While the fun part of designing a bathroom lies in choosing fixtures and finishes, it's important to make big decisions about how to maximize function and optimize the layout before you start contemplating the finer details.
Successful bathroom design requires working with the constraints of the space you have to make important decisions about how the room functions and flows. This means thinking about things like how best to design the shower for maximum comfort and efficiency. Where to place the bathtub if you have the space and desire for one. What size and type of vanity you can fit into your particular bathroom. How to work around existing window placement to maximize air flow and natural light. What kind of door works best for privacy and ease of use, or, in the case of a primary suite, whether to install a door at all.
Check out these bathrooms in a range of styles and sizes for ideas to help you design or redesign your bathroom, whether that means building an elegant hotel-style primary suite from scratch, remodeling a guest bathroom, or turning a small studio apartment bathroom into a zen-like oasis that maximizes every last square inch of space.
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This bold minimalist open plan double shower and bath from interior designer Cathie Hong of Cathie Hong Interiors has pivoting glass doors that can be left open to maximize light and air flow from the wrap-around windows, or shut to prevent unwanted shower splashes. Double showerheads are discreetly installed on opposite sides of the self-enclosed wash room, keeping the focus on the tub and the view.Continue to 2 of 62 below.
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Double Wall-Mounted Sinks
Not every shared bathroom needs a built-in double vanity. In this child's shared bathroom from JL Design, matching wall-mounted industrial sinks are hung at kid-friendly height to give siblings their own space.Continue to 3 of 62 below.
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Covering bathroom walls in floor-to-ceiling stone or tiling has become a widespread design trend that is practical from a cleaning perspective and has the visual advantage of drawing the eye upward to make bathrooms feel more spacious. In this luxury Chicago highrise bathroom from Alexis Bednyak Design and Searl Lamaster Howe Architects, a black slab of stone covers the far wall, creating a dramatic focal point. Pale stone shower tiles also run to the ceiling for contrast.
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Installing good lighting is an important part of any room design, but bathroom lighting can often be harsh and unflattering in the room where you least want it to be. In this bathroom from interior designer Rhianna Jones of Tidal Interiors, LED backlighting adds a glamorous touch to a sleek built-in wall-to-wall shower niche. The ambient light creates a soothing glow for nighttime showers and adds another layer of lighting in a space lacking in natural light. If attempting to add light to a shower, be sure to enlist a professional who can ensure that it's safe and waterproof.Continue to 5 of 62 below.
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When choosing a bathroom vanity, consider upcycling a vintage or antique wood piece of furniture and adding a sink and waterproof countertop. Interior designer Abbie Naber of A. Naber Design upcycled a midcentury modern buffet into a handsome bathroom vanity with character and plenty of storage.Continue to 6 of 62 below.
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In this light, bright, and elegant bathroom from interior designer Jessica Risko Smith of JRS ID, an all-white mix of finishes is warmed by brass fixtures and glamorous lighting. But the real star of the show is a Dutch door leading to the outside whose top half can be slung open to increase natural ventilation and light.
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When designing a bathroom, don't feel obligated to stick to a single style. This eclectic bathroom from interior designer Lisa Gilmore of Lisa Gilmore Design features a bold black metal grid glass partition that houses the spacious shower. This industrial design feature adds contrast to the bathroom's soft, polished decorative finishes such as patterned tile and floral wallpaper.Continue to 8 of 62 below.
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Wall Tile Surround
Interior designer Mindy Gayer of Mindy Gayer Design Co. defined the combination shower and soaking tub area of this relatively small bathroom with a floor-to-ceiling wrap-around tile backsplash. The showerhead is centered over the tub and hung from the ceiling to reduce visual clutter. A towel hook hangs on one side, and built-in nooks on the other, but the designer skipped the shower curtain to preserve a feeling of openness.Continue to 9 of 62 below.
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In a long and narrow corridor-style bathroom, be sure to leave the central alleyway clear for ease of circulation and to keep sightlines clear. Interior designer Desiree Burns of Desiree Burns Interiors made this pass-through bathroom feel distinct by adding a coat of minty green paint that adds freshness without calling too much attention to itself.
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While open plan bathrooms are trendy, there's something to be said for a shared bathroom that has distinct zones that can provide privacy when desired, like this bathroom from interior designer Emily Henderson of Emily Henderson Design.Continue to 11 of 62 below.
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A shower with access to natural light is a luxury. In this marble tile shower in a California bathroom from Lori Gentile Interior Design, a pair of windows provides plenty of natural light, and a built-in window bench creates a relaxing place to shave your legs or wait for your hair mask to sink in.
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The double showerheads in this spacious bathroom from interior designer Jessica Risko Smith of JRS ID are practically invisible thanks to a wall of graphic patterned tile. The tub is tucked beneath the windows, and a transparent wall of glass shower doors practically disappears to control splashing while maximizing space to allow for a large soaking tub.Continue to 13 of 62 below.
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Interior designer Mindy Gayer of Mindy Gayer Design Co. added a built-in ledge that houses plumbing for the large soaking tub. But this practical design decision also provides a styling opportunity for displaying decor and accessories—not to mention a place to rest a wine glass for those who enjoy a bathtime beverage.Continue to 14 of 62 below.
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Why build in one bathroom niche when you can have two, like this bathroom from Emily Henderson Design contributor Malcolm Simmons that is perfect for sharing, or separating everyday products from once-a-week home spa day items.
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Creating sightlines and perspectives makes a small space feel more expansive and a larger space more interesting. Interior designer Rhianna Jones of Tidal Interiors added a wood-clad, inset nook over the large double vanity in this spacious California bathroom that has soft backlighting and is outfitted with a wide mirror that reflects the view and natural light from the sliding glass doors opposite.
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In this spacious primary bathroom from interior designer Lisa Gilmore of Lisa Gilmore Design, a dedicated vanity wall includes a wood vanity with plenty of storage, a comfortable chair, a pretty gold mirror, and vintage lighting.Continue to 17 of 62 below.
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Interior designer Rhianna Jones of Tidal Interiors added warmth to a modern black-and-white bathroom by choosing a wood-clad vanity and wood-effect tiling to create a shower accent wall and a focal point.
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Interior designer Jenn Bannister of Flourish Interior Design clad the vanity and tall adjacent storage cabinets in dark wood that creates a seamless look and a warm, grounding element in the clean, modern all-white bathroom. A thin vertical window with opaque glass brings in natural light while maintaining privacy.
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Wall to Wall Tile
Sometimes the best way to maximize the perception of space in a bathroom is through clever use of design finishes. One way to create an elegantly modern bathroom is by tiling all surfaces in the same hue, like this handsome bathroom design from interior designer Laura Brophy of Brophy Interiors.
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Interior designer Sarah Latham of Latham Interiors used simple rectangular mirrors that mimic the windows and sliding glass doors on both sides of the bathroom, creating perspectives, bouncing around natural light, and maximizing views.Continue to 21 of 62 below.
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Interior designer Jenn Bannister of Flourish Interior Design created a wet room that houses the shower and tub positioned against the right hand wall, a space-saving and efficient design that works well in a railway-style bathroom with enough width.Continue to 22 of 62 below.
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Interior designer Kate Marker of Kate Marker Interiors brought architectural interest to a new build by adding large mirrors and built-in sconces to the inset arches over the bathroom's twin vanities that add polish and a luxury hotel feel.
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Jamaica-based interior designer Joelle Smith of If Walls Could Talk created a sense of privacy in this shared bathroom by creating a toilet nook that is blessed with two windows and is partially concealed by a wall.Continue to 24 of 62 below.
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While sculptural free-standing garden tubs are on trend, there's nothing wrong with a classic built-in bathtub for a streamlined look that's easy to keep clean. In this primary bathroom, interior designer Desiree Burns of Desiree Burns Interiors created a console on the righthand wall that creates a place to display art and decor while hiding the plumbing for the bathtub.Continue to 25 of 62 below.
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In this bathroom from interior designer Sarah Latham of Latham Interiors, the designer created a built-in open and closed storage nook that still leaves room for a roomy shower while adding functionality to the room.Continue to 26 of 62 below.
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Under the Eaves
In this house designed by NORD for Living Architecture, a black garden tub is tucked under the eaves and lit by a skylight, while white painted shiplap and a farmhouse sink match the English countryside setting. The black and white palette add a tough modern edge that keeps it from looking twee.
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If you've got awkward-shaped angles in your bathroom, turn this design bug into a decorative feature like interior designer Sarah Latham of Latham Interiors, who clad the shower in contrasting tile and added clear custom glass shower doors to add a more streamlined look.Continue to 28 of 62 below.
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This bathroom from Erin Williamson Design has plenty of decorative finishes, from eye-catching cement tile floors to walnut front cabinetry and matte black Brizo plumbing fixtures. But the hexagonal window embedded in the far shower wall and surrounded by simple white tiling is the kind of unique feature that creates a memorable design.Continue to 29 of 62 below.
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In this railroad-style bathroom from interior designer Cathie Hong of Cathie Hong Interiors, the tub is located out of the way at the far end beneath a window. The designer added dark gray tile in a herringbone pattern that adds depth to the long, rectangular room, providing a backsplash that continues onto the floor for a seamless look.
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Interior designer Kara Thomas of Studio KT designed the giant walk-in shower in this primary bedroom suite, using the same black and gray palette as the adjacent dressing room to create cohesion and flow between the spaces.Continue to 31 of 62 below.
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Large Scale Art
In this luxurious high rise bathroom from interior designer Ginger Barber of Ginger Barber Interior Design, floor-to-ceiling windows provide a wide open view and a natural focal point. But the designer installed a large scale piece of art on the adjacent wall to give the eye another place to rest that adds color and vibrancy to the contemporary, neutral toned space.Continue to 32 of 62 below.
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Interior designer Cathie Hong of Cathie Hong Interiors tiled this spacious bathroom from floor to the vaulted ceiling line to lightly define the space and make it easy to clean. Glass doors create a seamless transition from the tub area to the walk-in shower, and allow the light from adjacent windows to brighten the space.
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Interior designer Lauren Lerner of Living with Lolo worked around the window in this primary bathroom, installing a countertop that runs the length of the wall, and positioning matching sinks, mirrors, and pendant lights right next to one another to maximize the available wall space. The symmetry of the double sinks adds structure to the asymmetrical layout, making it look polished and purposeful.Continue to 34 of 62 below.
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Wall of Mirrors
One way to make your bathroom design feel extra custom is to build in bespoke decorative touches. In this spacious bathroom from Kendall Wilkinson Design, a wall of mirrors is layered with decorative framed mirrors over each sink, and built-in sconces and ceiling lights that add ambient light.Continue to 35 of 62 below.
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On the lefthand wall, Desiree Burns Interiors added a shallow ledge and built-in nooks that offer additional space for decor and bath items and balance the design.Continue to 36 of 62 below.
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In this historic California house renovation, interior designer Erin Williamson of Erin Williamson Design added obscured glass on the window and door that preserve privacy while letting the light shine through.Continue to 37 of 62 below.
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Interior designer Tyler Karu of Tyler Karu Design + Interiors added a solid pony wall that provides some privacy while showering, and creates a clear division between the shower and toilet to maximize space.
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Interior designer Kate Marker of Kate Marker Interiors added transparent floor-to-ceiling glass doors that separate the shower and tub from the rest of the bathroom, creating a splash guard without blocking any of the natural light from the windows.Continue to 39 of 62 below.
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If you've got the budget, space, and inclination, designing your bathroom around a statement bathtub will turn the space into a showpiece. In this luxury bathroom from interior designer Kendall Wilkinson of Kendall Wilkinson Design, a sculptural stone tub floats in front of a bank of floor-to-ceiling windows with a view to the outdoors, while Japanese style sliding screens can be adjusted to add privacy while still allowing the natural light to flow in.Continue to 40 of 62 below.
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If you're lucky enough to have extra space, turn your bathroom into a rest room by adding in seating. In this spacious bathroom from interior designer Desiree Burns of Desiree Burns Interiors, a window seat big enough for two between the double vanities creates an opportunity for extra storage, and a place to rest and enjoy the view while giving yourself a pedicure.
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Suspended toilets make a bathroom feel contemporary and updated, are easy to clean, and keep the space feeling light and airy. In this spacious bathroom from interior designer Maite Granda, the ledge created by the hidden plumbing behind the toilet creates a decorating opportunity to rotate in art, plants, flowers, or decorative items.
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When designing an all-white bathroom, be sure to mix materials to create interest and keep it from feeling too cold and sterile. Interior designer Mindy Gayer of Mindy Gayer Design Co. clad the walls of this Southern California bathroom in vertical shiplap to emphasize the ceiling height. The white wood extends to the half-wall entry to the shower, and blends in with the white marble tiling.Continue to 43 of 62 below.
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If you're lucky enough to be working with a large bathroom footprint, consider zoning distinct areas to maximize functionality. In this bathroom from interior designer Amy Leferink of Interior Impressions, a towel wall in the spacious enclosed shower features a textured wood accent, towel hooks, and a teak bench that feels like an extra room.Continue to 44 of 62 below.
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Interior designer Maite Granda added wall moldings to this long, linear, windowless bathroom that conceal a hidden door to the outside.Continue to 45 of 62 below.
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Interior designer Tyler Karu of Tyler Karu Design + Interiors added an angled bench in the right corner of this walk-in shower that provides a place to sit without taking up too much floor space to keep circulation flowing.Continue to 46 of 62 below.
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Floor to ceiling built-ins give this bathroom from interior designer Nancy Charbonneau of Charbonneau Interiors a tailored feel. A combination of open and closed storage offers a place to store and display stacks of towels, art, and objects, while plenty of cupboard space and drawers hide clutter. A large mirror fitted to the wall between built-ins helps maintain a spacious and airy feel.Continue to 47 of 62 below.
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Tile is a popular choice in the bathroom, but for those who prefer a more streamlined look, or simply can't bear the constant maintenance required to keep grout lines sparkling clean, why not opt for a concrete finish like this minimalist shower from interior designer Laura Brophy of Brophy Interiors.Continue to 48 of 62 below.
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This deep bathroom nook remodel from A Beautiful Mess features a wash of sea-blue tiles to define the space. The bathtub is nestled into the corner nook, leaving the space under the window free and plenty of room to circulate when the tub isn't in use.Continue to 49 of 62 below.
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Interior designer Emily Henderson of Emily Henderson Design saved counter space in this dramatic black-and-white bathroom by installing plumbing fixtures on the wall above the double sink vanity. The same trick can be used with bathtub hardware.Continue to 50 of 62 below.
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Orange County, CA-based interior designer Lindye Galloway of Lindye Galloway Studio+Shop added some graphic interest to a bathtub niche in this all-white bathroom with black accents including a double window with black metal grid detailing, a black-and-white pendant light shade, and a black tub.
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Real estate agent and interior designer Julian Porcino added a wall-to-wall polished concrete floating vanity that adds a industrial flair to a simple, compact bathroom. Countertops are kept mostly bare and toiletries are stored in a mirrored medicine cabinet above the vanity for a minimalist look. The glass shower wall and door runs all the way up to the ceiling allowing natural light from a skylight to pour in, and to increase the perception of roominess in the fairly narrow bathroom.Continue to 52 of 62 below.
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In this spacious primary bathroom suite from interior designer Emily Henderson of Emily Henderson Design, exposed ceilings are clad in natural wood that highlights the angles and adds architectural interest to the space. A practical stone tile floor in slate gray adds a mineral note that balances all the wood, while white walls and modern appliances keep the design fresh.
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Interior designer Lauren Lerner of Living with Lolo took advantage of this deep shower to create zones, from a main shower area with a rain shower head in the middle, with a comfortable bench lining the back wall with a spot shower head for shaving legs and other self-care.Continue to 54 of 62 below.
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Obscured Glass Screen
Interior designer Brittany Farinas of House of One created a modicum of privacy in this bathroom by installing an opaque glass divider between the toilet and the shower.
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Interior designer Mel Bean of Mel Bean Interiors maximized every inch of available vertical space in this bathroom by adding tall mirrors, long vertical sconces, and built-in cabinetry on the side wall that stretches all the way to the high ceilings. It's the dream storage solution for toilet paper hoarders everywhere.Continue to 56 of 62 below.
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If you have the luxury of space, creating zones can make your bathroom feel spa-like and special. Here, interior designer Lauren Lerner of Living with Lolo created a feature wall that acts as a backdrop for the soaking tub. The decorative wall partially conceals his and hers closets on either side.Continue to 57 of 62 below.
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In this design from interior designer Sallie Lord of GreyHunt Interiors, a built-in bathtub and spacious shower are positioned on the far wall of the bathroom. To maximize the space, the bathtub plumbing is positioned against the back wall, freeing up the extra space at the head (or foot) of the tub enclosure to act like a shower bench for the adjoining shower. Squint and the glass disappears,
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Built-In Dressing Table
If you like having a dedicated space to put on your makeup or perform your skincare routine, consider skipping the double sinks in the primary bathroom and install a built-in dressing table instead, like this bathroom from Lindye Galloway Studio+Shop. The dressing table is flush with the vanity but built in lower so it's comfortable to use while seated.Continue to 59 of 62 below.
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In this traditional primary bathroom from interior designer Jessica Davis of Nashville, TN.-based JL Design, a large soaking tub takes pride of place under the window, while a spacious self-enclosed shower room is built into the corner on an angle with an all-glass door that makes it feel like a room within a room.Continue to 60 of 62 below.
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Trick of the Eye
Not everyone wants a zen oasis in the bathroom. And you don't always have to knock down walls to change the perception of space. Using graphic tile in a dynamic black-and-white pattern, real estate agent and interior designer Julian Porcino created a wrap-around backsplash for the shower and tub that adds a sense of rhythm and movement that tricks the eye into thinking that the space is wider and larger than it is.Continue to 61 of 62 below.
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If space and money are no object, why not work a home spa into your bathroom floor plan, like this one from interior designer Sarah Latham of Latham Interiors.
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Updating an older home doesn't mean that you have to modernize it. In this Austin bungalow, interior designer Erin Williamson of Erin Williamson Design wanted to preserve the vintage vibes of the house by updating the bathroom with time-tested finishes and timeless flair. From the penny tiles on the floor to the freestanding porcelain and chrome sink and beveled mirror, the bathroom has a classic feel that feels fresh and will outlast trends.