Make It Masculine: Bathroom Design Ideas for Bachelors (and Marrieds!)

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Whether you are designing a bathroom for a male client or you are a man overseeing your own bathroom décor, rest assured you have many more design options today than the traditional “stark minimalist masculine” bathroom of years past. The truth is some of the world’s most innovative, creative and popular interior designers are men. It’s possible that you can have very masculine bathroom décor while enjoying luxury and style in your personal bathroom space. You may enjoy one or more of these popular styles for masculine bathrooms — or you may choose to incorporate ideas from each style to create a hybrid décor distinctly yours.

Theme Color

Often the best place to start — before even selecting your overall décor concept — is with simple elements such as color. For instance, if you favor a traditionally masculine dark or earth-toned color palette, add in a splash of a “theme color” such as red, forest green, bright blue or yellow. You may want to use this theme color just once — such as with a piece of wall art — or several times, such as with accent towels and area rugs.

Innovation Meets Function

One way designers are currently approaching bathroom décor for men is to incorporate innovation with functionality. For instance, if you love having the latest gadgets, why not create the most modern bathroom imaginable — complete with flat-screen television embedded into the wall space, a European sauna that includes a shower and seating area, a surround sound stereo speaker system that connects to your iPod and similar elements? For best results, choose a black-and-white or neutral-tone theme that is easy to maintain so you can spend maximum time enjoying all your gadgets in your ultra-modern bathroom.

Earthy and Sustainable

One new bathroom trend that is gender-neutral is the sustainable bathroom. You can install eco-friendly options for the bathroom vanity, the fixtures and furnishings and the lighting. If you have kids, this is a great way to teach them about what the planet needs and how each person can help. If you are single, it just feels great — and makes for interesting conversation with guests. You can select certain sustainable pieces (such as a low-flow toilet or “green” light bulbs) or go all out and completely “green up” your bathroom space with recycled materials and bamboo storage cabinets. Either way, the result will be a bathroom space that you can feel great about.

Classic Rustic

With the classic rustic bathroom style, you can incorporate elements like reclaimed wood, an original iron stove (for heating the bathroom in winter), natural stone instead of a traditional counter and floor tiles and lanterns rather than modern light fixtures. This gives your bathroom an early American log cabin look and feel that combines well with the more masculine décor overall.

Combination Styles

There are several popular combination styles that maintain a masculine atmosphere while incorporating elements of decadent luxury.

Art deco with minimalist modern. Incorporate the traditionally masculine minimalist (or functional) bathroom space with a few art deco touches — a cubist painting, a stained glass window (also helpful if you want more privacy), bolder tile or wallpaper designs, or an innovative light source.

Renaissance with Early American. If you love early American and European clawfoot tubs, Renaissance torches and period oil lamps yet also enjoy the simple living of early American settlers, try adding a signature piece from each period — such as lighting your bathroom with a series of electric wall-sconce torches and putting a clawfoot tub in the room’s center as the design focal point.

Zen with sustainable. With this décor theme, combine open shelving made of sustainable bamboo materials with the elements of a traditional Zen space — running water, natural stones, clear glass paneling in the shower. Use black with neutral tones for the color palette.

These five bathroom décor concepts easily reflect masculinity while still adding in all the luxury, creativity, innovation, beauty and enjoyment a well-designed bathroom space has to offer.

About the Author: Matthew Long lives in a penthouse with two full baths. During a renovation last year, he decided to go with a luxury-meets-minimalist approach that earns him rave reviews from house guests.