Tile to Lighting: Elevate Your Bathroom Design


When you’re working with a client, where do bathrooms fall in your ranking of favorite rooms to design?

Do you see bathrooms as a no-nonsense, functional space to check off the list? Or do you look at powder rooms and master baths as an opportunity to try out bold silhouettes and interesting patterns on a smaller scale?

We think the bathroom is a fabulous place to experiment in a functional way. A bathroom is your chance to draw inspiration from the mosaic you saw on your last tropical vacation, flip back through dog-eared magazine pages, and then make those ideas work in a space that bears the brunt of humidity and moisture on a daily basis.

So, if you’re dreaming of marble tile and soaking tubs, here are a few of the areas where you can bridge the gap between style and function to create a bathroom that wows.

Choose Flooring Wisely

When it comes to the bathroom, you’re not just choosing a flooring material that catches your eye. It needs to stand up to water, water, and more water. This is why designers turn to porcelain or ceramic tile again and again. It’s cost-effective, durable, waterproof, and the aesthetic options are endless. You can go with a vintage-inspired black and white tile, a chic herringbone pattern, or an intricate mosaic.

Whatever route you choose to go, know that smaller tile repeats are best in the bathroom when it comes to grip and non-slip (remember all that water!). The grout between the tiles helps provide traction, so you’ll want a pattern that allows for more grout rather than less.

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A Master Bath with Impact

This gorgeous master bath incorporates brass finishes, a bold mosaic floor, and a freestanding soaking tub.

Consider Your Shower and Tub Options

The pièce de résistance in any bathroom is the shower or tub, so you’ll want to carefully consider which is right in your space––or if perhaps the room calls for both! A frameless glass shower is stunning, but does your client have small children and need a bathtub? Are you dreaming of a freestanding tub taking center stage in front of an incredible exterior view? Your options go far beyond the traditional shower tub-combo. This is somewhere you can get creative and design something that’s meant to be admired rather than hidden behind a plain shower curtain.

If you’re working with a tight floor plan, take into account these measurements: on average, a walk-in shower only takes up 12 square feet, while a tub requires 15.

Add a Tile Backsplash

When you’re looking to take your bathroom design into spa territory, look to a tile backsplash. We see backsplashes as standard in kitchens, but how often do you accidentally splash the wall while washing your face or brushing your teeth? A backsplash is a practical addition that feels like a little luxury and it’s the perfect spot to add some color and personality.

You can choose to tile your entire wall, creating a never-ending backsplash, or you can pick a unique mosaic tile to fit directly behind your sink. Incorporate colors and textures from your flooring to pull the entire room together.

Think Outside Over-the-Mirror Lighting

Your bathroom lighting options don’t have to be limited to a simple fixture mounted over your mirror. Approach your bathroom lighting the same way you would any other room in your home––think style and function. A statement chandelier, sleek sconces, or even a well-designed lamp on the counter can add much-needed light, while also adding a sense of intention and sophistication.

The same goes for mirrors! You don’t have to go with a traditional medicine cabinet. That incredible flea market find could find a home in your next bathroom design.

Chrome Isn’t Your Only Option

Finishes in American bathrooms have been chrome for generations, and there’s nothing wrong with a shiny sink faucet! But, chrome isn’t your only option. Brass can be a stunning complement to a marble bathroom and black lends a contemporary feel when it contrasts with a white subway tile. Play around with a few different looks and see what pops.

Is Designing a Bathroom in Your Future?

Feeling inspired to get moving on your next bathroom design? Give me a shout when you’re ready to bring your ideas to life! I can take your vision from hand-drawn sketches, architectural plans, and memos to a detailed 3D rendering that lets your client visualize the final product before the first purchase order is placed.

Heather Bien