10 Design Essentials for the Perfect Modern Bath

Reminiscent of spa resorts, modern baths exude serenity. This look is achieved in part by paring elements in the room down to their essentials. As well, each piece in the space is carefully chosen for its spare, contemporary design. Straight edges, sleek finishes, soothing colors, and an abundance of natural materials like marble and stone all work together to define this popular bathroom style. How can you get the look in your own home? Here are 10 design details to get you started.

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  1. Soothing Color


    Modern baths are often all white, sometimes punctuated with muted natural tones like gray, putty, or taupe. If your room will feature a lot of marble, granite, or wood grain, bring a sample of that material with you when selecting paint colors to match, so you can create a monochromatic look throughout the space.


  2. Statement Sink


    Sculptural vessel sinks are common sights in modern baths. For added visual impact, pair a design with a high arching faucet or one with a waterfall flow. If you plan on a vanity top made of an eye-catching marble or granite pattern, consider an undermount sink, which will let the counter be the room's focus.


  3. Oversize Tub


    If space allows, indulge in a deep bathtub with a wonderfully modern silhouette. Designs range from square-cornered to curvaceous. Pure white is the style most frequently used, but sometimes a tub will be set into a base tiled with marble, granite, or even wood panels with a strong grain pattern.


  4. Glass-Door Shower


    A generously apportioned shower surrounded by a gleaming glass stall is the focal point of many modern baths. The clear walls allow attention to be centered on the marble or tile pattern that has been chosen for the shower. Replacing a shower curtain or frosted-glass doors with a clear-glass sliding design is a budget-friendly alternative.


  5. Tiles


    Tiles often take center stage in a modern bath. Owing to the design-conscious surroundings, tiles in modern baths are rarely a standard size or color—rather they might be oversize slabs or tiny squares, hexagons, or rectangles. Tiles generally underscore a bath's monochromatic look, but on occasion they provide a dash of color in the room.


  6. Vanity


    Vanities displaying clean lines, straight edges, and high-gloss finishes are typical of a modern bath. This model from IKEA illustrates the style. Shown here in gray, it is also available in dark brown, white, oak, and fire-engine red, which would be ideal for homeowners who envision a modern bath with a single element of bold color.


  7. Mirror


    Mirrors in modern baths are often unadorned. If there is a mirror frame, it is often a thin strip of silver or a thick, straight-edged wood frame painted white or black. This floor mirror features a thin frame of brushed nickel. The duo of unframed white paintings and the single modern vase are well suited to the overall look of a modern bathroom.


  8. Lighting


    Recessed lighting is common in modern baths to keep the overall appearance of the room as simple as it can be. When there is an overhead light, it is often a sculptural design. Sconces above a vanity reflect the sensibility of the space with chrome or nickel finishes and straight edges in place of curves.


  9. Storage


    For a modern bath to look its best, the room must have an uncluttered look. Therefore, ample storage is imperative. Vanity drawers, storage cabinets, or sparsely populated standing shelves like those shown here are all good places to keep bathroom essentials out of the way when not in use.


  10. Gadgets


    Modern baths are all about luxury and convenience, and little touches like a towel warmer are welcome additions. Chrome designs like this one fit right in with the overall look of the room, because chrome and nickel finishes for faucets and hardware are the most common choices for modern baths.


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