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How to Create an Eclectic Bathroom

These bathing spaces trawl the style panoply for looks, influences and touches that can be combined to brilliant effect

Houzz UK Contributor. I have been an interiors journalist since 1995, writing several… More

The Collins dictionary definition of eclectic is: composed of elements drawn from a variety of sources, styles, etc. It’s a broad idea when applied to interiors, but tends to speak of rooms that refuse to follow a single style.

In a bathroom, that may describe a space that starts out classic, then veers towards something more quirky. Think trad white sanitaryware teamed with upcycled furniture and contemporary patterned tiles, or a rustic backdrop of exposed brick and slate flooring paired with a metallic basin atop a sleek stand.

Confused? Don’t be! These bathrooms illustrate the idea beautifully.

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Bring out the brights
A classic grey and white bathroom scheme is taken in a fresh direction with flashes of eye-popping orange paint. Because the touches of colour are small, they allow the bathroom to remain elegant rather than ‘wacky’ looking. It’s a simple way to give a neutral recipe a bright new flavour.

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Team the rough with the smooth
This bathroom’s architecture contributes to its atmosphere, with exposed brick bringing a bolt of rustic style. The oversized slate floor tiles keep to the rustic theme, but everything else pulls the room in a more unexpected direction.

The groovy, check-design basin stand, black basin and taps are wonderfully ‘now’ and, combined with the more earthy notes, give this space a truly eclectic feel.

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Use colour to tie things together
There are several influences going on in this monochrome space – a period-nodding roll-top bath, Victorian-style tiles with a contemporary twist, an industrial sliding door, an on-trend black tap and a rustic milking stool.

What makes them look (extremely) considered and not chaotic? That elegantly disciplined Scandi colour palette. It’s a classic.

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Max the luxe
A decadent combination of colour, shine and texture gives this bathroom the ‘wow’ factor. Check out the gold basin! The pearly, globe-like pendant light and plant sitting in a tall, elegant stand are also delicious additions.

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Contrast wood and ceramic
The pink, green, black and white tiles in this bathroom continue the colourful scheme found throughout this eclectic home. The dark wooden screen and carving introduce a different, more ethnic feel to the riotous wall of tiles. Simple but eclectic!

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Add an element of humour
Sleek, white backdrop and modern, freestanding bath? Check. Surprise purple wall? Yep. Period fireplace? Check. Ornate gilded mirror? Check. Oh yes, and pink plastic flamingo… It takes style confidence to make an eclectic collection of elements look as beautiful as this.

What is fun in this space is the juxtaposition, particularly, between the high design and ‘serious’ period features – and the cheeky pink fellow. A collection of 1980s toys on a shelf or a witty print or large framed photo in an all-white, otherwise conventional bathroom would be a good way to start adding a little humour of your own.

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Give classic a twist
The sanitaryware in this bathroom has a classic Edwardian feel, but by teaming it with contemporary patterned tiles, it looks wonderfully up to date. A wall of mirrors and a Slim Aarons print contribute to the exciting, original flavour of this room.

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Repurpose old pieces
Rather than head to the nearest showroom when kitting out your bathroom, get creative with old furniture, adapting it for a new life. In this compact bathing space, a vintage stool now cradles a small basin.

Exposed brick painted a soft blue adds welcome texture to the space, while simple white and black tiles create that all-important contrast, while keeping it practical, too.

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Steer towards sophistication
Perhaps sitting more in the ‘darkly sophisticated’ rather than the ‘truly eclectic’ camp, this bathroom is nevertheless a gorgeous mix of influences. From floral wallpaper and a romantic chandelier to a copper-toned tub that looks beautifully elegant and timeless, it’s a brave and seductive mix.

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Create more from concrete
The concrete walls of this bathroom could have sent it down a contemporary or industrial route. Instead, a mix of other ingredients help to soften their appearance and give the bathroom a more eclectic feel.

Glass surfaces, recessed niches lined with sparkly tiles, a twinkling chandelier and wall light, and a neon-bright stool combine beautifully without interfering with the essentially grey, white and black scheme.

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Mix vintage with geometrics
Shabby chic is a soft, vintage-heavy style and works beautifully in period bathrooms, adding bags of character. Here, however, the homeowners have given this floaty look a cutting edge by using contemporary, geometric cement tiles on the floor.

The trick to tying contrasts like this together is to connect them using colour: here, the gentle grey and sage of the vanity unit and tongue-and-groove are picked up in the tile pattern.

What do you like about an eclectic bathroom? Do these spaces cut the design mustard for you? Share your thoughts in the Comments below.
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