We are now more than two years into the pandemic and people are still cocooning. It’s almost as if we are still realizing the volatility we had in our lives that caused us to go home in the first place. People are seeking to make their homes life-friendly. Just as we want our bedrooms to make us feel like we are in a hotel on vacation, we want our bathrooms to feel like a spa—a truly luxurious retreat with top of the line design and finishes. So, let’s take a look at the latest interior design bathroom trends.
Probably one of the newest trends out there is the use of large formatting porcelain tile. They are now manufacturing porcelain tile in five-foot panels, essentially slabs. We are able to use this in shower walls, wainscoting, you name it. It looks like marble for a fraction of the cost and its performance is incredible—it won’t chip or shatter.
Speaking of tile, we aren’t using as much of the 12×24 size, as people really are looking for more visual interest. That could be through use of a classic retro black and white floor tile or perhaps something that pays homage to our past like a terrazzo type tile. Likewise, we are seeing a lot of patterned floors which allows us to really make a splash (no pun intended!) and use some truly bold and unusual tile designs.
In larger bathrooms, one easy way to give visual interest and break up the area is to do a border tile. We recently completed a job with a very large master bath. Had this particular bath been wall-to-wall white tile it would have been overwhelming. By creating a border with the floor tile it brought interest to the design and helped define the spaces within the room.
Another way to bring a break in the color of tile, especially in the shower, is to add a vertical stripe with an accent tile. Also think about balancing out your countertops, floors and walls with different tones. A dark charcoal floor balances light walls nicely and vice versa, a dark marble vanity top is easily balanced by white floors.
Getting that Glow
Lighting in general has changed a lot with the LED influence and the bathroom may be the biggest room in the house to benefit from this advancement. We are using indirect LED lighting all throughout bathrooms to create a really pretty indirect light. We have used LEDs under floating vanities, in a shower niche, to backlight a mirror or around the entire perimeter of a room.
If we have room to add a source of light on the vanity wall, we always recommend doing so as it directs the light towards your face and does not cause shadows. Recently, however, we have been using more hanging pendants in place of sconces as it can be positioned in the same height and still cast a flattering light. Larger hanging fixtures and chandeliers are still popular, but we only use them if the room is large enough to properly accommodate them.
It’s All in the Details
People are looking for character so we are constantly looking for ways to add a little something extra to their spaces. A great vehicle for this is always the bathroom vanity cabinets. Our goal is to make them special, in other words they should not look like your kitchen cabinets! We have recently used rift cut white oak slab for a vanity which was absolutely gorgeous. An all-time favorite of mine was a scalloped door pattern we did for a client, and don’t underestimate the power of a simple applied molding pattern to dress things up and make the bathroom unique but always functional.
Half Bath, Full of Design
People often want to make a statement in their powder baths. That may be as simple as staying on trend with a matte black finish on the faucet or perhaps something more daring like a wall of tile behind the vanity. Wallpaper is definitely back and the powder bath is a great place to put it to use. It’s the place where you can go bold or do something different and it’s not overbearing throughout the house. But, even though it’s a small space, people often get overwhelmed with choices. I tell people to think about dressing your powder bath just as you would think of putting an outfit together. If you’re putting on an outfit of full color, black and white is always a classic to go with it. Then, think of the sconces as your earrings. It’s such a small space and so individualized that you can actually make it have a look all its own that’s really well coordinated.
As I like to say, we are having a lot of “bathtub moments.” The freestanding bathtub has been back for years and is still going strong, with a few updates. It is now possible to have a deck mounted faucet for your freestanding tub, which thankfully causes the cost to go down considerably. Remember when I said people are still cocooning? We are seeing the resurgence towards curves and soft lines in all areas of design from furniture to bathtubs. It’s directly related to our desire to cocoon! Whereas we used to install more rectangular tubs, we are now seeing most with a curve in bathroom design.