Designers tend to set the trends for the rest of us, but recently Houzz.com compiled the likes on photos of bathrooms from their site – and some of the popular ones showed that us ‘common folk’ are still enjoying a few of the trends that they are trying to steer us away from.
When it comes to bathrooms, bright white, black & white, herringbone patterns, & industrial styles are still reigning supreme, and woods are making a definite comeback!
Smaller bathrooms especially are enhanced by the white-on-white trend, as it brightens them up & makes them feel larger. You still need something darker to help ground the space though, as you can see in the photo below. I love the black hex tiles with the light gray grout!
As someone who works in construction & development, I keep a fairly close eye on what those who are buying in our area are wanting – which doesn’t always follow national trends. As I’m surrounded by textures, styles , & finishes, I have a running tally in the back of my head of what I’d like to do in my personal home.
We are finding that people like wood in the bathrooms – stained cabinets rather than bright white ones are popular, and the younger they are, the more they prefer dark woods. Separate sinks are also still very popular – whether they share the vanity or have double vanities, couples don’t want to share the sink itself.
Granite or natural stone countertops are still quite popular, but quartz does still have a pretty strong presence in the bathroom (it doesn’t like heat as much though). A quartz countertop over dark wood cabinets is a definite hit with younger Gen-X-ers & Millennials, while Baby Boomers & older Gen-X people tend to lean more towards medium toned woods with natural stone countertops. There are those who don’t follow the rest of their generation on these though! We have two homes being build right now that are full of bright whites & dark cabinets, and both owners have grandkids.
Everyone still prefers tile floors & showers in their bathrooms, and we have had several requests for wood-look and slate-look porcelain tile – the gorgeous look without the issues! We often use a 1′ x 2′ tile in the showers as well. It gives the feel of brick or stonework with a lot less grout to have to deal with. Getting soap scum out of grout just isn’t fun! Bright white subway tiles are also still popular, but we are seeing people going for a larger subway – 4″ x 12″ has been very popular. Setting tile on the diagonal has been popular as well, especially with a checkerboard accent! Both shiny & matte tiles have been equally popular here.
Some other trends that we see holding strong include a soaking tub & separate walk-in (or roll-in) shower in the Master Bath. While a jetted tub is no longer a requirement, having a deep tub that’s long enough to stretch out in really is! While an in-tub shower is fine for the kids – and a great place to bathe the dog – us ‘grown-ups’ want a peaceful place to relax and let the stresses of life melt away. Barrier-free showers are also very popular. We crush & tumble the same tile used on the walls of the shower to create a custom built shower pan that slopes down to the drain. The flooring morphs from large tiles to crushed without changing the level of the floor, so those who need to roll into the shower don’t have any barrier to hinder them.
Here in Western Colorado, oil rubbed bronze is still holding strong. Brushed Nickel still shows up, but in custom homes, we are seeing more customers wanting darker fixtures used throughout the home. I think that matte black would have a stronger presence if it were available in a wider variety of styles. It seems that matte black is firmly stuck in industrial or uber-modern, which is a shame! It’s a perfect finish for the bathroom, and accents a black & white scheme so perfectly. I would love to see some more transitional lighting fixtures become available in matte black to go with the plumbing fixtures that are out there (if you look hard enough!)
Personally, I am thankful that we haven’t seen quite as strong of a trend towards antique bronze or brass here. It just reminds me of the 70’s when you had two choices – bright brass, or antique brass. I was absolutely loving the copper accents for the very brief time that they were available, but y’all can keep your brass accents to yourself. Matte black with copper looks stunning! Matte black with antique brass…. if that’s all I can get, I guess it will have to do.
If I were to design my personal bathroom right now, I think I would go with darker woods, matte black fixtures, and natural stone or light cream countertops & tile. I would have a claw foot tub – either all copper, or copper inside with matte black outside – and a black-framed glass shower door. Black & white – while it looks fabulous – takes 2nd place for me to black & cream. I feel that cream is slightly warmer & adds a touch of elegance when paired with rich black. Black & cream with an industrial feel would be very fun! You could get those old porcelain black & white knobs for the faucets too – I’m such a sucker for antiques.
What about you? What would your ideal bathroom look like?