10 Inspiring Ideas for Creating a Luxurious Primary Bathroom

Audrey Bruno
Written by Audrey Bruno
Updated January 21, 2022
White tub tree shower shelf
Photo: Lauren Debello Interiors

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Bathroom trends come and go, but there are plenty of tried-and-true ways to create a luxury space you’ll love for ages. Whether your bathroom is small or large or old or new, certain elements of timeless bathroom design will make it feel glamorous no matter your starting point.

From opulent touches, like chandeliers and clawfoot tubs, to modern and industrial design approaches, these are 10 ways that design pros and DIYers transform their primary bathrooms into luxury spaces.

1. Spring for a Heated Floor

Black and white bathroom tub window
Photo: Beth Howley Creative

Along with a mix of metal accents and black furnishings, Beth Howley of Beth Howley Creative used heated floors and side lighting to create a warm and inviting bathroom space. “I always prefer side sconces to overhead sconces because the light is better and more flattering,” she explains, “and a heated floor is a true luxury for a [primary] bathroom.”  

A heated floor will help you prevent any cold feet in the morning, and we cannot think of anything more luxurious than that.

2. Play With Existing Elements

Bathroom green tub black and white tile
Photo: North Mast House

You don’t need to use a fully modern approach to achieve a luxury primary bathroom. In fact, reincorporating and reimagining existing features is a great way to retain the history of your abode while also updating it for the 21st century. 

Casey Leach of North Mast House on Instagram says that she and her husband focused on preserving what they could—like the sinks and clawfoot tub, which just needed a fresh coat of paint.

3. Decorate With Unexpected Objects

Marble bathroom tub art
Photo: Unexpected Elegance

When you’re not sure how to bring a bathroom space to life, don’t be afraid to look for decoration inspiration in unexpected places. This bathroom from Angela Lerew at Unexpected Elegance is a masterclass in how the small and unusual can make a surprisingly big impact. A simple scheme of marble tile, black bathroom fixtures, and white wood paneling is transformed into a spa-like space with the addition of fine art, geometrically-patterned drapes, and unexpected design elements like old-fashioned pharmacy jars and designer hats. 

4. Create Drama With Contrast

Black and white bathtub and mirrors
Photo: Lauren Debello Interiors

If your bathroom feels so light and airy that it could float away, dark accents will provide contrast while also creating balance. Lauren Debello of Lauren Debello Interiors keeps this light and airy bathroom grounded with sturdy, dark black vanity and tile floor. White, plush area rugs, smooth marble countertops, and luscious plant life bring balance to the contrasting dark and light shades. And decorative bathroom mirrors make the space even more dynamic. 

5. Choose a Glamorous Tile

Bathroom mirror lights round sinks
Photo: Natalie Zappia

Nothing adds a splash of glitz and glam to a primary bathroom faster than a tile that sparkles and shines. Opting for a shimmery tile in your shower or tub area will bring a bit of pizzazz to minimalist and maximalist spaces alike. Paired with a dark wood floating vanity, gold accents, and warm LED lighting, this space from Natalie Zappia of @our_beachside_reno finds luxury in sleek lines, cool tones, and tactile textures.

6. Don’t Be Afraid to Mix and Match Different Patterns

Bathroom green wood details tiles
Photo: Kasey Wilkinson

Combining a range of patterns, textures, and materials will make your primary bathroom feel both dynamic and luxurious. In this mixed and matched space, Kasey Wilkinson of DIY Decor demonstrates that less isn’t always more. Planning your scheme ahead of time is the key to ensuring that everything feels organized and cohesive rather than chaotic, she tells us.

7. Go Bold With Color

Bathroom green tiles and pink floor
Photo: Studio DIY

This pink and green bathroom from Kelly at Studio DIY is a perfect example of how betting big on bold colors can pay off. A glazed, emerald shower tile balances the floor’s mat finish, and plush and woven accessories soften the hard angles of this vibrant space. Create a cohesive environment with glam pops of color by taking a look at a color wheel to find vibrant shades that create a cohesive environment and scream luxury.

8. Splurge on Luxury Accessories

Bathroom tan feathers wicker
Photo: Caitlin Pappas

Investing in high-quality accessories is a quick way to make a bathroom feel luxurious without having to do any construction. Cait Pappas of Nest Out West considered hundreds of products before deciding what was and wasn’t worthy of her space. That included small but mighty accessories like faucets, door handles, and light fixtures, as well as larger, foundational elements like tiles, glass, and wood. The extra work (and occasional additional expense) turned her at-home spa-escape into a reality.

9. Embrace Old Architecture

Green wall black shower detail
Photo: This Yunky House

Before tearing out or knocking down existing architectural elements, consider how they might look in a new context. What might seem passe can become modern and polished with the right luxury touches. Zach and Hugh of This Yunky House used gold finishes, vintage and antique art and photos, and unexpected decorative objects like Victorian candle-holders to create a history-loving space that doesn’t feel dated.

10. Take a Non-Traditional Approach

Floor to ceiling brown tile
Photo: Sebastian Schrewelius and Tobias Lundquist

Don’t be afraid to explore other parts of your home to find the perfect setting for your future luxury bathroom. Because they didn’t have a traditional primary bathroom already, Sebastian Schrewelius and Tobias Lundquist of Tornhuset.torp set their eyes on this industrial space in their home instead. 

Though it wasn’t already equipped with plumbing, they were inspired to use the odd metal-framed window to nowhere as a door for their future shower. Don’t close yourself off to non-traditional design elements because you won’t believe how far you can transform a space.

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