Contemporary Bathrooms

Explore ideas for contemporary bathrooms, and prepare to add an elegant and updated design to your bathroom space.
Gray Bathroom With Large Window, Metallic Tile Niche, and Stone Tiles

Resort-Style Gray Bathroom

Create a resort-like experience with an expansive master shower. This shower designed by Shane Inman includes several shower heads, a bench, and tile built-ins.

By: Sean McEvoy

Contemporary bathrooms are up-to-date, elegant spaces that can be a great addition to any home. They reflect a forward-thinking design approach, with clean lines, geometric patterns, flowing curves and hard angles. They're appearing in more homes as homeowners move beyond traditional designs.

Contemporary design differs from modern design in a few significant ways. Firstly, modern design is generally agreed upon to have begun in the 1920s and 1930s; it experienced its true emergence in the post-World War II era as midcentury modern design began to emerge from the Nordic countries of Europe and take hold. While contemporary design may borrow some of the influences and styles of modern design, it does not reference a specific historical period or era of design. Instead, contemporary design can include any style that incorporates up-to-date "of the moment" materials, design trends or decor. For this reason, contemporary bathroom designs may often be mistaken for "modern," even if they don't feature any of the specific design references from that famous post-war period.

Because contemporary bathroom design often features a sleek, simple and relatively unadorned style, it is often seen as particularly well-suited for smaller bathrooms. While this may be true, contemporary design is so wide-ranging that it can work in a bathroom design of just about any size. If your space is smaller, the clean lines and sharp angles of contemporary design may be of great benefits, but these facets can also complement a larger space. An angular double sink and cabinet combination, for example, can fill a larger bathroom while maintaining an elegant, efficient and updated look. In a smaller space, a simple pedestal sink can be a great addition to a contemporary bathroom — and this style is now available in a wide range of materials, from glass to stainless steel and even copper, which can work exceedingly well in a contemporary design. This space-saving design can be a great part of any bathroom looking to maximize both efficiency and elegance.

Materials for contemporary bathroom designs run the gamut, but one common feature tends to hold true — contemporary bathrooms generally feature at least a selection of materials that have only recently become available. So whereas more historical designs might feature traditional materials like wood, stone and porcelain, contemporary bathrooms often also incorporate current-era materials, including synthetics like laminates and plastics. This doesn't mean they can't feature natural or more traditional materials, but because of their up-to-date design, contemporary bathrooms are definitely better suited than their historical counterparts when it comes to incorporating artificial or "modern" materials.

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