To say that minimalist Scandinavian design has been having a moment over the past few years would be an understatement. And while less isn’t always more, when it comes to bathrooms, you’re typically better off going for clear counters, minimal tchotchkes, and an overall clean and organized vibe.
But that doesn’t mean you have to chase after modern or Scandinavian-inspired design and forego your own style and flair. Minimalist style can be just as bold as you are—if you know how to do it right. Check out the 12 striking minimal bathrooms below to get an idea of just how impactful a minimal space can really be.
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According to Kathy Kuo, Interior Designer and CEO of Kathy Kuo Home, one of the quickest ways to elevate your bathroom while keeping it minimal is to upgrade focal points—like plumbing or lighting. “These details are easy to update and make all the difference with completing and elevating any room. To incorporate a subtle flair, I love to work in mixed metals and mirrored finishes.”
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Because bathrooms are often filled with mirrors, it is important to choose the right lighting to maintain a sophisticated and serene vibe. “A simple statement pendant light with delicate sconces by the vanity are perfect choices from both a design and functionality perspective,” explains Kuo.
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Andra DelMonico, Lead Interior Designer at Trendey, suggests creating a statement and minimalist look with a pure white squared-off sink. The straight lines and sharp 90-degree corners will give your bathroom a modern yet simplistic feel. “For smaller bathrooms, a compact square sink will work best so that it doesn’t eliminate too much counter space,” shares DelMonico. “Larger bathrooms can look great with a rectangular sink, giving you more sink space.”
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Eliminate the clutter by removing the tub, shower curtain, and other shower enclosures. For the most minimal shower, DelMonico suggests opting for a wet room where there’s no enclosure around the shower at all. However, this can be too cold for some people and can be addressed by installing a frameless glass panel. According to DelMonico, this will trap the water and heat without breaking up the visual.Continue to 5 of 12 below.
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Sometimes minimalism can feel cold and sparse. Skip the typical Scandinavian sparse style and bring warmth and a spa-like feel to your minimalist bathroom by adding natural elements like wood. “Choose a wood that’s beautiful and durable enough for the bathroom. Teak, bamboo, or hardwoods are all smart options,” says DelMonico. “You could use the wood to create a simple plank shower floor, a floating vanity, cabinets, accent wall, or flooring for the entire bathroom.”
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Focal Medicine Cabinets
Medicine cabinets can be multi-purpose in a minimalist bathroom: they provide a place to hide the storage and they can work as wall art if you get a gorgeous one. “If you're just looking to declutter, you can simply replace an existing mirror with a wall mounted medicine cabinet,” suggests Katie Burnet, Interior Designer at Rumor Designs.
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Going minimal is typically very good for the budget—which allows for a little extra room for luxurious assets that will help give your bathroom edge without cluttering the space too much. Look to apothecary-style bottles to give that luxurious, hotel-inspired finish to your counter tops.
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Transport to the Eighties
“For tackling a minimalist bathroom, I love the idea of being influenced by the 80s,” says Jennifer Burt, Mississippi Home Staging Expert at Mississippi Maximalism. “Set the tone with a simple gold chrome mirror in an oval or interesting organic shape. For the rest of the bathroom, keep texture to minimum. Colored tile is an option to add interest.”Continue to 9 of 12 below.
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Matching Luxe Linens
Kirsten Fisher, Founder & CEO of Imagine Home Organization, suggests taking the time to assess your towel situation. Any old or ratty towels will make your bathroom look sad—particularly if you’re leaning toward a minimal theme. Consider investing in a new set of fluffy white “hotel towels” or stick to all one color for a uniform, tidy look.
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Easy to Clean Surfaces
Part of a superior minimalist space is how clean and tidy surfaces look. This means you should think about using very durable products and surface types to ensure you can keep the bathroom looking spick and span. According to Atlanta-based Interior Designer, Beth Halpern Brown, this includes quartzite, quartz, stone, and ceramic tiles rather than marble—which requires serious upkeep.
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Opt for Shower Seating
A smart-looking wooden stool will not only add an aesthetically-pleasing element to your open shower but also comes as a pretty decent consolation prize if you're working with a bathroom that doesn't have a tub. Consider opting for white oak or teak, which will be able to withstand humidity and water.
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Whether you've gone ultra minimal in terms of accessories and visual interest or you're sticking to a neutral colorway, adding a couple of bathroom-friendly plants will help to break up the monochromatic aesthetic while also purifying the air in the process. A snake plant is a smart option if you're working with minimal light; otherwise consider opting for a fern or a spider plant.