9 Luxe Details to Add to Your Bathroom

By Neila Deen, Houzz

What makes high-end bathrooms feel so luxurious? Is it the large slabs of expensive marble and the deep soaking tub? Partially, yes. But often, deluxe bathrooms also benefit from thoughtful details that can make the space feel glamorous, even spa-like.

So if you’re not in the market to rip out and replace costly items like your tub, vanity or floors, take a cue from high-end bathrooms and look to your fixtures and accessories as opportunities to add a bit of luxury. Try one or more of these nine strategies to give your bathroom a luxe makeover without breaking the bank.

INS CONTRACTORS, original photo on Houzz
INS CONTRACTORS, original photo on Houzz

1. Choose statement lighting. Whether it’s a glittering chandelier or wall-mounted sconces, try swapping ordinary lighting for a fixture that makes a stylish statement. Hanging a chandelier in the middle of the room or over a soaking tub can make a stunning and luxurious impact, as shown here in this all-white bathroom. The crystal chandelier with a dark iron base gives the room an expensive glow without detracting from the clean white palette.

Blackband Design, original photo on Houzz
Blackband Design, original photo on Houzz

You don’t have to use a chandelier to make a statement with lighting. Dazzling pendant lights or wall sconces above a sink can give your ordinary bathroom a jewel box atmosphere, and they can be found for $200 and up. Look for something with a distinct and artful look that complements the rest of your bathroom hardware. Here, the reflective glass sconces coordinate with the chrome hardware and bring a more sophisticated atmosphere to this fairly simple bathroom.

Jute Interior Design, original photo on Houzz
Jute Interior Design, original photo on Houzz

2. Glam up your mirror. If you have a plain bathroom mirror in the standard rectangle or square shape, look for an alternative with more stylish details. This one is a great example: Its elegant flower shape gives the room a more designed look.

Selecting a mirror with a glitzy finish, such as gold, or a jewel-like multifaceted rim can really transform your vanity wall. Decorative wall mirrors can cost as little as $150, depending on their size. For a highly styled look, pair your glam mirror with fashionable sconces.

3. Choose a regal paint color. A dark wall color can instantly add a posh look to a bathroom. Dramatic paint choices like charcoal or navy create a welcoming contrast to common bathroom finishes such as white, helping the space seem brighter and newer.

A dark color can also bring a modern look to older wood finishes on cabinets, window frames or baseboards. And darker hues mix well with mirrors and metallic hardware, allowing them to shine brightly and be the star of the room. This translates to a more styled and luxurious look.

4. Upgrade your cabinet hardware. Instead of blowing your budget on a new vanity, splurge for upgraded cabinet hardware for your existing one. For a more luxurious look, seek out designs that have some bling in the form of a bit more polish or sparkle or dramatic shape. High-style hardware can be found in polished chrome, brushed brass and even crystal and agate. Such knobs and pulls can be found for $10 and up per piece.

Structures Building Company, original photo on Houzz
Structures Building Company, original photo on Houzz

For a cohesive look, coordinate your handle or pull with at least one other element in the bathroom, such as your fabulous new sconces or mirrors. Here, the brass cabinet handles and wall sconces pair well, adding elegance to an otherwise ordinary vanity.

5. Splurge on scents and soaps. Have you ever swooned over the yummy-smelling soaps in a fancy hotel or restaurant restroom? Making the small investment in a lavish hand soap is probably one of the easiest ways to add some luxury to your bathroom. This spa-like touch can cost as little as $15 for a bottle of dreamy essential-oil hand soap. Look to your big-box, discount and online vendors for cost-saving options.

To really bring on the aromatherapy comfort, splurge on a high-end reed diffuser, a candle and — if you’re up for changing it out each week — a vase of flowers for your vanity. Fresh, inviting smells can make a bathroom feel like a spa.

6. Double up on towels. Luxurious spas and high-end bathrooms offer an extravagant amount of soft, comfy towels. With an investment of $12 to $20 per plush towel, you can create this amenity in your own abode.

CARNEMARK Design + Build, original photo on Houzz
CARNEMARK Design + Build, original photo on Houzz

Place neat piles of towels on shelves, roll them in baskets or set them on benches. Keep everything looking sophisticated by selecting towels of the same color and style. You’ll want enough so there’s still a decadent number left even after you pull one from the stack.

7. Organize with apothecary jars. Bathrooms are practical rooms with a functional purpose, and most of us have a myriad of personal items stashed throughout ours. Organize these everyday items in a more elegant way by storing essentials such as cotton balls, swabs and bath salts in classic glass apothecary jars.

Jars filled with multiples of the same item can be decorative and, similar to piles of fluffy towels, add a spa-like feel to a bathroom.

Glass apothecary jars can be found in the home decor section of most retail and online vendors for as little as $15 each.

8. Showcase art. You might not think of the bathroom as an obvious space to feature artwork, but doing so can elevate the feel of the room. In fact, multimillion-dollar homes often showcase large-scale artworks and collections in their bathrooms. Just be aware that moisture (and sunlight) can damage some pieces, so you should display art in non-steamy areas of the room or choose more durable or less valuable works.

You’re probably not dealing with a lot of square footage or wall space in a typical bathroom, and that’s OK — it can even be an advantage since a diminutive room allows art to be the star. Creating a gallery-like feel can also help detract from worn or older aspects of your space.

Michaela Dodd, original photo on Houzz
Michaela Dodd, original photo on Houzz

Bathroom 6: Michaela Dodd, original photo on Houzz

9. Keep it clean. This sounds like a no-brainer, but a luxurious bathroom should be clean and clutter-free. So deep-clean your tub and shower and, if necessary, replace any chipped or discolored grout. You may even want to reglaze a worn tub to give it a newer look. Also, there’s no underestimating how much new life a fresh coat of paint can add to a room. Finally, edit out any unnecessary possessions. If you have open shelving, corral your necessities in a neutral container like the baskets seen here.

To maintain a high-end, luxurious look, keep your counters and ledges as clear as possible. Place your toothbrushes and toothpaste in a medicine cabinet if you can. If certain items must remain on the counter, contain them in a luxe tumbler — perhaps a mirrored one or one made of faux marble. These little changes to your everyday items will go a long way toward creating a stylish and luxurious bathroom.

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