Mackenzie is a professional writer and graphic designer. Merging concise messaging with topics in design, food, and lifestyle, she has written and designed online seminars, branding and social media content, as well as written how-to guides in a variety of fields.
A timeless bathroom design can mean different things to different people — after all, no two people’s aesthetics are precisely the same. That said, there are a few pitfalls you’ll want to avoid, like hopping on a design trend if it ignores the usual style you go for or choosing a color palette that doesn’t feel authentic to you.
Apart from the usual considerations of budget, space, and layout, try creating a mood board or simply writing down the places, art, music, and even food you have always enjoyed. Doing this will create a visual capsule of what styles you are naturally drawn to and what emotions you want to evoke with your design.
That said, don’t treat your bathroom like a permanent installation in a museum because well, everybody changes. So while you’ll make sure the big ticket items in your space are true to your style, feel free to rotate out less expensive décor like plants, pottery, rugs, and towels.
This guide will help you pin down the interior style you desire so you can get going on creating a beautiful bathroom.
Bohemian style is relaxed by convention, so its definition doesn’t have strict parameters — really, anyone who’s drawn to a free-spirited, laid back look is already on their way to creating a bohemian bathroom for themselves. Mixed patterns and textures, like the woven details on the side table, the patterned carpet, and the cheetah-print towel in this picture are perfect examples of how this style comes together. Also, don’t forget to include plenty of plants and natural light, which are often a part of a bohemian interior.
A timeless bathroom design often includes a neutral color palette and simple silhouettes, both of which also happen to be integral to Scandinavian interiors. This bathroom incorporates these classic design elements, as well as the warm glow of candles, natural materials, and a reed diffuser. These subtler touches embody hygge, a Danish concept that’s often used in interior spaces and seeks to create a sense of comfort, ease, and relaxation.
Bathrooms are and forever will be the place where we relax and rejuvenate, so designing yours with glam in mind is a great way to set this vibe. This sort of style doesn’t have a ceiling so you can go with subtle touches of glam or take it all the way, like the bathroom in this image. Incorporate metallics, a chandelier, feminine color palettes, bouquets of flowers, sleek marble finishes — anything that feels “luxe” will do the trick.
The Mediterranean encompasses many countries but when it comes to design, those which are most often lumped into this category include Italy, Spain, France, and Greece. Over the centuries, the Mediterranean aesthetic has been influenced by many cultures, like the Moors and Persians, so it’s not uncommon to see elements of Islamic art and architecture in Mediterranean design. This bathroom has a neutral color palette and a simple, North African inspired clay jug, but you could also imbue your space with details like mosaic tile, arched doorways (or simply arch painted doorways), and intense blues, greens, or golds.
The Japanese aesthetic emphasizes minimalism, natural materials, a fusion of form and function, and neutral colors. To this end, it’s a natural choice for a timeless bathroom design. Emulate this style in your own space with a bamboo bathmat, a sliding shower door, and plants like bamboo or orchids, which both grow well in humid conditions.
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Nature makes us happier, which is no doubt in part why biophilic design is a trend that’s here to stay. Although the concept is multifaceted, incorporating as many of the five natural elements as possible is a good way to sum it up. So, consider installing a rustic stone sink, hanging a trellis full of plants above your bath, or creating a skylight in your space to bring a touch of the outdoors, inside.
One tip for creating a timeless bathroom design is to borrow styles from multiple time periods. Transitional design encompasses both elements of a traditional, embellished aesthetic and a modern, sleek one. The bathroom in this photo incorporates a clawfoot bathtub with clean lines and a simple color palette. You can toggle your look one way or the other but do make sure your design leans either more traditional or more modern. Doing this will cohere your aesthetic, not to mention streamline your design process.
Quite literally, Victorian interior design reflects the aesthetic that was popular during the reign of Queen Victoria, from the mid 1800’s to early 1900’s. Just about the only thing it lacks is a lack of detail — ornamented molding, tufted upholstery, deep colors, and patterned wallpaper are all classic aspects of this style. To create your own Victorian bathroom, consider a clawfoot bathtub, deeply carved furnishings, floral wallpaper, and tarnished metallic accents.
A farmhouse interior feels both lived-in and rustic, so it’s a perfect fit for a timeless bathroom design. Wainscot panels, nature-inspired wallpaper, and antique style faucets are all classic features of farmhouse design. That said, this aesthetic combines wonderfully with a variety of others, like bohemian, Victorian, and even Scandinavian. The easiest way to accomplish this is to adjust your color palette and patterns so your style reads more blended.
When you just can’t seem to put your finger on what style an interior is, it’s eclectic. The bathroom in this photo ties together a clawfoot tub, boho basket, blue subway tile, and funky wall art, which goes to prove the key to designing your own eclectic bathroom is not to overthink it. That said, being free with your design doesn’t mean being haphazard, so do keep in mind some eclectic design principles. For example, the shower or bathtub will be the natural focal point of your bathroom. So carefully choose its style, finish, and color and then use it to anchor the rest of your décor.