If you’ve ever asked yourself “How do I make my bathroom look expensive?”, you’ve come to the right place. We bring you 15 inspirational ideas to transform your bathroom from blah to bling without breaking the bank.
When compared to living spaces or bedrooms, your bathroom can be one of the most expensive areas in the home to renovate and redecorate. After all, you don’t need a professional to plumb in a sofa or divan! That’s why it’s good to know how to bring that luxury look and feel to your space, without having to gut and remodel it, or exhaust your budget.
Luckily, in my time as an interior stylist, I’ve learnt a few tried and tested tips and tricks. I’ve written this exhaustive guide to help you choose the appropriate materials, colours, textures, finishes, accessories, lighting, products and style. After reading through my 15 tips, you’ll be able to totally transform your bathroom into a space that looks far more expensive than it actually is.
1. Stunning stone-effect tiles and wall panels
These Vaca grey matt glazed porcelain tiles bring sheer opulence to any bathroom setting
For an air of opulence at a fraction of the cost, opt for stone-effect tiles and bathroom wall panels in material finishes like marble, slate, and onyx. These delicately patterned products are a popular choice when looking for a luxurious, expensive bathroom look, and they are available in a vast range of beautiful textures and natural shades. More statement-looking stone-effect finishes offer visual interest and a sense of drama.
Make a style statement with these Showerwall Phantom Marble shower wall panels
2. Unique metal finishes
Where there's brass, there's a beautiful bathroom. Brighten up with the Spencer brushed brass wall mounted tap
Tapware and accessories in brassy-gold finishes are a trend that’s here to stay. Brushed brass, in particular, is a warm metal that adds richness and texture. If you choose taps in an interesting, unique metal finish rather than the usual chrome, it’ll show that you’ve given careful consideration to the finer details in your bathroom, naturally giving it a more expensive and refined feel.
3. Statement walls
Let your bathroom bloom with Botanical acrylic shower wall panels from Showerwall
Whether you’re using beautifully patterned, bathroom-friendly wallpaper or speedy and simple bathroom wall panels, making a statement with bold botanicals demonstrates design knowledge and bravery. These intricately designed products can be used to create luxurious-looking zones for different areas of the bathroom (such as a large, open shower area), and the colours can be tied in with other elements of your space to create a coherent interior.
Why not add in one of the "colours of the year", like Orchid Flower, for a carefully considered statement wall?
4. Luxurious lights for less
Here's a bright idea... the Forum Solen bathroom chandelier simply sparkles, adding elegance and opulence to your space
Hanging a chandelier in the typical residential home bathroom was almost unheard of until recently, with bathroom lighting becoming more considered and well-designed. These ornate products appear extremely detailed and lavish, but this Forum bathroom chandelier is simply a pull cord away. I would suggest paring back the traditional and luxurious style of a chandelier by combining it with more contemporary style products.
5. Add a chair or statement stool
This Scandi style chair perfectly complements the Cooper wall hung basin
The most luxurious bathrooms contain a place to perch—whether it’s for display or use. This could be in the shape of an ornately carved, Scandinavian wishbone chair, like the one pictured, a simple stool or a high-end, upholstered armchair. Raw wood, organic shapes and soft materials contrast beautifully with rustic stone tiles. A chair or stool will give your bathroom a feeling of grandeur, making it the perfect item to add for a more luxe look.
6. Display your towels
A gorgeous freestanding tub, like the Harrison from Mode Bathrooms, demands a display of soft, fluffy towels
Displaying your best towels is sure to give your space a luxurious hotel feel. We suggest opting for some particularly plush, cosy towels in shades that tie together other elements of the space. Use your stool or chair to place a neatly folded pile of towels on, or creatively prop them in a wide-barred heated towel rail, such as the Warmup Hawthorn (pictured below).
Pick out a gorgeous designer towel heater
7. Minimalism and simplicity
The Chartham traditional double ended slipper bath is a great example of simple, minimalist style
Creating a minimalist space using simple whites, elegant lines, and no clutter creates an undoubtedly high-end look. There is beauty to be found in simplicity, so opt for natural materials in your bathroom products, soft furnishings, and accessories such as stone and linen. Develop a clean, neutral palette and consider splurging on the smaller details, like your towels—this will make a world of difference!
8. Freestanding bathtub
Nothing suggests luxury quite like a freestanding bath, like the Adler from Mode Bathrooms
Freestanding bathtubs tend to have a more luxurious design than built-in shower or straight baths, and they truly create a zen space in which to unwind.
They’re available in both contemporary and traditional styles; contemporary freestanding tubs often feel very sleek and minimal, whereas traditional freestanding tubs are completely timeless and can come in a range of rich and interesting colours with claw feet in chrome, antique bronze, white, and gold.
Lacking space? The Carter back to wall bath fits in the footprint of a regular bath, but looks just like a freestanding tub
9. Walk in shower enclosure
Open up your bathroom with a highly contemporary walk in shower enclosure
Walk in showers give a bathroom the ultimate contemporary look. They blend into the surrounding space with ease, giving it a more “continuous” feel, and if you opt for a minimal, glass panel like the Orchard black framed wet room glass screen (pictured above), it often gives the illusion of a larger room. This sense of a grander space with a modern edge gives an upscale and lavish impression.
10. Colourful furniture
Matching bath panels, like these from the Camberley satin grey furniture range, demonstrate detail to attention
If you’re totally renovating your bathroom, consider choosing matching bathroom furniture for the desired expensive look. We suggest something like our Camberley satin grey range, which offers everything from bath panels to back to wall toilet units. The traditional style combined with its elegant grey tone will set your bathroom up for a classic, opulent look.
However, sometimes all you need is a lick of paint to totally change up your space. If you aren’t planning on buying new furniture, you can simply paint your current furniture for a complete update. Consider some of the more unusual neutrals like a warm mocha or soft olive, or take a look at some of the richer tones available such as an inky green or a deep navy blue.
11. Wood panelling
Even in an ensuite or downstairs cloakroom, wood panelling brings a luxurious look and feel
Not only does wood panelling add a warm and sophisticated feel, but it can also be an easy and inexpensive DIY addition to a space. Panelling is a country-style dream and can be paired with clean, contemporary products for an eclectic but beautifully styled bathroom. For a cohesive and luxury look, paint your panelling and upper wall in different but complementing shades.
12. Rich, opulent shades
Create a grand design by choosing furniture in rich, opulent shades, like this vanity unit from the Chartham slate matt grey range
Jewel-like tones come in a range of options including rich sangria-red, royal blue, rainforest green and hawthorn rose, to name a few. These deep shades create a feeling of opulence, and they can be paired with a varied range of carefully chosen products and accessories for a design-led space. Here, we’ve chosen a full and vivid navy blue, which we’ve lightened by painting the panelling in Graham & Brown’s “Breathe”—a grey-toned sky blue. We’ve then chosen traditional style products in a grey finish for a grand appearance, whilst finally adding some accessories in a contrasting mustard yellow.
13. Traditional products
Tried, tested and timeless—vintage furniture, like the Dalston vanity unit with white marble basin, bring a truly decadent feel to your bathroom
Traditional bathrooms never fail to stand the test of time. The ornate style and detailed designs of certain products offer a high-end and timeless sense of luxury. We suggest taking a look at high level toilets, roll top bathtubs and rustic wood vanity units for a vintage-inspired look. Alternatively, simply update your bathroom with some traditional style accessories rather than swapping out large products. We offer a selection of traditional accessory ranges, but in particular, we recommend our 1805 antique accessories, available in both gold and black.
14. Extend your wall paint colour
Extend colours across ceilings, doors, window frames and shelves
An interior design trend that has been emerging in recent times is to extend the wall colour paint into other areas of the room, including the ceilings, doors, window frames and shelves. Although it may seem a surprise, this creates an extremely cohesive and contemporary look whereby the space feels elegantly continuous and well-considered.
15. Add a unique mirror
The Mandrelli round LED mirror from Mode Bathrooms steals the show in any bathroom setting
If you really want to focus on the finer details and simple touches to make your bathroom look expensive, look no further than the mirror. Choosing a creative-looking mirror with a little more charm—for example, an interesting shape or some bronze detailing—and hanging it with flair, can reflect really well on you! Gone are the days of the standard box cabinet mirror; indulge in a range of bathroom mirrors from large to small, round to irregular, black-trimmed to gold-trimmed, or arched to fanned!
How do I make my bathroom look expensive? More ideas...
Whether you were looking for advice on something as minor (but effective) as swapping out the accessories or on updating larger elements like the tiling or suite, I hope this article has given you a variety of options for giving your bathroom a deluxe refresh. For further guidance on current trends, why not read our recent blog posts on 2022 colour trends and our predictions for the biggest bathroom trends for 2022 and beyond?