Minimalist bathroom ideas are an antidote to modern life. If you yearn for a space that is clean, sleek, clutter-free, yet high on design, then a pared-back approach is perfect. Minimalism not only evokes a feeling of rest, calm, and joy, but also encourages you to invest more in 'me time'. In today's busy life of hectic schedules, a bathroom truly emerges as a space that propagates pause. Make this worth every minute you spend in it.
We sought the help of top experts to understand ways to make this room truly unique, crisp, and zen-like. From a streamlined aesthetic that combines sleek lines, and pared-down decor, to simple color schemes, we have all the ideas together for you to browse through.
Take a look at these bathroom ideas that maximize beauty and efficiency with minimalism at the forefront, all with ease.
'In today's terms, minimalism can mean many things,' says Michael Kleeman, of Brenau University (opens in new tab) Interior Design Department. 'In a dynamic setting, it can mean doing more with less, like having beautiful details or restrained edge profiles and smooth surfaces of elegant materials. It can also mean living with less, creating a calm and peaceful space with honest materials and textures, without many additive elements.'
'A common misconception is that it means sparse or clinical,' says Michael. 'If done well, a minimal space perfectly reflects those who live in them by stating openly where they place value. Minimalists remove extraneous detail so that there is the focus in that inherent beauty – materiality, light on a surface, form, and volume.'
Aditi is a homes writer and editor with several years of experience. Her articles, backed by expert insights, offer suggestions aimed at helping readers make the best home design choices. For this article, she spoke to top experts to understand ways to design a minimalist bathroom.
8 minimalist bathroom ideas to take inspiration from
1. Choose a soothing color palette
Soft tones have a soothing quality to them; they don't overwhelm or create drama. They immediately calm the mind and create a feeling of a warm embrace. When considering bathroom color ideas that point towards a more minimalistic approach, go for hues such as beige, soft blue, lavender, or even pink.
'Pink evokes the feeling of softness,' says interior designer Natalie Tredgett (opens in new tab). 'If cuddles were a color, it would be pink. It is also a color that feels intrinsically linked to nature and flowers. Psychologically it calms us. That is why it is lovely to be in a pink room. Now that we have varying shades of pink, there are so many ways to use the color – from the more serious, on the brown side, to the more light and airy, with more white.'
'This project was an exciting opportunity for the studio to flex our creative thinking in functionality and materiality,' says Amos Goldreich, director at Amos Goldreich Architecture (opens in new tab). 'We were challenged by the unusual collection of styles incorporated into the brief and found clever ways of blending them to create a sense of cohesion in the spaces. For the bathroom, we opted for quality fittings that would age beautifully over time, and add a sense of luxury to the apartment.'
'In the master en-suite bathroom, the double-basin and vanity unit and bathtub are clad in travertine stone,' says Amos. 'The floor and walls are seamlessly covered in durable micro cement in a soft pink tone, creating a unified look and offering a conceptual contrast of materials which sets off the stone. The dark platinum finish of the taps complements the earthy and industrial tones found throughout.'
2. Consider a seamless sink design
An integrated and seamless trough-style sink like the one pictured above is what dream bathrooms are made of. The long design runs across a wall and gives the space a spa bathroom vibe.
Interestingly, a design like this is as stylish as it is functional, which is why we also see it in minimalist kitchens. As there are no ridges or seams, its streamlined form makes it easy to clean, and a great choice for busy family bathrooms. A custom-made size that suits your space would work well.
3. Design a sunken tub for the ultimate soak
Nothing spells luxury quite like a sunken tub. They remind one of the outdoor pools, yet they are much sleeker, smarter, and have an inherent sophistication to them. These have a barrier between the floor and the waterline, which results in a more organic bathing experience akin to dipping into a pond or lake.
'The home had to capture views, offer direct access to skiing and hiking, entertain well, and give free-flowing-function for up to forty family members,' says Anne-Marie, founder of AMB Design (opens in new tab). 'Each shower niche, every vanity configuration, all laundry areas, and storage spaces had to subtly present itself for use but quietly. This room offers a surprise to the senses and helps the residents delight in its use. Unique items include faucets that fold or deploy to the user, towel drops, and a jacuzzi space, plus touch latch and flush in the wall.'
Just a word of caution: the seamless integration with the floor can make it tough to distinguish the void from the rest of the floor, making it alarmingly easy to step off a cliff in your bathroom. Consider a different flooring material for the area immediately surrounding the tub for some visual distinction.
If you're currently remodeling your bathroom and are still unsure of a sunken tub yet like the idea of one, then a square soaking tub might be just the thing. The market is full of great freestanding varieties that give a similar sinking down in hot water up to your chin experience.
4. Opt for sleek shower doors
It's the little things that make a bathroom feel like a spa. Thin, black-framed windows and doors have been gaining popularity thanks to their industrial look, and it's no wonder this trend has seeped into the modern bathroom as well. Polished, black-framed shower doors made from aluminum or steel lift any bath space, give them a modern minimalistic edge, and can make even a traditional bathroom look ultra-chic.
These partitions create wonderful segregation of space, especially in large bathrooms, and enclose the wet area well so that the humidity is limited to just one section. Another decorative quality of shower panels is that they, in a sense, lend a feeling of exclusivity and novelty to the space behind them. If you have a beautiful, ornate bathtub, you could consider placing it behind the shower stall to make it a focal piece.
'This bathtub combines Ibiza marble and wood and is inspired by the ancient city of Petra, where buildings are directly carved in stone cliffs,' says Joaquim Paulo, CEO of Maison Valentina (opens in new tab). 'The black gloss of the wood matching the different shades of white and the shower panels turn this piece into one everlasting exclusive visual experience for the most luxurious bathrooms.'
5. Organic lighting pieces could create a minimalist, earthy environment
The idea of minimalism is centered around less is more. But remember, less doesn't mean humble or simple. It means, the less should be so impactful, that a space's design and theme can hinge on it.
A great way to add a fresh, new dimension is through bathroom wall lighting ideas. Choose fixtures that look smart, decorative, or even ornate, and keep the rest of the scheme pared back. Consider organic-shaped pieces that have an eye-catching quality.
'Here, we used earthy and cerulean Cassiopeia marble basin, buff Venetian plaster on the walls, and a custom mirror by Kin & Company (opens in new tab) in dual brass finishes,' says Michael K Chen, founder of MKCA (opens in new tab). 'The beautiful sconces are by Lindsey Adelman (opens in new tab).'
Other than pendants or sconces, another way to add layering to a minimalist bathroom is through hidden lights.
'Consider indirect lighting which will add an ambiance and give the bathroom a feeling of a spa-like retreat,' says Kashi, director at YAM Studios (opens in new tab). 'I always add hidden LED strips in the ceilings, niches, or behind mirrors and put them on separate dimmer switches. This will add a layer of depth making the bathroom a great place for body and mind to unwind.'
6. Go for black bathroom hardware
Black is admittedly an unconventional color choice for any space but when used smartly, can look stunning and sophisticated, creating a luxurious bathroom in the process. For bathroom hardware, consider matt black chrome finishes that showcase a rich depth of color and smooth finish.
'The essence of minimalism in the bathroom is clean lines, sculptural shapes, and an absence of clutter,' says Emma Joyce of House of Rohl (opens in new tab). 'Typically minimalist bathrooms are pure white, so consider matt finishes to diffuse the light and make the space feel warmer. Rather than shiny chrome brassware, opt for matt black. Riobel’s (opens in new tab)Parabola collection offers this finish, and its sculpted body and geometric curves are perfect for the minimalist look.'
7. Bring in tactile textures
Nothing says pure minimalistic elegance better than tactile finishes that give a space an earthy appeal. Think Venetian or limewash paint ideas, raw concrete, stone, or brick walls. All these natural materials have an organic look and bring texture to a scheme in a subtle way.
'It's important to use textured or matt finishes, as these will add warmth and depth to the space making the bathroom a nice place to be in,' says Kashi Shikunova, director of YAM Studios (opens in new tab). 'If using natural stone try to use a honed or sandblasted finish. Or consider using Tadelakt; it has a beautifully subtle texture and there are no grout lines to worry about. All of these create a feeling of understated luxury and earthiness which is a great contrast to clean lines. Also, use a restrained palette. I won't use more than two materials in one space, keeping it simple is key.'
8. Choose built-in storage
Of course, adequate storage is crucial to the success of any bathroom, but it doesn't have to be a completely utilitarian addition. Bathroom storage units can be sleek, and smart, and add to the room's look. If you have a compact space that you want to keep clean, clutter-free, and minimal, then go for built-in small bathroom storage ideas.
These nifty cabinets set inside the walls will not only save space but also look neat and can be enhanced with handsome shelves or drawers. Go for open and closed shelves, where the former can store everyday items such as towels and soaps and the latter can keep all the supplies.
'Built-in storage is key,' says Benji Lewis, founder of Benji Lewis Design. 'Eliminate the thought of cupboard doors with any kind of profile; instead, keep these flat and with hidden handles instead of knobs.'
How do I make my bathroom minimalist and clutter-free?
For a minimalist, clutter-free design, choose a pared-back yet sophisticated aesthetic. Opt for tactile, rich materials that will last longer and give the bathroom a natural, luxe vibe. Go in for a sleek bathroom vanity design, preferably a seamless one, that melds into the overall room's design and does not have a lot of visual breaks.
'In this bathroom, the wooden floating vanity injects the space with an earthy tone that's perfect for relaxation,' says Lindye Galloway, founder of Lindye Galloway Studio + Shop (opens in new tab). 'It also provides ample storage to keep items out of sight for an emphasized minimalist look.'
A clean-lined bathtub or even a sunken tub could help.
'When the detailing is done well the space will feel effortless and harmonious,' says Kashi. 'For example, when using tiles I always go with larger format tiles, as these minimize the visible grout lines and make the space feel calmer. It is important to think about how the tile layout works with other elements in the bathroom, for example, line up the grout line with the center of the tap or with the edge of the shower, so every line has a purpose. These subtle details at not noticeable on their own necessarily but will be contributing to the simple atmosphere.'
Aditi Sharma Maheshwari is an architecture and design journalist with over 10 years of experience. She's worked at some of the leading media houses in India such as Elle Decor, Houzz and Architectural Digest (Condé Nast). Till recently, she was a freelance writer for publications such as Architectural Digest US, House Beautiful, Stir World, Beautiful Homes India among others. In her spare time, she volunteers at animal shelters and other rescue organizations.
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