European Bathroom Design Ideas

Browse European bathroom design ideas, and get ready to create a classic and contemporary bathroom design in your home.

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This master bathroom of a grand Connecticut estate is designed by Joan Chan. Italian honey onyx walls and floors are accented white onyx to create an impressive and impeccable look.

By: Sean McEvoy

European bathroom design ideas can work in almost any type of bathroom, contributing a look that's both classical and up-to-date. Bold geometric patterns and the combination of angular and flowing designs for furniture and fixtures are hallmarks of European design.

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During the 1920s and 1930s, so called "modern" design began to appear in Europe. Diverting from the classical, traditional European styles that originated from the courts of monarchies across the continent, modern design was minimalist and straightforward, as opposed to opulent and ornate. Modern design's moment arrived in the mid-20th century, as the Nordic countries began to produce furniture and other design elements that strongly reflected this trend. European design is usually categorized right alongside this midcentury modern design movement.

While European design can work well in a bathroom of any size because of its straightforward and relatively unadorned look, this design style can be particularly attractive to homeowners with smaller bathrooms. For example, one of the common elements of European bathroom design is the pedestal sink, which is one of the more future-facing designs to emerge from the modern movement. As opposed to traditional sinks with their warrens of cabinets and drawers for storage, the pedestal sink is, simply, a sink — its form and function are one. This can be extremely appealing in terms of both aesthetics and efficiency; however, it should be noted that a pedestal sink will provide no additional storage, so that will need to be worked out elsewhere.

When it comes to storage options in a European bathroom design, many homeowners opt for ancillary storage within the space, such as a standing linen closet. These are widely available from home goods retailers in a variety of colors and sleek designs. A trademark of European-style cabinetry and storage elements is that they most often feature doors with minimal hardware and a flush design without any of the ornate carving or crown molding of more traditional designs.

Materials for European bathroom designs run the gamut from high-quality naturals like wood, stone and granite to artificial versions that approximate the look of natural materials. Opting for naturals will definitely require a bigger budget, but many homeowners find that a European-style bathroom that pairs, for example, high-quality wood cabinetry with a striking stone vessel sink achieves a dramatic and elegant effect that might be difficult to attain with artificial materials.

Accessories in European bathroom designs are generally understated and specific to the overall design theme, whether in terms of color or materials. For example, a glass vessel sink might pair with glass containers for bathroom accessories and supplies, or a mirror frame might feature the same wood or metal as the under-sink cabinetry, helping to achieve a soothing and elegantly minimalist design.

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