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10 ways to make your bathroom look more luxurious, according to design experts

 Green bathroom with wallpaper and patterned tiles and freestanding bateau bath.
Green bathroom with wallpaper and patterned tiles and freestanding bateau bath.

If money is no object, dreaming up ways to make your bathroom look more luxurious is as easy as swiping your credit card. But where’s the challenge in that? It’s far more rewarding to create a luxe look without being forced to eat beans on toast for the rest of the year.

Or at least that’s what we’ll keep telling ourselves. In truth, even if money isn’t an issue, a few small adjustments can be all it takes to elevate the luxe levels of your bathroom ideas. And you’ll get to enjoy a little more opulence in your bathing space, without the stress and upheaval of major building work.

‘One of the simplest and quickest ways to elevate the overall aesthetic is by incorporating metallic accents like gold or silver into the bathroom's colour scheme. These metallic elements will bring a sense of luxury and refinement to the space, making it truly stand out,’ says Ruth Foster at Victoria Plum.

How to make your bathroom look more luxe

From decanting lotions and potions to faking it with faux marble, we’ve asked the experts to reveal their tried and tested tips and tricks for transforming your bathroom into a space that looks more expensive. Pick your favourites and get ready to relax and unwind in these beautiful luxury bathrooms.

1. Add freestanding furniture

Brown painted downstairs loo with red ceiling
Brown painted downstairs loo with red ceiling

Steal inspiration from luxury hotel-style bathroom ideas by adding one or two pieces of furniture in your bathroom. It’s a look that boosts the comfort levels and lends the sumptuous atmosphere of a relaxing boudoir.

‘Freestanding furniture works so well in bathrooms as it makes them feel warmer and a little less bathroom like,’ says Nicola Harding, director, Nicola Harding & Co. ‘Vintage pieces are particularly effective for adding patina and character.’

If you’re struggling to squeeze extra furniture into small bathroom ideas, go for multipurpose pieces, like an upcycled vanity unit made from an antique sideboard.

2. Decant toiletries

white bath, marble tiles and table laden with toiletries
white bath, marble tiles and table laden with toiletries

Nothing downgrades a bathroom faster than mismatched plastic bottles and packaging cluttering the surfaces. Invest in bathroom storage ideas to keep as much as possible behind closed doors and decant your most frequently used toiletries into more stylish vessels.

Interior designer, Tracey Hatch loves to source vintage wine decanters and fill them with bubble bath. ‘I think nearly every charity shop will have some cut-glass versions on their shelves. If not head to Vinterior and search for the nicest shapes,’ she says.

Tracey also suggests grouping toiletries onto a small marble tray. ‘This is not only a more luxurious way to display, but also keeps smaller things from rolling away. Add a candle or a little succulent plant in amongst your cremes and lotions,’ she adds.

3. Embrace warm metallics

black painted bathroom with gold accessories
black painted bathroom with gold accessories

Gold, copper and brass are all excellent choices for achieving a luxurious look, and so easy to incorporate in the bathroom right now. Decorating with precious metals is a top bathroom trend, and there are plenty of options to bling up your bathroom.

If you’re going for a total renovation, brassware in polished brass, rose gold and copper finishes are also widely available. Mix with black finishes if you’re struggling to match across different types of bathroom fittings.

‘If you worry the warm metal trend will fade why not introduce a softer bronze into your existing bathroom. Smaller items such as wall candle sconces, hanging planters or mirrors in a bronze finish will happily blend with chrome or stainless steel,’ says Tracey at Raspberry Interior Design.

4. Hang artwork

polished steel bath in blue bathroom with framed print on wall
polished steel bath in blue bathroom with framed print on wall

Beautifully framed bathroom wall art ideas are guaranteed to bring new levels of luxury. Use a sealed frame to protect your art from moisture damage – coated metal frames are more resilient than wood.

‘Art can often be an afterthought in a bathroom but introducing prints or paintings can transform the look, adding colour and personality. We love to frame a poster that has a link to a beach or water in the bathroom, and it’s also nice to use tones from your print to lead the bathroom colour scheme,’ says Tracey at Raspberry Interior Design.

‘If you are worried about making holes in your walls or tiles, you could prop your art onto a shelf or ledge. This is a more relaxed vibe and works really well in bathrooms.’

5. Refresh your linens

marble bathroom with brass taps and towel hung on radiator
marble bathroom with brass taps and towel hung on radiator

If you’re towels are getting a bit tired and threadbare, relegate them to the duster bag and upgrade to the best bath towels with a luxe feel. Hammam-style towels are very on-trend and evoke the relaxed look of a spa hotel, or go super posh and invest in some monogrammed towels!

‘When purchasing new towels, look for dense plush loops of yarn on the surface for a super soft and ultra-absorbent feel. You could also consider towels with a higher thread count, such as those made of 100% cotton or Egyptian cotton, for a softer touch and enhanced durability,’ says Ruth Foster at Victoria Plum.

‘When it comes to caring for your towels, washing them in warm water with white distilled vinegar will strip off any built-up residue and restore absorbency. Run the load a second time with baking soda to freshen and remove lingering smells. Using vinegar instead of fabric softener is the easiest route to a fluffy towel,’ advises Ruth.

6. Source a statement mirror

green bathroom with ornate mirror and wall lights
green bathroom with ornate mirror and wall lights

Mirrors are renowned for their space and light-boosting powers, but bathroom mirror ideas can also work to dial up the luxe levels. ‘A bold statement mirror with an intricate design or decorative frame can add elegance and visual interest to the bathroom space,’ says Ruth at Victoria Plum. ‘Choose a mirror that complements the bathroom's aesthetic, such as a vintage-style or ornate mirror, to elevate the luxurious ambiance.’

For the last word in luxury, a heated demister mirror is the way forward. Some also include Bluetooth speakers so you can stream your favourite music while soaking in the bath.

7. Fit ornate lighting

pink bathroom with white bath and lit chandelier above
pink bathroom with white bath and lit chandelier above

An out-sized bathroom lighting idea featuring opulent materials can make an eye-catching statement with glamour in abundance. The shapely silhouette of an elegant chandelier or glass pendant can also provide a softer visual against the harder surfaces typically found in bathrooms.

Katie Georgeson, lighting expert at 4lite, also recommends upgrading your bathroom lighting controls to create a more luxurious user experience. ‘Switching to Smart Lighting can allow you to choose thousands of mood-setting colour scenes, and control the brightness levels,’ she says. ‘You can select bright daylight hues for putting on makeup or cosy, soft lighting if you’re relaxing in the bath – all controllable from your smartphone or a voice-activated device such as Alexa and Google Home.’

8. Choose marble-look tiles

marble and white bathroom with bath and gold shower
marble and white bathroom with bath and gold shower

There’s no denying that marble is an excellent way to fast-track the luxe levels in your bathroom. Sadly it’s not cheap, nor terribly practical on the maintenance front. A more affordable way to get the rarefied look of marble without the fuss is to opt for an imitation marble bathroom tile idea, which are typically made from porcelain.

‘Improvements in printing techniques means imitation marble tiles can have a three-dimensional effect which makes it extremely hard to tell apart from the real thing. If you are going down this route, consider a larger format tile to keep grout lines to a minimum, so you don’t spoil the flow of the veining,’ says Grazzie Wilson, Head of Creative at Ca’ Pietra.

9. Go for a freestanding bath

grey bath in panelled bathroom with wallpaper and brass accents
grey bath in panelled bathroom with wallpaper and brass accents

Admittedly this is a bigger investment but if you’re making one core change, switching to a freestanding bath is a fantastic way to instantly make your bathroom feel high-end and luxurious. ‘Freestanding baths don’t have to break the bank either. By choosing one made from acrylic over a solid surface or metal bath, you can help to look after the pennies without compromising on the luxury style,’ says Barrie Cutchie, Design Director at BC Designs.

‘Certain acrylic baths, such as boat bath shapes, lend themselves to being painted too, so you can inject some colour along the way.’

10. Dress the windows

dark painted shutters in white bathroom with roll top bath and painted wooden floors
dark painted shutters in white bathroom with roll top bath and painted wooden floors

Failing to check out luxury window treatment ideas is a missed opportunity, especially if the window is a focal point in your bathroom. In a moisture-rich room, Hillarys recommends plantation-style window shutters, which will provide privacy without shutting out the light.

‘As one of the most luxe window dressings, shutters are a great addition to bathroom windows for both style and practicality,’ says Yvonne Keal, Senior Product Manager, Hillarys. ‘Shutters can be made water resistant to withstand the humidity of a bathroom, whilst still being available in a range of colours and shapes to fit existing bathroom layout and décor. A premium but practical window dressing choice!’

FAQs

What colours make a bathroom look more luxurious?

When it comes to transforming your bathroom into a serene and sophisticated space, choosing the right colours is key. ‘To achieve a luxurious and tranquil space, it's best to opt for neutral or muted tones. Soft greys, pastel blues, and pale creams are excellent choices that create a calming atmosphere,’ says Ruth Foster at Victoria Plum.

For a really glamorous look, decorate with jewel tones like emerald and turquoise, which are also associated with the ocean/water so are a natural fit in the bathroom. Combined with warm metallics such as brushed brass or bronze for a rich golden sheen.

How can I make my bathroom look like a luxury hotel?

Super-soft squishy towels, underfloor heating, luxury toiletries with gorgeous scents – luxury hotels don’t hold back when it comes to providing a really indulgent bathing experience.

Often, it’s the smaller details that leave a lasting impression and they are easy enough to recreate at home. For example, a robe hook thoughtfully placed just outside the shower door, and demister pads on the mirrors so you’ll never struggle to apply your makeup after an especially steamy shower. Music in the bathroom is a familiar treat in luxury hotels that can also be copied at home via a simple waterproof soundbar.