When it comes to home renovations, the benefits of a beautiful bathroom are right up there – after all, it’s your special sanctuary to de-stress and chill out.
But it’s not a makeover to be taken lightly. From setting a budget to planning timescales, hiring a contractor, selecting fixtures and fittings, and the installation, the list of jobs to do is extensive.
Here, experts share the biggest bathroom trends that will still look good in years to come…
1. Contemporary spaces
“Contemporary bathrooms are the perfect blend of style and functionality, so it’s unsurprising this is the most popular style according to our survey,” says Amanda Pollard, senior editor at Houzz.
“By definition, contemporary design is constantly evolving as it generally refers to what’s popular at the moment. However, it’s definitely possible to design a contemporary space that will stand the test of time.”
By incorporating one or two key elements, she says you can lift the look of the bathroom and make the scheme feel more luxurious and considered.
For example, Pollard says designs that feature low-threshold showers, wall-mounted toilets and soft-close drawers/doors, all help to create a space that feels contemporary and uncluttered.
Ellen Cumber, director at Golden Design, says: “We’ve definitely noticed clients moving away from classic fittings and fixtures; we’re currently designing bathrooms with a lot of natural textures and handmade elements – for example, rough plaster or tactile handmade clay tiles.
“The texture is what makes it feel fresh and current, rather than returning to the smooth faceless contemporary bathrooms of the Noughties.”
2. Standout showers
Showers seem to be the focus in many new bathrooms, says Pollard, with many homeowners choosing to enlarge their shower substantially during renovations – often at the expense of the bath.
“One in five of our survey respondents removed their baths altogether,” notes Pollard. “With the extra floor space this creates, we’re seeing designers add large walk-in showers, often featuring luxurious rain/waterfall shower heads.”
Indeed, Emma Merry, director at Emma Merry Styling, says a large walk-in shower has become a staple in modern family homes for many of her clients.
“The absence of a cumbersome bathtub saves space, making the bathroom feel more open and inviting,” says Merry. “The sleek, contemporary look of a walk-in shower is also attractive to families seeking a modern aesthetic.”
Additionally, she says the accessibility and ease of cleaning a walk-in shower makes it a practical choice for busy family life.
3. The rise of the ‘spa-throom’
Over the past few years, homeowners have been turning their bathrooms into an at-home spa experience, observes Pollard.
“Wellbeing and self-care continue to be a priority, and bathrooms are increasingly seen as a space to escape to,” she adds.
To create your own little haven, focus on the features that will help it feel serene, says Pollard. “Lighting, for example, can have a big effect.”
Think about incorporating multiple lighting sources, such as brighter overhead lights and softer wall lights; or under-cabinet LEDs to create a more relaxing atmosphere for when you want to unwind, suggests Pollard.
Taking inspiration from hotel bathrooms, Sara Ripamonti, co-founder, of Aflux Designs, says the ‘spa-throom’ trend combines luxurious materials and elements to create a private sanctuary of your own.
“Whether it’s wanting to feel refreshed at the start of the day or helping to unwind at the end, a cluttered bathroom does the opposite,” notes Ripamonti.
“For many, an overcrowded wash space can create feelings of stress, and in addition, it makes it harder to keep clean.” She continues. “We’re working with clients to incorporate bespoke joinery either built into the wall – such as a hidden cabinet – or via a larger vanity unit to store their everyday toiletries.
“The result is a serene space, which feels relaxing.”
4. Stacked tiles
Pollard says there is an increase in designs that feature vertically stacked subway-style tiles. “A fun variation on the traditional staggered brick pattern, these thinner subway-style tiles are positioned in straight vertical lines to create a quiet but impactful statement wall.”
Caroline Nicholls, managing director at Slightly Quirky, says stacking tiles in this way works really well, as it can make the bathroom seem taller due to elongating the space, and draws the eyes upwards.
“It’s also a little more unexpected than the traditional brick formation, so can feel more contemporary,” suggests Nicholls.” But it will remain timeless as the design isn’t too busy.”
5. Light and bright
“Neutral colours such as white will always remain a popular choice as it helps reflect light around the room – and therefore makes the space feel bigger, as well as creating a sense of freshness and openness,” says Ripamonti.
“White also provides the perfect backdrop for any colour or scheme, whether it’s a classic or contemporary,” highlights Ripamonti. “This means you can add pops of other colours without overpowering the bathroom, as white remains the dominant colour.”
Merry agrees: “A bright bathroom will never go out of style, so clients often opt for a neutral colour palette for the base – and then we will layer in different textures to avoid it feeling too clinical.
“With the addition of marble worktops, natural stone tiles and wooden accents in the vanity units, this introduces a luxe aesthetic and lifts what could otherwise be a boring space.”