9 Popular Bathroom Styles for Your Home

Updated: Apr. 11, 2024

Need a new style point of view on the loo? Here are nine top trending ideas for when it's time for a redo.

A bathroom with gold accents and a shower with green subway tiles.JOE HENDRICKSON /GETTY IMAGES

People are ready to make a splash in their bathrooms again with design-rejuvenating remodels.

“They want bathrooms that are easy to maintain and pack in as much function as possible,” says Lindsay Boudreaux, interior designer and owner of Shotgun Double. “They want to incorporate interesting lighting, elegant tile, and/or fun wallpaper. Mainly, we are seeing a move away from the ‘boring, beige developer special,’ as we call it.”

What’s the difference between a 1/2 and 3/4 bathroom?

We asked Boudreaux to define and differentiate 1/2 and 3/4 bathrooms. Here’s how she broke it down: a full bath has all four of the following: tub, shower, sink, and toilet. A 3/4 bath has three of those elements, which typically means a sink, toilet, and either a shower or tub. A 1/2 bath has just a sink and toilet.

What’s the average cost to remodel a bathroom?

Boudreaux says that the cost of a remodel depends on the project’s size and complexity and the materials chosen. In the DC area, all-in costs for a fully designed bathroom remodel range from $25,000-$40,000, which includes the designer’s time, all materials, and general contractor or sub-trades. “A simple, pull-and-replace renovation could be as low as $15,000, while a full gut/remodel (relocating plumbing) could get up to $60k or more,” she says.

Nationally, the averages run from $6,000 to well over $12,000. Honeycomb Home Design’s Ariana Lovato says it can be as low as $10,000 for a smaller half bath to over $70,000 for a big luxe remodel.

What’s the most expensive part of a bathroom remodel?

Plumbing, tile, and labor are among the biggest expenses, says Lovato.

Japanese Bathrooms

Japan’s design influence has created some major trends in bathroom design, especially when combined with the Scandi style (a combination known as “Japandi”). 

Interior designer Artem Kropovinsky of Arsight says Japanese-style bathrooms are “marked by an economy of means, with stone and wood as the natural resources.” Japanese style is usually minimal, but part of its aesthetic appeal is the marriage of form and function, using the finest quality craftsmanship available.

“The main quality of such sites is peacefulness and cleanliness,” says Kropovinsky. These elements make the Japanese style a natural choice for a bathroom.

Pros

  • Minimalist functionality promotes a spa-like serenity.

Cons

  • Japanese-style bathrooms are costly due to the quality of materials and craftsmanship required to create the style faithfully.
  • You may or may not have space — or will incur steep costs to relocate plumbing — for installing a Japanese soaking tub, which is one of the style’s main draws.

Organic Modern

According to Lovato, organic modern is another increasingly popular bathroom design style. Organic modern blends natural elements with sleek and modern design, making it a good fit in many different eras of homes. 

Lovato says the style is marked by warm paint colors and wood tones, giving off an inviting feel. That warmth is accentuated by the perfect imperfection of natural stone countertops and handmade tiles — Zellige tile is particularly hot in that department. Brass fixtures and hardware are a popular pairing with the warm-toned palette.

Pros

  • This style appeals to humans’ biophilic connections — the desire to connect with the outside, natural world. Though the style is trending, it has a “timeless contemporary appeal,” Lovato says, which means you won’t necessarily need a redo in just a few years.
  • Lovato says the palette is full of “safe color choices,” making decisions easier for the risk-averse.
  • It imparts a serene atmosphere.

Cons

  • Organic materials can be expensive and take more time to maintain.
  • Some of the materials can be fragile (especially some tiles, which can also be difficult to install) or high-maintenance (some natural stones).

Scandinavian Minimalism

Scandinavian style is still the hottest classic around. Kropovinsky says the style’s hallmarks include clean, plain lines, neutral shades and practical construction. Think blonde woods, white or pale paint, and simple furnishings and fixtures. It should almost feel like it’s not even there.

Pro

  • This classic chic can help enlarge small rooms.
  • Light, airy palettes, an emphasis on natural light and a lack of clutter will keep a smaller space feeling roomy.

Con

  • What about people with … stuff? Kropovinsky says the minimalistic style — which may eschew cabinetry for open shelving, among other details — may be too harsh or impractical for some lifestyles.

Rustic Farmhouse

Popularized by Chip and Joanna Gaines, rustic farmhouse styles are still popping up in bathrooms from coast to coast. Kropovinsky says the style features natural woods, vintage details (clawfoot tub, classic black-and-white mini hex tile, décor) and a notably welcoming warmth.

Pros

  • The style is welcoming, Kropovinsky says, calling it “cozy and friendly.”
  • It features easy color palettes: usually wood, black, white and gray.
  • It can also feature a classic “pop of color” accent.
  • It fits many eras of homes naturally.

Cons

  • The style’s been kicking around for a while, so it may not have much more time in the sun.
  • It’s easy to get carried away: Kropovinsky says this style may get too thematic or kitschy without some aesthetic reins.

Modern Coastal

Hot on the heels of trends like cottagecore came the “modern coastal” trend, which is something of a modern update on the kitschier “seashells by the seashore” bathroom themes of the ’80s. Lovato defines modern coastal style based on characteristics such as blue-and-white color palettes, nautical elements, natural light, seagrass, natural woods (think driftwood) and brass or nickel hardware.

Pros

  • Lovato says this style creates a relaxing, nature-forward environment.
  • Blue is a perennial favorite color that feels right at home in watery environments.
  • Material selections will feel intuitive.
  • Martha Stewart fans will feel right at home.

Cons

  • Lovato wonders about the longevity of the trend: Will you be ready for a refresh before your budget is?
  • It doesn’t transition particularly well. Lovato says it can be difficult to incorporate other trends into it.

Moody Traditional

Some interior design clients are moving away from the stark all-white or neutral bathroom, instead opting for something on the darker side. Lovato says this trend typically features dark, earthy color palettes, especially in the paint, rustic wood, natural stone countertops and tiles, more ornate and traditional detailing on the furnishings, wood beadboard paneling, and black or brass hardware.

Pros

  • Lovato says the moody take manages to feel both unique and classic after the light, bright, minimal feels of past years. It is a surprise without the scare of a big design risk.
  • The look is timeless, charming, and elegant, which is great for all sizes of bathrooms and many eras of homes today.

Cons

  • Dark colors can make a room feel smaller, so be prepared for the shift in perspective (and plan for great lighting!).
  • Traditional elements can be harder to clean and maintain. Think about how much toothbrush scrubbing you want to do on scrollwork or beadboard, for example.

Eclectic and Playful

Lovato has also noticed that people in general are having more fun with their bathrooms. Eclectically styled bathrooms are marked by bold and bright paint colors, unique patterned tiles and colorful wallpaper. As its name implies, the eclectic trend features elements from various styles and eras and may feature a mishmash of vintage fixtures and other mismatched metals and hardware.

Pros

  • Creating a fun, unique, and personalized space can’t be beat.
  • You’ll have a guaranteed wow factor in your home.
  • Taking a design risk feels easier in a smaller space and smaller spaces can handle more color and pattern than you may initially expect.

Cons

  • It can be hard to know when to say when on design combinations.
  • Mixing patterns, texture, and eras takes a concerted effort to edit: It can’t be a total free-for-all or it won’t look right.
  • This style isn’t necessarily built for resale value (if that is a concern or priority).

Midcentury Modern

Midcentury modern style has stuck around for a reason. If you have a midcentury home, there are naturally some features you want to keep around. Maybe you have some original bombproof tile still around, or a few uniquely colored fixtures. Maybe you just want your bathroom design to stay in keeping with the era of the house. That all makes good sense. Whatever the specific reasons, the angular, colorful and stylish aspects of midcentury modern endure.

Midcentury modern bathrooms are marked by trademarks like walnut and/or white oak slab cabinets, natural stone, sleek fixtures, a blend of geometric and organic tile, chrome and brass hardware and bold colors. Lovato lists deep blues, vibrant yellows or rich greens as the midcentury modern mainstays, but notes that pink or peach can also work.

Pros

  • This now-classic design style will stand the test of time.
  • It’s functional and flexible in design.
  • The aesthetic is clean overall, even when it features patterns or color.

Cons

  • Lovato says midcentury elements and fixtures can be more expensive. Especially if you try to salvage tile or fixtures — the demand is still there. Luckily there are also some great dupes on the market.
  • The design might feel out of place unless your home is also a midcentury house, Lovato says. Mix and match as necessary to make it work.

Art Deco Glam

The excess of the 1920s is back in the form of big Gatsby style, a direct contrast to the minimalism of recent years. Kropovinsky says Art Deco Glam is characterized by dramatic geometric patterns, vivid colors and glamorous luxury.

Metallics, bold palettes, foil wallpapers, intricate designs, glossy paint finishes: Art Deco isn’t afraid of anything.

Pros

  • Kropovinsky calls it a “smart and articulated” style.
  • A fresh perspective of maximalism after so many years of quiet.
  • A small bathroom is an easy place to do overboard glam without getting tired of it.

Cons

  • It’s also easy to go overboard.
  • Finishes can be fragile and a pain to clean.
  • Rein in your options and focus on a few elements or risk an overwhelming tiny space.

About the Experts

Lindsay Boudreaux designs high-end homes in Northern Virginia and the Washington D.C. area through her firm Shotgun Double Interior Design. She is Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified.

Artem Kropovinsky, an award-winning interior designer, founded New York-based Arsight. The studio’s work has been featured in The New York Times and other media.

Ariana Lovato is the owner and principal designer of California-based Honeycomb Home Design. She is also a realtor and founded Honeycomb Gives Back, a nonprofit that does room makeovers for children with special needs.