In this post, we will review 21 Bathroom Design Ideas from our projects in NYC. As an architect, I see that that bathroom design is one of the most important issues for people when renovating their homes. The bathroom is often the most expensive space in the home and the one that gets the most attention during design.
- Color and Contrast
- Alternative Finishes
- Keep It Simple
- Linear Shower Drain
- Frameless Shower Doors
- Towel Warmer
- Large Bathroom Mirror
- Custom Bathroom Vanities
- Bathroom Niche
- Bathroom Details
- Therapeutic Tub
- Texture and Materials
- Wall Mounted Toilet
- Floating Vanities / Wall Mounted Vanities
- Smart Toilet
- Custom Accessories
- Shower Head Option
- Bathroom Floor Heat Mat
- Coordinate Your Accessories
Contrast Bathroom Design
Adding contrast can be a great feature to a modern bathroom design. Some people like an all white bathroom but sometimes adding some color or texture can make it pop. This comes down to personal taste, but start with an open mind, especially when it comes to bathroom color and texture.
The picture below is of a bathroom in an apartment that we renovated in NYC. The bathroom is mostly white but with a blue mosaic floor and wood vanity that brought a little contrast and color to the bathroom. Adding natural materials to an otherwise stark bathroom can give it a little life.
Alternative Materials for Bathrooms
There are many alternative finishes you can use in a bathroom for a modern bathroom design. Here are a few examples of alternative materials for bathrooms:
Alternative Materials for Bathrooms:
- Back Painted Glass
- Epoxy / Resins
- Venetian Plaster
Concrete Bathroom Design
Concrete finishes can be a great alternative material for a bathroom. A concrete bathroom design is an ultra modern option. For a bathroom, concrete finishes should be smooth– rough concrete would not be a good option for a bathroom.
If you want to read more about concrete, we have another post on Concrete Interior Finishes you can see.
Keep It Simple with a Simple Bathroom Design
Some people are going to want to go all out some people may want to keep it simple when renovating their bathrooms. A simple bathroom design will be a good option for many people.
The bathroom picture below is of a simple bathroom design in an apartment renovation in Riverdale, New York. This bathroom has simple white marble walls with a light beige floor. All fixtures and cabinets are white including the custom white vanity. This bathroom is simple and classic.
Linear Shower Drain
As an architect, one room design trend that I have been a little surprised by is all the bath to shower conversions. So many of my clients are preferring showers to tubs and taking out their bathtub to install a walk-in shower.
A modern touch to a shower floor is installing a linear shower drain. Linear drains are rectangular, sleek, and minimal. This is why they are used in modern bathroom designs so often. There are different types but lets put them into two categories. One is where you have a metal grill top like a normal drain, but it is linear and generally more modern looking. The other type is where you can install a matching floor to a metal pan with the drain being a thin line around the perimeter. See pictures below. I am a big fan of tiling the linear drain. It leaves a small reveal for the drain, which is a great modern bathroom design idea. This is one of my favorite details for a walk in shower.
Below is a photo of a linear shower drain in an apartment we renovated in NYC using an Infinity Drain. This has a blue marble mosaic tile floor, which is also installed on the drain. The only part of the drain visible is the rectangular reveal in the shower floor.
This next photo is a concrete bathroom with a long linear drain.
Frameless Shower Doors
Shower doors are a critical part of any bathroom design whether they are for the shower or tub. The shower door hardware is an area where the details make all the difference. One important thing to note about the shower doors is that these are really the last thing to get installed in the bathroom. So it does not have to be the first thing to consider when renovating your bathroom, but that is not to minimize it’s importance.
Options for shower doors:
- Frameless Shower Doors
- Framed Shower doors
- Barn Door Style Shower Doors
- Point Support Hinge Doors and Frame with clips
- Sliding Doors
- Hinged Doors
- Partial Fixed Panel with No Door
In the picture below you can see a frameless shower doors for a tub in a Manhattan Bathroom Renovation we did. This bathroom does not have tracks for its shower doors. It has point support clips, and the hinged door also is point support. This eliminates the need for continuous tracks making it a much sleeker look. The glass needs waterproofing seals, which can be clear and minimally visible.
Electric Towel Warmer
An electric towel warmer is a luxury item you may want to consider. These are good for high end bathroom renovations where you really want all the fancy accessories. There are two major advantages to towel warmers. First, they warm the towel while you are in the shower. That way you dry yourself with a nice new warm towel. The second advantage is they help dry the towel after you shower so that you do not have a damp towel hanging on the wall. The wet towel will dry quickly.
As an architect, people are constantly asking me what accessories they should add to their bathroom. I think an electric towel warmer is a great addition to a modern bathroom.
In the photo below, the towel warmer was mounted on a mirror. This was in an apartment that we renovated in NYC.
Large Bathroom Mirror
Mirrors are critical in any bathroom. A large mirror can be a good addition to a bathroom. A large bathroom mirror will make the space seem larger. Additionally, a large bathroom mirror is very useful and a nice piece of design.
The photo below shows a medicine cabinet and towel warmer mounted on a large bathroom mirror white tiles.
Custom Bathroom Vanities
The photo below is from a bathroom renovation in Riverdale with a custom vanity and integrated sink countertop.
Custom Bathroom Vanity with integrated sink
Bathroom Niche Ideas
Porcelain Bathroom Tiles
There are lots of unique bathroom details you can incorporate to give your bathroom an individual feel and accentuate the design.
Below is an electrical outlet installed on a mirror with a mirrored switch plate in a bathroom we renovated.
Wall Mounted Toilet
Wall mounted toilets are a more modern bathroom design idea. They have advantages and disadvantages.
Wall mounted toilet pros and cons:
Wall Mounted Toilet Pros
- Does not require a floor drain therefor more flexible for location in retrofits
- Adjustable Height at installation
- Wall face plate easy to remove for maintenance
- Easy to clean underneath
- Modern design
Wall Mounted Toilet Cons
- Can be more expensive
- May require furring of walls
- Requires fully open walls to install
- More Components to coordinate wall carrier and toilet sold separately
Floating Vanities / Wall Mounted Vanities
Custom Bathroom Accessories
Bathroom Lighting Design
Shower Head Options
Shower Heads have a surprising amount of options. I think of all the bathroom fixtures the shower head is the hardest one to select.
Shower Head Options:
- Single Function vs Multi Function Shower Head
- Wall or ceiling Mounted
- Rain Shower
- Hand Held Shower
- Body Spray Shower
- Adjustable height hand held shower head
- Thermostatic vs Pressure Balance
- Dual or Multiple Shower Heads
- 2 way, 3 way, or 6 way diverter
Bathroom Floor Heat Mat
Bathrooms can be cold because many bathrooms are not going to have an independent heat source. If you do not have any heat in your bathroom you can put an electric bathroom floor heat mat to heat the bathroom. This is a mat installed in the floor under the tiles. The mat is connected to a thermostat in the bathroom.
Coordinate Your Accessories
When you are purchasing your bathroom components you should coordinate them. Do not buy everything individually without thinking about what else you are selecting. There are lots of options and accessories you will want to consider and the bathroom should look like every choice was done deliberately.
We have another blog post with more Bathroom Design Ideas if you want to check it out.
A Few Extra NYC Bathroom Design Tips:
Bathroom ADA Accessibility
If you are in NYC and you are planning to renovate your bathroom, it may have to be ADA accessible. Ada stands for the Americans With Disabilities Act. In NYC all apartments in elevator buildings or apartments on the ground floor of walk up buildings are subject to ADA accessibility. We have another post you can look at if you want to read more about NYC Bathroom Codes.
Go To Showrooms
If you are renovating a bathroom in NYC, you should definitely go to some bathroom showrooms. It is very helpful to see things in person to get ideas, and you can touch the vanities and tiles to feel the texture and quality. That is the great advantage of being in NYC. There are so many showrooms for home renovations with different levels of quality and price.
NYC Bathroom Design Ideas and Pictures
In this article, we discussed some ideas for NYC bathroom designs. Although most of these ideas apply anywhere, these are all our actual projects in NYC. Any reference to Building Codes is based on NYC Codes. All New York bathroom design pictures in this post are of our actual projects.
Thank you for reading our blog post on Bathroom Design Ideas in NYC.
I hope this was helpful. Please leave questions and comments below. If you would like to speak with an architect you can contact fontan architecture directly.
This post was written by Jorge Fontan AIA a Registered Architect and owner of New York City architecture firm Fontan Architecture. Jorge Fontan has earned 3 degrees in the study of architecture including two degrees from the City University of New York and a Masters Degree in Advanced Architectural Design from Columbia University. Jorge has a background in construction and has been practicing architecture for 15 years where he has designed renovations and new developments of various building types.