From Color-Blocked Cabinets to Wood Paneling, These Mid-Century Modern Bathrooms Feel So Now
The design era is still bursting with ideas.
Published Oct 24, 2023 1:00 AM
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Everyone wants a bathroom that’s clear of clutter and easy to clean. Which is why there’s something inherently pleasing about a mid-century modern bathroom—with its streamlined storage, warm wood accents, saturated colors, and bold tile choices, the design movement balances style with ease and comfort. It’s no wonder, then, that designers continue to look to the era for fresh ideas.
Keep reading to get inspired by 10 mid-century modern bathrooms that range from sophisticated and serene to downright daring.
The Mid-Century Modern Bathroom–Meets–Living Room
What’s the first piece of furniture that comes to mind when you think of mid-century design? For many, it’s a sleek wood credenza—which, it turns out, also translates well as a bathroom vanity. This one is admittedly more special than your run-of-the-mill storage piece. The custom unit, created by Robert McKinley for a client’s house in Montauk, New York, is made of mahogany and features built-in bench seating.
The Eye-Catching DIY’d Mid-Century Modern Bathroom
Sometimes, as in this bathroom, less is certainly not more. Racheal Jackson, the Portland, Oregon–based muralist behind Banyan Bridges, took a risk and tiled her floors in a combination of nine different Fireclay Tile colors. After much deliberation and a little help from Photoshop, she created a vibrant pattern that could be pulled straight from a mid-century modern swatch book. The finishing touch: matte black fixtures.
The Elevated Original Mid-Century Modern Bathroom
When Pamela and Ramin Shamshiri of Studio Shamshiri were tasked with updating a Los Angeles home built in 1961 and designed by Robert Kennard, a pioneering Black architect who worked for Richard Neutra’s office at the time, the brother-sister duo lovingly preserved the architecture. The bathrooms, however, needed a redo while staying true to Kennard’s vision. Cue: aubergine and azure glazed terracotta zellige tile handmade in Morocco that nod to the era’s emphasis on craft. “The colors felt as if they were drawn from a palette of 1960s laminates,” note the Shamshiris.
The Wood-Paneled Mid-Century Modern Bathroom
The Palm Springs mid-century modern spirit lives on in the Los Angeles home of television writer Michelle Nader. Architect Barbara Bestor teamed up with designer Cy Carter and his wife, Genevieve, to bring the ranch back to life, including adding Douglas fir millwork and tile in an adventurous color palette in the bathroom. The effect is like stepping inside a chic sauna.
The Shape-Centric Mid-Century Modern Bathroom
“I wanted to make a statement in here that made me smile all the time,” says interior designer Regan Baker of the mod shower setup in her family’s renovated 1960s San Francisco home. The pink tile is a fresh take on classic mid-century patterns, which skewed geometric, while the wall-to-wall transom window and wood vanity complete the look.
The Cool and Contrasting Mid-Century Bathroom
Dallas graphic designer Kaitlyn Coffee brings her unique chromatic POV to every corner of her mid-century home—but especially in the bathroom, where seemingly opposing colors and patterns come together in an unfussy way (think: burnt orange with baby blue and richly veined marble with checkerboard). Topped off with matte white fixtures and vintage art, Coffee effortlessly plays up the “modern” in mid-century.
The Dark and Moody Mid-Century Modern Bathroom
Oak millwork steals the show in this mid-century-inspired Connecticut home (that was actually built in 1984). When updating the property, James Veal and Christine Stucker, the husband-and-wife duo behind architecture studio Stewart-Schafer, opted to keep original features intact and most of the space light—the only exception being their son’s room and the bathroom. A fresh coat of almost-black Benjamin Moore paint and a mod towel hook from Design Within Reach was all it took.
The Two-Tone Mid-Century Modern Bathroom
Sight Unseen cofounder and editor in chief Jill Singer knew exactly what she wanted for the renovation of her kids’ bathroom at her home in East Hampton, New York: to be covered in tile just like at the iconic Gerald Luss House, built in 1955. Keren Richter, cofounder of design firm White Arrow, made Singer’s dreams come true. “It’s like a refreshing glass of lemonade,” says Richter of the zesty yellow-on-yellow space.
The Color-Blocked Mid-Century Modern Bathroom
Frances Merrill of L.A.’s Reath Design didn’t limit herself to a rigid color scheme when refreshing the family house of vintage clothing boutique owner Brynn Jones and her husband, Ness Saban. The 1963 Robert Lee–designed three-bedroom home is packed with unexpected hues—most notably in the primary bathroom, where color-blocked cabinets are classic mid-century while also being entirely unique to the couple’s taste.
The Spa-Ready Mid-Century Modern Bathroom
Food personality and cookbook author Molly Baz lovingly compares her monochrome green primary bathroom to Cae Sal, her infamous abbreviation for Caesar salad. Sage green square tile, a custom jade green onyx vanity, and a tub enclosure paired with indoor plants—as well as a skylight view of Baz and husband Ben Willett’s palm tree–filled backyard—all create the perfect oasis for the pair’s mid-century-inspired Los Angeles home.