Minimalist Bathroom: Examples, Inspiration, Planning, Products, Full Guide

When it comes to design, less is often more. Never is this as true as in your bathroom, one of the most heavily utilized — and often cluttered — spaces in your home. It’s why minimalistic design has become increasingly more popular over the past few years, both in defiance to insatiable consumerism, but also because living with less tends to make life more streamlined and potentially chicer.

While the bathroom is the smallest when it comes to square footage, it can often be one of the most expensive rooms to renovate and decorate. This is because almost everything in the bathroom has to be specialized. Only rivaled perhaps by the kitchen, everything in the bathroom not only needs to be specific, but it also has to be durable. A simple repainted wall isn’t going to be enough in a bathroom that requires tile and other features that can withstand consistent exposure to moisture.

It’s yet another reason why a minimalistic bathroom design becomes more appealing. Inspired in no small part by the increasing popularity of the blog and documentary The Minimalists, or even Marie Kondo’s trend of “tidying up,” a minimalistic space can be a sophisticated, relaxing, potentially less expensive and more functional option for your bathroom design.

What Is Minimalism?

Minimalism is often incorrectly defined as the pursuit of having as little as possible. Though some people practice it this way, this is not realistic nor sustainable for most people. The more common and realistic way to practice minimalism is to focus on only having what you need and what you enjoy. This will pare down the belongings in your home to only what is useful or adds sentimental value for you. If this means that your shelves are not totally bare save for a single plant or two? So be it. The point of minimalism is not that you have to follow anyone else’s strict guidelines about how many things you are allowed to have. The point is that you do not waste time, space, and money on all of the belongings you don’t need and probably don’t care about either way. 

If you’re interested in decluttering your space before you begin your minimalistic design, you can start by first going through with a garbage bag and attempting to throw out 25 items. It might seem like a lot, but you probably have at least that many sitting around that are simply trash. From there, you’ll want to organize your belongings into “essentials” (what you’d pack if you had to move out and could only take one bag) and what’s non-essential. Then you can see if there’s anything viable to donate or give to a friend or family member. Try your best to avoid being wasteful.

Another great trick to start decluttering is to pack up everything that is not one of your “essentials” into a box or bag and place it in storage. See if you ever have to go into it to retrieve an item. You most likely will not, and in a month or two, you will probably not even remember what’s in the box. If you want to be extra careful, wait six months or an entire year. It’s safe to say that if after a year you do not need anything from the box — nor can you even recall what’s in it — you can toss it. At this point, you probably should just keep it closed altogether, because it’s only when we start looking at items individually that we justify why we should keep them, though we don’t really want them, nor will ever use them.

This is a strategy you can employ in every room in your house, but especially the bathroom. To make a minimalistic design successful, you will need a super-streamlined approach to everything from your soaps to your toiletries. A minimalistic design is great, but clutter will make it unsuccessful. 

What Makes A Bathroom Minimalist?

A minimalist bathroom is defined by straight lines, neutral colors, and the least detail possible. Altogether, this can create a very relaxing and appealing appearance. Here are some of the most important elements to consider.

Bring it back to basics 

Yes, you might love your shelf with a picture frame, extra mason jar of flowers on the countertop, or even rustic, farmhouse-inspired signage, but if it isn’t essential — or doesn’t bring you some kind of overwhelming joy to the point that you deem it a requirement — it should go. 

No superfluous furniture 

Stick to the basics. This is easier than normal in a bathroom, which typically only utilizes a toilet, tub, and so on. However, if you’re tempted to add any more big pieces, hold off and see if you can come up with a more streamlined solution.

Stay neat & organized  

Minimalistic spaces — especially bathrooms — are extremely organized. This will apply to everything from items in your shower to what’s happening under the sink. You can use replacement jars with labels for your shampoo, conditioners, and soaps, and consider getting products that are usable for everyone to reduce the number of mismatched plastic bottles in the shower. For storage, you can do something similar. Other items you can organize and coordinate are towels, hand towels, or even storage containers for items such as your makeup.

Invest in fewer, higher-quality pieces

One of minimalism’s fundamental tenets is that you spend less money on many lower-quality items and invest in better pieces that will last you a long time. This means that your minimalist rooms should not include anything that’s cheap or cheap-looking. You can achieve this by buying things made out of natural elements such as wood and stone.

Why Does Simplifying Matter?

Other than being an aesthetic preference, a minimalistic space can also make your life cleaner, healthier, and easier to manage.

Easier to clean

A minimalistic space makes your daily pickups, weekly scrubs, and monthly deep cleans so much easier to achieve. With only a few items to keep organized and mostly straight lines and clean spaces, it’s a lot quicker to wash surfaces and put everything away at the end of the day.

Calming

Minimalism is calming and is often touted as a great solution for people who struggle with anxiety, tension, and stress. You’ll recognize that the most relaxing spaces — such as in a spa — are often very streamlined in their design. Too much clutter is overwhelming, and a more minimalistic bathroom space can help you start and end the day feeling a lot better. 

Easier to function 

Last, but perhaps most important, is that a minimalistic design makes your bathroom more functional. When you know where everything belongs and you don’t have to spend time sifting through cumbersome products and junk, everything from washing your hands to your face to retrieving a cleaning product or feminine care item becomes that much easier. 

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Planning Your Minimalist Bathroom

Aside from the obvious — which is that you’ll want to select products and materials that are neutral, clean, streamlined, and simplistic — creating a minimalist bathroom often requires more planning than that. 

Pick your “statement” piece

Let’s say you want to go with white penny tile floors, white subway tile in the bathtub, a granite countertop, and white walls. All of this is very minimalistic, but you will still need something to “pop” to bring it all together. This can be the incorporation of gold or copper hardware, plants or flora, or even a unique mirror. 

Set your “rules”

If you want minimalism to be successful long-term, set your own “rules” for how your bathroom is run. Decide what is allowed in there, how the items are organized and managed, and so on. 

Live by “use it or lose it” 

If you’re unsure as to whether or not you can stand to get rid of a certain product or item, “use it or lose it” is a good motto. If you use the item or will use the item within a reasonable period of time, you probably need it. Otherwise, it’s likely fine to let it go.

Combine uses

Just as the extra-large, family-style shampoo in a separate labeled container makes showering much cheaper, streamlined, and aesthetically appealing, you should find other ways for items in your bathroom to serve more than one purpose.

Decide what you can do yourself 

When it comes to bathroom redesign, there’s a lot that you can accomplish on your own. You can likely handle painting or even the replacement of a mirror. However, depending on your skill level, you might want to outsource for improvements such as lighting, tiling, or anything to do with plumbing.

Pick your motif

Everything you select for a minimalistic bathroom should meet three requirements: neutral colors, straight lines, and durable materials. Find items that fit within these guidelines and also “go” together nicely as well. For example, if you’re using a lot of white, make them uniform so that one is not more yellow (and looks older, or dirty) in comparison to a starker white used somewhere else.

Minimalist Toilet Pick

American Standard 288DA114.020 Toilet, Normal Height, White

The American standard h2optimum symphonic round front toilet is an ultra high efficiency toilet that meets EPA watersense criteria.

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Though there isn’t a super wide amount of variety when it comes to toilet design (they are all pretty much built similarly), there are some options that are a bit more sleek and streamlined, such as this Kohler pick. With straight lines and a minimalist build, it’s the perfect option for a simple bathroom.

Minimalist Sink Pick

VCCUCINE Rectangle Above Counter Porcelain Ceramic Bathroom Vessel Vanity Sink Art Basin

Premium quality ceramic construction with solid and durable ceramic with crystalline glaze, this is easy to maintain and clean. Above the counter installation.

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This freestanding sink is as gorgeous as it is functional. With clean edges and a simple white basin, it’s modern, stylish, and adds a touch of luxury all while remaining distinctly minimalistic. 

Minimalist Faucet Pick

Delta Faucet Modern Single-Handle Bathroom Faucet with Drain Assembly, Chrome 581LF-PP

With its sleek lines and included matching finish pop-up drain assembly, this single-handle bathroom sink faucet is a great addition to any space. Paired with crisp lines and bright whites, it creates a bold, modern contrast, but it works equally well with vintage styles and traditional spaces to convey a hint of nostalgia.

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This extremely minimalist faucet has sharp edges and its temperature valves are one with the nozzle itself, making it efficient and giving your bathroom an extra-modern look.

About the author
January Nelson is a writer, editor, and dreamer. She writes about astrology, games, love, relationships, and entertainment. January graduated with an English and Literature degree from Columbia University. Read more articles from January on Thought Catalog.

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