I have a little something to admit… I went for a clean, crisp look in the bathrooms of my new home, and it still seems a bit stark in these spaces. Sure, we still need shower curtains and mirrors, but that’s not it. Something’s just missing. This got me thinking about modern design and the power of minimalism. But there’s a balance, and knowing how to add personality without adding clutter is trickier than it seems.
While there are no hard and fast rules for decorating a bathroom (it all depends the particulars of your space–colors, size, budget, etc.), perhaps there are a few tips and pointers that can inspire those of us going for a clean, refreshing look in the powder room. Maybe in our attempts to avoid ruffled guest towels and seashell soap we’ve left out a few essentials… So I rounded up the most gorgeous modern bathrooms I could find and discovered a thing or two. Today I’ll share the results of my design research!
Tip #1: Sleek minimalism works well in spaces with standout features.
This was my first mistake. The bathrooms of my home feature beige tile, cream cabinets and white countertops. Inoffensive, yes. But standout, no. Maybe my powder rooms weren’t the best places for stark minimalism. As it turns out, some spaces need a little bit of dressing up. Mine is one of them. On the other hand, some spaces are so full of interesting architectural features, it would be distracting to dress them up with accessories. Like this gorgeous bathroom below from Ecologia Montreal:
Striking details in a neutral bathroom
Above-counter sinks and horizontal planks on the wall are a few of the many interesting details that grace our next featured room. A couple of apothecary jars filled with necessities like cotton swabs are all that are needed in this sleek space. [from John Senhauser Architects]
Sleek modern bathroom
If your powder room features neutral tones and you don’t plan on adding color or “look at me” decor, perhaps unusual fixtures and features can make a statement of their own. For example, round glass sinks and an interesting oval tub steal the show in the space below. [from Fifth Element Homes]
Oval tub and glass sinks add interest
Bathroom Wall Shelves That Add Practicality And Style To Your Space
Don’t underestimate the power of a well-placed plant in a minimalist space. Why? Because it adds a pop of radiant green color, as well as a hint of the outdoors. And nothing could be more perfect for punctuating a slick interior in neutral tones. [photo by Andrew Ashton for Royston Wilson Design]
Pop of green in a gray bathroom
If your space is minimalist with tones of cream and beige, it never hurts to add just a bit of color. We’re loving the use of blue in the bathroom below, thanks to a radiant soap pump and a soothing pot that holds greenery. [photo by Jennie Hunt via Houzz]
Dose of blue in a beige bathroom
Tip #2: Color can be a good thing!
Speaking of color, our next tip reminds us that bold hues can be the answer to decorating a minimalist space. I think I just might need a dose of color in some form in at least one of the neutral-toned bathrooms of my home. If only I could install a colorful tile wall like the one in this space from Famosa Tile…
Vibrant red wall in a modern bathroom
Note how the lit recessed shelf below creates a golden glow in this chocolate brown tiled bathroom. It’s also fun to see a burst of blue in the form of a soap dispenser! [from Chris Snook Photography]
Brown bathroom with blue and gold details
I LOVE exotic greenery. Which is why I’m a great candidate for a vase of fiery stalks like the bouquet pictured in this next space. Now if I could only find a piece of artwork to echo their color… [from BiglarKinyan Design Partnership Inc.]
Vibrant orange in a minimalist bathroom
Tip #3: Don’t forget to have fun!
It’s a common misconception that minimalist=serious. But good uncluttered design can still feature an assortment of details with flair. Perhaps I’ll look at adding something whimsical (such as statement artwork) to one of my powder rooms! Striped towels, interesting flowers and a tub with Deco lines are a few of the striking flourishes in this Miami condo bathroom… [from Korn Interior Design]
Fun decor in a minimalist condo bathroom
It’s also fun to explore the possibility of adding a few ornamental touches. A tufted bench creates a decadent feel, and a chandelier adds glamour, as shown in the powder room below from dSPACE Studio Ltd.:
Chandelier in a contemporary bathroom
Then there’s the possibility of a statement mirror… This next space from DKOR Interiors not only has an interesting mirror. It also features a damask-like wall pattern created by tiles!
Tile floors in a modern bathroom
Don’t forget that you can have a little fun with the lighting in your space. A series of contemporary black pendant lights add playful style to the bathroom below. [from Blaze Makoid Architecture]
Bench and interesting lighting in a modern bathroom
Tip #4: Go for the unexpected…
Our last tip: don’t hesitate to touch up your space with something that catches you off guard on a daily basis. No, we’re not talking anything disorienting or scary! But what about a modern painting that blends the abstract and the natural, as shown in the bathroom below from BiglarKinyan Design Partnership Inc.?!
Eye-catching artwork in a modern bathroom
It can even be as simple as a collection of blooms enclosed in an unusual cylindrical glass vase… [from Korn Interior Design]
Modern luxury bathroom with colorful details
…or a small vase of unusual greenery and blossoms. The more it evokes the feel of an other-worldly plant, the better! And a hint of the exotic or tropical doesn’t hurt either. Affordable yet intriguing, the addition of funky plant life is an easy way to dress up your minimalist space. [from dSPACE Studio Ltd.]
Interesting greenery in a modern bathroom
We’re loving the leaning, fluid look of the calla lilies below. They add movement and drama to this sparse room, and they serve as the perfect focal point against the white of this wall from TheHomeIdeas.com:
Leaning calla lilies
Not into animal heads? Me either. But what about a metal one? Let’s hear it for the power of the sleek and the shiny. Sometimes metallic pieces add a whole other dimension to the minimalist bathroom! [from Leicht]
White and metallic details in a dark gray bathroom
We end with a gorgeous marble-walled bathroom, complete with beautiful woodwork, an oval-shaped tub and contemporary lighting. But I can’t take my eyes off the unusual branches that grace the counter above the wooden stool. Are they covered with moss? Are they real? This is the kind of intrigue that a well-designed space can easily generate! [from Leicht]
Stunning marble bathroom
Did the powder rooms above get your creative juices flowing? They inspired me to add some interesting artwork, exotic plant life and color to my bathrooms at the very least. I still vow not to overdo it with clutter! What are your decorating ideas for a minimalist powder room? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment below…