There are lots of ways to make a master bathroom feel more luxurious and opulent: natural stone floors, decorative bathroom vanities, and high-end fixtures. But the best way to make a bathroom look more relaxing, elegant, and enticing is both simpler and more affordable: treat your bathroom like you would any other room in your home, and furnish it. Placing even a single piece of furniture in a bathroom can totally change the feel of the space, not to mention adding a little extra functionality.
The simplest piece of furniture you can add to a bathroom is a chair. They don’t take up much space, and they can be very convenient for sitting, dressing, or even just giving you a place to set down clothes or towels. They’re unexpected enough that even a simple chair will function as an eye-catching statement piece, and the style of the chair can really help define the ambiance of your master bathroom. For example, a high backed upholstered chair has a very traditional feel, while a sleek, mid-century modern chair can add a more contemporary touch of elegance, and a wicker chair can add an effeminate Victorian look.
Ottomans or padded benches are functionally identical to chairs, but larger (which is nice if multiple people will be using the bathroom at the same time), and with a design that lends itself more readily to uses other than sitting. Placed in the center of a large master bathroom, an ottoman can act as a sort of hub for movement, a natural place to lay out clothing and sit to dress or undress. Again, the size, shape, design, and material on the cushions will all have a significant impact on the look and feel of your space, particularly if the ottoman is the only piece of furniture in the room.
Placing a small table near the bathtub (particularly if you have a freestanding tub or a large soaking tub) can add a lovely little bit of character to a master bathroom as well. A delicate antique cart filled with decorative bottles of soap and bath salts can add a very luxurious touch, while something sturdier and more practical – like a Chinese garden stool – will add a bright pop of color and a little more functionality, as it can be used both as a table and as a seat. This look works well even in a small bathroom since most side tables are relatively small, but the possibilities in terms of design are almost infinite.
Larger furniture can work in a bathroom as well if you have the space for it, and a great way to add a luxurious feel to your space is to make your bathroom a comfortable dressing area as well. You certainly don’t have to store all your clothing in your bathroom, but in the Victorian tradition of taking a leisurely bath and relaxing before dressing, having a small dresser, cabinet, or wardrobe can make your bathroom feel both homier and more relaxing. Many bathroom vanities are designed to mimic dressers, cabinets, and washbasins, and these certainly have a similar effect, but incorporating the real thing can give your bathroom a more distinctive touch.
All bathrooms have mirrors in them as a matter of pure functionality. But adding a decorative mirror – particularly a large, floor length freestanding mirror – can add a unique and elegant touch to the space. Big, hefty mirrors in decorative frames leaned casually up against a wall or propped in a corner will make your bathroom feel larger and brighter, and even in a relatively small bathroom, they don’t take up much space. Up close, these large mirrors can be used for dressing, but when placed at a slight angle, they offer a slightly gentler reflection of the room.
The notion of putting rugs in a bathroom usually starts and ends with bathmats, but in many ways this is a mistake. A decorative rug strategically placed in a master bathroom will immediately make the space feel homier and, depending on the design of the rug, more luxurious. Elegant oriental style rugs add a subtle, sophisticated look and feel, and any high quality rug will both enhance the atmosphere of the room and protect your feet from a chilly floor. Of course, rugs are best reserved for bathrooms used by adults who can keep them fairly dry, or in areas of the bathroom where they’re less likely to get dripped on, but most rugs can handle a little bit of moisture.
Finally, adding a live plant to your bathroom is the perfect way to bring an enticing natural element into the space. Most plants respond well to the moist, humid environment of a bathroom, particularly if it gets lots of natural light, and can make the room feel fresh. Small potted plants or flowers, ferns, or even some small trees will all add a bright pop of color to your master bathroom, and work especially well in a natural spa style.
What are some of your favorite ways to dress up a master bathroom? Do you like the idea of adding furniture to create a more relaxed atmosphere? Let me know what you think in the comments below!