Parisian bathroom decor – 10 ways to achieve an elegant aesthetic

Fall for the charms of Parisian bathroom decor ideas. It celebrates grandeur and ornamentation yet has a relaxed and lived-in feel

Parisian bathroom decor
(Image credit: Drummonds / Darren Chung / James Merrell / Fiona Barratt Interiors)

Parisian bathroom decor is undeniably elegant and charming. High ceilings, marble fixtures, ornate moldings, monochromatic color schemes and herringbone parquet are ultra desirable assets for your modern bathroom. 

But the Parisian bathroom décor adored by many of us doesn’t require an address on the lofty, grand and sought-after second floor of a Haussmann building. It’s a point proved by Parisian interior decorators living on the higher and less architecturally blessed floors, including the unglamorous attic level, as well as those who dwell in boxier and more modern buildings.

And even if your address is far from the city of light, Parisian bathroom décor can bring easy elegance and a confident, timeless style to your bathroom ideas. Read on to discover the features of Parisian bathroom décor ideas and how to introduce it your bathing space.

Parisian bathroom décor – 10 elegant schemes to inspire

Embrace the best bathroom layout ideas, modern bathroom materials, on-trend bathroom color ideas and mood-boosting lighting to create a contemporary bathroom that will conjure up the elegance and sophistication associated with your favorite Parisian bathroom décor ideas.

1. Invest in five-star luxury 

Parisian bathroom decor

(Image credit: James Merrell)

Set the scene for relaxing and rejuvenating in your Parisian bathroom with luxe ideas for five-star pampering. A white-on-white palette is fresh yet sophisticated and, mixed with time-worn antiques, can channel the laid-back chic of an exclusive country spa hotel. 

For her own home, White & Faded founder Janet Parrella Van Den Berg layered up the texture – sheepskin, washed linen and old, whitewashed floorboards – to create a crisp white bathroom that’s surprisingly warm and inviting. ‘With a white palette it’s all about how the light falls, the sun shines and the shadows play,’ she explains. ‘White changes through the day and brings details and shapes into focus. It makes me feel uplifted but calm.’

2.  Let in light

Parisian bathroom decor with skylight and chandelier

(Image credit: Drummonds / Darren Chung)

Replacing the ceiling with glass transformed the ambience in interior designer Alison Henry’s home. ‘I felt a sense of liberation when the glass went in and it quickly became my sanctuary,’ she says. ‘Bringing the outdoors in is central to my philosophy, and the ever-changing tree and skyscapes from above are hugely mood-boosting.’ Alison also promotes the use of mirrors. ‘As well as making a room appear more spacious, they also reflect light and amplify the mix of textures to make the room sing.’ 

3. Embrace vintage

Parisian bathroom decor with vintage closet

(Image credit: Artist Residence)

Not often associated with modern bathrooms, antique and vintage storage is worth considering for its uniqueness and capacity to ground a stark space. Choosing time-worn furniture can serve to soften the crisp ‘newness’ of cold sanitaryware and hard surfaces, as demonstrated in this bathroom at Artist Residence

Antique furniture is often solidly made, too, with many years of varnish or wax ensuring your investment will happily survive several more decades in a well-ventilated bathroom.

4. Invest in mesmerizing marble

Parisian bathroom decor with marble bath surround

(Image credit: James McDonald)

New interpretations and luxurious schemes make this metaphoric rock an enduring classic, especially within your small bathroom ideas.

Playing with shape and scale can dial up the impact of marble in a small space. Here, designer Elnaz Namaki has used the same large format slabs on the floor and bath surround, visually boosting the surface area. ‘The smaller format marble tiles share a design language but the change in pace draws the eye inwards and makes the look more memorable,’ she says.

5. Have it built bespoke

Parisian bathroom decor with bespoke storage

(Image credit: Chris Snook / Knight Frank Interiors)

If there is one thing Parisian designers adore, it is bespoke fittings. Built-in storage is streets ahead of freestanding when it comes to making the most of every inch. Commissioning made-to-measure storage is especially worthwhile if you have wonky walls or unusual angles that simply will not accommodate the standard sizes of off-the-shelf furniture. 

Built-in storage can also improve the shape of a small bathroom; straightening out awkward corners to create a cleaner, more linear space. Here, Knight Frank Interiors has utilised the narrowest niche for built-in storage that’s designed for both display and hiding away. Adding cornicing and an open plinth mimics the style of a freestanding piece, which can feel more relaxed and authentic in a traditional setting

6. Choose timeless fixtures and fittings

Parisian bathroom decor with tiled wallpaper

(Image credit: Future)

A traditional pedestal-style washstand is utterly timeless and perfect for showcasing a statement wall, like this tile-inspired wallpaper by Pierre Frey. On-trend antique brass adds warmth to this classic ball-jointed frame. Choosing a double vanity with open storage below makes the unit appear lighter and provides opportunity to add some personal touches and texture.

7. Decorate with restful hues

Parisian bathroom with plaster wall

(Image credit: Blakes London)

A soothing palette of dusky hues ripple through this spa bathroom, bringing spa-like tranquillity in their wake. The coolness of blue-grey marble is warmed by pink-tinged tadelakt walls, with minimalist brass fittings adding jewel-like richness. While the palette of materials may be restrained, note the subtle texture provided by the tadelakt plaster and herringbone pattern tile installation. The former is a traditional finish typically found in Moroccan hammam baths, and benefits include seamlessness and moisture resistance, making tadelakt a practical choice in the modern bathroom or shower room.

8. Go for understated elegance with a wet room

Parisian bathroom decor with wet room

(Image credit: Mark Bolton)

When choosing colors and materials for a wet room, less is more. Here, we deliberately reduced the palette and created a streamlined design to really bring the focus to the materials,’ explains Katie Lion, interior designer, Kitesgrove

‘Natural marble is a quietly luxurious choice that instils a sense of sophistication and calm in any wet room. Its unique veining can be a simple but impactful way of bringing interest and layers to what is often a smaller space. We chose a brass finish for all the trims and fixtures to pick out the warm tones of the marble striations, helping it feel cohesive, elegant and timeless.’

9. Mix wood and marble for a modern Parisian look

Parisian bathroom with wood panels and marble bathtub

(Image credit: Fiona Barratt Interiors)

Too much stone can feel cold and sterile – and marble is no exception. In this bathroom, Fiona Barratt Interiors used wooden bathroom paneling ideas to introduce warmth and deaden the echo of hard surfaces. ‘I also like to do marble half-walls with specialist plaster or other textured finishes above. The mix of materials helps break up the monotony of the stone,’ says founder Fiona Barratt-Campbell.

10. Put the focus on the floor

Bathroom floor tile ideas with monochrome tiles

(Image credit: Drummonds / Darren Chung)

Be brave with flooring in Parisian bathroom to create a space that is eye-catching and unforgettable.

Graphic 3D tiles are the height of contemporary design. Their unexpected use in a classic setting creates a welcome element of surprise, as Cuschieri Architects demonstrates here. ‘We used marble tiles to tone in with the more traditional fittings, but the floor still makes a powerful statement,’ says architect Paul Cuschieri. 

What is Parisian bathroom décor?

In order for Parisian bathroom décor features to shine, negative space is important. These interiors are airy and uncrowded so focal points have the room to stand out rather than competing with a cluster of other objects.

Rich detail in Parisian bathroom schemes comes from original moldings, decorative plasterwork and ceiling medallions, parquet flooring in geometric patterns, and shapely suspension lighting. Luxury bathroom ideas, often ornate and sizeable in proportions, are also typical of the look.

A white backdrop is also key to the style. Elegant features, furniture and accessories are showcased against walls that are clean and pristine. They also reflect maximum light from the tall windows adding to the airy feel.

Jennifer Ebert

Jennifer is the Digital Editor at Homes & Gardens. Having worked in the interiors industry for a number of years, spanning many publications, she now hones her digital prowess on the 'best interiors website' in the world. Multi-skilled, Jennifer has worked in PR and marketing, and the occasional dabble in the social media, commercial and e-commerce space. Over the years, she has written about every area of the home, from compiling design houses from some of the best interior designers in the world to sourcing celebrity homes, reviewing appliances and even the odd news story or two.