Bathroom Style Guide

You probably know the difference between traditional and modern, but a cohesive look is all in the details. Use these tips to refine your bathroom's style.
creative floorplan in master bath

creative floorplan in master bath

Traditional style bathrooms combine timeless details with modern conveniences. Design by Lori Gilder.

Traditional style bathrooms combine timeless details with modern conveniences. Design by Lori Gilder.

Traditional

Generally formal in style with classic architectural details. Heavy use of natural stone, carved or embellished cabinetry and vintage-look fixtures.

- In traditional style, balance is key. When in doubt, buy a pair.
- Marble and granite are best bets for countertops. Other options are concrete, pewter or hammered copper.
- Dark wood finishes are favored; select cabinets with timeless flair.
- Incorporate classic shapes, such as urns, columns, curves and scrolling leaves or flowers.
- A traditional-style bathroom best fits a traditional-style home but, truly, will work in any style home.
- Colors can be bold or subtle with classic patterns in wallpaper, shower curtains and linens adding extra oomph.

Modern

Modern Bathroom With Glass Walls

Modern Bathroom With Glass Walls

Design by Andreas Charalambous, see more of his spaces in Designers' Portfolio .

Design by Andreas Charalambous, see more of his spaces in Designers' Portfolio .

Sleek, streamlined and clutter-free, this style makes liberal use of reflective materials such as glass, chrome and solid-surface countertops.

- Clean lines and simple, geometric shapes are key.
- Mid-Century Modern style, a '50s take on Modern style, continues to grow in popularity.
- Choose sleek materials such as stainless steel and glass tile.
- Keep cabinetry free of fussy details. Popular wood choices are also eco-friendly, such as bamboo and cork.
- Modern style is clutter-free; ample concealed storage for toiletries is a necessity.
- All-white is a popular palette especially when paired with pops of energizing colors such as turquoise, red, orange and yellow.

Eclectic

complimentary wallpapers work well in guest bath

complimentary wallpapers work well in guest bath

Natural influences, bold pattern, streamlined fixtures and classic touches combine to create this eclectic bathroom designed by Erinn Valencich. See more of her work in Designers' Portfolio .

From: Erinn Valencich

Natural influences, bold pattern, streamlined fixtures and classic touches combine to create this eclectic bathroom designed by Erinn Valencich. See more of her work in Designers' Portfolio .

Creative mix of varying design styles with inventive color, pattern and material combinations.

- Mix different styles, periods and looks.
- Design by instinct: If you love it, it will work.
- Shop at flea markets and specialty stores.
- Create cohesion with repetition of color, shape or texture.
- Don't forget the details: Accessories like wall sconces, glassware and linens make a big difference in a room's design.
- Create a one-of-a-kind look with bold pattern choices, such as stripes, geometrics or prints.

Cottage

Elegant Spa Bathroom With Double-Slipper Soaking Tub

Elegant Spa Bathroom With Double-Slipper Soaking Tub

Cottage style is cozy and relaxed with just a touch of romance. Design by Linda Woodrum, see more of her spaces in Designers' Portfolio .

Cottage style is cozy and relaxed with just a touch of romance. Design by Linda Woodrum, see more of her spaces in Designers' Portfolio .

Casual, warm and reminiscent of country style, cottage continues to gain popularity.

- Commonly used architectural features are hardwood floors and beadboard or wainscot paneling.
- Cabinets resemble antique furniture and are often painted or distressed.
- Fabric patterns are traditional such as florals, checks, damask, toile or stripes.
- Vintage or hand-me-down accessories are part of the decor and add personality.
- Color choices are often feminine and softer in tone.
- Shop for vintage accessories and cottage-style furniture at estate sales, antique auctions, flea markets and thrift stores.

Keep Reading

Next Up

Guide to Selecting Bathroom Cabinets

What to consider when installing new bathroom cabinets, including price, styles and if you should - or shouldn't - follow the latest bathroom design trends.

Choose the Right Toilet for Your Bathroom

Size, height and function all play a role in selecting a toilet for your bathroom. These tips will help you find the right commode for your family.

Shabby Chic Bathroom Designs

Get ideas and information on shabby chic bathroom designs, and prepare to add a comfy and lived-in design to your bathroom space.

$100 Half-Day Designs: Shabby Chic Bathroom Makeover

Transform the look of your bathroom with a crackle finish on the vanity and easy-to-apply tiles.

European-Style Bathrooms

Explore the options for European-style bathrooms, and get ready to create a classical, stylish bath space in your home.

Master Bathroom From HGTV Dream Home 2014

This master bathroom is designed to be a place to relax and enjoy nature as you prepare for the day or night.

Eclectic Bathrooms

Get all the info you'll need on eclectic bathrooms, and get ready to create a unique and entertaining bath space in your home.

Old-World Bathrooms

Get all the info you'll need on Old-World bathrooms, and prepare to create a classic, bright and airy bath space in your home.

Eclectic Bathroom Design Ideas

Browse eclectic bathroom design ideas, and get ready to create a unique and entertaining bathroom space in your home.

Japanese-Style Bathrooms

Get ideas and info for Japanese-style bathrooms, and prepare to create a relaxing, rejuvenating bath space in your home.

On TV

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.