Aryna Sabalenka's twist on the classic subway tile makes a fresh case for minimalism in the bathroom

Modern and monochromatic – Aryna's space revives minimalism in a simple (but effortlessly stylish) way

Aryna Sabalenka
(Image credit: Getty Images)

It's no secret – color-drenched white bathrooms have a debatable reputation. Though 'timeless,' critics can often categorize this hue as clinical – but Aryna Sabalenka has just given us a reason to give this pared-back look another try. 

The tennis professional made a case for the most minimalist of bathrooms with her all-white tiles and curved tub in the same bright hue. Despite its ultra-minimalist aesthetic, the space doesn't feel boring. Instead, designers say her bathroom tiles are a fresh twist on the classic subway style – allowing her to tap into an all-white look that is far from boring.  


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Since 1904, subway tile has been used in the New York City metro to make stations easier to clean and more attractive – but thanks to its evolution – it's now (arguably) more synonymous with a domestic setting. 

It's easy to think of Subway tiles in their original form, but as Lee Crowder, national director of design at Taylor Morrison, explains, this tile now comes in various shapes, sizes, and materials. This means we can associate smaller, thinner pieces (like Aryna's) with the subway style despite them not looking as traditional as other pieces.

'We're also seeing yet another evolution of this classic tile with the rise in popularity of one-inch-by-six-inch tiles,' Lee says.'This new size is mounted on a mesh backing, which ensures easier installation and allows for the glazed and imperfect nature of tile to be accentuated by the slimmer size.'

Interior Design Expert
Lee Crowder
Interior Design Expert
Lee Crowder

Lee Crowder is the national director of design and model experience at Taylor Morrison. Headquartered in Scottsdale, Arizona, Taylor Morrison is one of the nation's leading homebuilders and developers, serving an array of consumers from coast to coast, including first-time, move-up, luxury, and resort lifestyle homebuyers.

Tile shapes aside, stylist Lisa Talbot similarly makes a case for a monochromatic color scheme in the bathroom. 

'In contrast to vibrant colors, the monochrome style remains an iconic fashion trend, providing a timeless and classic look. It's the equivalent of wearing black trousers, a white T-shirt, and a black leather jacket – but in bathroom design,' she says.

White subway tiles in bathroom with pedestal basin

(Image credit: Future PLC/James Merrell)

To accentuate our white tiles further, Lisa recommends introducing bold black brassware that creates a boutique hotel-style aura that's impossible to label as boring. 

Similarly, a statement curved tub, much like Aryna's, not only commands attention but also changes the entire mood of the space. It transforms the environment into a sanctuary-like spa bathroom where she has little choice but to relax – because there's even more to a bathroom than its aesthetic, after all. 

Shop the Aryna Sabalenka-inspired edit

Megan Slack
Head of Celebrity Style News

Megan is the Head of Celebrity Style News at Homes & Gardens. She first joined Future Plc as a News Writer across their interiors titles, including Livingetc and Real Homes, before becoming H&G's News Editor in April 2022. She now leads the Celebrity/ News team. Before joining Future, Megan worked as a News Explainer at The Telegraph, following her MA in International Journalism at the University of Leeds. During her BA in English Literature and Creative Writing, she gained writing experience in the US while studying in New York. Megan also focused on travel writing during her time living in Paris, where she produced content for a French travel site. She currently lives in London with her antique typewriter and an expansive collection of houseplants.