Essential Tips for an Elegant Bathroom Design

Elegant bathroom design
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If you're thinking of remodeling your bathroom, consider adding elements of comfort and elegance. Transform your cold, dreary bath into your own personal sanctuary.

While many home interiors are going more simple, bathrooms are getting the royal treatment. Elegance, softness, and sophistication are the keywords for bathroom decor. Hand-made Italian tiles, custom-constructed and fitted, hand-rubbed wood cabinets, and sparkling crystal light fixtures are just some of the items people are spending top dollar to get. 

In new construction, bathrooms are getting larger. Combined with dressing areas and walk-in closets, some bathroom areas are bigger than the adjoining bedrooms. Add to that an oversized bathtub, separate showers, gym equipment, and sauna rooms, a bathroom is becoming a destination in homes.

In many remodels, homeowners are tearing down walls, eliminating small bedrooms, and creating giant bathrooms with special amenities such as telephones, televisions, lounging chairs, and a fireplace.

Homes with young children may not be suitable for installation of Italian marble countertops that would be damaged by little fingers and crayons. Usually, these top-of-the-line items are reserved for master bath suites. But many luxury elements are appropriate for any home.

Read below about the leading choices for luxury and convenient bathrooms. Decide what you could do to really transform your bathroom from a utilitarian stop-off spot to a tranquil, elegant retreat.


Custom cabinetry is designed to provide maximum storage, eye-appeal, and convenience. Tall cabinets on either side of the sink area offers eye-level storage for bathroom necessities. Electric plugs installed inside the cabinets help hide ugly appliance cords. Extra-deep drawers offer out-of-site storage for tall bottles.

Even a small bathroom will look larger with mirrored walls or cabinet doors. For a really elegant look, have the mirrors framed in gold- or silver-leaf frames. Both artificial light and natural light will be reflected and the room will be brighter.

To add floor space to a narrow room, consider having cabinets cut shallower than usual, and bump out the counter area around the sinks. A pullman-style bathroom will look more interesting without a long, straight line of cabinets.

If your space has room, consider having the countertop installed at two heights. The lowered area can serve as a dressing table. You might even have a whole wall of cabinets built in to store towels, rugs, and bathroom necessities.


While many bathrooms have laminate or solid surface countertops, ceramic tiles of all shapes and styles are the choice of the day. For any variety of looks and durability, choose glass, ceramic, stone, or metal tiles

Even in ceramic tiles, there are many painted or embossed styles to choose from. These are especially useful to create a border around an area, a chair rail design, or to frame a mirror or cabinet. You can also scatter hand-painted or embossed tiles at intervals on a wall to create texture and color.

A word of warning if you're decorating on a budget: Decorative tiles are sold by the piece. Before you go shopping, measure the space you're going to tile so that you know how many tiles you'll need. If you're doing a shower enclosure or countertop, the number adds up. And then multiply the number of tiles by the price per piece, and the number gets big quickly. Remember to add in edging pieces, corners, and borders. An extra dollar per tile could mean a lot of dollars extra for the whole room!

The Bathroom Sink

The elegant bathroom you're designing will definitely need two sinks. You can place them next to each other on a long countertop set atop a beautiful cabinet. Or block out a place on each side of the room for a single sink. Each person will be able to use their sink without rubbing elbows.

Some redesigned bathrooms have the sink in front of a window to take advantage of the natural light. The traditional mirror is found, framed, on another wall.

With extra floor space, you might select two elegant pedestal sinks in either traditional or contemporary designs. Using pedestal sinks will make the room more open, but not provide storage space. So be sure to have cabinets handy!

Install a drop-in or hand-painted sink into a free-standing cabinet or chest. It will look like a separate piece of furniture. Or drop a custom-designed sink into a marble or solid-surface countertop for an elegant look.

The newest look in bathroom sinks shows a large bowl mounted on the top of a bathroom counter. Artists and designers are using all sorts of material, such as marble, hand-blown glass, gold-leafed glass, or shiny metals. Before selecting a sink of this design, be sure that the height will be convenient to use and that the bowl will be safe.


By all means, get rid of that yellowed fan- heater-overhead light that's hanging in the middle of your bathroom.

Lighting for a redesigned bathroom (and other rooms, as well) is more directed at work areas. Soft light for a soaking bath can be achieved with a wall dimmer connected to any lighting. Choose some beautiful wall sconces for either side of the mirror, a sparkling chandelier for overhead, or place a small table lamp on the counter or dressing table area.

For more ideas on elegant or soft lighting, see the information and resources on interior lighting here.

Be sure to confirm your plans for lighting with an electrician or lighting designer before the ceiling and walls are closed up after remodeling. You'll want to have the wiring all installed behind the walls so no cords or wires show.


Get rid of the large wall-size frameless mirror over your sink and replace it with a beautifully framed mirror. Choose frame molding to enhance your space.


For a really luxurious feel, bring a piece of furniture into the bathroom. A tall armoire or chest can hold towels and bathroom necessities. A bench or lounge chair provides a spot to relax. Any woman would love a real dressing table in the bath. Any piece of free-standing furniture in a bathroom softens the look and adds a custom touch to the space.


Beautiful fabrics on furniture and windows gives a really elegant look. Elaborate window treatments and upholstery are finding their way into this private retreat. Traditional shower curtains, a perfect place to showcase beautiful fabric, are being replaced by glass shower doors and walk-in shower stalls.

Add finishing touches to your luxurious bathroom with unusual fixtures and hardware.

Bath Faucets

You don't have to feel stuck with basic shiny chrome faucets. Depending on the style of your bath and the rest of your house, you might want to select decorative faucets of solid gold, polished brass, pewter, brushed nickel, or burnished iron. View hundreds of bathroom sink faucets (don't forget the tub and shower!) on .

Cabinet Knobs

If you've chosen a particular theme for your bath decor, carry the theme through with cabinet pulls. You can choose traditional knobs of glass, brass, pewter, or crystal. Or find some shaped like flowers, hearts, butterflies, or seashells.


Accessories selected especially for a bathroom can help to take away the cold, hard look often found in bathrooms. You might want to select plush rugs, elegant window coverings, artwork, comfortable furniture, or flowers to add warmth to your space. You'll be amazing how much small touches like these can do to enhance the private space.

Luscious, plush towels in colors to compliment the decor are thick and large. Display them on a corner shelf, rolled in a basket, or hanging from decorative hooks along the wall or on the back of the bathroom door.

In place of a simple towel bar, look for a double rack or a hotel-style rack with shelves. Consider a heated towel rack that will have your towels piping hot when you get out of the shower. Choose towel bars in materials to complement the finish of the sink fixtures.

With the traditional mirror dressed up in an elegant frame, you might want to move the medicine cabinet out of the way. Find a convenient closet or cabinet to hold necessities. Or hang a mirrored, framed door over the cabinet.

Elegant clear or etched frameless glass doors are replacing the traditional shower curtain. But some of the shower stalls or tub areas are draped with luxurious fabrics and trims.

Elegant sponged paint or textured wallpaper provide a luxurious background for any art or prints you may decide to hang in the bathroom.

Display treasured collectibles on display shelves or on a dressing table. Not many people will be entering your private retreat, so the pieces will be safe there.

Even the slightest amount of creativity and imagination can help to change a usually bare, cold space into a luxurious personal retreat. Elegance and luxury are not hard to achieve with all the products available for today's new bathrooms.