Whether you want your bathroom to be your own relaxing home spa or a joyful space designed to energise your morning routine, we have inspiration aplenty. From geometric tiles to floor-to-ceiling marble, cool terrazzo and even wallpaper – specifically designed to survive in wet conditions, of course – there's something to suit every space.
In a project by Sarah Sherman Samuel, a classic checkerboard layout has an Alice in Wonderland feel, influenced by the curved forms and classic patterns found in the hotels and cafes Sarah visited in Paris. The strict geometry of Villa Lagoon Tiles’ cement ‘dry sage’ tiles’ is offset by the curves of a wooden seat, marble splashback and oak Concentric light from Allied Maker. sarahshermansamuel.com
Tiles can be used in countless ways to create uniquely
characterful interiors. Here, Mandarin Stone’s smart monochrome ‘Riad’ porcelain tiles zigzag their way across a wall in an eye-catching chevron pattern. mandarinstone.com
In awkward spaces, positioning a shower or tub within a frame makes a virtue out of necessity, adding theatrical flair and creating a change in atmosphere. Homeowner Pablo Chappell designed this bathroom in his Béziers retreat for daughter Loulou. It features a Castorama bath that is partially screened off by an oversized keyhole partition that leads the eye into a cocoon-like, plaster pink area.
Aiming for high drama and glamour, 2LG Studio referenced cult 1970s film Suspiria for this punchy pink and red scheme with its bespoke ombré tile mosaic from Bisazza, Fantini taps and Bette bath. The bright red gloss‘Capsule’ light is a 2LG Studio design in collaboration with Cameron Design House. 2lgstudio.com
Whether deployed in a single wash of colour or applied
more sparingly, peach and apricot tones suffuse a space
with an inviting glow. A shower room in Madrid designed by Spanish studio Plutarco adds terrazzo flecked with sunny tones for a joyful effect. plutarco.design
VitrA showcased its ‘Liquid’ collaboration with Tom Dixon (above) by placing the shower and toilet inside elegant alcoves. vitra.co.uk
Perfect for injecting positivity into a room, vivid colours work on a large scale but can be just as impactful as a punchy detail in a neutral scheme. In Melbourne’s Poodle Bar, Bergman & Co. placed two pillarbox red Luna basins from United Products in the bathroom, where they glow against a moody backdrop of Verde Alpi marble. bergmanandco.com
Bespoke design is the ultimate luxury, which is why murals are increasingly popular in homes and are now finding their way into bathrooms. The waterproof ‘Dedalo’ wallpaper (right) by Wall & Decò adds instant artist merit. wallanddeco.com
In a Brooklyn space by Home Studios, an under-the-stairs powder room is made special thanks to a pattern of hands and faces drawn by painter Kimmy Quillin. This look is all about breaking boundaries, with illustrations creeping across walls and wrapping around doors. homestudios.nyc
Wall & Decò's ‘Niveum’ waterproof wallpaper was used by LYGA Studio to add a romantic feel to this shower in a Palermo apartment. lyga.it
In a historic NoHo apartment designed by Home Studios, a curving panel of toffee-coloured mosaic tiles brings warmth to an airy bathroom and enhance the wood and brass fittings. homestudios.nyc
Proving that marble can be playful, this space by architecture firm
Atelier Parisien utilises a patchwork of coloured stones to create a striking pattern. Err on the minimalist side for fixtures and fittings, perhaps picking out a shade or two from the stonework for walls or woodwork.
Try Landford Stone for marbles and off-cuts; Basin ‘Stand’ with ‘Matt Black’ stand by Norm Architects for Ex.t, £1,457, West One Bathrooms; Tap For a similar, try Cea’s ‘Freestanding ‘MIL20’ tap in stainless steel, £1,295, West One Bathrooms.
A twist on the classic black-and-white chequerboard flooring, this graphic look by London-based Can Architects extends makes brilliant use of square tiles at a smaller scale. For that extra punch, pair with a bold hit of contrasting colour.
Tiles ‘Cesano’ tiles in ‘YC5311’, £49.50 per sq m, and ‘YC5343’, £52.50 per sq m, both Grestec; Bath ‘Puro’, from £924, Kaldewei
Going bespoke with one or two key elements will not only make every inch count, but can add instant impact – think a statement sink in an opulent coloured marble or a shower screen transformed via tinted glass, like in this bathroom by Milan-based architectural practice Lit Studio.
Sink and floor Try Lapicida for Verdi Alpi marble, from £195 per sq m; Tap For similar, try ‘LOC07’ by The Watermark Collection, from £1,112. Wall lights ‘Glo-Ball’ by Jasper Morrison for Flos, from £115, SCP
When it comes to creating a show-stopping focal point, this spectacular slab of multi-hued stone proves that a little goes a long way – the clever use of a single splash of richly patterned, coloured stone is all that’s needed to make a statement.
Bespoke vanity unit, price on application, SJB. For similar, try ‘Blue Beauty’, from £1,200 for a 1.70m x 2.7m slab, Imperial Marble; For a similar tap, try ‘MEM’ three-piece basin mixer by Dornbracht, £1,364, CP Hart
While walls are the obvious place to introduce an element of surface design, the floor is more peripheral – which means you can go to town on a brave and striking treatment that might not work on a vertical plane.
Bespoke sink and floor ‘Semi I’ in Bianco Perlino marble, Jura limestone and Emperador marble by Joanna Lavén for Vanitas Studio, approx £921 per sq m; Pendants ‘Golden Bell’ by Alvar Aalto for Artek, £434, Finnish Design Shop
Yes, the trend nobody expected to get a second chance is back
– the avocado bathroom is proving that our appetite for all things 70s is at its zenith. Get past the (somewhat undeserved) stigma and you’ll find that, once removed from the context of fluffy toilet-seat covers and chintzy wallpapers, the shade is livable, warm and versatile.
Tiles ‘Oska Jungle Green’ matt porcelain tiles, £47 per sq m, and ‘Casablanca Mono Décor Hexagon’ porcelain tiles, £48 per sq m, both Mandarin Stone
More than just a clever space-saving device, a screened-off ensuite has the potential to be a striking design feature. Choosing a translucent material also has the benefit of letting in light from adjoining rooms – industrial-style mesh, coloured perspex or fluted or stained glass would bring instant character to both sides of the divide.
Rugged textures and versatile shades of grey make concrete and stone the materials of choice for those seeking an edgy, utilitarian feel. Their innate strength and longevity are highly practical, and although concrete is naturally porous, it can be easily sealed and used for everything, from basins to walls and floors. The concrete look in this space has been created with a waterproof Moroccan surface treatment called Tadelakt.
Walls and floors From £179 per sq m, Tadelakt
As this striking bathrooms by Sandra Benhamou proves, there’s much creative mileage to be had from the simple square. Create graphic arrangements with different coloured tiles to build interest and lead the eye around; play with scale using checkerboard mosaics; or immerse the space in a single colour.
Tiles For similar, try ‘Trasparenze’, available in various colours and sizes, from £50 per sq m, Domus; Vintage stool by Pierre Chapo
Combining practical benefits, such as durability and hygiene, with sculptural flair, it’s easy to see why three-dimensional tiles are booming in bathrooms. Whether there’s a large expanse of wall to fill or just a small stretch, choosing a relief design brings subtle interest to bathroom walls.
The Italian home of architect and designer Patrizio Fradiani is rich in period details, from the hand-painted frescoes to original stone floors, but he refuses to be tied to the past. This highlighter-bright yellow glass cubicle is an inspired and unexpected addition.
Cubicle Ion Glass can create bespoke, laminated coloured or tinted glass shower and toilet cubicles, Ionglass
Interior designer Iya Turabelidze has used bright colour – in the form of the Klein Blue cabinetry – to ensure this bathroom in a private home in Russia leaves a lasting impression.
Tiles For a similar look, try ‘Marini Base’ terrazzo tiles from Fired Earth, £124.80 per sq m; Fired Earth; Cabinetry The sink unit and mirror are bespoke designs made of stainless steel, painted Klein Blue – ‘Ultra Blue’ by Little Greene is similar, £49 for 2.5 litres, Little Greene; Tap ‘Tara’ by Dornbracht, from £903, C.P. Hart
Interior designer Beata Heuman utilised every inch when creating this bathroom under the stairs in her home, originally a Victorian coal store. ‘The colour scheme was inspired by a space I saw in Forte dei Marmi, Tuscany, which had a large Carrara marble sink sitting against soft pink walls,’ she tells us. ‘The pleated curtain serves a useful storage function’.
Lights Adjustable brass and bone china shell wall light, £384, Felix Lighting Specialists; Curtain ‘Marbleized’ velvet £125 per metre, Beata Heuman
Let the tiles do the talking with a pattern that’s bold, but also chimes with other tones in the space. The soft coral of these encaustic floor tiles is offset by the room’s natural palette, the black accents ensuring the scheme still packs a punch.
Tiles Customised ‘Eclipse’ cement tiles by India Mahdavi, from £167 per sq m, Bisazza; Bath The straw marquetry decoration is bespoke. Simon Orrell Designs creates similar pieces; Light ‘Chanpen’ hexagon pendant by Forestier, £263, Made in Design
Designing in greyscale doesn’t need to be dull. In this bijou bathroom by Consuelo Pierrepont of American practice Sway Studio, the Toile de Jouy-style wallpaper creates interest, with the interruption of the chunky, solid concrete basin lending a contemporary edge.
Wallpaper ‘Pampa’, £166 per linear metre, Pierre Frey; Basin Custom design by Consuelo Pierrepont, for similar try Kast Concrete Basins; Tap ‘Purist’ wall-mounted tap, from £1,260, Kohler; Mirror ‘Hang 1’ round mirror, from £245, Blu Dot
Apply a real-life Instagram filter to your bathroom with a coloured glass shower screen. This yellow panel has a brilliantly mood-lifting tint that casts a permanently sunny glow over the otherwise pared-back palette of natural materials.
Screen Glass specialist Float Glass Design can create a bespoke tinted pane of glass, Float Glass Design; Basin ‘Sonar’ by Patricia Urquiola, from £792, Laufen; Cabinetry ‘Boutique’ double vanity unit, from £3,332 and tall cabinet, from £1,964, both Laufen
Use standard square tiles to great effect by arranging them in a bold, chequerboard pattern. When used as a backdrop for an architectural-style washstand, the result is fantastically graphic.
Basin and stand ‘I Catini’ by Cielo, from £1,580, C.P. Hart
Round mirrors have taken hold in the bathroom, and there’s no finer example than in this dual washing space at The Library hotel in Koh Samui, Thailand. Designed by Kasemtham Sornsong and over two metres in diameter, the colossal piece adds repose to the opulent expanse of Statuario marble.
Why stop tiling when you’ve covered the splash-zone? Interior designer Jacques Erasmus extended this glossy cobalt pattern to create an all-encompassing surface that’s both fully waterproof and impactful.
Contrast is key in this Brazilian bathroom, where São Paulo-based design practice Estudio Penha has offset contemporary custom-made basins and industrial-style bulkhead lights with pretty, mint green tiles and mismatched antique mirrors.
Basins Custom-made limestone countertop – Hansgrohe has a good selection, from £495 Hansgrohe; Tiles For similar, try ‘Green Hexagonal’, £5.18 per sq m, Bert & May; Lighting Try the salvaged British bulkhead wall lights by Revo, £270 each, Skinflint Design
Swapping small design elements for something exciting can have a big impact. In this space, neutral ceramic tiles are enlivened by red grouting, adding a twist to the solid stretches of high-gloss finish.
Tiles ‘Materia’ in ‘Mastice’, £36 per sq m, Ceramica Vogue; Grout Try ‘Kerapoxy’ epoxy grout in ‘Cherry Red’ by Mapei, £26.34 for 3kg, Pure Adhesion; Light ‘Pendant 02’, from £725, Magic Circus Éditions
Embrace the rundown and rustic, and turn unloved spaces into washrooms without the need for refinedment. Johannesburg architecture practice Silvio Rech + Lesley Carstens’s rugged concrete wall dramatically juxtaposes the perfect, smooth surfaces within it, both textures exaggerating the other.
Creating a scheme from a single element can produce unexpected results. Australian design studio Decus Interiors extended the dark red directly from the Calacatta Viola marble, balancing the stone’s white tones with the rest of the space.
Mirror Custom designed by Decus Interiors – try Nordic House; Vanity Bespoke fluting by Decus Interiors – for a similar colour, try ‘Grenache’, £55 for 2.5 litres, Paint & Paper Library; Marble Calacatta Viola from Artedomus
An open-plan layout gives you the luxury of an en-suite without making the space feel boxed in. In this rustic Mexican home, a simple concrete wall provides just enough privacy.
A single, bright tone throughout the bathroom gives an energising boost. Fledgling Spanish architect and interior design studio Basamenta covered this private home in a zingy apricot hue accented with gleaming brass and playful terrazzo.
Tiles Try ‘Norse’ ceramic gloss tiles in ‘Terra’, from £46.40 per sq m, Mandarin Stone; Lights Try ‘Kew’ wall light in ‘Polished Brass’, £366, Porter; Basin Custom ‘Sabadell’ terrazzo in ‘NCS S 2030-Y70R’, from £90 per sq m, Huguet; Paint Try ‘Shrimp Pink’, £50 for 2.5 litres, Little Greene
With inventive plumbing, any space can become a bathroom. Arianna Lelli Mami and Chiara di Pinto of Milanese firm Studiopepe transformed this space with a burst of colour, protective flooring and storage to form a multipurpose area.
Bath ‘Morphing’ bathtub with ‘Pan’ taps by Ludovica + Roberto Palomba, from £5,385, ZucchettiKos; Chair ‘Zig Zag’ by Gerrit Rietveld, £1,440, Cassina; Wall ‘Cherry Bomb’ wallcovering by Gio Pagani for Wall & Decò, £171 per sq m, West One; Light ‘Laurent 05’, £1,343, Lambert & Fils
The area of the home where we’re at our most vulnerable, it makes sense to create a bathroom in which we feel comfortable and cocooned. Using tactile surfaces, such as reclaimed timber and plaster walls, is a fail-safe way to foster this feeling, but temper them with streamlined fixtures to maintain a modern feel.
Bespoke vanity units For similar, try Brandler London, from around £4,800; Tap spout ‘021-28’, approx £281, and ‘500-28’ table-mounted tap mixer, approx £621, both Vola; Wall and floor For similar, try ‘Slate Grey’ and ‘Bronze Lantern’, both from £179 per sq m, Tadelakt