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Bathroom Ideas: Modern, Traditional, or Transitional Style?


When you are remodeling or renovating your bathroom, one of the biggest decisions you need to make—which will also affect the type of bathroom faucets, sink fixtures, toilet, tub, and shower you choose—is what style of design you want to use. Currently, the three most popular styles are modern, traditional and transitional. Before you decide, let’s discuss what each of these styles is and talk about their features.

Modern Bathroom Style

Modern bathroom styles are often confused with contemporary, or "modern contemporary" designs as being modern. To be clear, modern design styles refer to a specific time period, normally between the 1920s to early 1960s. For instance, an oval shaped, clawed-foot, stand-alone bathroom tub would be considered modern, while a built-in tub would be considered contemporary, depending upon its design.

Contemporary or modern contemporary design simply refers to design elements that belong to the same time period. In many cases, this is simply what design, décor, and styles of materials (i.e., cabinets, tubs, showers, and so on) are popular and trendy right at this current moment.


Key elements of the modern contemporary style are:

  • Clean, smooth-flowing lines.
  • The use of natural materials, like bamboo, wood, and marble.
  • An openness or "airy" feeling to the room.
  • Simple color schemes—often, white painted walls with neutral colored flooring, cabinets, countertops, and related fixtures.
  • Non-neutral colors used in moderation, often in the form of bathroom rugs, towels, or window coverings.

In fact, most people today view modern styles as retro and what they actually consider to be modern is really a contemporary or modern contemporary style.

Traditional Bathroom Style

Traditional bathroom styles include certain contemporary design elements. Each aspect of the bathroom includes various features that clearly make it traditional, including:

  • Using colors and stains is considered classic style.
  • The cabinets and countertops are made from natural materials, such as wood, granite, marble, and so on.
  • The cabinets have elaborate designs with raised panels, and some even include moldings.
  • The lighting incorporates traditional light fixtures, like overhead recessed lights.
  • Crown molding and trim may also be used.

Traditional Bathroom Style

Transitional Bathroom Style

Transitional bathroom styles give you the best of both modern contemporary and traditional styles. However, you need to be careful when selecting various elements to ensure you creatively and practically keep the room balanced. Otherwise, you could end up with a finished bathroom that looks pieced together from odds-and-ends from different time periods, rather than a stylish bathroom.

Design elements found in transitional style bathrooms include:

  • A single style of lighting—either modern, industrial, or traditional.
  • A mixture of neutral colors between the floor, ceiling, walls, cabinets, countertops, bathroom sinks, and fixtures.
  • Flowing, clean lines without the use of molding and trim.
  • Cabinets and countertops which have a basic profile that is often smooth and clean.

Transitional Bathroom Style

When viewing pictures and images of various bathroom designs, look for the key elements to help you determine what style they are and if that is the style you like the best. For additional help in choosing bathroom fixtures, tubs, sinks, and accessories to match your preferred design style, contact European Sink Outlet by calling (954) 633-2605 today!