The Timeless style

Discover a few key principles plus some colours, materials, furniture and decoration that you can choose for a modern bathroom layout.

How do I create a modern bathroom?

Let’s get something straight from the start: a ‘modern’ bathroom is not a ‘fashionable’ bathroom. On the contrary, the modernity of your bathroom space will largely depend on its ability to remain, year in and year out, a room in which you feel really good. So you should create it in your own image. In other words, the bathroom should match your definition of well-being rather than any fleeting trend. The bathroom should also fit in well with your home’s interior spaces.

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Leading lines

A modern bathroom is therefore clearly a timeless place. To ensure it stands the test of time and that you don’t get tired of it, you should follow the principle of ‘Less is more’. This concept, an offshoot of minimalism, is attributed to the famous architect and designer Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, a pioneer of modernism. He took his inspiration from the idea that only simplicity, clean aesthetics and the exclusion of superfluous elements can enhance a building’s beauty, functionality and brightness (or that of a living space, and in this case your bathroom).

A personal touch

But don’t worry! A minimalist-style bathroom does not mean it will be dull or lack personality. You can easily add your own personal touch, simply because the bathroom is initially stripped of everything that is not absolutely necessary. Another advantage is that these small, personal additions can be more easily replaced by others, as time goes by and your preferences change. So you do not have to undertake an in-depth renovation of your bathroom. In each section of this article, we will show you how to apply this art in the details. This article focuses on the colours, materials, shapes and layout of furniture and the fittings you should use to create a modern bathroom that reflects your personality.


It should be obvious now that bright or garish colours, or bold/printed patterns, do not go well with modern bathrooms. You are more likely to find black and white, which are traditional and timeless. Moreover, black and white can be easily combined with any other colour. They are also more elegant if you select matt versions of black and white, e.g. for the taps. This style never goes out of fashion.

A light palette

Do you find black and white a bit too austere? Or perhaps you are looking for a slightly warmer ambience or simply something a little unusual. If so, you can create the ideal background for your modern bathroom by choosing a palette based on relatively light shades of beige or grey. You have a wide range of choices, including eggshell, cream, almond, sand, blond and powder pink for the beige range; plus pearl, silver, moon, graphite, light brown, etc. for the grey range.

Art in the details: a touch of colour

Once the walls, floor and furniture have been covered in these soft, gentle colours, you could subtly add elements featuring more intense hues that stand out in sharp contrast. Such as a poppy-red accessory, gold taps, Majorelle blue decorations, mustard-yellow, rust or lime-green bathroom towels. Or you could choose an accent wall to be painted in a contrasting shade, or wallpapered with geometric or plant motifs. You could always repaint it or change the wallpaper, whenever you fancy a change... 😉 ...

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The materials

You may not be that surprised if we suggest looking to nature for inspiration when choosing the materials for your bathroom. By using wood and natural stone, you can create a place to relax, somewhere that is calm and serene. Wood is an excellent material for the furniture, washbasin top and floor, and natural stone is good for the basin/sink itself, as well as the walls and floor. 

The alternatives

Here too, you can venture onto some interesting side roads. For instance, by choosing concrete, marble or wall coverings that perfectly mimic the look of various wood species or types of stone. Tiling is a great idea, even if only used for part of your bathroom. This can be done in a variety of shapes and sizes: small tiles on the shower wall, large tiles on the floor, or a small niche decorated with a beautiful mosaic for a refined and artistic use of tiles. Tiles are also easy and practical to clean, helping to ensure a totally hygienic bathroom.

Additional features

To harmoniously complement these materials, select the transparency of glass for your shower enclosure, and a translucent material or ceramic in a subtle shade for the countertop basin. Metal is also a good option: cast iron, brass and copper for a vintage feel, or stainless steel and steel – brushed or polished – to create a sophisticated bathroom finish.

Art in the details: living material

To ensure you don’t end up with too much uniformity, which could later become a bit monotonous, you could decorate the front of your furniture with grooves. For example, add horizontal grooves to the unit under the washbasin, and vertical ones on the pedestal. These grooves can add a touch of structure to a small bathroom, as well as a feeling of spaciousness. Feel free to also decorate the space with green plants. This will introduce nature in a very real sense. Plants also help to purify the atmosphere, by absorbing humidity in the bathroom. Try for example ivy, ferns, spider plants and aloe vera. If you have the space and your bathroom has lots of natural light, you could add a palm tree, banana tree or a papyrus. Finally, you could add wicker baskets for storage, a wool rug, or an antique leather armchair bought at a flea market. Or perhaps an old wooden ladder as a towel rail. Together, these items will create a warm, natural yet modest environment.

Shapes and layout

Of course, smaller shapes and cleaner lines are also key to creating a minimalist bathroom that is truly designed for relaxation. But above all, the main aim should be to keep the space as uncluttered as possible. Nothing should lie on the floor. Nor should anything spoil the view or impede movement around your bathroom. This goal is easily achieved with a washbasin set on a piece of furniture, to save storage space, as well as a walk-in shower, a towel warmer, and a pedestal and wall-hung WC.

A tip: flush-mounting

To further emphasise the impression of brightness and clarity in your bathroom, choose a shower control that lies as flat as possible; ideally it should be flush-mounted. You can do the same with the tap on your basin, which can be recessed into the wall, while the shower head can be fitted into the ceiling.

Art in the details: bring design to unexpected places

Radiators have long been used in the bathroom – not only as a source of heat, but also as a place to hang towels to dry more quickly. But there are also perfectly flat radiators, available in a wide range of colours to blend perfectly into the bathroom space. Other radiators feature geometric shapes that give them a sculpture-like form, yet they take up no extra space. This is ideal for a truly modern bathroom.

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A small modern bathroom

Before wrapping up this article, let’s take another look at two situations: a small bathroom, and a large one. The streamlined look we’ve been talking about is already a wonderful asset for small bathrooms. But other elements can further enhance the modern feel of this small wellness area:

  • Install an Italian-style shower rather than a bathtub, and choose a completely transparent glass wall.
  • If you want to keep enjoying baths, you can choose a corner bathtub.
  • Paint or tile the walls and floor of your bathroom with a light colour.
  • Hang a large mirror or several mirrors, to create an impression that the room is larger.

Focus on the lighting, to ensure your bathroom is as brightly lit as possible

A large modern bathroom

If you’re lucky enough to have sufficient space, you can create a master suite, where the bathroom becomes a kind of living room adjoining the bedroom. And since space is at a premium, think big:

  • Install a countertop with two sinks or two basins, as well as a double shower so you can shower as a duo.
  • Opt for a freestanding bathtub that you can place in the centre of the room or – even more stylishly – on a platform.
  • Decorate the space with a comfortable sofa and floor lamps, plus very large plants.

A final piece of advice

The ideal way to create your bathroom is to first seek inspiration wherever you find it, i.e. through magazines, reports, photos, not to mention trips, stays in hotels or B&Bs, city-trips, etc. Afterwards, to turn your plans into a reality, you could visit one of our showrooms. There you can compare your ideas with what is available on the market, and discover that there are often many more options than you imagined! 

Feel free to ask our experts for advice: they will guide you in making the right choices to suit your wishes, needs and dreams.

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