Trend Alert: Bathrooms That Don’t Look Like Bathrooms

bathroom that looks like a living room

Bathrooms don’t always need to look like bathrooms. Check out this new trend!


When you think of bathrooms, you probably have a general idea of what it looks like. Tile, a bath or a shower, a sink, some towels, a toilet. It’s generally white or another pale color.

So what if you could make your bathroom look like… not a bathroom? There’s an interesting trend right now of decorating bathrooms less like bathrooms and more like boudoirs or living rooms. Instead of the clinical décor we usually imagine, these rooms end up looking more like spaces where someone can sit comfortably to read of have tea… and maybe have a bath, but only if you feel like it.

And how do you make bathrooms not look like bathrooms? Let’s have a look at some ideas and trends.

Add seating

If you want your bathroom to look less austere and strictly functional, add some superfluous seating. In small spaces, an upholstered bench or stool is enough to make an effect, but if you can, try an armchair or even a small love seat.

Traditional Bathroom by South East Architects & Building Designers RDP Architects

Extra seating in the bathroom adds a spa-like quality to the space, and lets you use the room more as a relaxation space than strictly an area for cleaning. Imagine hanging out with your friends trying outfits and putting makeup before a night out–wouldn’t you like to have places to sit down and chat?

Make sure that your bathroom has plenty of ventilation and that you treat the fabric against humidity. Otherwise, you’ll end up with soggy sofas!

Grow plants

We’ve talked about plants in the bathroom before, and this is part of this trend too. Plants make bathrooms more organic and comforting; you can almost make it feel like you’re taking a shower or a bath in a stream outdoors rather than in your home.

Contemporary Bathroom by Toronto Architects & Building Designers Beauparlant Design inc

Plenty of plants can thrive in a bathroom. Choose a low-light plant that needs plenty of humidity. Low-lying, tropical varieties are best. Spider plants, philodendrons and even bamboo are perfect for the bathroom environment.

Mix up textures

As mentioned above, adding fabric will make your bathroom less bathroomy. But you can also add all kinds of other fabrics and textures to enhance the effect: colored rugs instead of typical bathroom mats, Roman blinds with colorful patterns on the windows, even drapes hanging behind the tub. (For that, you need a free-standing tub.)

Traditional Bathroom by Plymouth Cabinets & Cabinetry Mingle

Another way you can add interesting texture is to use wallpaper. Make your wall look like crumpled paper or a field of flowers: you have plenty of patterns and looks at your fingertips with today’s designer wallpapers.

Traditional Bathroom by Nashville Interior Designers & Decorators Leland Interiors, LLC

Use unexpected furniture

Instead of the usual stone or wood countertop, why not have a free-standing sink with a side table on each side? Think the kind of side table you’d see in a living room or bedroom: dark wood, wicker, whatever.

Eclectic Bathroom by Perth Interior Designers & Decorators Etica Studio

The trick here is to combine function with look: you want something that still works for your toiletries, but that doesn’t necessarily look like it would usually belong in the bathroom. How about an old writing desk? It can easily transform into a beautiful vanity!

You can give old pieces of furniture a new, interesting life by putting them into an unexpected place: the bathroom.

Hang art

Often, bathroom art is modern and clinical. But what if you hung your favourite pieces of art, whether or not they fit your idea of what should go in the bathroom?

Shabby Chic Bathroom by South East Photographers Bruce Hemming Photography

Art is a great way to transform your bathroom into a room that happens to have a bath in it. You can hang portraits, photos and paintings, drawings and prints of all kinds. Don’t be limited by the typical!

Again, color and texture are essential here. Stay away from anything too clinical or sterile and choose art for its effect on your mood.

Do you prefer bathroomy bathrooms?

As I look more and more at bathrooms-that-don’t-look-like-bathrooms, I start to like them a lot more than your typical white-tiled bathrooms. There’s a lot more space for style and flair if you can play with the expectations around what a bathroom should look like.

How about you? Do you like these atypical bathrooms, or do you prefer them to stay like bathrooms? Let us know in the comments!

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