A Neon Vanity, Squiggly Tile, and a Pink Sink—These 13 Modern Bathroom Ideas Bring the Fun
Contemporary doesn’t have to mean cold.
Published Dec 30, 2023 4:05 AM
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We have a lot to thank the modern design movement for: the airy open-floor plan, a focus on natural light, and the use of no-nonsense materials and clean lines. In a bathroom, that translates to a serene sanctuary that couldn’t make self-care look cooler.
But oftentimes when you hear “modern,” your mind conjures a sparse, white room. Not exactly the most inspiring place to start the day, right? Keep scrolling for 13 modern bathroom ideas that show how to create a minimalist space that is still filled to the brim with personality and style. For your consideration: calming (and flattering!) lighting, an energizing grout color, and a maximum-zen soaker tub.
Draw Some Dramatic Lines
There’s nothing better than re-creating the feeling of a spa at home. For their L.A. client, Studio Shamshiri added a walk-in tub lined in Moroccan zellige tile that’s framed by a stunner of a floor-to-ceiling window. If you’re lacking the square footage (and full-blown budget) to pull off this quiet luxury look, start by placing your tub against a window and/or adding a plant (the taller the better), then integrating as many long, vertical lines as possible.
Create a Zen Cocoon
In this wabi-sabi-inspired Brooklyn haven, dark, textured walls (achieved with a plaster treatment and color-matched to the bedroom walls), all-black floor tile, and concrete vanity work in tandem with the warm, walnut beams and storage units. Let this be your sign to finally try out modern bathroom ideas with a moodier palette.
Behold the Power of a Dimmer
Often overlooked but key to a considered, contemporary bathroom is low lighting. Designers Jesse Rudolph and Joelle Kutner of L.A.’s Ome Dezin used dimmers to set the mood in this minimalist space. From there, they streamlined every design element, from the custom oak vanity with an inset sink in leathered Cipollino marble (also found on the floors and shower bench) to the fixtures.
Transform Tile With Colorful Grout
“I love color, but I still wanted the space to be calming,” says London-based Lindsey Isla of the bathroom renovation she completed with her fiancé. To achieve a soft but dynamic space, Isla leaned on geometric lines and an edited palette—the peachy pink hue on the walls carries up to the ceiling, while the green grout matches the mint green faucet (and lilac pops up throughout the house). The project proves basic white square tile can unlock plenty of personality with the right design.
Commit to an Ethereal Color
This icy blue and white bathroom shows how easy it is to embrace modern bathroom ideas while making them your own. According to L.A. designer Alexa Lameiras of Two Muse Studios, “We wanted to do natural wood cabinets in the primary bathroom to bring some warmth into the space, but the [client] was adamant about painting the vanities blue.” The result is like floating on a cloud.
Make a Moody Romantic Remix
Don’t feel like you need to stick to an era; there’s power in mashing up timelines. Designer Analisse Taft-Gersten, founder of ALT for Living, and her husband did just that in their Connecticut home. Here, the dramatic black stone vanity (made with extras from the new fireplace) looks even more contemporary in contrast against a Victorian-inspired marble-print wallpaper. The best of both worlds.
Follow Surf-Minded Simplicity
If you were wondering how to apply modern bathroom ideas to a casual-cool home, this 390-square-foot cabin in the cliffs of Cape Town is your answer. Architect Alexander McGee salvaged materials whenever possible—including sourcing pine wood from a scrapyard that now decks out the entire bathroom. Matte black hardware and trim create a crisp visual contrast that stays true to the essentials-only surf shack vibe. Call it new wave–modern.
Jazz Up Black and White Tile
This abstract ceramic tiled bathroom found in the NYC home of Devin and Mike Shanahan has a breezy, improvisational vibe. However, Devin eschewed random placement by creating her own letter-slash-numbering system to communicate the desired look to their subcontractor. “I had fun with it, but I am not sure [he] ever wants to see me again,” she says, laughing. The graphic pattern’s small scale still makes a big impact.
Add a Highlighter Hue
Who better than a Berliner to tap for the coolest modern bathroom ideas? A single pop of neon in the form of a chartreuse vanity, paired with a prefab sauna wrapped in plywood and floor-to-ceiling windows, make this airy space feel like being in a boutique hotel while brushing your teeth in the morning.
Bring in Curve Appeal
When Shanty Wijaya and James Mulyadi of design-build firm Allprace renovated their Spanish-style Los Angeles home, they drew inspiration from Catalan modernism—and brought the drama to every single room, including the guest bathroom. Groovy terracotta tiles, rounded glass partitions, and ample skylights accented with wood beams make the space contemporary and cozy.
Go Big With Small Square Footage
As far as modern bathroom ideas go, this color-drenched space dials up the fun. The sculptural pink pedestal sink makes a statement, especially sitting in front of the full-wall, half-moon motif backsplash. “It doesn’t really tie into any of the other architecture,” says Kate Balsis, cofounder of Concrete Collaborative, of the powder room in her family’s California property. “But it’s such a concentration of style that then flows out to the rest of our home.”
Get Playful With the Details
There’s so much to love about this kids’ shared bathroom from U.K. designers Jordan Cluroe and Russell Whitehead of 2LG Studio, who are known for using playful shapes and impactful hues. Between the monochrome color palette and mix of materials—the floor is a poured resin for easy cleanup and the mirror adds an element of fun to the sophisticated space, which also features a marble wraparound backsplash—it’s clear this space is a master class in modern design.
Channel a Spa in the City
Jazzy terrazzo floors and a custom Japanese ofuro soaking tub work together to create a spalike primary bathroom that doesn’t take itself too seriously. The space exudes minimalism and functionality in all the right ways. “I lived in Japan for a year, and it’s always been my adult dream to have this tub,” says Brooklyn homeowner Linda Bui. “The wood smells so good.” When in doubt, always go with your senses.