Modern Bathroom Design Ideas

Gather modern bathroom design ideas, and prepare to add an up-to-date design to your bathroom space.
Contemporary Bathroom Features Freestanding Tub & Shower for Two

Contemporary Bathroom Features Freestanding Tub & Shower for Two

A retreat-inspired master bathroom features a contemporary styled bathtub, a glassed-in shower for two, a cantilevered vanity, and a wall mounted flat screen television. A large picture window overlooks a breathtaking view.

Photo by: Arch-Interiors Design Group. Inc.

Arch-Interiors Design Group. Inc.

By: Sean McEvoy

Modern bathroom design ideas can be used in most bathroom styles for an attractive midcentury look. Geometric patterns combined with angular and flowing designs for fixtures, furniture and countertops—plus a focus on high-quality natural or synthetic materials—are hallmarks of modern bath design.

Our Favorite Bright, Bold Bathrooms

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Fun With Wallpaper

Designer Lisa Flake of Caldwell Flake Interiors has three favorite ways to add color to bathrooms: wallpaper, wallpaper, wallpaper! "I am a wallpaper junkie because baths are often so cold and boring without it," says Flake. By keeping the trim, tub and fixtures in this room neutral, there's room to have fun with bright pink, graphic wallpaper and modern accessories. Design by Lisa Flake

Paint the Vanity

Another way to brighten the bath? Refresh your tired wooden vanity with a few coats of a bright hue, like designer Bryan Patrick Flynn did here. Black and gray geometric wallpaper adds interest without overdoing the color in this small space.

Shades of Blue

Add depth and interest to your bath with shades of the same hue, like designer Camilla Molders did here with these hand-glazed ceramic tiles. "I used five different colorways in the bathroom tile...since one single shade would have been too heavy," says Molders. With a backsplash like this, a simple, modern sink and sleek vanity are all this room needs to look bright and polished.

Pops of Color

Painting inside the drawers of this vanity cabinet with bold citrine adds a dose of the unexpected to this black-and-white bathroom. Design by Gregg De Meza, Jennifer Gustafson and Michelle Nelson of De Meza Architecture + Interiors

Electric Feel

Jazz up neutral tile with a wall of electric-hued paint, like the radiant blue hue designer Erica Islas uses here.

Spa Green

Colorful bathrooms don't have to hit you over the head with bright hues. This bathroom's chamomile tea-colored glass tile creates contrast while still maintaining a spa-like feel. Design by Celia Berliner; photo by Becket Logan

Mediterranean Flair

Say ciao to this bella powder room, centered around a Mediterranean-inspired vanity. Color-washed, canary yellow walls and hand-painted terra cotta tiles complete this space's Old World, paninated feel. Design by Ashley Astleford

Bright Backsplash

With tiles this bold, a little bit of color goes a long way. The grid pattern of the tiled walls, coupled with modern fixtures and an antique vanity cabinet, creates the ideal mix of old and new pieces. Design by Jaymes Richardson

Gray Area

A powder room, like this one in the 2011 Urban Oasis, is the perfect place to make a statement on the walls. Designer Vern Yip used a subtle color variation in each tile stripe to add dimension and keep the pattern from being too jarring.

Traditional Meets Modern

Bring a traditional bath into the 21st century, no time machine necessary. A coat of pumpkin paint instantly updates this bath's classic woodwork, fixtures and marble vanity, while the modern artwork and whimsical bust-turned-towel bar further bridge the "then and now." Design by Jane Ellison

From: Jane Ellison

Bathroom Design

Learn about finding the right design for your bathroom renovation.

Modern design is generally considered to have first begun appearing in the early 20th century, but its "moment" arrived in the post-World War II era. A collection of designers based primarily in the Nordic countries of Europe sparked a design movement that focused on efficient, aesthetically pleasing designs that seamlessly combined form and function but without the frills and finery that were ever-present in previous eras of design.

Modern bathroom design can work well in bathrooms ranging from tiny to titanic, but because of the relatively unadorned, seamless aspects of modern design, this style is particularly attractive for homeowners who wish to maximize a smaller bathroom space. One element of modern bathroom design that can be a great complement to a small space is a raised or pedestal sink, often in angular, rounded or gently curving stainless steel or porcelain. This efficient fixture choice can make a style statement while doing double-duty as a space saver, as it doesn't require the sink to be set in a larger cabinet, allowing for an elegant and airy effect.

When it comes to choosing materials for your modern bathroom design, wood, stone, slate, glass and ceramic will all be in play, as in any bathroom style—but how they're displayed will define just how modern your design will be. You can also combine materials effectively in a modern design, pairing natural wood with stainless steel in a countertop design, for example, or creating a tilework design from ceramic tile and glass above a vanity.

Color choices for modern bathroom designs run the gamut, but with a particular emphasis on soothing simplicity. Many modern bathroom designs feature contrasting base colors like whites and blacks or greys. Since simple color combinations can occasionally lack visual interest, many homeowners increase the interest by adding distinctive patterns (like chevron or herringbone) displayed as stenciled wall paintings or wallpaper.

Furniture and accessories in modern bathroom designs often follow the style's overall aesthetic. Benches or chairs may be carved from high-quality wood and will display the trademark combination of angles and flowing curves so often found in modern furniture. Lighting accessories may feature square, rectangular or rounded lampshades, adding a striking and of-the-moment touch to the overall design.

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