers a classy, grown-up feel.
Add privacy with bathroom shutters
Large windows are a fabulous feature in a bathroom, providing plenty of light and, if you’re lucky, a gorgeous view. If lack of privacy is causing an issue, why not opt for some stylish shutters? Plantation shutters add a sense of grandeur to a room, as well as being durable, easy to clean and waterproof. Perfect for a bathroom!
Invite decadence into your bathroom
If you want to add a decadent, luxurious feel to your bathroom, a statement chandelier is just the thing. Bear in mind that any lighting used in the bathroom must be designed for safety. All bathroom lights are coded with an IP rating indicating the zone in which they are safe to use.
For Zone 1, the area above the bath or shower tray to a height of 2.25m from the floor, choose lights rated IP65. In Zone 2, a 60cm wide area around the perimeter of the bath, shower and the basin to a height of 2.25m from the floor, lights rated IP44 can be fitted. In areas further away, there are no restrictions, so indulge your taste for glamour with an antique chandelier.
Embrace darker colours
Typically in older homes, bathrooms are a later edition, either added in an extension or designed in a room that would originally have had an alternative purpose, like a bedroom. This is the case in Rose Hanson and Josh Widdicombe's home, where they've opted to paint the whole bathroom in Obsidian Green by Little Greene. The daring colour palette has been thoughtfully complemented by a striking copper roll-top bath and more pared-back globe pendants, which draw the eye up towards the ceiling.
Bring your bath into the bedroom
If you're dealing with a small bathroom space, or you're renovating a snug en suite, have you considered bringing the tub into your bedroom? For this you'll need a spacious bedroom, but a bathtub in the bedroom will make you feel like you're sleeping in a luxury hotel every night of the week, while offering up more space in the actual bathroom for a shower, sink and ample storage.
Blend luxury with practicality
Though you most often see freestanding, roll-top baths in larger spaces with a separate shower, this doesn't always have to be the case. If you have a smaller space that requires the practicality of a dual shower and bath, but crave the luxurious appeal of a freestanding tub, there is a solution. Simply place your tub in a corner and add a simple shower screen, so you can enjoy the aesthetic without compromising on necessity.
Get creative with shower rails
Alternatively, if you have your heart set on having you bath central in your space, you'll need to get creative. A shower head connected to a round shower curtain rail could be the solution you're looking for. Whether you attach it to the ceiling in a more modern home, or add it to a wall in an old home with high ceilings, you can really make a design feature of it. Top tip: add tiles to the wall for an extra layer of protection from water splashes and condensation.
Keep it simple with neutral tones
For a more traditional approach, opt for painted walls rather than shiny tiles that can look more contemporary. In Sam Wilson's countryside home, she's chosen a creamy neutral colour palette, allowing the original beam to stand out and the view to really sing. The Victorian and Albert roll-top bath is a reclaimed piece.
Introduce classic style with wall panelling
A classic choice in bathrooms of period homes, panelling is a brilliant way to add traditional features into a space that naturally leans into a more modern aesthetic. Here, the lower portion of the bathroom walls have been panelled and painted in a striking teal, which allows the beautiful double-ended bath to really stand out.
Design a bathroom with antique and salvaged finds
For a bathroom that ticks the boxes for both sustainability and antiques, a salvaged approach is the way to go. Here, an old vintage kitchen unit has been saved and upcycled to create the bathroom vanity, and an antique ladder has been used as a towel rail. You can also find lots of reclaimed bathroom fixtures and furniture – find out more here.
Bring nature in with pretty tiles
Bathroom tiles are a great way to make a feature, and these pretty, nature-inspired tiles are part of Ca' Pietra's National Trust collection. There are plenty of ways to decorate your bathroom with tiles, whether you go for a maximalist look with tiles on every wall, stick to one area to create a feature wall, or use them as a splashback for your sink area.
More decorating content from Homes & Antiques
- Beautiful downstairs toilet ideas for a statement cloakroom
- The heritage tile brands to shop if you're redecorating your kitchen or bathroom
- Pretty bedroom wallpaper ideas to update your space
- Best heritage paint companies to have on your radar
- Practical pantry ideas for the perfect design
- Guest bedroom ideas your friends will adore
- Unique entryway ideas for a welcoming space
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