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Design Secrets For Luxury Bathrooms


Imagine a world where you can leave behind the rush of daily life, soak in a warm bath scented with essential oils and candlelight, and let your troubles float away. Everything is calm and quiet. The air is filled with music to soothe your senses, and warm towels await to wrap you in comfort and softness.

A luxurious bathroom is a sanctuary from the everyday world of stress and worries. If your bathroom doesn't evoke this sense of luxury, it's time to make a change. Consider these tips for designing or remodeling your bathroom, so it becomes a haven for relaxation.


A bathroom vanity is one of the most important elements in a bathroom, serving as its focal point and reflecting your personal style. You can go with standard sizes, but why not take advantage of that extra area? Most bathrooms have it, but most people don't know how to use it effectively.

If you have the money to spend and want to make your bathroom truly luxurious, installing a custom-made vanity might be the best way to go. It’s made to fit your exact specifications, so you can get the perfect size and shape for your space. A vanity with ample storage and a roomy top for your toiletries can transform a bathroom into a luxury oasis.


Your bathroom is more than just a place to brush your teeth and take a shower. It's an extension of your personality. So when it comes to decorating, it's important that you make a statement. One of the best ways to do this is with your bathroom mirror.

When you're choosing a mirror, opt for one that's large, elegant and stylish. A statement-making mirror can make the room look bigger and give it a unique character. It can also reflect light and enhance the room's design.

You can find many bathroom mirror options, including some with built-in LED lights to brighten up your morning routine and others that hide wall storage cabinets.

Faucets and Fixtures

When you're choosing faucets and fixtures for the bathroom, it's important to think about both form and function. You want something that looks great and works well, but also lasts a long time so you don't have to keep replacing it.

That's why I always recommend purchasing faucets and fixtures from high-end brands since they are manufactured with the best quality materials and finishes and will last for years to come. The material is key because it must withstand constant water pressure, along with long-term wear and tear.

When shopping for faucets and fixtures, the sheer number of brands, designs and finishes can be overwhelming. It's important to take your time and investigate thoroughly. Reviews online can help you decide on your best option.

Shower Systems

The shower is the most relaxing part of your home. It's where you wash away the day's stress, relax and start fresh for the next day. Shower systems are the ultimate in luxury, featuring multiple showerheads and body sprayers mounted on all walls of the shower and even on the ceiling.

● A rain showerhead, with water pressure light enough to mimic the feel of rinsing in the rain and nozzles resembling a waterfall, will help you start your day in luxury.

● The feeling of warm water surrounding you is one of the most luxurious feelings in the world. Body spray jets add a touch of luxury to any large walk-in shower, and can literally engulf you in water.

● The handheld showerhead is an invigorating and luxurious way to bathe. It can double as a personal massager, comes with multiple settings for customized water pressure, and you can create your own spa-like experience right in your own home. After a workout, use your handheld showerhead to ease sore muscles.

● A steam system will transform your shower into a spa-like experience.


When you're choosing lighting fixtures for your bathroom, think about what kind of mood you want to create—from soft and relaxing to bright and vibrant. The right selection of bathroom lighting can do a lot to improve your overall sense of well-being, comfort, and style.

To start, make sure you have plenty of light overhead by installing recessed lights in the ceiling. Next, plan your bathroom vanity. Traditional vanity lights complement bathroom mirrors, while single sconce lights act as functional, decorative accent pieces. This is the task lighting you will use most often, and where you'll find the greatest variety of styles to choose from.

The best bulbs for your bathroom will be labeled "daylight," and have a color temperature of 4,000 to 5,000 kelvin. Consider using dimmers to create different lighting levels. For example, you may want softer lighting when soaking in the bathtub and brighter lighting when putting on make-up or shaving.

For a luxurious finishing touch, consider installing ambient or additional lighting such as shower or bathtub lights to illuminate nooks and add personality and warmth.

If you want to know more about lighting in interior spaces, you can find great guidelines in this other one of my articles

Marble vs. Tile

Marble and tile are the two bathroom materials on the designer's palette, both popular choices for their beauty and durability.

Marble is a more expensive option that offers a high-end finish and a wide variety of colors—from bright whites to dark grays and blacks. Marble is the quintessential luxury material that I choose for all bathroom surfaces: floors, walls, and countertops.

When you're on a budget, there are great quality porcelain tiles that look like marble. However, I usually avoid imitations because they could look fake. I prefer to use rectified porcelain tiles with textures, threads, and other patterns to create visual and tactile textures. For an upgrade, consider installing a marble mosaic in your shower and porcelain tiles on the floor and walls of your bathroom. Also, I would suggest using large formats and a wide joint width for a more luxurious look.


Bathtubs are a great way to unwind after a long day. But if you want to feel like you are on vacation every time you step into your bathroom, then you need to consider investing in a free-standing tub.

Free-standing tubs make a strong design statement, instantly grabbing your eye when you enter a bathroom. Imagine coming home after a long day and treating yourself to a luxurious bath in a tub surrounded by candles and soft music. They are unique and make a true statement that is associated with luxury and pampering.

Designer Tips

● For an extra indulgence, I like to buy organic Egyptian cotton towels that are fluffy, plush, soft, and oversized. Having them monogrammed adds a special design detail that creates luxury in your everyday life.

● If you want to experience pure decadence every time you step out of the shower, consider adding a heated towel rack. Not only do they make your towels warm and cozy, but they also dry the towels, which means you'll never have to deal with mildew again.

● Essential oils are a wonderful way to improve your health and well-being. Not only do they make your bathroom smell amazing, but they can also help you relax and unwind at the end of a long day. For example, lavender will help calm you down, eucalyptus can help relieve congestion, and peppermint oil can help with headaches and colds.

I recommend reading this very interesting article on how essential oils work, and their benefits published by Cleveland Clinic (link:


Bathrooms are meant for relaxation and renewal. The right materials make all the difference when it comes to creating an inviting, luxurious atmosphere. I hope these tips will help you create an inspiring bathroom retreat. If you’re interested in learning how to create a more welcoming environment in your home, I’d be happy to speak with you. Please feel free to reach out.

Santiago Bernal is a Colombian-born designer whose work includes residences and hospitality interiors for clients throughout North and South America, the Caribbean Islands, Middle East, and Europe. Santiago's design philosophy is to create beautiful spaces with a contemporary elegance that harmonize with their surroundings and tread lightly on the planet.



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