Interior designer Naomi Astley Clarke shares her top 4 bathroom remodel rules

These are the essentials one of the world's top interior designers includes in her bathroom designs

three bathroom remodel ideas
(Image credit: Naomi Astley Clarke/Drummonds/Bert & May)

Every month, we ask an interior designer for their essentials when designing a particularly room.

This month, we spoke to interior designer Naomi Astley Clarke. With nearly three decades in the industry, Naomi shares her essential bathroom ideas to help you get started on your latest remodel project, 

Redesigning a bathroom can seem like a daunting prospect – you need to ensure that all the essentials work together harmoniously, that the floorplan isn't cramped, that your lighting is on point, and that the color palette evokes the atmosphere that you want to achieve. Find out Naomi's design essentials here.

naomi astley clarke headshot
Naomi Astley Clarke

Named as one of Andrew Martin Top 100 in the World 2022, Naomi is a highly experienced interior design practice with expertise in the sympathetic renovation and refurbishment of residential and commercial properties. Naomi has worked in the industry for over 25 years and is now one of the most sought-after designers with a client base that includes world-famous movie stars, producers, music moguls, professionals, and entrepreneurs. 

1. Flexible lighting is essential

Bathroom pictures

(Image credit: Drummonds)

'Bathroom lighting ideas must be functional, enabling you to apply your makeup and complete skincare routines in bright task light. However, the space must also have the potential to be atmospheric, allowing you to relax and unwind while enjoying a bubble bath.

'To achieve this multifunctional design, layer different types of bathroom lighting to provide optimum illumination. Pair a backlit mirror – ideal for the morning routine –with a combination of wall lights and a pendant to create balanced illumination throughout the space. Dimmer switches are a must as they give you complete control over the light levels.'

2. Tidy home, tidy mind

bathroom with gray walls shower enclosure gray freestanding bath artwork and towel rail

(Image credit: Naomi Astley Clarke)

'Even if you aren’t minimalist in any other area of your life, your bathroom can benefit from a more organized and stripped-back look. The more bathroom storage ideas you include, the more products you can hide away and the more peaceful your bathroom will be. From a bathroom vanity with closets to wall cabinets, incorporate as much hiding space as possible for bottles, bars of soap, and cleaning products. 

'Once you’ve found a home for every item, you can create your displays. Some bath and beauty products are works of art and should not be hidden away but should be proudly showcased on open shelves and countertop spaces. Keep it to a bare minimum though or else the space will begin to feel cluttered.'

3. Less is more

small bathroom with built in bath with gold brassware and pink and white chevron tiles on the wall

(Image credit: Naomi Astley Clarke)

'If your bathroom is on the smaller side, then it is likely that there will be the need for compromise. Before setting out, make a list of your dream sanitaryware and then work out what you can realistically fit into the space – it may help to draw several different bathroom layout ideas on paper before committing. 

'If one sinks fits comfortably, but two make the space feel cramped, then just have one. Equally, if a bath and a shower enclosure overwhelm the space, then opt for the one that will prove most valuable. Knowing how to plan a bathroom will help you maximize space which will result in a bathroom that feels both luxurious and relaxing.'

4. Use dark colors for a warm welcome

dark bathroom with metallic basin unit doors, gold mirror gold wall lights marble worktop patterned tiles

(Image credit: Bert & May)

'While a bathroom is a place of cleanliness and sanitation it needn't be clinical. Instead, use color and texture to create a space that feels warm and welcoming. Though dark shades are often discouraged in small rooms, dark bathroom ideas can make a space feel more cocooning and intimate – ideal for relaxation. 

'Create balance by punctuating your bathroom paint ideas with shiny brass or chrome brassware and white china sanitaryware then complete the look by dressing windows with a neutral linen Roman blind to offer privacy while also lifting the space. To truly elevate the space, invest in a stylish heated towel rail, and make sure it is nicely within reach of your bubble bath or shower door.'

Holly Reaney
Content Editor and Sub-editor

Having graduated with a first class degree in English Literature, Holly started her career as a features writer and sub-editor at Period Living magazine, Homes & Gardens' sister title. Working on Period Living brought with it insight into the complexities of owning and caring for period homes, from interior decorating through to choosing the right windows and the challenges of extending. This has led to a passion for traditional interiors, particularly the country-look. Writing for the Homes & Gardens website as a content editor, alongside regular features for Period Living and Country Homes & Interiors magazines, has enabled her to broaden her writing to incorporate her interests in gardening, wildlife and nature.