Ideas for bathroom design: from floor to ceiling

Thomas Bott

Just a sink, a shower and maybe a bathtub? Definitely not! A bathroom can be much more than a purely functional room. With the right interior design, you can transform your bathroom into an oasis of well-being. A place to treat yourself to a relaxing break from everyday life. Find out what’s important and read about the different options here.

View into a modern bathroom with a freestanding bathtub and floor-to-ceiling windows looking out onto the balcony.
© Getty Images

In this article

Bathroom ideas: focusing on the bathtub

A bathtub is an enhancement to any bathroom. Stretch out your legs, enjoy the warmth of the water – what a wonderful feeling! If you want to have a bathtub installed, you have the choice between different models:

A rectangular tub is the classic solution. Its shape leaves the corners free. These are ideal for placing shampoo bottles, bath sponges etc. Rectangular bathtubs can also be positioned in niches to make them disappear completely, creating a neat and tidy look. The side surfaces can be covered by visually attractive tiles.

Oval or space-saving bathtubs can be an advantage in smaller rooms.

Corner bathtubs often have the advantage of a wider lying surface. This makes them particularly comfortable – and there is even room for a second person.

Corner bathtubs are also available as whirlpools with water that comes bubbling up into the tub through jets for a massage-like effect.

Freestanding bathtubs are a real design highlight. They can even be placed in the middle of the room.

A freestanding bathtub in a bright bathroom.

A well-rounded look: a freestanding bathtub as an eye-catching feature in the bathroom.

The shower: like fresh summer rain

A lot has happened in design in recent years. Walk-in showers are highly popular because their step-free, doorless access makes them especially convenient and attractive at the same time. Ground-level showers of course also exist in traditional shapes as corner, round or niche showers. The design of the walls, doors and tiles can be customized in many cases.
There is also plenty of room for individual design in the shower itself. A shower panel allows you to activate lateral jets to massage your body, for example. Or you can install a rain shower with a particularly gentle spray that feels like lukewarm summer rain. In this way, every shower becomes a little wellness experience.

An open shower in a stone-gray room with a round sink placed on a long wooden base cabinet.

Open showers are very much in vogue today. This is because they don’t usually have a raised entrance and are therefore easily accessible.

All sorts of shapes and sizes: the sink

The siphon is visible underneath a standard sink. While this may look good in certain bathrooms, it is not always true. In this case we recommend integrating a base cabinet for the sink as an essential design aspect at the planning stage. This will not only conceal the siphon, but also provide storage space.

As far as the shape is concerned, sinks are extremely varied: angular, round, oval or fitted into the corner of a room. If you want to draw attention to the sink, a free-standing model may even be suitable.

A sink placed directly on a piece of furniture or slab gives the bathroom a modern look. With virtually no structural restrictions, the design possibilities are endless. This is also evident in the choice of materials. So much is possible, from classic ceramics to wood and stone.

If you have a larger family and want to avoid bathroom queues, double sinks with two sets of taps are the right choice.

The toilet: classic or ultramodern

Toilets with wall brackets are particularly widespread today. Freestanding toilets have by no means disappeared – and are actually more attractive in some bathrooms.

The situation is similar with the cistern: in recent years, many building owners have opted for a concealed cistern that disappears into the wall. The advantage is a clear, neat and tidy look. But even the classic cistern on the wall or on the toilet itself is far from out of fashion – and in some structural conditions is actually the only option.

Technically, there are many more possibilities for toilets today than there were a few years ago. Wall-mounted models dispense with the cavity in which a lot of dirt would otherwise collect, for example. They also look a little slimmer visually. Thanks to an ingenious flushing system, the water nevertheless reaches all the inner walls of the toilet.

Shower toilets with nozzles offering a bidet function are very popular in Japan.
Many models offer additional features such as a heatable toilet seat, a massage function or even loudspeakers to mask unpleasant noises. Shower toilets are available as a complete system or simply as a seat to fit to an existing toilet.

Tiles: plain or colorful

White on white is the standard for bathrooms. But this does not necessarily have to apply in your bathroom. Perhaps you would like to bring some color into the room with the help of the tiles. Simply mix in a few colored elements or design individual patterns. Smaller tiles naturally make the design easier. Alternatively, tiles with pre-designed patterns are also available.

It is always best to use light colors for larger areas. They give the room more optical depth, making it seem larger. Dark colors, natural stone or even wood are also suitable for emphasis. The tiles themselves come in many different shapes and sizes.

View of a small bathroom with a bathtub, sink and toilet. There are white tiles on the walls, but black and white patterned tiles on the floor.

Tiles offer a great deal of design freedom. But they can also be simply white. In this case combined with a fun pattern on the floor.

Accessories: matching or to stand out

Sometimes it is the details that give a room its character. In the bathroom, for example, this is true of the accessories. Bathroom fittings or towels selected to match the color scheme can be particularly eye-catching. For example, if you have chosen bamboo on the walls or on the toilet seat, the toothbrush cup could also be made of the same kind of wood.

In a mostly white bathroom, accessories are even more important because they create a splash of color in the room. Even a picture can look good in the bathroom. Of course, it is a little more difficult to fix, especially in a bathroom that only has tiles on the walls. But very good adhesive tapes now exist for this purpose. Alternatively, we recommend plants or artistic objects such as small statues as accessories.

The right lighting in the bathroom

If you want to transform your bathroom into a wellness oasis, the right lighting can help you do so. Our tip: LED lamps that change color. In this way you can set just the right mood to suit how you feel. A relaxed blue imitates a clear sky, while a yellowish tone imitates sunshine. Warm white is pleasing to the eye, and lush green is reminiscent of an open meadow. And with a matching fragrance dispenser, you can dive even deeper into your individual wellness world.

Accessibility: not just important in old age

Many house and apartment owners now design their bathrooms to be accessible – not only when they reach a certain age, but also as a precautionary measure earlier on in life. A shower at ground level is not only easier to access, but can also be used with a wheelchair. Bathtubs are available with doors for easy access.

Alternatively, an existing bathtub can be retrofitted with a lift. Accessible sinks have handles and leave space for a wheelchair underneath. Handles can also be fitted on the side of toilets. These are just a few examples of accessible bathrooms. Adapting to personal needs is not a problem in many places.

Conclusion: make the bathroom a very special room

While the bathroom often used to be regarded as a purely functional area, more and more house and apartment owners are discovering the many possibilities for individual design. The bathroom also contributes to happy living. Perhaps you too will enjoy turning your bathroom into a very special room. Have fun planning – and furnishing your bathroom!

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