Tips for Timeless Bathroom Design

I was clipping out of magazines some favorite looks from the ‘Renovation Style’ and ‘Kitchen and Bath’ Special Publications the other day, consolidating them into a master inspiration file and I noticed that the bathrooms that stood out to me even years after publication had incorporated finishes and elements that withstood the test of time.  From my observations I’ve compiled six tips for ensuring timeless bathroom design in your next bathroom remodel.

Layers of White. There’s no question that a healthy dose of white makes a space feel cleaner, and where else could that design truth make more sense than in a bathroom.  Painted beadboard and ceramic white finishes will always project a timeless quality as seen in the spaces below.

classic white beadboard and subway tile bathroom bhg

classic white subway tile and vanity bhg

Dark Wood Tones.   The use of stained wood has been around as long as we can remember, and a deep walnut or espresso finish, when paired with crisp white, will communicate warmth as well as provide rich contrast.

espresso vanity brown curtain blue walls bhg

espresso open vanity bhg

Historic Finishes.  Marble has been used for centuries in kitchens and bathroom design and as a recognized natural stone it is always a beautiful choice for floors, walls, and countertops.  Limestone also falls into this category as do modern versions of clean solid surfaces that mimic the look.  Notice how the addition of a freestanding bathtub also adds a gracious quality to this soothing retreat.

white tile and cabinets bhg


White towels on a ladder used as a unique display complement the warm travertine tile installed in a simple grid pattern in both large and small scale in this bathroom with European appeal.

travertine tile bathroom bhg

A white pedestal sink is a classic choice as are sleek chrome or nickel finishes.  Temper the coolness in the metal with warm woods found in the mirror and infuse rich contrast with ebonized floors.

  pedestal sink chrome finishes bhg

White subway tile is a no fail choice for tiling walls in showers, or when used as a wainscot treatment around the surround of the bathroom.

white subway tile in shower bhg


Vintage Appeal.   Using pieces from the past not only adds personality but also ensures the design choices will still have appeal in the future, just like the antiques used to form the vanities seen below.  Modern vessel sinks installed above bring the old world pieces into the modern century.

antique console as bathroom vanity bhg


salvaged vanity bathroom console bhg


Water Colors.   In home remodeling, many people seek to transform their bathroom into a soothing oasis to give them a spa-like retreat.  Choosing colors associated with the colors of water in beautiful blues or greens will capture that feeling.

   blue glass bathroom wall tile bhg


blue mosaic glass bathroom tile

Built-In Storage.   In many older homes, you’ll find great architectural details and elements like recessed alcoves in a bathroom.  Mimic the look in your bathroom by stealing space from the wall or an adjacent closet to include the same convenient storage solution.

recessed shelf in bathroom bhg

 built in storage in bathroom bhg

Bold But Temporary.    It’s perfectly fine to use your favorite colors in your bathroom design, whether that’s a lime green or vivid orange, but to preserve the timelessness of a bathroom, it’s best to use those bold colors in a temporary way such as the paint color on the walls or the accessories chosen for the space.

It’s easy to repaint and switch out the accessories in future years but it’s a much more serious home improvement project to remove tile and replace sinks or flooring. Keeping this in mind, make your bold color choices ones that can later be changed to a different palette.

white tile green wall bathroom bhg

The same is true for fabrics.  The choice to use a graphic print on the window panels makes this bathroom feel very fresh and modern, but it also allows the homeowner to easily change that decorative element if they should choose to do so in the future.

white subway tile bathroom bhg


A timeless bathroom is one that includes materials that will withstand the test of time over the decades.  Choose tile, flooring, cabinetry, and fixtures that possess real authenticity, clean lines or traditional shapes and classic finishes, and you’ll enjoy a space that will add beauty and value to your home for years to come.



17 Responses to “ Tips for Timeless Bathroom Design ”

  1. I personally think that the use of granite will be going down in the not so distant future. Marble however, is making a resurgence in kitchens and bathrooms. I can remember seeing marble slabs in older homes when I was a kid but I am seeing it being in used in traditional and contemporary homes more often today.

    Brad Thomas

    Classic Clawfoot Tubs

  2. your bathroom. There are a huge variety of porcelain floor tiles to choose from, and they are long lasting so they are ideal for areas of the bathroom which see a lot of traffic.

  3. Great blog. i’m going to borrow a few ideas

  4. Thanks for sharing this great blog. Nice one.

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  10. Great article. Thank you for your valuable tips.Everyone want a fresh look for their bathroom. It’s really difficult to add more light and space to your bathroom if it is a congested place. I would suggest to use dispenser bottles for storing shampoo ,liquid soap,hand wash etc.

  11. I adore this! Great article. I especially liked the last bathroom :)

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