If you offer “quiet luxury” to just one space, make that space the bathroom. But in a fast-paced world, what is quiet luxury?
For many of us, it is simply about getting more time for ourselves and the opportunity to unwind from the stress of an always working world. There is no doubt that this has affected bathroom design in a big way: trend analysis firm Trend Monitor cites the bathroom’s “key role”, particularly in managing stress, as the “global health and wellness trend” develops.
“Luxury bathrooms can now be more than purely functional spaces,” explains Youssef Al Mansouri, Head of Design at CP Hart. “More of our clients want to create an oasis of luxury and sophistication in the heart of their home – a quiet place they can enjoy as a private retreat to de-stress and unwind.” We call this trend ‘quiet luxury’ because it’s a way for people to enjoy comfort and a quiet blend of comfort and luxury.’
Calm luxury bathroom design should evoke a mood that can be created with simple moments that make us pause, such as muted bathroom color ideas, luxurious materials that sing rather than scream, and wellness bathrooms with fixtures that offer spa-like experiences, such as massage showers, hydrotherapy baths, steam rooms, and state-of-the-art saunas.
How do you get the quiet luxury look in your bathroom?
The best “quiet luxury” bathroom ideas are never boring – and we’ve also included plenty of value-added interior design tips.
1. Use premium material as the main attraction
When it comes to designing a bathroom that exudes quiet luxury, focus on materials that will make a difference.
Using marble as a floor-to-ceiling finish in a bathroom is timeless elegance and stunningly luxurious. This practice dates back to the Romans, who decorated bathrooms and public rooms with marble.
This bathroom by Los Angeles-based designer Jane Hallworth is featured in Barbara Salik’s book, The Ultimate Bath, available on Amazon. Dramatically herringbone marble walls and floors create a theatrical element for the bathroom, which is then elevated by the addition of a matching marble bath.
However, there is a point when one substance can be overused. To avoid the space appearing sterile and cold, add a warm finish with a material like wood or metal as a subtle touch.
2. Invest in vintage, classic furniture
Antique and antique cabinets are worth considering for their innate character and ability to make a space stark. Choosing worn furniture can help take away the perfect “newness” of sanitary ware and other hard surfaces for an aged aesthetic.
Look for older pieces made from close-grained hardwoods such as oak, teak, and mahogany for the best moisture resistance. Thanks to decades of waxes and varnishes, antique furniture should have already created a decent layer of moisture protection but check for any damage and reseal if necessary.
Cabinets, cupboards and chests that stand on feet, rather than plinths on the floor, will be safer from water entering at ground level.
3. Choose the best style and finish for your device
Bathroom hardware plays an important, practical role in quiet luxury design, but many designers see it as a style staple that is used in much the same way jewelry is used to finish off a garment.
“A bathroom should always have a harmonious combination of materials, metals, colours, textures and shapes,” says West One Bathrooms designer Alberto Lutzow. He recommends choosing the style and finish of taps, shower fixtures, and accessories at the same time that you round out your sanitary ware, furniture, and tile selections.
“Bathroom hardware finishes are a big trend, moving away from ‘standard’ chrome to create a more unique and customized look,” says Youssef Mansouri, Design Director at CP Hart. While many manufacturers offer their products in a range of finishes, it is not always easy to match them across a range of products, especially if they come from different suppliers.
Interior designer Irene Gunter, founder of Gunter & Co, looks for matching finishes or repainting pieces for the best result. “If you’re on a tight budget, matte black is a great option because there are so many knobs, mirror frames, wall lamps and matching hardware items available,” she says.
Youssef Mansouri, Design Director of bathroom brand, CP Hart, has been with the brand since 2010 and has a history of working in retail luxury bathrooms and home spas.
Erin Gunter founded London-based interior design firm, Gunter & Co, in 2014, with previous experience working for a full range of London’s top interior design studios, having completed projects everywhere from the English countryside to the Cote d’Azur.
4. Design a wellness space with a luxurious and calming color palette
When it comes to designing a sanitary room in the master bathroom, the luxury of the space itself can provide a huge advantage.
In this spacious apartment in uptown Barcelona, the That Home Studio interior design team had the good fortune to work with high ceilings, large windows and the ability to incorporate a spacious shower area.
The balance of textures was key. Fluted woods, bouclé upholstery, and sculpted mirror frames all soften the hard surfaces, while enhancing that sense of luxury that can usually only be experienced in the most exclusive spas.
Painted in a dark terracotta ceiling (similar to Little Greene’s Tuscan Red), it deviates from the imposing ceiling height for a more intimate atmosphere.
5. Design a simple space for visual calm
“A spa bath is a special place to relax and take time to yourself,” says architect John Pawson of designing a haven of quiet luxury.
“As one of the most important rooms in a home, it takes a lot of design energy, as how you treat the bathroom, sink, shower and bathroom privacy in one room can get interesting. Sustainability is also a pressing issue, so how do we use water and heat without Wastage requires thoughtful consideration.
“Visually, I like to keep things clear. I spent some time designing my bathroom collection for Cocoon because taps and shower heads are strong features in a space and I want them to be as elegant and functional as possible. In terms of surfaces, I love marble for the sinks and vanities, ‘Although a white porcelain sink could be pretty too.’ I’m not worried about using wood in a bathroom, as long as it’s sealed, treated with care, and not soaked.’
“I save a lot of deep drawers in my dressing table because it’s hard to relax if there are things all over the place. If you want to enjoy the bathing experience, the ritual of splashing cold water on your face in the tub, or stepping into the bathroom to wash away your worries, you need to visual calmness.’