Decorating a bathroom is HARD.
It seems like the only way to get good decor is to hire a professional or take a fancy, expensive class.
I created this resource to try to help people like you, people who want to spruce up their bathrooms but don’t necessarily have the experience to piece everything together themselves.
I’m going to teach you everything you need to know to get started designing & decorating a GREAT bathroom RIGHT NOW.
With that said:
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Don’t over design. If you really want a bath that will hold up to the test of time, don’t bring in decorative tile or trim pieces; those are sure to date your bath. Instead, bring in artwork or towels that can be changed out easily if you really want more decorative features. In the end, less is more. – Erica Islas, Interior Designer
- Here Are The Most Important Interior Design Principles
- How To Choose A Gorgeous Color Palette For Your Bathroom
- Don’t Even THINK About Picking Out Colors Without Reading This…
- Find Out Where The Pro’s Shop For Bathroom Accessories
- These Interior Design Tips & Tricks Will Bring Your Bathroom To The Next Level
Here Are The Most Important Interior Design Principles
Before we get to cracking on cleaning up & redesigning our bathrooms, we have to learn a teeeny bit about design & decor theory.
Make sure you really internalize these points, they’ll help you expand your artistic eye and can apply to much more than just a bathroom.
1) How To See Balance When Designing A Room
Balance is the distribution of visual weight in a room.
It’s the balance of clutter in your field of vision when you look at a room.
Get familiar with this concept.
There are 3 main types of balance:
Symmetrical balance is usually what you see in traditional interiors.
It’s characterized by similar objects and shapes appearing on both sides of an imaginary vertical axis.
Just imagine that you were to fold a photo of the room in half. If each object on the room were to line up to another one, the room would be symmetrical.
This is the kind of balance you might see in older & more classically decorated homes. It reflects nature as well as the human form.
We are subconsciously & innately comfortable with this kind of balanced setting.
What’s the bottom line?
[bctt tweet=”If you want a more traditional kind of look. Implement symmetrical balance into your designs.“]
Asymmetrical balance is what modern designers utilize the most.
Balance is achieved with some dissimilar objects that have equal visual weight or eye attraction.
This could be due to size, color, texture, or any other visable attribute.
Asymmetrical balance is more casual and less contrived in feeling, but more difficult to achieve.
What’s the bottom line?[bctt tweet=”If you want a more modern look, implement asymmetrical balance into your designs. “]
Radial balance is when all the elements of a design are arrayed around a center point. A spiral staircase is also an excellent example of radial balance.
It’s not often employed in interiors, but it can provide an interesting centerpiece if used appropriately.
Balance is important and all, but every room needs to have flow & rhythm. Lets talk about this a little deeper.
2) Why You HAVE To Know Interior Design Rhythm
You’re probably used to thinking about rhythm in terms of music.
In interior design, rhythm is all about visual pattern recognition.
It means matching visual patterns, transitioning between them, using contrast in your design – all of these things.
Here are the most important things YOU need to know about Rhythm in interior design:
Repetition is the use of the same element more than once throughout a space. You can repeat a pattern, color, texture or a line.
Progression is taking an element and increasing or decreasing its qualities.
The most obvious implementation of this would be a gradation by size.
A cluster of candles of varying sizes on a simple tray creates interest because of the natural progression.
You can also achieve progression via color, such as in a monochromatic color scheme where each element is a slightly different shade of the same hue.
Transition is a little harder to define.
Unlike repetition or progression, transition tends to have a smoother flow, where the eye naturally glides from one area to another.
The most common transition is the use of a curved line to gently lead the eye, such as an arched doorway or a winding path.
Finally, Contrast is putting two opposite elements together.
It’s up to you whether you want to contrast colors, shapes, or even the emotions of objects. Be careful not to drown out other design principles by introducing too much contrast!
Rhythm in interior design is dictated by details.
Make sure you get the details right.
Everything from the trimming on the lamp shade, the color of the mirror frame, and all the other minor nuisansical details in the bathroom have to be on point & coordinated.
Details should not be obvious but they should be right, enhancing the overall feel of a room.
Scale and Proportion – These two design principles go hand in hand, since they both relate to size and shape.
Proportion has to do with the ratio of one design element to another, or one element to the whole. Scale concerns itself with the size of one object compared to another.
3) Here’s Why You Should Care About Focal Points In Interior Design
Interior design’s biggest enemy is boredom.
A well-designed bathroom should always have one or more focal points.
A focal point must be able to draw attention and be interesting enough to encourage people to look further.
4) Any Of These Would Make a GREAT Bathroom Focal Point
Free Standing Bath Tubs
Pestemal or Turkish Towels
How To Choose A Gorgeous Color Palette For Your Bathroom
1) Neutral Palettes
The simplicity of a Zen, spa-like bathroom is an appealing and trendy look for modern and contemporary bathrooms.
Neutrals are by far the most popular colors for spa bathroom design.
Gray has become the go-to neutral for designers, and is the third most popular color for spa bathrooms after beige and white.
For a warm mix of beige and gray, go “greige”.
Muting a color makes it appear neutral, and muted tones of blue and green are also favored spa colors for bathrooms.
2) Theme Palettes
Beach themes give a bathroom a refreshing, casual feel. Pale or muted blues paired with crisp, white trim and soft, sand-colored tile create the perfect beach vibe.
For the Old World feel of a Tuscan bathroom, use warm, earthy colors on walls. Terra-cotta, gold, burnt orange, mustard and ocher provide a rich backdrop for rustic aged-wood cabinetry, copper or oil-rubbed bronze sinks and faucets, and wrought-iron hardware.
Faux texture applied with a color wash adds depth and dimension, resembling the look of aged plaster.
Include accents in olive or sage green, cobalt blue, poppy red and deep purple or plum.
3) Architectural Inspiration
Let the architectural style of your home guide you in choosing bathroom colors.
In Victorian homes, bathroom color palettes include soft neutrals of white or gray paired with dusty yellow or gold, powdery blues, muted greens or muddy pinks or purples.
Mid-century style bathrooms featured some of the most colorful palettes to date. Aqua blue and pink were common colors for porcelain and tile.
These colors were often paired with white, gray, turquoise, chartreuse, lavender gray, avocado or coral walls.
You can find many of these colors in the Sherwin-Williams Suburban Modern Interior Historic Colors collection.
Color inspiration can also come from colors that make you feel good or that brighten the bathroom. Make the most of incoming natural light by bathing walls in white.
Crisp, white trim and light beige accents keep the look clean and casual.
Tints of beige, tan and pink flatter skin tones while complementing dark wood and shades of brown. For a dramatic look, pair dark and light colors. Mocha brown or charcoal gray walls with bright, white trim make bathrooms feel rich and sophisticated.
Energizing colors can bring a bathroom to life and help boost your mood on sleepy mornings.
Sunny, cheerful shades of bright yellow work beautifully with neutrals of gray and white.
Don’t Even THINK About Picking Out Colors Without Reading This…
Each color you choose will have a different effect on the emotional quality of your bathroom design.
Red: Easily stimulates one’s energy, promoting liveliness, which is exactly what you need when mingling with friends over dinner or even making a quick decision over which menu dish sparks your appetite.
Blue: Great at communicating serenity and calmness. However, some blues can have a very cooling affect as they can turn chilly-looking when applied on a wall.
Green: This color reminds us of the abundance of green shades found in nature, evoking a restorative, quieting emotion. Green is also the color of tranquility and composure.
Pink: Pink has been proven to have a calming effect. It’s also often associated with romance, which is closely linked to joyfulness.
Brown: A brown room feels more cozy, snug and safe. Consider using a rich hue of cocoa for any space in your home where loved ones may gather to invoke a sense of intimacy and togetherness.
Purple: People have long symbolized purple with royalty and wealth, making it an ideal color for those looking to make their home appear more luxurious with minimal effort.
Orange: This golden color may appear welcoming, but beware – Orange helps stimulate the appetite.
White: White may at first seem a boring choice, but some interior designers say they love working with this shade because it feels “airy” and “open,” giving the illusion of more space in a room.
Black: Not for the timid, black is very dramatic and has the ability to give bare walls an elegant flair. Black can invoke feelings of staying indoors. However, some may have negative connotations associated with this color, which could provoke feelings of melancholy.
Yellow: This luminous shade may be a great way to make any space in your home bright and welcoming, but like black, tread carefully.
Find Out Where The Pro’s Shop For Bathroom Accessories
Best known for high-end fittings and faucets, Waterworks has plenty of high quality bathroom accessories. Prices are mostly in the mid to high range, although some products can be found for < $10. Shipping costs start at $7 and goes to up to 7 percent of the order value.
Canvas is an up & coming home decor outlet, they have exotic & interesting pieces from their Ethiopian cotton towels to the papier mâché wastebaskets. Prices range from a few dollars to a few hundred dollars; shipping will set you back $5-$10.
Originally a popular dress brand, Anthropologie has started offering some very competitive and high quality home & bath accessories. It’s a favorite of Smith, author of Michael S. Smith Kitchens and Bathrooms, who says the company’s soap dishes and bathmats give some “quick charm and whimsy to the bathroom.” At $8 to $158, Anthropologie’s wares are quite affordable; shipping starts at $7.
For classic, chic accents, many designers turn to Restoration Hardware. “It’s perfect for simple, classic containers and vanity accessories at great price points,” says Kirar. And Flesher points to their pharmacy-style bottles. Prices range from $7 to several hundred; shipping runs from $5 to $50.
A popular interior home accessories retailer. Frontgate has well-selected competitive products. The retailer also offers a full range of bath accessories ranging from $30 to several thousand dollars. Shipping starts at $5.
Restoring a Victorian townhouse? Look no further than Urban Archaeology for that perfect period soap dish or towel bar. The company offers most of its bath accessories in several metal finishes to match every interior. Smith appreciates the “beautiful reproductions” for their heavy scale. Prices start at $50 for a simple hook; shipping is quoted individually for each order.
For quietly quirky accessories with a touch of old-fashioned charm, look to Rocket St. George, an online store specializing in British design. (I’m particularly fond of the company’s ceramic pieces.) The bath section of the site has prices from approximately $8 to $50; all U.S. deliveries are charged a flat rate of approximately $35.
These Interior Design Tips & Tricks Will Bring Your Bathroom To The Next Level
Have a Statement Piece
Inviting unique pieces of furniture into the bathroom can add personality to the space. No closets or cabinets? Put a handsome display cabinet to work holding towels and extra amenities like shampoo, soap, rolls of toilet paper.
Look Modern With Gray
A narrow space thrives on consistency and a refined palette. Pairing white with gray gives the space a modern look. Choosing large squared tiles will fool the eye into believing the space is larger than it actually is. Keep the accents minimal so the room feels sleek and uncluttered.
If You Share Your Bathroom – Use a Storage Unit
There are just so many goodies that belong in the bathroom. If you share this space, bring in a slim storage piece that has separate compartments for holding items for everyone in the household.
Plan For The Function
Before making any big decisions, think about how your bathroom will be used. If it will be a space for escaping to and relaxing, then design it with that intention. A stunning freestanding roll top bath says: serenity now.
Kids Bathrooms? Be Function & Playful
When it comes to a bathroom for the kids, make design decisions that are functional and playful. Blue mosaic tiles keep the room feeling fresh and cool. White (for the ceiling and top portions of the walls) brightens up the room. Utilizing the walls for storage is a smart use of space (especially if you have a lot of stuff).
Tight Space? Use Brick.
A sleek pedestal sink helps a tight space feel more expansive. Crackle glazed brick tiles offer an unexpected decorative touch.
Vary Up Textures – Mix Patterns & Combine The Unexpected.
Not everything has to match perfectly, a little dissonance adds a homey touch.
Really Cramped Bathroom? Use A Shelf Rack
A shelf rack with hooks is an ingenious answer to the storage problem posed by smaller spaces.
Use An Unused Sugar Bowl As A Decorative Container. It’s Perfect For Cotton Balls And Q-tips.
This trio of windows, set a little higher than usual, lets in lots of light while still allowing for privacy.
There’s a never-ending wealth of ways to bring your travels home in your decor.
Apartment/Small Bathroom Inspiration
Large Bathroom Inspiration
I love designing bathrooms. Bathroom design is not what it used to be due to the endless choice of material and fixtures. I love that I can be creative and innovative and essentially never design the same bath twice. TVs in the mirrors, chromatherapy color whirlpool baths, radiant floor heating systems, and tub fillers are just a few of the infinite possibilities. I’m not just designing a bathroom, I am creating an experience. – Erica Islas
This guide should get you well on your way to designing your first bathroom.
- 3 of the Most Important Interior Design Principles
- About Color Palettes & Which Ones YOU Should be Using.
- The Importance of Choosing Your Colors Well.
- Where the Pro’s Shop for Home Decor.
- A Handful of Tips & Tricks From Industry Professionals.
What are some of your favorite bathroom design tips & tricks? Leave me a note down in the comments.
If I’ve helped you out, do me a favor & please share this article with someone else who can benefit from it.
I’m currently running a giveaway for my company’s Turkish Towels.
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