An Expert Guide to Designing a Beautiful Bathroom as a Beginner

May 27, 2019

This is a featured article

When launching into a redesign of your bathroom, the one thing that has to be thought out first is the amount of space you have to work with. Unless you are going to be tearing out a wall or two, the amount of space is set and won’t change.

One of the staples of new bathroom designs is the use of a glass subway tile. These are typically found in sizes 3″ x 6″ and traditionally manufactured in a white glass. However, there are now many different size tiles and a large variety of colours to choose from.

Here are some expert tips for designing a beautiful bathroom as a beginner.

Subway Tiles

The use of subway tiles is an inexpensive way to upgrade a bathroom without having to do too much else in the room. The traditional size of 3″x6″ is about $2 to $3 per square foot.

These tiles are always in style, no matter what else comes in or out of style. You can’t go wrong with a white tile “brick” and it matches everything.

The different size subway tiles can be arranged in various patterns to form everything from triangles to flowers.

The other colours of these versatile tiles range from black to lighter hues and would match everything in the bathroom. However, white is the most popular as it allows a homeowner to change the colour of the bathroom without a total remodels.


Everything from the ceiling to the walls should be the same colour. It is known as tone-on-tone. When you paint the walls or use a different colour tile on half of the walls, you break up the room and create a smaller space.

When all the walls and the ceiling are white, you can accent the room with a darker coloured vanity or a single, low cabinet of any colour. This will allow a more “open” area without sacrificing the look of a larger room.

This also means the darker or colourful piece of furniture becomes a feature and not part of the space, again, allowing for the appearance of a larger room.


When remodelling an older bathroom, switch out the overhead lights for newer, natural lights. They can still be placed overhead, but chances are, you will like the look of modern chandeliers, sconce lights or long, slim lights hanging over the sink.

Go big and bold with the lighting to help open up the darkness of an older bathroom. Place most of the light over the sinks and near the mirror where it is needed most. Use canon style spotlights in the shower and over the commode.

A view of the shower curtain

Window Treatments

If there is a window in the shower area, consider taking it out. You could have the window bricked up and covered with a shower liner on the inside, one that covers the entire shower and tub area.

If removing the window out of the shower area is not feasible, opt for replacing it with an energy efficient frosted and sealed the newer window. If you must keep the old window, be sure to caulk it along all the seams and place a cling style cover that allows for both privacy and natural light.

Sinks and Vanities

If you have the room, go for a double sink or what is often called a “his” and “her” sink. Choose something that matches your general décor. If you are going for the modern look, choose a sink that resembles a large bowl and sits on top of a smaller vanity. Another space-saving style of sink is a single pedestal type. However, with this style, you will lose storage under the sink.


Mirrors often help to create a larger-looking bathroom. If you have a window in the bathroom, try to place a mirror across the room from it. When a mirror is deliberately placed and reflects a window, it seems to enlarge the entire room.

The use of mirrors that go from the ceiling to the countertop will also give the impression the room is larger and become a more inviting space.

A palm tree in front of a mirror

Recessed Cabinets

If you are planning on doing any type of construction, building one or more recessed cabinets are the best idea. When a linen or medicine cabinets are placed in older bathrooms, they take up a lot of space.

Cutting out a hole in the wall to install a cabinet helps to open up the room, giving more floors and wall spaces to a smaller room.

Another idea is to carve out a “shampoo shelf” inside the shower to help control the bottles of shampoo and other items needed for everyone’s daily wash. It doesn’t have to be more than one or two shelves and can be as deep or shallow as the wall behind the shower will allow.

This is one of the places you can use a contrasting or different colour tile than the shower. If your shower is sectioned off with clear glass, go with the same or a complementary colour tile in this small space.


Install the same tile or laminate flooring from the doorway all the way across the room into the shower. This will only work if you do not have a bathtub and have a shower “room” or a separate area for showering cordoned off with a short wall. Which is a modern way to update the shower area, plus, most people do not use their bathtubs, only the showers.

If you feel you need something different in the shower area, take the same tile and create a different pattern with it. If the tile on the floor is facing one direction, install the shower tile in the opposite direction. This will still give the illusion that the room has one floor but will break it up just a little.

Pin for later

To remodel your bathroom without taking out walls can be done and is easier and less expensive than a full remodelling job. Use these tips to design like a pro the bathroom of your dreams, even if your bathroom is small.

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