Featuring the very latest in sophisticated style, contemporary bathrooms are popular for obvious reasons.
Whether you’re spoilt for space or struggling with restricted dimensions, this style shouldn’t be difficult to achieve—and here at VictoriaPlum.com we have everything you need to build the perfect contemporary bathroom.
To begin planning your contemporary bathroom, read through the whole article or simply jump to the section which grabs your interest by clicking on any of the links below:
- What is a contemporary bathroom?
- Measure up
- Be bold with your bath
- Stylish taps
- Contemporary bathroom suites
- Standout showers
- Stylish storage
- Finishing touches
- Colour choices
- Contemporary bathroom ideas
What is a contemporary bathroom?
One of the first things to establish is what we mean by the term “contemporary” when talking about a bathroom style. Many people speak of "contemporary" and "modern" interchangeably, but these are actually two distinct and different styles.
In this sense, “modern” represents a specific time period, roughly between the 1920s and 1950s, where futuristic, forward-thinking designs were all the rage. This look is considered a design classic and is still recreated to this day.
“Contemporary”, however, represents any type of style that is current and on-trend, i.e. a style that is popular today. You’ll all the very latest contemporary bathroom trends in our style guides.
First things first, you need to know how much room you have to play with. Get a tape measure out and note down the dimensions of your room, with any windows, vents and pipes noted. Some basic rules include placing freestanding baths at least 100mm from the wall and allowing enough space for your plumbing.
To find out more about clearance guidelines in your bathroom, check out our bathroom layout guide.
Be bold with your bath
Your bathtub will most likely be the central feature so you’ll want a style that looks simply stunning. Choose a design that isn’t overly ornate, with clean lines and a simple shape. It’s a good idea to place the bath centrally in the room but those with limited space can position it near a wall so access isn't restricted.
Our favourite picks include the Tate freestanding bath (pictured below), which is featured in many of our in our inspiration articles, available in a small size for compact bathrooms, and the Harrison freestanding bath which features a beautiful bowl design, providing an air of serenity.
Your choice of bath isn’t the only important consideration. Contemporary bathrooms are all about the finishing touches, so make sure you match your stylish tub with designer taps. Keep things simple and unfussy with sleek, square profiles such as those found in our Wye collection along with many other waterfall tap designs or opt for a softer, rounded look with our Matrix collection.
Don’t forget to keep your style flowing by matching your bath mixers with basin mixers from the same range.
Need some help in choosing the right tap for your bathroom? Head on over to our tap buying guide, which covers all options.
Contemporary bathroom suites
Designed with modern living in mind, contemporary bathroom suites tend to have a smaller footprint than their older counterparts. If you are replacing an older suite, this means there should be more options open to you both in terms of size and style.
Depending on your preference, you could explore more angular designs, or stick with the slightly more common round shapes. Look for toilets with noise-reducing soft close seats and water-saving dual flushes. You could even consider a back to wall toilet, or a wall hung design.
If your plumbing comes directly out of the wall, you can help clear your floorspace with a semi pedestal basin or a wall hung basin.
Discover more contemporary basin options with our basin buying guide.
Although a bath is normally the main focus, you may choose to have a shower instead. Or you may even be lucky enough to have space for both. Whatever the case may be, your shower still needs to stand out.
Walk in showers are the ideal option for a larger bathroom as they provide easy access and maximise light, but if space is at a premium then you could mount a shower slider rail kit in a shower enclosure or shower bath, providing a more compact but equally stylish option.
You can even opt for a fixed shower head, with many styles to suit the contemporary style, including round and square designs, with either wall or ceiling arms.
Depending on the type of water heating system you have, to enjoy a contemporary shower to its fullest potential you will need to find out whether you need a shower pump. Thankfully, our handy guide will help you out.
No matter how large or small your bathroom may be, clutter is enemy No 1 when creating a contemporary look. The way to combat it is simple: Add some stylish storage in the form of a vanity unit and wall hung cabinets.
Contemporary bathroom furniture is easy to spot. The tell-tale features include clean lines, sleek shapes and unfussy designs. Soft close doors and drawers help to reduce noise, whilst moisture-resistant materials provide great durability. You’ll find a range of sizes and finishes, from high gloss white to warming oak, that’ll suit your bathroom.
Discover more options in our bathroom furniture buying guide.
Contemporary bathrooms should be clean and uncluttered, so be cautious with your choice of accessories. Contemporary heated towel rails are a good investment and our range of bathroom accessories offers plenty of affordable items that will bring out the best of your contemporary styling.
Contemporary heated towel rails and radiators are a good investment and now come in a range of heat-efficient materials, colours and designs to suit any type of décor. Find out more about your heating options with our bathroom heating advice or read our heated towel rail buying guide.
When it comes to [bathroom lighting ideas], there is a much wider range of options to choose from these days. Downlights are very popular, especially when used to provide additional illumination to your shower area. Of course, there are specific rules and regulations when it comes to choosing lighting for your bathroom, which you can find more about in our bathroom lighting buying guide, including information on electrical zones and IP ratings.
It’s often the little things that can make or break a contemporary bathroom design, so a well-chosen and coordinated range of bathroom accessories will certainly bring out the best of your contemporary styling.
Fixtures and bathroom fittings are only half the battle when creating a contemporary bathroom and you must also consider colours and general styles.
Minimalism is the key so keep tiles (both on walls and floors) plain.
You can also create a feature wall by painting it a darker or bolder shade to the rest of the room.
Contemporary bathroom ideas
If you’re in need of some contemporary bathroom ideas, you’ve certainly come to the right place. At VictoriaPlum.com, we’re always looking ahead to the very latest interior design trends, which we publish regularly in the form of style guides.
In each of our style guides, you’ll find mood boards which give a flavour of the types of colours, materials and accessories you can use, along with room sets, product guides and handy tips, so you can “get the look” in your own bathroom.
Some of our most recent contemporary bathroom styles have included:
- Objects of Desire — a bathroom that tells a story about you, reflecting and incorporating your own experiences when travelling
- Pure Harmony — discover how to create a stunning bathroom that promotes relaxation
- Dark Domain — dark colours and patterns create a refined style for the more discerning gentleman
- French Floral — a very feminine style that incorporates floral patterns
- Calming Coastal — a more focused interpretation of the coastal look, creating a sunny interior whatever the weather
- Tropical — blurring the boundaries between indoors & outdoors, create an interior that’s hot, hot, hot.
- Arabian Nights — taking influences from across North Africa and the Middle East, for a bathroom that's full of Eastern promise (see below)
- Vintage Chic — mixing dark colours with timeless pieces. A contemporary twist on a vintage theme
- The world's best hotel bathrooms — how to achieve the 5 start look with inspiration from the leading boutique style hotels from around the globe
- Soft industrial — a variation on the popular industrial theme, perfect for family homes
- Warm minimalist — all about keeping things simple yet inviting
If you still need a few more ideas, check out our gallery of bathroom pictures, showing different types of contemporary bathrooms.
We hope you’ve been inspired to plan, build and enjoy your very own contemporary bathroom. Discover more room planning guides at VictoriaPlum.com.