8 Tricks with Shower Design

Looking for a fresh style for a statement shower design? Try using smoky gray glass, reflective mirrors or graphic tile for a look that’s low budget but will still wake you up every morning.

8 Tricks with Shower Design

1. Vertical stripes. Instead of adding a horizontal border, consider a vertical accent stripe to visually highlight the height of your shower while adding an unexpected bit of drama.

2. Vertical and horizontal stripe combo. You can also combine a horizontal band and a vertical one to create a layered look.

Tip: Edging a tile with metallic banding will echo fixtures in the same finish. Again, it ties the different surfaces together for a look that is subtly sophisticated and clearly well considered.

3. Graphic stripes. Thin stripes of colorful tile in concentric patterns give a shower lots of energy — this can be a great DIY project for those feeling a little handy. The effect is high-end even when created with inexpensive tiles. Just make sure to plan carefully in advance to make sure everything lines up. A computer-drawn layout will help. When in doubt, leave the job to a professional.

4. New angles. Sometimes all you need to give a shower a dramatic look is a new angle on the tile — specifically, a tile cut at an unusual angle (instead of the more typical 90 degrees). Use a contrasting grout to highlight the quirky shape and add to the veined look of a natural stone.

5. Negative image. Other times, the best way to accent a shower is to keep it as an oasis of white in a room with busier finishes. The shower will feel as large and open as possible even with a curtain drawn. Break up wallpaper or bold tile in the larger space for a perfect sense of balance.

6. Feature flooring. If you love a wild tile but worry about how it’ll look in a large area, apply it to just the shower floor. After all, it’s a natural place for you to look while enjoying a relaxing shower. You’ll mostly only see it as a daily treat, too, so you won’t get sick of it, and it won’t crowd you in either.

7. More is more. Using one patterned tile for all the bathroom surfaces, wrapping from the floor all the way up the walls, creates a custom-designed feel that evokes European apartments. It’s especially effective if you have a window in the shower to break up the look, or an oversized storage niche dressed in a plain tile for a similar effect. Either way, it’s still big on drama — and if you choose a tile you love, it’ll be timeless.

Tip: Using classic black and white avoids any trendy colors that might one day feel dated.

8. Tone on tone. For a perfect balance between a bold accent and a sense of calm, use tone-on-tone blues or blue-greens to cover your main surfaces and your shower walls — use a more neutral shade for the vanity area and a brighter pop for the shower itself. This way the entire bathroom will feel integrated and timeless, and will have enough interest and life.