Bathroom Trends Push Toward Spa Experiences, Wellness Functions

While Eurocucina was the focus of this year’s Salone del Mobile in Milan, the annual International Bathroom Exhibition was also a draw. We found quite of few bathroom trends that can bring the latest innovations to your space, making this part of the house even more inviting. Sustainability was a strong theme among innovations, highlighting water efficiency, energy-saving technologies, and personal health. All these underlying concepts were combined with the latest visual and experiential elements to create a spa-like personal wellness space. Sure, the bathroom serves some very basic human purposes, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be comfortable and stylish as well. From fixtures to materials and added functions, these 20 new designs were trending.

Plenty of Plants

There’s no better place in the house for plants than in the bathroom: The moist, often humid environment is perfect for living greenery and they add a relaxing dose of nature to the space. Not only are plants visually pleasing, but they reduce levels of carbon dioxide and other pollutants in the air, cut down on airborne dust, and can even help keep air temperature down. This bathroom trend can be a major feature, as in these bathrooms by Duravit from IdeaGroup, or be an accent. Either way, plants in the bathroom can make it feel more serene and relaxing.

View in gallery
A full wall of plants provides a strong natural vibe.
View in gallery
Use potted plants as an accent or in addition to a major wall of greenery.

Brass Fixtures

Much warmer looking than chrome, brass is currently one of the big bathroom trends. This Nudo collection by Spanish designers and founders of MUT studio Alberto Sánchez and Eduardo Villalón features a wall mounted or hanging system for all the fixtures. The wall-mounted taps and the gorgeous base for the free-standing tub put the focus directly on the stylish metal. The collection was presented by ex-t.

View in gallery
Brass warms up the overall feeling of the bathroom.
View in gallery
The brass goes well with plants, another one of the bathroom trends.

Shelving the Mirror

If you think about it, large mirrors could be considered a waste of space, especially in a small bathroom. Adding a glass shelf across the bottom portion offers another spot to display a small item or two, or just a place to perch a few toiletries while getting ready. This is especially valuable if countertop space is at a premium. When empty, the shelf is merely a design element on the large expanse of the mirror’s surface. This particular style is also from ex-t. Among the different bathroom trends, this is one that could work in any style of space.

View in gallery
Glass shelves on the mirrors add function to a dead space.

Making Things Float

Among all the bathrooms trends, this is one that gives your space a much larger feel. Attaching the vanity to the wall makes it appear to float, which opens up floor space, giving the room an airy feel. Combine that with a mirror that features backlighting and the effect is magnified. Anytime you add lighting to the mirror, it emphasizes the element and adds soft illumination. This look of this Specchio Retroilluminato e Lampada Light mirror from Arlex is much more modern than traditional vanity cabinetry that sits on the floor.

View in gallery
Both the mirror and vanity seem to float.

Add a Comfy Chair

As bathrooms increasingly become about more than just personal hygiene, comfort takes the forefront as a big consideration. Adding a comfortable chair to the space is another one of the hot bathroom trends. Here, Arlex has installed a modern chair that also adds a bright pop of color to the spa-like room. It’s ideal for relaxing or for taking a seat while getting ready.

View in gallery
With a comfy chair, there’s no need to perch on the edge of the tub.

Pedestal Sinks

Pedestal sinks have been around for a long time, but they are steadily becoming one of the new bathroom trends. These types of sinks are ideal for small bathrooms, powder rooms or larger bathrooms where you want to make a style statement. Designers are creating styles that are as much sculpture as they are sinks, like these from Antonio Lupi. The Controverso sink is a block of marble, scored by a milling machine, and then refined by an artisan to create a textural, natural fixture.

View in gallery
The Controverso is modern, yet appropriate for many bathroom styles.
View in gallery
Here, the various segments of a floral-shaped pedestal are displayed.

Fuse it With Fitness

The overarching theme of wellness is part of many current bathroom trends, so it is fitting that Scavolini has melded the bathroom space with the gym space. Designed by Mattia Pareschi, the Bagno Gym Space is large and open. It includes all the typical bathroom fixtures, along with everything that a home gym should have: Gym equipment, benches, elastic fitness bands, and TRX equipment. The cabinetry is available in this neutral anthracite finish, or in a natural wood for greater warmth.

View in gallery
This combination makes it easy to go from exercising to the shower.
View in gallery
The ladder grid is handy for hanging bathroom or gym necessities.

Make it Modern Industrial

Modern industrial decor has been popular for some time, however, it is just taking on new life among bathroom trends. This Diesel Open Workshop bathroom design, also from Scavolini, is a wonderful example of how to incorporate this style of decor in a bathroom. The warm, dark hues complement the large Lunar mirror that is set atop a copper-finish glass wall panel. Architectural pipe-style fixtures accent the space nicely.

View in gallery
The refined but moody color palette emphasizes the industrial aspect of the space.

Add a Hanging Chair

In what is actually a blast from the past, one of the new bathroom trends is hanging chairs. Originally popular in the 1960’s, these egg-shaped seats can hang from the ceiling, or from a stand as in this bathroom. Their resurgence is likely due to their organic feel, and cozy, nest-like seat. The feeling of being nestled is perfect for a bathroom retreat.

View in gallery
The original hanging chair was designed by a woman named Nanna Ditzel.

Expansive Towel Racks

In a welcome departure from the typical bathroom towel rack, these new styles are an expansion of the blanket ladder that is popular for living rooms. By having an entire set of rungs in the bathroom, it is much easier to hang all the family towels up in one place and still have enough space for them to air dry properly. It is also a very handsome element in the space, especially in this bathroom from Neutra.

View in gallery

Wooden bathtubs

Free-standing bathtubs are among the bathroom trends that show no signs of waning. Within that, wooden bathtubs are quickly gaining in popularity. Rapsel’s Ofuro tub pays homage to Japanese bathing culture and is made from Siberian Larch wood. Designed by Matteo Thun & Antonio Rodriguez, this wooden tub is the epitome of relaxed bathing style.

View in gallery
The popularity of baths has waxed and waned over the years.

Black Architectural Framing

Details make the difference and nowhere is this truer than in this black-framed shower. This architectural detail may be slight, but it has a big impact and has become one of today’s important bathroom trends. A modern bathroom from Inda coordinates the dark framing with matching fixtures and a dark, floating vanity. Black architectural framing, however, goes well with a number of different styles and can be paired with lighter woods. It’s a marvelous way to turn a sh into a major design element.

View in gallery
The corner shower goes from basic to spectacular with just the addition of a black frame.

Add an Island

For those who have a large space, adding an island is an unexpected way to create a useful and stylish bathroom. It only makes sense when you think about how a kitchen island increases the functionality of a kitchen. Why not do the same thing in the bathroom? This island from Inda has a marble surfacel and a modern chrome base. The piece is highlighted by the walls, which are covered in an amazing mosaic tile that is flecked with metallic accents, adding dimension.

View in gallery
A bathroom island is best for large spaces.

Marble Pedestal Sinks

We’ve already mentioned that pedestal sinks are trending, but marble pedestals are a force on their own. Kreoo’s marble pedestals are luxurious marble sinks that have very distinctive, modern silhouettes. The Gong model has an ovoid shape that looks like it has been sliced open at an angle. Designed by Enzo Berti, the hollow oval resting on the tapered column has a very organic appearance.  The other two sinks are similar but have a much more rounded shape.  They are all accompanied by the Kora Bathtub, also done in a dark marble.

View in gallery
Dark marble is a dramatic choice for bathroom sinks.

Wild Wallpaper

Innovation is making old things new, and now wallpaper is one of the bathroom trends because it can now be used in all parts of the bathroom — even the shower. Wall&decò’s WET SYSTEM™ wallpaper combines their stylish designs with liquid membrane technologies that make the wall covering resistant to yellowing, household cleaners and abrasion.  What’s more, it can be put over ceramic tile, plasterboard, glass or concrete. This opens up so many more design possibilities, with the option of adding graphics or patterns anywhere in the bathroom.

View in gallery
Wallpaper in the shower adds so much life to a typically plain space.

Horizontal showers

Dornbracht is literally giving you a new perspective on the shower — a horizontal one. This spa-like experience is taken lying down. Unlike the typical shower where you stand underneath the spray, for this, you lie down on a horizontal pad, while six water bars spray the length of your body from above. Electronically controlled via a panel, the shower has three preset options for an experience that is balancing, energizing or de-stressing. It can easily be combined with a typical shower head and controls to make a complete spa environment in your home, which is decidedly one of the most luxurious bathroom trends.

The water in a horizontal shower is like a spa massage.
View in gallery
Add a typical shower set-up for everyday use.

Basic Black Fixtures

Laufen’s Cleanet Riva shower toilet might be new for its technically sophisticated functions, but it’s also notable for its color: black.  While colored fixtures have mainly been relegated to the past — goodbye avocado and pepto-pink — black is just as classic as white for bathroom fixtures. This multi-stage hygiene concept toilet is paired with a black sink and framed mirror. The look is a modern bathroom trend, with a classic twist of the black and white color palette.

View in gallery
Black fixtures and the white walls and floor are a crisp combo.

More Marble

Marble may be a standard material for bathrooms, but it is showing up on more surfaces than just the vanity top and tub.  It is being used to accent other surfaces, such the front of cabinetry and for accessories. Here, the Assolo Collection from Artelinea of Florence features cabinets that can have a marble face, while the surface of the unit is a different material. Among the bathroom trends, this is a very chic one as marble is equated with style and luxury.

View in gallery
Marble in unexpected places adds to the luxurious feeling in a bathroom.

Show Some Legs

Until the new floating style of vanity showed up on the design scene, most bathroom cabinetry was large and hulking, sitting heavily on the floor. Now, mid-century modern style is creeping into the bathroom, yielding vanities and cupboards that sport modern and chic legs. Looking a lot like pieces that would be at home in a living room, these can hold your sink and all the bathroom necessities. Moreover, this Dama vanity from Artelinea has a glass-like Dualite top, which can be done in different colors to match the bathroom’s decor. We think its one of the more stylish bathroom trends.

View in gallery
The cabinetry can have a mix of cubbies, shelves and drawers.

Stylish Saunas

Perhaps the ultimate in luxury is to have a sauna in the home. This relaxing feature has always been associated with wooden rooms, likely from its origin in the Nordic countries.  No, however, you can luxuriate in a light-filled modern-style glass sauna instead of a dark wood-lined, windowless room. Surrounded by windows, you can enjoy the view while getting your sauna. Or, if you prefer a bit of the traditional style, Glass1989 offers a partially wood-slatted room, which still incorporates one glass wall and modern LED lighting.

View in gallery
The sauna setting is modern inside and out.
View in gallery
Either option — modern or more traditional — offers a luxurious sauna experience.

Incorporating some of these bathroom trends will definitely make this area of the home more relaxing and healthier. Investing in the bathroom, much like the kitchen, will reap good dividends when it’s time to sell the home. It is one of the critical areas in any house and must offer more than just function. The bathroom needs to have style and a few luxury touches to make it desirable.