Whatever your style – whether you’re after a sleek, clutter-free family space or a splash of hotel-style chic – if you’re planning to refresh, we’ve got the bathroom trends for you to follow.
Get started on your makeover with help from our bathroom ideas
From statement baths to space-saving storage, we’ve selected the most inspiring in our round up of inspiring new looks. Enjoy!
Bathroom trends for this year
1. Black-framed shower screens
One of the top five bathroom trends, black-framed shower screens (inspired by classic black metal Crittall windows) show no sign of losing their popularity.
‘Black-framed screens look great and will continue to be in demand for a long time yet,’ says Busola Evans, interiors editor of Homes & Gardens and Living Etc, ‘but what we will see is a variation of glass, so expect more frosted, textured and fluted versions.’
‘They’re hugely popular and for good reason,’ says interior designer Carla Chases of Carla Designs. ‘Black-framed screens bring an element of high style to any bathroom and have become a beautiful architectural feature that make a bathroom look super bespoke.’
2. The stand-alone tub
After the stresses of last year, creating spa-like serenity at home has never been more important. Statement baths are key with the focus on clean lines, sculptural shapes and aesthetically-pleasing design.
‘A freestanding bath creates an opulent atmosphere, reminiscent of boutique hotels, and makes bathing a luxury,’ says Carla Chases.
‘But when choosing a freestanding bath, you really need to consider both the size of your bathroom and the look you’re aiming to achieve. Back-to-wall baths can still give that luxe look, but in a compact space.’
3. Burnished finishes and mixer taps
‘When it comes to taps and fittings, chrome is a classic finish that never goes out of style,’ says Lauren Foulds, project manager at Heritage Bathrooms. ‘Although we’re seeing a growing trend for more traditional finishes such as vintage gold, brushed brass or polished nickel, which give a softer alternative to shiny chrome.’
Lauren also reveals that basin mixers are a more popular choice than basin taps in pairs. ‘We’re seeing customers shift away from two-hole sanitary-ware for more streamlined single mixers. It’s also likely that, in the post-pandemic world, we’ll see an increased demand for antimicrobial finishes and touchless operation, even in domestic environments.’
4. Clean lines
‘Thanks to recent advances in manufacturing, we’re seeing a rise in longer, straight edges and harder corners which work really well in a contemporary bathroom,’ says Lauren Foulds. ‘Although in a more traditional space, curved edges on statement pieces offer a softer look.’
5. Subtle pops of colour
Coloured sanitary-ware has made a firm comeback and is great for injecting personality into what can be a clinical space, but bathroom designers recommend caution if considering a colour.
‘I wouldn’t advise a complete colour overload, as bold colours tend to date quite quickly,’ says Carla Chases, ‘but a coloured feature sink in a soft shade can look lovely. My advice would be to opt for white sanitary-ware, then have fun with tiling and painting.’
6. Supersized marble
Marble is enjoy a moment in the spotlight with it being used in abundance in bathrooms and in bolder slab-style applications. ‘For a timeless look, go for large-format tiles, so there will be fewer grout lines and you’ll achieve a cleaner, more luxurious look, says Clare Lloyd, editor of Home Building & Renovating magazine.
7. Colour-happy tiles
While basins and baths have steered away from bold colour this season, this certainly isn’t the case when it comes to bathroom tiles.
‘Following a year where people were forced to spend so much time at home, more and more of us are going for bold, says Lauren Foulds, ‘forgetting the neutral “show home” look and making our homes our own. Colourful bathroom tiles can really help achieve this.’
‘Don’t worry about trends, just have fun with bold colour and playful patterns,’ says Carla Chases. ‘Hexagon or metro tiles laid in a herringbone pattern are a great way of adding personality with plainer tiles.’
8. Streamlined storage
With clean lines and sleek shapes a big trend for bathrooms, storage follows the same lead with built-in vanity units, floating shelving and bespoke cabinetry a key look this season.
‘Avoid placing lots of small pieces of freestanding storage around a bathroom, says Carla Chases, ‘it always ends up looking messy and cluttered.’
‘If you’re looking to update sanitary-ware, I’d always advise swapping a pedestal basin for a vanity unit,’ says Clare Lloyd, ‘floor-hung fittings looks neater and with the extra storage, surfaces stay clutter-free.’
9. Low-level lighting
‘Dimmers are a hugely popular bathroom trend right now,’ says Carla Chases, ‘as are some form of PIR sensor lights. These are generally low-level lighting that turn on automatically when you enter the bathroom – fantastic for night-time visits as you don’t fumble for the switch.’
‘Bathroom lighting is all about creating an experience,’ says Lauren Foulds, ‘but something as simple as an illuminated mirror can have a big impact. It casts a subtler glow than a harsh overhead light and can help to create a tranquil atmosphere.’
10. A shower AND a bath
Walk-in showers are ever-popular and remain a great solution for compact bathrooms and en-suites, maximising the floor space available while adding a touch of luxury.
‘However, always consider resale, before ditching your bath completely,’ advises Clare Lloyd of this bathroom trend. ‘Most future buyers, particularly those with young families, will want (and need) a property with at least one bath.’
Lauren adds, ‘Following the pandemic, customers are looking at self-care and wellness in a new light, and with the variety of fitted and freestanding bath sizes available, a small tub shouldn’t be ruled out if you are partial to a relaxing soak.’
11. Biophilic design
Biophilic design – the notion of creating a connection between the natural world and our interiors – remains a popular concept and particularly in the bathroom as a space for wellness.
‘Give some thought to making best use of natural light in a bathroom if you can,’ says Clare Lloyd. ‘For those taking on an extension or loft conversion project, consider adding a rooflight directly above a shower or bath for a glimpse of the sky, without (hopefully) compromising privacy.’
12. Brass taps and fixtures
Metallic finishes have been taking over our bathrooms for a few years now, but this year it is time for brass to shine.
‘Brass is a great material for accessories and fixtures, bringing a luxury and premium feel to your bathroom. It’s a mainstay at some of the fanciest hotels in the world and for good reason,’ explains Harriet Goodacre, brand communications manager and tile consultant at Topps Tiles. ‘Not only does brass provide a refined finish, but it also weathers well, making it a long lasting and durable choice.’
So how do we style the hot new hardware in our bathrooms? ‘Try creating a deluxe style by pairing brass with marble to create a look that oozes sophistication,’ advises Harriet. ‘Dark shade of navy blue can accentuate this further, adding an opulent finishing touch.’
13. Sumptuous dark colours
Rich dark walls have long been the norm in bedrooms and living rooms, but now it’s the bathroom’s turn to take a walk on the dark side. Dip your toe into the trend with a shower outfitted in sumptuous navy tiles, or be bold and fill the entire bathroom with rich greens and blues.
‘Bathrooms are one of the few places in the house where you can get away with strong, vivid tones which might be over-the-top in other rooms,’ explains James Lentaigne, Creative Director for Drummonds. ‘Maximalism is very much on-trend with more and more people experimenting with bold patterns and bright colours.’
The rich colours go perfectly with this seasons other trend for brass and metallic finishings creating a luxurious look.
14. Supersized tiles
We’re going big on the bathroom tiles this year. ‘Large format tiles offer a striking appearance that’s guarantee to turn your head you enter the room,’ says Harriet. ‘Their considerable size proves a spacious feel to the space thanks to minimal grout lines.’
Embracing large tiles doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice on style or colour, however marble is particularly striking when creating a minimalist look.
‘There’s plenty of variety in large format porcelain tiles as they are available in multiple effects, such as iconic types of marble,’ says Harriet. ‘Coloured marble can provide greater variety such s emerald trees or an indulgent black.’
15. Wooden finishes
If you aren’t a fan of dark moody rooms, the trend for natural textures is continuing to grow. ‘The establishment of stripped-back, sawn and treated grains is set to expand from the wider home into bathrooms in a big ways,’ explains Edward Carey, managing director at Ashton & Bentley. ‘Bringing the outdoors in, hand-crafted woods create a peaceful, tranquil surrounding, which perfectly suits the proposed of a bathroom space.’
Complete the look by pairing the natural wood with a freestanding bath for a spa-like feel.
16. Calm sanctuary
Our bathrooms are not just for washing your hair anymore. It’s time to embrace the spa bathroom trend and everything that goes with it. Building on the mindfulness trend, kit your bathroom out with all the accessories to create a soothing environment that you will want to linger in.
Embrace a neutral colour scheme with pops of green house plants. Accessorise with candles, crystals and a wooden stool for lounging around on. But no spa-throom would be complete without the must-have bathroom accessory trend the bath tray, perfect for balancing a cup of tea and all your bath time essentials.
17. Black ceramics
It isn’t just our bathroom walls that are turning to the dark side this year, so are our sinks and bathtubs. If you are a fan of a period bathroom, this is the perfect update.
‘Period-style bathrooms remain as popular as ever with consumers as a timeless, classic choice for some many different homes,’ explains Faye Froy, marketing manager at Burlington.
‘The new trend for black bathroom ceramics allows customers to add a contemporary twist on a traditional bathroom aesthetic. Bold and dramatic, this daring shade is guaranteed to add opulence to any bathroom interior.’
18. Vintage Havana
Vintage Havana is all about embracing the rich, vivid Cuban colour palette and mixing it with abstract graphics and exotic tropical prints. The trend is big, bright and bold.
‘The trend embodies the culture of Cuba with its adventurous spirit and welcoming energy,’ says Rosheen Forbes, commercial activity and events leader at IKEA UK & Ireland. ‘Relaxed design sits alongside faded glamour to mimic Havana, a city that remains frozen in time.’
Make the look work in your bathroom with tiles in aquamarine and a leafy palm print wall paper. Rows of LED lightbulbs either side of the mirror add an extra touch of vintage glamour to your bathroom.
19. Urban oasis
Showcase geo-patterned tiles on both walls and floors in modern and blush hues for a modern feel. Choose a contemporary angled basin and bath, team with black taps and fittings, and arrange plenty of planters with steam-loving tropical plants.
20. Blue sanitaryware
Don’t be bland – be bold! Give your bathroom a bit of character by adding a splash of bright colour. Coloured baths and basins are coming back, but in bolder shades than 1970s avocado, adding a sense of drama and luxury.
‘What’s set to turn our heads is the emergence of blue sanitaryware as a cool alternative to white,’ says CP Hart’s Rachel Martin. ‘Look out for powdery blue baths, basins and WCs teamed with polished chrome or gold taps.’
‘Clean white furniture anchors the trend and is particularly striking when finished with marble door fronts or textured stone surfaces.’
21. Bathroom wallpaper
Cheaper than tiling, our bathroom wallpaper ideas can add stunning colour and take plain white tiles to a whole new level. To get this bathroom trend right, avoid papering directly behind a bath or basin and try sealing the paper with a matt decorator’s varnish.
22. Metallic glamour
Chrome has been the king of the bathroom for some time but, as with kitchens, this is changing. Though we’re not advocating the return of gaudy swan-shaped brassware or wall-to-wall copper tiles, there is definitely a new bathroom trend emerging for modern metallic finished, and it’s worth tapping into for your new bathroom design.
As the name suggests, brassware has the metal at its heart, as it’s a durable material. Usually the brass core is treated with chrome or nickel to produce the shiny steel look we’ve been in love with for so long.
Now, inspired by the return of copper and brass elsewhere in the home, taps are shrugging off their silver coating for a new, more luxurious look.
For traditional schemes, go for taps and pipework in brushed copper or antique gold, as these will give a softer finish. Buy the best you can afford, too, as poorly plated taps will tarnish easily. Go for high-density, high carat gold plate on a nickel base for optimum longevity and durability.
Additional words by Jennifer Morgan