The best time to add resort-style luxury to a bathroom is when planning a reno, and designing the space around a freestanding tub creates a relaxing sanctuary.

The aim is to create a serene space you can escape to at the end of a long day to indulge in a soak.

Freestanding bathtubs can be used as a centrepiece or positioned near a wall, where they will still catch the eye more than built-in baths.

Because they can dominate the bathroom visually, these types of tubs won’t work in very small spaces.

Choose a shape and type of tub to suit the style of the bathroom from modern minimalist to country chic.

The fixtures, like the toilet and sink, should reinforce the look. Go for surfaces like timber, stone and glass.

Natural light and leafy views are essential components of a spa-like space, so add skylights, floor-to-ceiling windows and big mirrors.

Monochrome marvels

Monochrome marvels
Australian Handyman

White is commonly used in bathroom design as it makes a space appear clean and unblemished.

Contrasting white tiles and fixtures with black elements makes a statement that this is a modern and streamlined space.

Monochrome bathrooms have a timeless style and spa-like ambience.

A black-and-white scheme creates a clear canvas that allows the shapely lines of a bathtub to dominate.

Using black in a bathroom is a bold decorating choice, so the key is to not let it overpower the space.

Keep the walls, fixtures and floor tiles white, limiting black to a feature wall, the shower recess or cabinets.

When designing a monochrome bathroom, abundant lighting is a must to prevent the space looking cold and inhospitable.

If no natural light is available, use bright downlights above the vanity and softer feature lights for the tub.


Wooden wonder

Wooden wonder
Australian Handyman

A new trend in bathrooms is the wet room, which combines the shower and bathroom into the same space.

When utilised with an overhead rain shower, this gives a resort-like feel.

Depending on the space, costs may be lower as a shower enclosure won’t need to be built, leaving more room in your budget for premium features like the timber wall panels and flooring used in this bathroom.

And while the entire area needs to be waterproofed, the main benefit of a wet room is that the space that would have been used for a shower recess can instead house a luxurious bathtub.

Country charm

Country charm
Australian Handyman

The rustic look works very well in bathrooms in older homes. Warm white walls are offset by timber and other natural finishes and materials.

To perfect the country look, install a traditional clawfoot bath with old-fashioned tap fittings in the centre of the room.

If you can’t fit a freestanding tub, create a peaceful space around a bath surround using quaint accessories.

While white is the dominant colour for the walls, dark tiles can create a striking monochrome effect.

Lay black and white tiles in a pattern to further reinforce the style.

Timber is ideal for benchtops, and door and window frames.

Use other natural materials like wicker for storage baskets or a clothes hamper.

Keep a country-style bathroom bright and cheerful with framed artwork and photos.

Flowers, candles and towels will add functional decorations to the room.