1) Wood works

Clean lines and shapes create a clutter-free design Marie Kondo would approve of; the rustic basket from Zara Home complements the untreated wood counter

Natural materials like untreated wood aid a sense of serenity, cleanliness and warmth in your bathing space. Accentuate this appealing ambience further with an Asian-inspired bathroom design:go for slatted screen-style wood on the walls and floating shelves and sanitaryware, while woven baskets add rustic Balinese serenity. The streamlined design of Grohe’s floating toilet and sink from its Euro Ceramics line, was inspired by Japan’s age-old bathing culture, while the toilet has the added benefit of innovative hygienic design and flushing features.

2) A new rung

Towels from Georg Jensen hang on a streamlined ladder-inspired rail by Menu

While we love a decorative wooden ladder in a bathroom for our towels, the accent has become a bit “overdone”. Georg Jensen displays a fresh take on the rustic wooden ladder with this streamlined version in white painted metal and straight, sleek wooden rungs, shown above. If you don’t want to splash out Dh2,000 for Menu’s ladder rail, take this idea to a local carpenter and ask him to match the wood seen elsewhere in your bathroom, such as the sink countertop or flooring, for a cohesive scheme.

3) Textile trends

When layering fabrics, look for those in the same collection for easy pairings, such as these three distinct designs all from Sanderson’s Embleton Bay Fabrics range, available at Style Library

Window treatments are often overlooked in a bathroom, but if they’re applied properly they can create the complete look you want without the need to make any extra – and bigger – alterations like changing the bath, shower, tiles or flooring. So, instead of putting up a blind in a plain colour and pattern, think of the look you want – country garden, coastal, Art Deco – and find a suitable fabric to bring this look to life. Layer the blind with curtains in a complementing design to infuse the space with softness and enhance the cosy, relaxing nature of the room. For example, contemporary coastal schemes require bold stripes and beach scenes, while ornithological watercolours in muted tones evoke a quaint, rural charm perfectly paired with a classic claw-footed tub.

4) Tile talk

Easy yet effective bathroom furniture ideas from IKEA

If you live in a rented apartment with a tiled bathroom, there are some simple yet effective ways where you can turn them to your advantage, creating a contemporary scheme that centres on the grid-like pattern of the grouting. A room with white tiles and grey grouting lends itself to an architected look, with angular shapes and black framework around mirrors and pictures, for example. Alternatively, play on white to create a fresh, airy feeling by furnishing the room with white units and accents. The important thing to remember is to feature units with squared edges or corners rather than round ones to draw on the sharp, angular shape of the wall tiles. If you like colour, add an eye-catching laminate to the floor – you could even go for a square tile-pattern to maintain grid-like symmetry. Match the towels and shower curtain to a key colour.

5) Screen time

Towels from Amara pick up the colours in the stained glass screen for subtle cohesion

While open-plan bathrooms are a fashionable idea, in reality you may want a little more privacy from the space it’s sharing, like your bedroom. A screen is not only practical but there are so many stylish options available that you will easily find one to suit your scheme and enhance its overall aesthetic, such as a rattan divider in a Bali-style bathroom, or one with colour pops to match your accessories.

6) Light fantastic

Sunfield mirrors light up the room; available at Sterling, a Kohler company

Elevate your daily bathroom routine with purposeful lighting that draws you into its space with natural
luminosity and a sleek design. While it’s inherently hard to experience authentic natural light without wall-to-wall windows, try these effervescent options from Sunfield by Kohler, which emit near-true natural light from its perimeter edge. Available with a dimmer switch, you can also diffuse the light to create a quieter ambience. We love its rounded design, picking up on the current trend of large, circular mirrors, a style favoured by interior designers looking to add soft, organic harmony in contemporary spaces, from hallways to bathrooms.

7) Studio style

Hansgrohe’s new Rainfinity spa shower system is a high-tech immersive experience

If you use high-quality materials and fittings, there’s no reason why a studio apartment can’t enjoy the same level of design flair as a more generously proportioned abode. A marble partition creates a sleek shower area distinct from the bedroom. The luxury feeling is amplified by Hansgrohe’s indulgent Rainfinity shower system, which features a large, cascading overhead design and high-tech, ultra-quiet PowderRain jets, perfect for this kind of shared space.

8) Botanical Bathroom

Create a lush, tropical escape with leaf-to-leaf hanging and potted plants; image courtesy of ferm LIVING

If you don’t want to make any drastic changes to your bathing space – especially if you’re renting – surrounding the bath or basin with potted and hanging plants can create a lush place to unwind and effortlessly adds a pop of natural colour into the space. Place them on wooden side tables and in bamboo or raffia baskets to accentuate the sense of nature.

9) Wonder wall

The watery, urban abstract on Harlequin’s Multitude Entity wallpaper complements this cool bathroom

Compared to tiles and paintwork, wallpaper is not a common wall treatment in the bathroom yet easily adds a layer of decoration and character to the space. Before you look into this, assess the level of moisture that ends up on your walls after bathing to consider its viability. If you have efficient AC and extractor fans to avoid water damage, take styling cues from British wallpaper brand Harlequin, while grey distressed-effect tiles create a slick industrial look in this contemporary bathroom, the watercolour print on Harlequin’s Entity Multitude wallpaper softens the look and adds warmth to this otherwise cold aesthetic, while matching in tone.

10) Savvy space tips

Minimalist inspiration with Aquazone sanitaryware, available at Bagno Design

In small bathrooms, create a chic, minimalistic look with muted tones and streamlined designs that don’t vie for attention but allow for movement and air flow. Opt for WCs without a cistern, like this discreet wall-mounted rimless WC by Aquazone, right, and basins with rounded edges as they possess a more inviting aesthetic in close proximity; place them on floating shelves, a clever design trick that creates the allusion of space. While large format tiles also aid this feeling, a feature wall with patterned tiles add character without intruding into the space.

11) Metal mix

The sleek new Laguna faucet, designed by Matteo Thun and Antonio Rodriguez for Jaquar

If you can’t decide which finish to use for your fittings, follow the latest styles being put forward by leading bathroom designers and mix them up! Jaquar’s new Laguna Collection – comprising a frameless shower box, bevelled furniture with a mid-century modern spin, floating sanitaryware and sleek taps – is available in various metal finishes plus ceramic mixed with oak and walnut, adding warmth, appeal and contemporary flair. We love the shapely Laguna faucets, with a striking combination of matt brass and black finishes, beveled edges and circular taps. Accompany with a round wood or brass mirror over the basin to complete the look.

Read more from InsideOut magazine:

How to add some dark drama to the bathroom

5 Innovative new products that will transform your bathroom

Transform your functional bathroom into a spa sanctuary