Tips AU

49+ Bathroom decor ideas

By Gianna Huesch

Updated: May 4th, 2020

What’s ahead for bathroom decor ideas in 2020?

The world of bathroom design is constantly in flux, with new products and new methods regularly being introduced. Thankfully, since nobody really wants to be endlessly renovating their bathroom, bathroom decor trends tend to build up steam over a number of years. So rest assured that what was “in” last year will hardly suddenly be “out” this year. Sure, new ideas may be added to the mood board, but nobody expects you to rip out all your tile or upgrade the tapware every year.

And many of the bathroom decor ideas I’ve spotted lately suggest that certain trends will actually have healthy longevity—they may even be instant classics. Such as our fascination with coloured and patterned bathroom tile! It seems we can’t get enough of it and it doesn’t look like going out of style any time soon.

So what are some of the most popular decorating ideas I’ve come across while on my hunt to track down the best bathroom looks? I’ve definitely noticed some strong common tendencies out there towards certain colours, methods, materials and finishes. In fact, I reckon you’ll continue to see a lot of the following:

  1. Unexpected materials used in unexpected ways
  2. Luxe minimalism
  3. Injecting strong visual interest with statement vanities, tubs or showers
  4. Freestanding and floating everything—sinks, vanities, tubs
  5. Focusing on texture, including wall treatments like tile and wallpaper
  6. Being pattern-forward, especially towards terrazzo
  7. Other wall treatments, like wainscoting or beadboarding
  8. Creating organic and sustainable vignettes to satisfy the pursuit of nature
  9. Warmth in fixtures, and
  10. Yes, more black accents.

I’m sure there’s plenty more, but let’s start by taking a closer look at each of my key bathroom decor trends above and I’ll show you some examples I’ve gathered to illustrate each idea.

Using unexpected materials in unexpected ways

There’s nothing that makes a bathroom look more modern than the use of a bold, raw, textured material like cement or natural stone–especially when it’s used in an unusual way. You get instant visual interest, strong textural impact and the rest of the bathroom doesn’t need much in the way of accessorising.

The popularity of cement statement sinks and tubs and other concrete accents in bathrooms continues unabated in 2020. Let’s take a look at a few examples.

1. Pale grey concrete sink

This modern yet rustic bathroom is the perfect example of how beautiful a manmade material like concrete can work with natural materials like timber and natural stone tile. Notice too how the round mirror and the round stool reinforce the circle motif created by the cylindrical sink.

soft grey concrete basin
Source: Pinterest

2. Medium-grey concrete tub

The concrete sink and tub in this bathroom work so well against the timber, crisp white walls and dark flagstone paver flooring.

Source: Dot and Pop

3. Coloured concrete bespoke sinks

While grey is ever-popular, concrete can be any colour. Some manufacturers are making bespoke sinks and tubs in almost any colour you can imagine.

Source: Concrete Nation

4. Concrete vanity countertop

This modern bathroom checks lots of boxes: Concrete counter? Check. Timber elements? Check. Black-framed mirror and tapware? Check. Floating sink? Check. I also like how the black frame helps visually extend the length of the vanity.

concrete accents
Source: Pinterest

5. Cement vanity

These are cropping up everywhere—maybe because installing a gorgeous new vanity is a relatively easy way to upgrade your bathroom space.

cement vanity
Source: The Spruce

6. Textured-surface concrete sink

While people apparently love the classic rough pale grey of concrete, some are going a step further to choose statement sinks or tubs with textural patterned qualities, such as this minimalist charcoal basin.

textured surface pattern concrete sink
Source: Design Milk

7. Concrete backsplash

When incorporating concrete, one good tip I’ve come across is to juxtapose its raw, unrefined aesthetic with lustrous, smooth, warm finishes and fixtures. For example, brass and concrete are a match made in heaven.

concrete brass tile
Source: Casa Haus

8. Concrete rendered wall

Here, a rough cement wall treatment is accented by luxe gold statement lighting.  Bathroom lighting is seriously on the radar now, with people eager to add statement lights like chandeliers and plenty of practical task lights. Generally, people are highly focused on the ambience they are creating with their lighting.

rendered walls
Source: Pinterest

Creating strong visual interest

No matter what your bathroom decor style, it seems that creating a focal point with a statement vanity, tub or shower is more and more popular. Whether it’s an unusual tub shape, or a new tub material (such as volcanic limestone), people are paring back their decor and choosing more basic palettes to let their statement feature do all the talking.

9. Luxe minimalism

This term is being used to describe how bathrooms are being transformed into spa-like mini-retreats in a quest to create the perfect fantasy pamper space, a haven of dreamy introspection and rejuvenation. Again, enter the freestanding white tub, give it a five-star finish with gorgeous tapware, and embed it in a simple, calming colour scheme. Think boutique hotel crossed with an Australian coastal style.

Source: The Local Project

10. Matte black tub

A moody, stylish alternative to the white freestanding statement tub! If you were looking to design a black and white bathroom… this bathtub is perfect for you.

matte black statement bathtub
Source: Pinterest

11. A statement shower

Tiling up a feature wall in the shower is a simple yet stunning way to modernise your bathroom.

statement shower
Source: Style Curator

If there isn’t a window that you can easily open, don’t forget to think about your exhaust fan installation.

13. Mosaic fish scale tile

Mosaics create visual interest but they don’t need to be loud, even subtle calming tones can still make an impact.

statement wall
Source: Becki Owens

Freestanding and floating everything

Floating sinks and vanities are everywhere and the more unusual the shape, the better.

14. Freestanding tub

If the look of a freestanding tub appeals to you but the idea of cleaning behind them is off-putting, track down a D-shaped piece which will be flush at least against one wall.

concrete statement tub
Source: Instagram

15. Floating sink

I love how this sink seems to stay put as if by magic. Having a floating sink is great way to create a more airy feeling in your bathroom.

white floating sink with black accents
Source: Leuchtend Grau

16. Tiny bathroom floating sink

Floating sinks are a brilliant space-saver—look how little visual space this cute little sink takes up?

bathroom decor ideas - add texture
Source: Est Living

17. Floating timber vanity

This floating timber vanity features twin freestanding sinks, gold fixtures, a pale timber-framed mirror and some gorgeous tiling in the shower.

Source: Instagram

18. Mixing materials

Here’s an example of a modern bathroom which demonstrates a beautiful melding of materials including concrete, timber, ceramic and brass. I love the addition of some Australian native flowers.

Source: homestolove

19. White and timber floating vanity

Love the white bathroom and timber aesthetic? Keep the feeling weightless and bright with a slimline floating vanity. It’s just so pleasing to the eye, especially with the repetition of the white sinks and mirrors.

white timber bathroom
Source: Instagram

20. One more…

Not having cabinet pulls or handles helps maintain the streamlined effect that a floating vanity provides. Attractive floating vanities are the perfect way to add storage without looking too utilitarian.

timber floating vanity
Source: The Interiors Addict

Love these floating timber vanity designs? Find a local bathroom cabinet maker to discuss creating your own.

Incorporating texture

A sustained love of texture is prompting the rise of wall treatments like tile, wallpaper or wainscoting.

Today let’s take a look at tiles. Phew, where to start? There are just so many varieties to choose from. Although we have a comprehensive round-up of current bathroom tile ideas, I couldn’t help including a few new favourites here as well. High gloss, deeply saturated, full of personality—I just adore tile!  Soft neutrals, muted pastels and nature colours remain popular. But there are certainly those who can pull off bold, jewel colours as well.

21. Diagonal white subway tile

White subway tile is a classic, of course. Keep it from being boring by stacking it diagonally.  The pattern on the timber seat really complements it.

diagonal white subway tile
Source: Instagram

22. Charcoal tile

The diagonally stacked rugged charcoal subway tile here, with its subtle colour variances, creates a gorgeous texture that works so well with the concrete farmhouse sink, timber shelf and exposed piping.

matt charoal tile
Source: Pinterest

23. Hipper to be square

An alternative to rectangular subway tile, square subway tile is a fresh take. Here it’s looking beautiful with contrasting white grout to match the sink.

Source: Pinterest

24. Pastel tile trend

One of the colour trends predicted to stay strong is the love for pastel. Here, pastel tiles create an op-art effect in this dreamy little bathroom.

pastel tile
Source: Instagram

25. Dramatic colours

While on the one hand, there’s a trend to a muted colour palette (soft pinks, seagreens, dusty blues), on the other hand there’s also a push towards intense, highly saturated colours. Here’s a powerful black tiled bathroom.

black tile
Source: Lows To Luxe

26. Zellige

Not to be confused with the Woody Allen film, zellige is rapidly taking over from subway tile in the popularity stakes. Both subway and zellige are glossy ceramic tiles that are fired and glazed, but whereas subway tile was born in New York City in 1904, zellige tile was actually born all the way back in 10th century Morocco. Subway tiles are more preferred for their neat, clean lines, whereas perfectly-imperfect zellige tiles are prized for their organic vibe, colour variations and warm earthiness. Look at this beautiful pink tile…

pink zellige
Source: House Beautiful

27. Get it done right

So many gorgeous colourful tiling options, how on earth to choose?! But when you do, you can easily get someone to make sure your tiles are perfectly laid. And over time, make the most of your bathroom tile by hiring someone who specialises in cleaning tiles and grout.

Source: Style By Emily Henderson

28. Being pattern-forward

It’s plain to see: we’re all obsessed with a pattern. Whether it’s graphic, orderly geo shapes, or exuberant, wild terrazzo, introduce pattern into your bathroom for visual interest and texture.

Source: The Design Files

Terrazzo bathroom decor ideas

This is definitely becoming increasingly popular in bathroom decor. Terrazzo is a composite material that is made of chips of marble, quartz, granite, glass or other materials and mixed with resin and cement. Many bathroom designers are currently experimenting with pattern and colour of terrazzo, including using new resins such as ones made with peppercorns or Himalayan rock salt!

29. Terrazzo vanity

This chic bathroom has mid-century modern overtones in the vanity legs and in the mint, black and white colour scheme, but the use of subway tile and terrazzo point to its contemporary origins. The twin black sinks look just stunning here!

mint green faux tile
Source: Casa Vogue

30. Black confetti terrazzo

Sparkly and dynamic, terrazzo adds lots of excitement to a bathroom space. Style it with black fittings, a concrete sink and warm tapware.

bathroom decor ideas - terrazzo wall
Source: Style Curator

31. Terrazzo and pastels

Combine the beautifully textured appeal of terrazzo with some neatly stacked subway tile. What an unusual colour combination has been created here: burnt orange tiles, white-based terrazzo, mint green sink, yellow counter, and pink ceiling and wall. And yet somehow it works!

tile plus terrazzo
Source: Seasons In Colour

32. Terrazzo counter

You can buy terrazzo in tiles or slabs. Slabs can make a wonderful statement vanity—check out this “one big slab” of pewter-coloured granite chip concrete terrazzo. Doesn’t the concrete look gorgeous with all that timber?

Source: Domino

33. Patterned Moroccan concrete tile

Hand-cut mosaic Moroccan tiles, bursting with colour and pattern, remain popular as ever. Here’s an example of a stunning turquoise patterned bathroom where the simple freestanding tub does not detract from the tiles.

Source: My Domaine

34. Tiled flooring

Patterned floors are not for everyone. But personally I love how a vintage tile vibe makes a plain white bathroom just that little bit more mysterious and unique.

This minimalist white bathroom has a Boho-ethnic touch thanks to the tiles, accessories in natural materials and neutral palette. It hints at a love of travel and other cultures. When you’ve picked the tile for you, there’s a bathroom flooring ready to help.

Source: Homes To Love

Wainscoting and beadboarding

There’s been a resurgence of interest in the use of wainscoting and beadboarding to add character to bathroom walls. Wainscoting is typically made from large inset panels, while beadboarding is a type of wainscoting and is made from thin, wooden planks vertically arranged. While the panelling has a traditional flavour, these days they are popping up in bathrooms ranging from Hamptons coastal to French country to modern.

Why is it so popular? Well, this is such an easy and inexpensive way to add colour and personality. And it’s so versatile. You can go up to the mid-wall or all the way up to the ceiling, and modernise it by painting it any colour or mixing it with wallpaper or tile.

35. Hamptons beadboarding

It’s classic but still adds a bit of flair to any room.

Source: Style Curator

36. Baby pink panelling

This shade simply looks stunning against all the black accents here—I’m getting ballerina vibes here (and that’s before I even noticed the tiny dancer statue!).

pink panelling
Source: Pinterest

If you would like a hand with painting your wainscoting, beadboard or bathroom walls, find an expert to help with your bathroom painting.

37. Traditional wainscoting and a claw foot tub

Evoking traditional elegance, wainscoting is often very effectively paired with a clawfoot antique-style bathtub.

Source: Don’t Cramp My Style

38. Wainscoting with copper

Honestly, virtually ‘anything goes’ in bathroom design lately. There’s no right or wrong, so go ahead and pair the traditional vibes of half-wall wainscoting with a contemporary tonal colour scheme and an ultra-modern metallic statement tub.

Source: Fresh Design Blog

Creating organic and sustainable vignettes

Have you heard of “biophilia”? It’s a concept that refers to our modern-day pursuit of a connection with nature and is linked to the rise of the health and wellness culture. It describes our need for immersion in nature and when translated to design, it stimulates a desire for sustainability in design solutions. But rather than just being a hippy-style return to embracing nature, today’s biophilia covers the so-called “engineered environment”, where nature is enhanced by technology, and there’s a preoccupation with our primal needs, circadian rhythms and stimulating all the senses.

OK, but what does all this serious eco-love mean in real terms? Aim to achieve revitalisation through organic elements like air-purifying live plants, layers of timber and eco-friendly, natural soft materials. Then, allow science to become one with nature by adding in smart technology (for lights, sounds, temperature, etc.) to manipulate your sensory experience.

39. Hand-crafted artisanal elements

Incorporate recycled or reclaimed timber furniture. Add natural decorative elements like hand-carved wooden bowls or woven hessian baskets, as well as organic, hemp linen or handknitted throws.

natural materials and plants
Source: Homes To Love

40. Ceramic sink, timber vanity and greenery

Flawlessly clean, simple and green.

Source: The Local Project

41. Natural colours

You’ll find a lot of organic, natural tones in modern eco-loving bathrooms. Think earthy colours like forest greens and teals, sunny yellow, rosepetal, khaki, ocean seawashes, grey-blue violet, indigo, flickering gold.

Source: Homedsgn

42. More moody blues

I think there’s just something about this particular shade of faded seafoam that is so well-suited to bathrooms.

pale blue glossy zellige tile
Source: VT Wonen

Warmth in fixtures

So brass is sticking around which is great because we really can’t have our tapware losing its sheen after just a year or two! Instead of moving onto the next shiny new thing,  bathware designers have managed to refresh the brass aesthetic by creating a wider range of simple silhouettes and unusual shapes. But as well as brass, other warm coloured metals like copper are looking the goods too.

43. Concrete and brass charm

A good example of a modern bathroom featuring a cool mix of penny tiles and concrete warmed up with brushed brass tapware.

Source: Style By Emily Henderson

44. Metalic

Silvery zellige tile contrasting to perfection with a gold-toned mirror frame. Notice how effectively the metals have been mixed here, with chrome tapware blending into the tile.

Source: Houston Interior Design

45. Marble and warm fixtures

A generous expanse of white Carrara marble looks beautiful highlighted by warm-toned tapware, showerhead and slimline mirror frame.

marble bath
Source: Est Living

46. Black steel accents

The slim black steel profile isn’t going anywhere either! You’ll continue to see black accents modernising all kinds of bathrooms in all kinds of ways. Mirrors framed in black, black matte tapware, black accessories.

black accents
Source: Dezeen

47. Pink tile with black

It works with so many materials, from marble to tile to timber, and just about any colour combo as well.

pink tile with black accents
Source: Pinterest

If you’re looking for more complete redesigns, take a look at these bathroom ideas too.

48. Twin black faucets in white bathroom

Black fixtures add a necessary touch of definition to this otherwise very plain, minimalist white and timber bathroom.

twin black faucets in white bathroom
Source: Frenchy Fancy

49. And finally, don’t forget to take inspo from kitchen tiles

So I’ve included this stunning kitchen splashback image just as a reminder to consider options beyond the allocated bathroom choices in wall treatments—why not see what you can steal from kitchen design? This teal herringbone design, for example, would be absolutely gorgeous in a bathroom as well.

steal from kitchen tile inspo - teal herringbone
Source: Auhaus

So there’s my take on the bathroom decor themes you’ll continue to see gaining momentum this year. But have I missed something important? Have you spotted any distinct trends during your own ventures into bathroom decor ideas? And have any of the above ideas inspired your bathroom renovation plans?! Drop me a comment below. I’d love to hear your opinion!

And if you enjoyed this blog which featured a lot of modern bathrooms, you may also like to read our article on modern house designs.



I'm an interior design writer living on the mid-north coast of NSW with my two kids and three cats.

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