Our Favorite Baths

From high-end to laid-back, updated to old-fashioned, indoors to out, these baths offer hardworking design help and quick fixes.

floor to ceiling windows, on one wall, let in plenty of light to a clawfoot porcelain tub while teak wood paneling lines the walls of the bathroom

Deborah Whitlaw Llewellyn

Sink In

Create the ultimate picture of relaxation by positioning the tub for water views. Opaque roman shades can provide privacy when necessary but still allow light to filter through.

Idea Spotlight
When using wood in moisture-prone areas like the bath, opt for teak. One of the densest woods available, it won’t warp or rot from excessive moisture.

creamy walls surround a sunken Japanese soaking floor tub in this master bathroom

Deborah Whitlaw Llewellyn

Asian Oasis

A sunken Japanese soaking tub looks supremely serene. Creamy stone on the floors and walls, and a simple wood vanity topped with a glass-bowl sink contribute to the spa-like setting.

Idea Spotlight 
Filter light without sacrificing privacy by installing a wall, window, or roof of Lucite or frosted glass.

master bath with a freestanding white, modern tub and a glass shower set up behind

Colleen Duffley

Material Wealth

Using a variety of materials makes a monochromatic room more interesting. Combine reeded wood cabinets with smooth painted pieces, iridescent tile with honed stone. And mix your finishes―satin nickel faucets and aged bronze light fixtures, for example.

Idea Spotlight 
This style move rocks! A “moat” of smooth river rocks surrounds this freestanding tub, drawing even more attention to its gentle curves and sleek style. The effect is pure Zen.

horizontal striped in blue, sea green, yellow and white shower curtain hangs in a beach house bathroom with acqua walls

Deborah Whitlaw Llewellyn

Timeless Style

Let an old beach house speak for itself. Rather than replacing dated fixtures, call attention to them. Porcelain sinks and tubs can be re-glazed for a fresh (and inexpensive) new look.

Idea Spotlight 
If you love a vibrant color but fear that it may upstage the room, paint it on a single wall. When tempered by neutrals, the color should accent rather than overwhelm.

geometric patterns of blue and white tile border the edge of a sunken bathtub covered in small tiles

Deborah Whitlaw Llewellyn

Totally Tile

Turn your bath into a work of art. Whether used on a tub, floor, countertop, or backsplash, lustrous mosaic tiles make a splashy statement.

Idea Spotlight
To give the space a one-of-a-kind makeover, hire a professional to design a graphic motif or a mural. No matter what pattern you choose, the result will be eye-catching.

/in this children's bathroom, colorful yellow bowls serve as the bathroom sink and are directly hooked to the plumbing with minimal wire stands holding them up

Deborah Whitlaw Llewellyn

Vanity With Flair

Let a show stopping sink take center stage. Set a colorful bowl atop a vintage washstand, or mount it on a counter as an attention-getter.

Idea Spotlight
Hang deep medicine cabinets above the washstands to hold all of the necessary bath supplies.

a clawfoot tub sits outside on a deck alongside a standing a pedestal sink with beach towels, a mirror and other accessories close at hand

Lisa Romerein

Get Outside

Forget a quick rinse in an outdoor shower―opt for a long soak under the stars. Turn a private deck into an outdoor bath with a freestanding tub and pedestal sink for the ultimate alfresco experience. A flea-market stool can keep accessories nearby.

Idea Spotlight
Add personal style to a claw-foot tub with a colorful hand-painted design. Or use wire and hot glue to frame a mirror with a collection of found driftwood.

cozy beach house bath

Jean Allsopp

Cozy Corners

Unpainted, unfinished wood recalls bygone beach style―imagine a Key West cottage in the days of Hemingway. The look is authentic, natural, and beach-chic all at the same time.

Idea Spotlight
Open shelving doesn’t have to look messy. Conceal your necessities in woven baskets and use clear jars or hurricane vases to hold bath beads or beach finds.

a sliding door opens up to a small bathroom lined in pale wood with a bathroom mirror framed with aged, creamy molding to surround it

Tria Giovan

Space Saver

Maximize the square footage of a small powder room with sliding or pocket-style doors and you won’t have to plan around door clearances.

Idea Spotlight
Turn a bathroom mirror into a work of art by attaching crown molding or replacing the glass within a picture frame.

bathroom painted with pale blue paint and a pedestal sink that keeps space open for a small area

Deborah Whitlaw Llewellyn

Problem Solver

Opt for a pedestal or wall-mounted sink in close quarters. Your bath will look and feel more spacious.

Idea Spotlight
Use inexpensive woven baskets for under-sink storage. They’re an attractive solution for rooms lacking built-in closets and medicine cabinets.

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