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Bathroom ideas. Design & decor guide

Bathroom design ideas for beautiful, functional spaces

Tired of your old master bathroom and want something more luxurious? Perhaps you’d like to add a touch of pizazz to your tiny downstairs bathroom? Sometimes, our bathrooms can become somewhat overlooked spaces in the home, but thanks to their small size and out-of-the-way nature, they’re the perfect candidates for anyone wanting to experiment with styles or give their home a quick style makeover that won’t hurt the wallet.

Modern Bathroom With Grey Concrete Wall, Classy white Bathtub And In The Foreground A Think Grey Rug

Designing your new bathroom? Scroll down to find out how to make a beautiful, functional bathroom that suits your home perfectly.

Bathroom colours

Bathrooms have moved on quite a bit since the avocado-shaded eyesores of the 1970s, but they do generally conform to blues, greens and whites – colours that are pure or pastel have a calming effect that plenty of people find relaxing.

White bathrooms

The most common choice for bathrooms, white instantly conjures up light, cleanliness and serenity – all things we value in our bathrooms – and is a good choice for smaller spaces. Purely white bathrooms can be emphasised with chrome fittings, as well as dark or pale-coloured floor tiles– perfect if you find the all-white theme a little lacking in the contrast department.

If you choose to paint your walls and ceilings white but want to enjoy a dose of colour, use plenty of colourful towels, soaps, curtains, blinds and pictures to add vibrancy. Going further, introduce vibrant and bold tiling to make an accent wall that helps you wake up in the morning, or use items like picture frames, drawers and towel rails to introduce a bright colour theme throughout the bathroom, without making the space too busy. Be careful with bold colours though – they’re not great for small bathrooms.

Alternatively, go with an off-white. A very light grey will give your bathroom a sophisticated look, pink-blushed whites are great for adding a feeling of romance, and cream is a top colour for family bathrooms, adding a light-hearted and relaxed atmosphere.

Calming bathrooms

While whites can certainly make for a calming bathroom, there are plenty of colours out there to choose from.

If you want to make the most of water and light in your bathroom, turquoise is a great choice, particularly when used as a foreground colour. It can be teamed with bright and bold coral colours, whites for a scene stolen straight from the Greek island of Santorini, or bolder reds, greens and dark blues.

Dark Hardwood Floor, Copper Bathtub, Two Sinks In Front Of Two Mirrors

Pale blues can appear cold if used over too large an area, so add a hint of green to shuffle them a touch closer to turquoise. Alternatively, add a shade of red to create a cool, purple shade that oozes opulence.

Away from pastels, choosing a warm earth tone base can give the bathroom colour without making the room appear too busy and energetic. Warm terracotta, earthy green and cobalt might not seem like your usual bathroom colours, but used well and with enough natural light available, they’ll give the room an exotic, brooding feel – and look stunning when lit by candlelight.

Bathroom furnishings

The furnishings you choose for your bathroom depend on the style you’re going for – usually informed by the style running through the rest of your home.


Your choice of bath depends on the size of your bathroom, although sit-down and reduced-length baths are available if you’ve got a small space but really want a bath.

In terms of style, you could go with a classic-looking inset bath, using boarding to hide the exterior and plumbing. This style provides an extra surface to decorate, either with the colour of the walls or with a colour that compliments the overall colour of the room. It can often be a good idea to use the wall the bath is running along as a feature wall, with the chosen colour enveloping the bath.

Alternatively, choose a freestanding bath to give your bathroom a truly luxurious, appearance. These baths can look amazing as the centrepiece of a large bathroom, and are available with traditional or contemporary aesthetics – they’re not just for period bathrooms. Note that they can be more expensive that inset baths, and the room will likely require replumbing if the pipework runs along the wall.


If you don’t have enough space for a bath, or want to have the option of bathing or showering, you need to nevertheless make sure that you’re installing the right design of shower.

The first thing to consider is the shape and size of the shower. You could install it at one end of the bath with a shower curtain or shower screen to get the most out of the space, build a glass-fronted shower in the corner of the room that features either sliding or hinged doors, or opt for no dividers, instead relying on wet room landscaping to allow for drainage.

Cream Bathroom Tiled On The Floor And wall, With Glass Walk In Shower And Tiled Bathtub

For the shower itself, the choice depends on your budget. Inexpensive electric and mixer showers are useful for cash-conscious homeowners, and internal pumps and higher kilowatt ratings allow for excellent performance. Then there are power showers, which draw water directly from the boiler, and eco showers – perfect if you want to reduce water use.

There are all sorts of different shower heads to choose from, working with every variety of shower mechanism. A traditional wall-mounted shower might suffice, or you could go more luxurious with multiple nozzles running down the wall, or a beautiful waterfall shower head. Go for rounded designs if you’re creating a traditional look, or defined, angular contemporary styles for that modern look.


Much more than the bath or shower, you can afford to be imaginative when choosing a sink. If you’re not sure what to go for, or want to keep it plain and simple, opt for a classic, ceramic pedestal sink with traditional detailing, or an angular model for a sink that speaks contemporary design.

Inset sinks are the style of choice if you’re lacking storage in your bathroom, and can be paired with many types of countertop to make sure your overall style is nicely complimented, while round vessel sinks can break up the lines of a room, especially if they’re placed in front of square tiles.

Bathroom storage

Storage is often at a premium in the bathroom, and even if there is enough space available, the wrong type of storage space can mean a disorganised and untidy look.

Good bathroom storage combines neat, hidden storage spaces – metal cabinets installed above the toilet, stacks of wicker or wooden baskets, or under-sink cabinets and drawers – and making sure the shelves on display aren’t blighted by clutter.

If your bathroom is tiny and you have a pedestal sink, get some waterproof fabric and secure it around the rim of the sink. You can then place containers beneath the sink without it looking disorganised, and you’ll be able to complement the overall design of the room.

You could also go custom with your storage. Wooden shelves are easy to make with materials from DIY shops, or you could repurpose items like wooden crates, mounting them on the wall for a fashionable, yet laid-back look, and you could even upcycle a wooden step ladder for a fantastic freestanding shelving solution.

Whatever your dream bathroom design, find the right fabrics and homewares can take it to the next level. Take a look here to view the Terry’s Fabrics range today.

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