These luxury bathroom ideas will help your space look and feel expensive and opulent; beautifully decorated but never at the expense of the room's functionality.
Whether you are planning on updating your master bathroom, upgrading a shower room or turning unused space into a spa-like ensuite, there are now a vast array of luxury bathroom ideas available to suit every taste, from colors and materials, to fixtures and finishes.
Our top picks of the best luxury bathroom ideas will equip you will plenty of inspiration to help you create your dream washroom.
Luxury bathroom ideas
Embrace the best bathroom layout ideas, modern bathroom materials, on-trend bathroom color ideas and mood-boosting lighting to create a luxury bathroom that will conjure up the peace and serenity associated with your favorite spa.
1. Welcome in the warmth of wood
Look to the beauty of natural timber for warmth – and a spa bathroom feel. Thanks to the desire to create a sanctuary at home, the bathroom has become a retreat, a private oasis to help restore mental and physical wellbeing. With this comes a move away from clinical style. Wood is now the material of chose for its natural beauty and warmth; it conjures the quiet luxury of a spa.
‘Cladding walls in wood brings the spa-like quality of timber to a bathroom and help to reduce echo,’ says Yousef Mansuri, director of design, C.P. Hart. However, there are many ways to introduce timber to your bathroom scheme, from a simple small stool to a timber-fronted vanity. Wood baths are reminiscent of Japanese soaking tubs, while the warm dry air of a naturally scented wood sauna offers the ultimate indulgence.
2. Soften an design with rounded features
Curved shapes can visually transform a bathroom, adding softness and unparalleled luxury to a space notorious for its hard surfaces. Reminiscent of organic forms – a smooth pebbles, the bloom of a flower or a full moon – the latest luxury fittings are designed to bring a sense of nature into the bathroom.
For maximum impact, the best way to introduce rounded shapes is to use them for the two key focal points – the basin area and the bath. If that’s not an option, then curved accessories, from tables to mirrors, can soften the scheme.
3. Maximize the therapeutic benefits of water with a luxury shower
The move towards showers that offer a personalized experience provides an even greater opportunity to develop your bathroom as a sensual and luxurious retreat.
As manufacturers have invested in shower technology, they are giving us more potential to enjoy the benefits of hydrotherapy at home. You could choose a sports-style directional shower head designed to deliver an invigorating experience and help relieve muscle pain, or a plate-style head with water that falls like soft rain to drench the skin and relax the mind.
‘Buy from a quality manufacturer to achieve an even spray across the shower head,’ says Yousef Mansuri. ‘Luxury shower panels can measure 1,000-1,200mm in length, and need high water pressure to operate effectively.’
4. Introduce textural elements to a luxury space
Tactile finishes please the senses and introduce visual style to a luxury bathroom. For many years, bathrooms have been all about ultra-practical smooth surfaces, brassware and tiles. But increasingly the design has focused less on pure functionality and more on practicality mixed with comfort and style – and the tactile quality of bathroom fittings have moved to the fore.
The beauty of using texture in interior design is not just aesthetic, but also luxurious and sensual: how does a tap feel to touch? In many ways, the bathroom is where are are at our most vulnerable, so surfaces that feel pleasing can enhance the cocooning effect.
5. Consider colorful sanitaryware
As permanent fixtures, colorful sanitaryware requires unswerving commitment, and is not for the faint hearted.
‘Colored sanitaryware is definitely seeping back into bathrooms now, and we’ve had orders for stunning fittings in deep mustards, heritage greens and teal blues,’ reports Louise Ashdown, head of design, West One Bathrooms.
‘If you’re still sitting on the fence, go for white sanitaryware with paintable exteriors, like cast iron baths and this retro basin – West One’s Broadway basin is similar. For a more discreet color pop, consider colorful brassware in statement fiery oranges and zingy limes.’
6. Bring in colorful stone
Exotic stones like Onyx and Marinace marble are stealing the show in luxury bathrooms. Celebrated for their jewel-like hues and crystalline sparkle, these rarefied stones can create incredible backsplash and shower backdrops.
In areas that benefit from low maintenance, Bathroom Design Studio’s managing director John Naughten recommends manmade alternatives, like this basin custom made from 6mm-thick porcelain tiles in a convincing natural Agate pattern.
‘Thanks to the many advances in surface technologies, the design of porcelains inspired by precious stones are now incredibly lifelike, yet offer far easier cleaning and no aftercare,’ he explains.
7. Get your bathroom lighting spot on
Whether you are having an energizing shower in the morning or a relaxing soak in the evening: good bathroom lighting ideas will help create the right mood in a luxury space, and is best planned right at the beginning of the project. Think about a combination of three types of light: ambient to light the space; task for a specific function; and accent to provide the magic.
Strategically placed mood lighting is the secret to creating a luxury bathroom that’s as indulgent as your favorite spa. If you’re a bath person, focus on atmospheric bathroom lighting to create ambience near the bath. Waterproof light fittings can be added inside the bath and shower, creating a luxurious spa effect as they shimmer through the water.
8. Think carefully about tiling
Technical advances in porcelain and ceramic production have revolutionized the variety of bathroom tiles on offer. Faux stone and wood porcelain tiles are now so advanced it’s hard to tell them from the real thing, and they are water, stain and scratch resistant, don’t require sealing and come complete with realistic color and graining variation.
'Formats are getting larger and larger,' says Jules Archard, sales manager, Surface. 'We are also seeing lots of interest in patchwork patterns and murals – the latest contemporary takes on traditional encaustic designs – and in vintage looks created by metro, hexagonal and concrete-look tiles.'
But for some, there’s nothing quite like the natural beauty of real stone with its dramatic veining and sense of timeless luxury, even though it will require sealing and maintenance: a wall of book-matched marble behind a freestanding bath makes an eye-catching feature like no other.
9. Make a statement with a well-chosen bath
Designed to steal the show and provide a luxurious deep soak, a well-chosen bath will prove a seriously good investment in a luxury bathroom scheme. Whether made from solid stone, classic cast iron or modern composite resin, statement baths are built to impress – and their desirability has soared in recent years.
‘These designs are synonymous with luxury and clients love the spacious bathing experience,’ says Joy Chesterton of Ripples. Most statement baths are made to be positioned away from walls; a central location has extra glamor and can boost the room’s sense of proportion.
’Symmetry and balance are key to creating an elegant, serene interior,’ says Lucy Powell of Bathrooms.com. ‘Installing a really eye-catching bath in the middle of the room will provide a central axis that works as a natural focal point.’
10. Invest in modern marble
If you are looking for next-level luxury in your bathroom, exotic stone surfaces are the way to go.
There are few materials that can create a feeling of opulent in modern bathroom design that marble can. Elegant, understated and effortlessly beautiful, marble can be used to great effect in a luxury bathroom.
Consider the marble carefully for spaces where you are using it in swathes because no slab of marble is the same as another. If money is no object, book-matched marble is an elegant and timeless exotic stone so using it on both walls and floors will create a cohesive and yet striking look.
What should a luxury bathroom have?
Given that the major purchases in a bathroom are usually the bath, the shower fittings and furniture, it can be easy to overlook the power of paint and pattern. And yet floor and wall finishes, beautifully lit, can provide some of the most exciting ways to enhance your luxury bathroom. While a simple lick of fresh paint, a dramatic new floor or an entirely new room scheme can transform an existing room.
When creating a luxury bathroom what comes first? Usually, it’s the electrical work: with strategically-placed mood lighting in position you can see how shadows will be cast and make adjustments if necessary, before plumbing begins.
A well-prepared, flat and rigid sub-floor is essential for most types of flooring and, when that is in place, tiling can begin, with statement sanitaryware being fixed in position on top.
Finally you will be able to add interest to the walls. For true luxury and opulence, go for polished book-matched marble.
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.
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