Published on December 23, 2018

For most people, bathrooms are an afterthought. Hardly as exciting to decorate as a living room or as easy to personalize as a bedroom, the often smallest room in the house is a tricky one to get right. Which is why when we see a really great bathroom, we remember it.

The best thing about our favorite bathrooms in 2018 is the variety. We’ve seen tiny spaces that are just as visually impactful as larger luxe bathrooms. We’ve seen cool wallpaper moments sure to inspire even the most minimalist among us to try a bit of pattern. And don’t even get us started on the enviable bathtubs in some of the homes we’ve written about—they’re so dreamy that they’d make a spa jealous.

Without further ado, here are some of the most memorable bathrooms of the year.

Best Tilework

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Photography by Cody Guilfoyle

A combination of folk art–inspired wallpaper and complementary blue tiling, this Allison Tick–designed bathroom is showstopping in every way.

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Photography by Claire Esparros

This is what we call “sticking to a theme.” Designer Tali Roth did away with complications and stuck to a simple, grid-like tile for this trippy bathroom. The result is a sleek, geometric space that anyone with a penchant for minimalism will want to copy ASAP.

Most Enviable Bathtub

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Photography by Jason Frank Rothenberg

Lourdes Hernández happens to be in possession of the perfectly pink bathroom of our dreams—largely due to the gorgeous standalone bathtub that gets its own mini room in the master en-suite.

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Photography by Belu Photography

This Scandinavian-inspired home is full of noteworthy moments, but the master bathroom has to be the biggest one. The combined shower and tub area (decked out in Carrara marble) has a rustic, farmhouse charm to it we absolutely love.

The Small Bathrooms That Give Us Hope

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Photography by Tim Van de Velde 

In this Amsterdam house, every part of the light-filled space has some element of industrialism. This especially pays off in the tiny bathroom, where clean lines and simple, uncomplicated design keep it from feeling claustrophobic.  

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Photography by Claire Esparros

Alternatively, those dealing with a tiny bathroom can go the completely opposite route and turn traditional rules for small-space decorating on their head—just be sure to contain bold statements to one thing, so as not to overcrowd the room. For designer Tali Roth, this took the form of retro floor-to-wall terrazzo.

Best Wallpaper

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Photography by Wynn Meyers

Kim West’s Austin home is a pattern-filled dream; her bathroom is no exception. A whimsical botanical print wallpaper—whose floral effect is heightened by real flowers scattered about—turns the room into one of the home’s focal points.

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Photography by Mia Baxter

Another Austin home (there’s something in the tap water) with a can’t-miss wallpaper bathroom moment, Consuelo Pierrepont Spitler’s space is a lesson in genre mash-ups. Black-and-white desert-inspired wallpaper gets a contemporary, industrial twist set against a concrete sink.

Coolest Hardware

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Photography by Alexandra Ribar

When in doubt, go matte black. The hardware finish is eons cooler than traditional metallic—as exemplified here, in this Leanne Ford–designed bathroom. It even matches the exposed pipe and light fixture.

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Photography by Ryan Garvin

Feeling something a little more eclectic? Raili Clasen opted for electric-blue hardware in this Newport Beach home’s bathroom. It makes a statement when paired with the accent wall blue paint and contrasted with the vibrant yellow pendant light.

Best Shower

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Photography by Augusta Photography

This one’s good because it’s attainable—the thing that sets apart Liz Solms’s space is that she took traditional bath fixtures and gave them easy updates that anyone (even a renter) can make. For instance, she reglazed the bathtub in a fun pink hue and swapped out a boring shower curtain for this cool pink liner from Quiet Town.

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Photography by Stephen Busken

Stefani Stein designed this California condo to be a modern take on coastal decor, which entailed gutting the master bath to turn it into a space that perfectly combined beach living—via the tiles—and contemporary style—via the brass fixtures.  

Best Sink

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Photography by Ryan Garvin

Who says farmhouse-style sinks have to be contained to the kitchen? This Newport Beach home proves otherwise, with a cool matte black sink instantly elevating the kids’ bathroom.

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Photography by Thayer Gowdy

Hands down, this is the most showstopping sink we’ve ever seen—it almost looks like something one might find in a luxe hotel. Minted founder Mariam Naficy spent time curating a collected home, which is why her bathroom looks unique. An indigo blue sink, sitting atop driftwood instead of traditional counters, is accented by small accents she picked up over the years.

See more bathroom design ideas:
Two-Tone Bathrooms Are Having a Moment—Here Are Our Favorites

The Only Bathroom Upgrade You Need Costs Under $60
Your Garbage Can Doesn’t Have to Look Like Trash

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