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Luxury Bathroom Designs - Modern vs Traditional

The word ‘luxury’ means very different things to different people. For some, it conjures up images of a sleek, minimalistic room decorated only with a smattering of simple, state-of-the-art furnishings and fixtures. For others, luxury design means carved oak furniture adorned with lashings of golden gilding and velvet interiors.

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These two looks are worlds apart so if you’re hiring an interior designer it’s important to give them a little more direction than simply, “I want it luxurious”. Be specific with your ideas or you will end up disappointed! For those of you who love a bit of DIY (or are just on a budget) here are my top tips to achieve your perfect luxury bathroom at home, whatever style you’re after...


Modern Luxury

modern luxury bathroom design

Image via Jacob MS

For truly stylish modern decor it’s imperative to keep things simple – filling your bathroom with an assortment of rails, units and shampoo bottles will do nothing to help you achieve that level of luxury you are looking for.

Start by picking a colour scheme – a simple, bright white is perfect here and also has the added benefit of making the room appear bigger. Try to stick to a classic palette, so if white’s not your thing consider opting for black, grey or light cream.

You’ll want a stand-out centrepiece for the room – if you’re on a tight budget, splash out as much as you can afford on one key piece and then buy cheaper items to complement it. It will look much more luxurious than a room full of mid-priced, mid-quality items, and the cheaper furnishings can always be replaced one at a time further down the line when you have more money.

A freestanding bathtub makes the perfect luxury centrepiece. For a truly modern appeal, look for a tub with a unique but simple shape, such as this gorgeous tub from Homebase. Keep faucets simple – a single mixer tap in gleaming chrome is a great choice!


luxury bathroom shower

Image via Home Designss

Now add those simple, well-chosen finishing touches to complete the look. A chrome thermostatic shower is practical but stylish, and it’s a good idea to invest in a handful of sleek and stylish pump-action containers for your shampoo and shower gel, to avoid having a mess of toiletries bottles covering the surfaces.

A super-sized mirror will cover a plain-looking wall without making the room look cramped (actually, it will make it look bigger), just remember to opt for a frame-free version. Oh, and bath towels should match the colour scheme and each other too, keep garish beach towels for your holidays!

Traditional Luxury

Prefer the opulent decadence of a Baroque-inspired bathroom? Marble or wooden furnishings are the key to nailing this look, so invest in a high quality vanity unit that will be the main focus of the room. If you can’t afford a solid oak or mahogany unit, you can still fake it by using a rich hazelnut or cherry-brown stain to colour a cheaper wood.

Can’t find one you like for the bathroom? A bedroom vanity works just as well – you simply need to cut the right sized holes in the top for a sink basin or two (and in the back for the pipe-work), and don’t forget to give wood a good two or three coats of waterproof sealant!

Matching shelves are a great, low-cost way to add some storage space, or you can opt for a wall unit to keep your lotions and potions hidden away out of sight. Look for one with a fancy carved edging, or jazz up a boring unit with some stylish gold handles.


traditional luxury bathroom designs

Image via Dlisbona

For a truly opulent, over-the-top luxury appeal, that same gold should be dotted around the room wherever possible. Of course, it doesn’t need to be real gold! Find a gorgeous traditional styled gold mixer tap that will take any bath tub from boring to beautiful, and if it’s a freestanding tub with Victorian-style clawed feet then all the better.

Finish off with a soft, shag-pile bath mat and a set of oversized towels in a rich hue such as plum or burgundy. Of course, you’ll need to add a few modern trimmings such as fire alarm systems to keep the whole place safe, but you can still lie back in the tub with a glass of bubbly and imagine you’re back in the decadent 1920’s!

Estelle Page is an interior designer on a mission to make the world a prettier place to live in, one room at a time!

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