15 Rules to Follow When Designing Your Dream Bathroom

A bathroom isn’t just another room in the house: it’s more like a private oasis where you can escape from the daily hustle and bustle and take time to be alone.

On which note, do you ever dream of walking into your perfect bathroom?

Do you dream of showering in luxury and feel rejuvenated every time you walk into and out of it?

You see, the dream bathroom is all about your personal touches and what is ideal for one person, may not be ideal for another. This includes the tiles, colours and fixtures – each depends on what you deem perfect for your space.

At the end of the day, a bathroom is meant to be a room in your home where you can relax, get ready and also indulge in all your senses.

In today’s blog, we want to share with you 15 simple ways you can make spruce up your bathroom and make it a dream come true.


Let’s begin!

1. Choose an efficient layout

Floor plans for bathrooms fall into either a one-wall, two-wall, or three-wall layout and the choice really depends on where you want to place your amenities. For example, do you prefer the sink, toilet, and shower all on one wall? Or, do you want the sink and toilet on one wall and the bathtub and shower parallel to them, on the other wall? Whilst the first option is cost-effective, the second gives you more flexibility in design (as shown below).

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The third option is to have the toilet, shower, and bathtub on separate walls. This last layout is the most versatile, however, it requires the relevant space and an investment. Regardless of which layout you choose, make sure to consider the following: plumbing, wiring, water lines, vent stacks, and if there’s enough space to move around – you don’t want to feel squished into a tiny space either!

2. Make your bathtub stand out

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Typically, the bathtub is a natural focal point of any bathroom, so one way of making your dream bathroom a reality is by having the bathtub count! If you prefer the aesthetic and design of freestanding bathtubs, choose one with claw-and-ball feet, a pedestal base, or straight/curved sides. Freestanding bathtubs are available in different colours and sizes and add spaciousness and luxury to your bathroom.

On the other hand, if you prefer a platform or built-in bathtub, your best choices are either a soaking tub or a whirlpool tub. You can deck the top or deck with tiles, marbles, or limestones and then add wooden panels, tiles, or stones on the sides. Ultimately, choosing your bathtub depends on how you want to decorate your bathroom. For example, if you have a small space to work with, or if you don’t want a separate shower, you can easily solve two problems by installing a showerhead over the bathtub! It’s a cost – and space-saving solution!

3. Build a stylish yet practical shower

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When designing your dream bathroom and finalising the shower, you can either maintain a modern touch by using minimalist lines or bring a flourish of traditional grace with rich tiles and elaborate trims. What you choose really depends on the overall design of the room and how you want it to blend with the rest of your home’s aesthetic! 

The current trend with showers is installing shower stalls that are only made of glass. Not only are these extremely modern, they can also make your bathroom feel clean, breezy, and spacious. Coupled with the right showerhead, your bathroom will look like it’s straight out of a home design magazine! 

Speaking of showerheads, the choice is extensive and as always, depends on your preferred style and desired functionality. For example, you can choose from ceiling-mounted showerheads or light rain-shower showerheads (as pictured below), body spray/vertical rows of showerheads, and handheld showerheads.

When finalising the shower wall/splashback and floor, you can choose from porcelain tiles or stone tiles. If you really want to deck out your bathroom, you can choose a different size or style of tiles for the shower compared to those of the rest of the bathroom. So that mould doesn’t build up on the shower floor and damage the tiles, it’s best to optimise your shower with storage solutions like hanging a rack on the wall or building recessed shelving at a comfortable height. 

The final consideration you may want to add to your shower is framing it or leaving it frameless. It’s not a big deal and either option has its pros and cons, just something to consider before finalising your design. Also, if you don’t want to install a separate bathtub, you can always just install a shower seat in the shower!

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4. Get a good toilet and keep it out of sight

Toilets are a life necessity and luckily there are a few tricks of the trade that can help you make them a pleasant one! For instance, it’s a really good idea to buy a good-quality toilet. Why? In the long term, it will prevent messy leaks and plumbing problems – saving you time and money with buying a replacement down the road. If you have a small bathroom and want to save space and make it feel more spacious, floating toilets are an excellent solution! They look cute and they make life easier when mopping the floors. 

The most important trick of the trade in designing and creating a luxurious bathroom is keeping your toilet out of sight when you open the door! You may start to notice that this is a modern trend and many older homes do not implement this, however it makes a huge difference to your bathroom! How do you do this? Well, you can either build a partition wall to hide the toilet or you can install it in a corner behind the vanity. At the end of the day, you don’t want the toilet to be the first thing you see when you enter the bathroom because no matter how modern its design, a toilet is a toilet.

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5. Pick the right vanity and storage cabinet

When choosing the right vanity for your bathroom you can either choose something modern or something more vintage. A modern vanity, like a floating vanity, is simple and streamlined and will add spaciousness to the bathroom and give it a more refined and minimalistic look. Alternatively, installing a furniture style/vintage vanity with wooden shapely legs or curvy feet will add a sense of personality and character to your bathroom. 

If the bathroom is an ensuite, you can add a double sink, or if it’s in the main hall, a single-sink vanity also looks great. Our biggest advice to anyone who is working on their bathroom is to ensure that the vanity is a comfortable height, otherwise using it becomes an awkward experience.

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Another consideration for your vanity is finding the right vanity cabinet! While choosing the size depends on the vanity and how you intend to use it, something that is overlooked is choosing the right handles! While there is a huge selection for this, a rule of thumb is that large handles are a better choice if you want your cabinets to be opened easily. Otherwise, soft-close doors and drawers are excellent, especially if everyone in the house has different work schedules: the clanging of cabinets won’t disrupt anyone’s sleeping. 

In case you need extra storage in the bathroom, you can install a wall cabinet with open shelves or doors. Alternatively, installing a freestanding cabinet with mirrored doors will create an illusion that the space is larger than it is, which is an ideal solution for smaller bathrooms.

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6. Hang a mirror

A bathroom is a space where everyone prepares for their day. Whether it is doing their make-up, brushing their teeth, fixing their hair or shaving their face, a mirror is a necessity. However, picking the right mirror for your bathroom’s aesthetic is also an important choice as it really adds another layer of design to your room. For example: do you want a round mirror or a rectangle one or do you want one with a frame or without a frame? While on the outset it seems that all your bathroom needs is a large mirror above the vanity, you can get really creative with this and in doing so, truly transform your bathroom.

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For example, you can add a “WOW” factor to your bathroom by framing your mirror with something fancy. Frames can be made from wood, mosaics or even antique and flower designs and really add that special touch to a space. As with all the other bathroom design ideas, whether you select a simple mirror or a fancy one, it’s your dream bathroom so the choice is yours!

7. Choose the right taps and fixtures

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Much like choosing your toilet, investing in high-quality taps and fixtures is a must, especially if (in the long-term) you don’t want water leaking in your bathroom. You can choose something simple like white porcelain with elegant and clean lines, or something fancy like gold tapware which look great in federation homes. If you have a modern bathroom, like the one below, a sleek and slimline basin outlet is simply perfect too.


Whatever you choose, be consistent with the style, size, and colour of the fixtures. For example, if you’ve chosen white fixtures, it’s best to install these in your vanity, bathtub, and shower. Likewise, if you choose silver, install these across the entire bathroom. This type of uniformity is the key to good design!

8. Plan a lighting scheme

If you know anything about filming or photography, you would know that lighting can make a huge difference to the ambience of a shot. On this note, if you want your bathroom to feel grand, consider installing a pendant light or a mini chandelier over the vanity. Alternatively, if you prefer a simple design, you can install a ceiling-mounted light. 

If you want to eliminate shadows and light your face properly when looking into the mirror, we suggest installing lights around or behind the mirror. If you want to make your shower feel bigger and look brighter, we suggest adding small, water-safe recessed lights and if you have an enclosed shower and bathtub, we recommend installing enclosed vapour-proof downlights.

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If you want to add a “WOW” factor and make the room feel bigger and brighter, simply add skylights above the shower or bathtub! You can also use lights to give the room a particular ambience. For example, ambient lights can create a relaxing night-time presence and accent lights can spotlight certain parts of the bathroom, creating a certain sparkle to the overall ambience and mood.

9. Make the most of your window

Given the nature of bathrooms, from the steam of hot showers that needs to be cleared and the smells of the toilet that need to be aired, windows are a must! However, depending on what you like, you can still select different windows to go with your desired aesthetic and purpose. For example, do you want to soak in the bath and also enjoy the beautiful view outside? Then a large window is perfect for your bathroom! On the other hand, if you prefer privacy, you could install a small or frosted window.

If you want to add softness to your bathroom’s decor and absorb sound, you may want to consider dressing the windows with fabrics such as curtains, draperies, valances, or balloon or Roman shades. These patterns add colour and variety to your bathroom. Though you can blinds or shutters, please be mindful when making your selection. We suggest investing in ones that resist moisture, humidity, and mould, as well as providing privacy and light control.

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10. Tile your walls and floor

This may sound biased coming from a paver company, however, it is true so we will go ahead and say it: installing quality floors is the most important feature to any room, especially a bathroom. So if you want to create a luxurious and elegant feel to your bathroom, consider ceramic tiles or natural stone tiles like travertine, marble, limestone or bluestone for the walls and floor. These tiles are waterproof, durable, and slip-resistant – which makes them ideal for a bathroom! 

Depending on the overall style, you can add texture and colour to the room by setting up the tiles in a mosaic formation or use them to create various shapes like hexagons, diamonds, or small rectangles. You can also tile the entire room from top to bottom, or just tile half the wall and paint the rest of it, or paint a feature wall and tile the others. 

Another trick of the trade is choosing your grout colour! For example, if you want the tiles to “pop” as individual pieces, opt for a contrasting grout colour. On the other hand, if you want the tiles to blend together, choose a grout that matches the tiles.

11. Include a feature wall

An excellent way to add character to your bathroom is by adding a feature wall as a statement piece! Some ideas include painting one wall in a bright colour that contrasts the rest of the bathroom, for example making a turquoise-coloured feature wall. Or you can use stone pavers or tiles to create your feature wall like the travertine one pictured below.

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In order to make your feature wall a focal point, or shining star, of your bathroom make sure that everything else in the bathroom is muted and subtle. Installing a skylight above the feature wall can also help put it in the spotlight. You could even tuck a discreet LED strip directly into the ceiling and wash the entire wall with light!

12. Add plants and flowers

Bathrooms can often feel quite out of touch with nature, which is why adding plants and flowers can really spruce up the entire room and make it a warm and welcoming space. 

Some beautiful ideas include lining the windowsill with small pots of succulents or placing a bouquet of freshly cut flowers next to the sink. You could also hang plants above the bathtub or hang moisture-loving orchids on the wall. Decorating the bathroom with a floral motif in the form of tiles, shower curtains or wallpaper is another way of adding a ‘natural’ touch if you don’t have the capacity to look after real plants.

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13. Install ventilation and heating

Opening the windows after you’ve taken a bath or shower can help ventilate your bathroom, but sometimes this isn’t enough. To help ventilate the space and prevent the build-up of mould, you might want to install a fan on the ceiling. 

Installing a heater like a wall heater, in-floor radiant heater, towel heater, or a portable heater, is another excellent idea for warming up the bathroom on those cold winter days. Better yet, you might want to invest in a heat and ventilation light that solves both problems in one go!

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14. Pick the perfect colour palette

Bathrooms are usually decked out in white, monochrome, or soft neutral colours to create a relaxed setting that never goes out of style. But just because this is the trend doesn’t mean you aren’t free to choose bold and bright colours, which have the power to energise and wake you up. 

At the end of the day, this is your bathroom so you can choose whatever suits your taste! For example, if you like blue and yellow, you can choose to install the feature wall, floors/walls, vanity, bathtub, and anything else in these colours and doing so, add a real touch of character and personality to the space.

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If, on the other hand, you desire a chic, masculine and monochrome look, your best bet is installing grey and white tiles. If you want to create a dramatic or boutique hotel look, use dark patterned tiles. No matter what colour or combination of colours you choose, if you follow all the other tips, your bathroom is simply going to glow!

15. Keep it simple but stylish

Our last, but certainly not least, tip in creating the bathroom of your dreams is advising you to keep it simple, but stylish. To keep it from looking cluttered, only separate your bathtub and shower if you have the space for it: otherwise, combine them.

As for styling your bathroom, you can choose fluffy towels in colours that compliment the colour palette of the towel rack, place scented candles and soap canisters on the vanity, and create a relaxing vibe next to the tub by adding some sumptuous bath mats with traditional bath soap on a wooden stool. You can create additional comfort and character in the space by installing a gas-insert fireplace, an entertainment system, a beverage centre, or even a stylish stacked stone wall from Armstone.

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Ready to design your dream bathroom?

We hope that these 15 tips have helped you plan and decorate your dream bathroom! Remember that even though a dream bathroom needs to be functional and usable, choosing the best layout, features, colour palette and furnishings makes a huge difference in the long term. After all, you want to wake up feeling invigorated and go to bed feeling refreshed and relaxed. And a dream bathroom helps you do both!

If you have any questions, please reach out to our experts at Armtone online or at 1300 560 560. We would love to help bring your dream bathroom to life and guide you in the process.

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