When it’s time for a bathroom renovation, think beyond the sink because there are all sorts of new bathroom designs to choose from. Long gone are the days when you were limited to a slab of countertop with a standard drop-in sink. Manufacturers have launched new styles that are more like furniture. From compact models that make the most of a small bathroom stylishly to larger sets that celebrate hardware and elevate plumbing to a chic element, the choices are endless.
Must-haves for today’s bathrooms
When it’s time to remodel the bathroom, your budget is the only constraint because there are plenty of ways to splurge. From heated floors to sitting areas and super fancy shower fixtures, lots of things are nice to have. That said, there are some elements that are or are becoming must-haves for today’s bathrooms, especially if we’re talking about a master bath.
Unless you’re facing serious size constraints and are redoing a bathroom in a small space, double sinks are the only way to go. Although debate rages online about the ultimate usefulness of double sinks, for many homebuyers a single sink in the master bath is a deal-breaker. Whether you use them at the same time or not, having a dedicated sink means you don’t have to deal with the other person’s things or perhaps less-than-tidy sink habits.
Nowadays, those double sinks can be outfitted with new touchless faucets. With an increased focus on being sanitary, touchless faucets are increasingly popular choices not just for the kitchen but also for the bathroom. Rinsing your hands or the toothbrush is even faster with the wave of a hand. Also, the less you need to touch the knobs the less cleaning you’ll have to do in the long run. Some models even incorporate smart technology to preset your desired water temperature.
Sure, the bathroom needs to be functional but you also want it to be pleasing and relaxing. This means that while you need proper light for grooming in front of the mirror, you don’t necessarily want the whole space to be lit up throughout like a supermarket. Just as in any space, you want layers of light: Functional light at the mirror and accent lighting over the tub for starters. Good bathroom lighting will include vanity mirror lighting — whether that’s integrated or from sconces and overhead fixtures — a general light overhead, moodier lighting over the tub and enough light in the shower to be functional.
A Modern Toilet
If the toilet is decades old, you’re in for a surprise when you shop for a toilet. Not only are there so many styles available, but in addition to water-saving flushing technology, toilets now can also have smart functions. From seats that automatically go up and down and are heated to built-in bidet functions, they’re far more functional. Even basic models come in different heights and have improved features.
The topic of whether a tub is a necessary element in today’s bathrooms is also hotly debated online, but most realtors come down as pro-bathtub. In fact, Realtor Magazine notes that every home should have one. That doesn’t mean that every bathroom needs a tub, nor does it have to be in the master suite, especially if space is an issue. If you love nothing more than a good soak, feel free to make a beautiful tub the focal point of your bathroom. If not, just make sure there’s one somewhere in the house.
A Tile Shower
Nothing says cookie-cutter more than the old bath/shower combo inserts that are so common in suburban US homes. While they were the epitome of affordable functionality, most homebuyers now prefer a tiled shower. This doesn’t mean that you can’t have the combo, just skip the premade insert. The same goes for a shower alone. It’s far better to install a small tiled shower rather than use a premade insert. Moreover, as showers have become more luxurious, tiling the shower area allows you more flexibility in design for fixtures and seats.
It’s a given that you need storage space in the bathroom for towels and grooming products. When remodeling a bathroom, it’s a smart strategy to incorporate different kinds of storage. Shelving can be hidden behind the mirror. Vanities can have open shelving or closed shelving and new vanity designs make the most of formerly wasted space with updated drawer designs. Storage towers can be incorporated on the countertop between the two sinks. However you design your bathroom, just don’t forget the storage space!
Ideas to take into consideration when you remodel a bathroom:
If you haven’t browsed bathroom designs recently, you’ll be in for a surprise. Have a look at these to get your imagination started:
With a chic industrial twist, the Elemental Collection from Stone Forest offers flexible and stylish options for a bathroom vanity. This is the double vanity, which is an outstanding example of the mixed materials trend. Instead of sticking with a matchy palette based on a single material, the contemporary stylish look comes from the artful mixture of stone basins, wood cabinetry, steel components and brass legs. The vanity can incorporate different finishes and is has unlimited opportunities for customization and additional components. The sinks are also wide and shallow, which is one of the most popular basin forms in new sink designs.
Also with square, shallow basins, but with more traditional cabinetry is this bathroom design from Duravit. The Brioso wall mounted vanity is a lighter look because the bulk does not sit directly on the floor. This one features drawers, but other styles also have cabinets instead if that’s a preference. The streamlined look also features wall-mounted fixtures, which free up valuable space on the vanity for placing bathroom necessities. Another innovation for bathrooms is a mirror that has built-in lighting, both embedded in the surface as well as incorporated behind the unit. This gives great task lighting for the mirror and ambient light.
This similar, slim-line design is ideal for bathrooms that don’t have a great deal of space. From COMAD, a company based in Poland, these pieces are from the Bali Collection and feature a silhouette that is common across a number of their collections. The vanity sits on the floor but looks more like furniture because of the legs. The side cabinet is a great solution: When storage space is at a premium, go for the vertical. This closed cabinet is stylish and allows you to stash your jumble of bathroom goods behind closed doors, keeping the look clean and uncluttered.
Wall-mounted but with the lines of a more traditional shape, the Avant 620 vanity from The Furniture Guild has a sleek look. The smooth surfaces and lack of drawer pulls makes it a modern look. Moreover, the basin is built in, instead of sitting atop the vanity, with twin, slim fixtures mounted on the surface. A shelf underneath offers a hand ledge for storing extra towels or baskets of additional bathroom supplies. This bathroom design is fresh, new and comes in different configurations with options for two individual basins. While this smooth finish gives it a masculine look, the vanity is also available in rich natural woods and other finish choices.
For a more eclectic look with clean lines that still feels home, this bathroom design from Hastings Tile & Bath is a great launchpad for renovation ideas. The cabinetry sits on the floor like a traditional vanity, but instead of simply plopping the sink atop the base, it is mounted on the wall, hovering above the unit. This allows the fixtures and plumbing to become an accent feature and lightens the look. In addition to the counter space that is part of the sink unit, the longer base adds a convenient storage area. Twin mirrors do the job more stylishly than a large expanse of one big mirror.
The options for a small powder room or tight bathroom are much more varied than they used to be. With new bathroom designs made specifically for tight spaces, homeowners are no longer forced to cram standard-sized fixtures into tiny bathrooms. Smaller basins like these from La Cava that are highly functional can be used with pedestals or wall-mounted cabinetry depending on the space and intended use. The self-rimmed sinks have fixtures that are mounted in the corner. This preserved valuable space along the edges, both for placing items as well as the overall space required for the installation. Slim vertical mirrors hide storage space within the medicine cabinets.
Of course, new bathroom designs are not limited to shallow square basins. For those who want a dramatic piece, large artful sinks made from all sorts of luxury materials are available. This conical, extra tall basin is from Stone Forest is matched by a tall, modern faucet from Franz Viegener. The single-handled faucet is the best choice for a tall basin like this one, where users might otherwise have to fumble around to reach the knobs. The drama of a tall faucet also enhances the vertical styling of the basin.
A rich copper basin is a warm choice and it can be paired with either a traditional faucet mounted on the vanity or with more streamlined fixtures mounted on the wall. Here, the faucet options are from the Inciso Collection by Gessi. The choice of wall versus vanity mounting is driven by not only by visual preference but also by considerations of space and function. In a powder room, wall-mounted fixtures can save precious inches when space is at a premium.
The look of bathroom fixtures is also changing with the advent of new technologies. Unusual, architectural designs are more widely available. This one from Kohler looks like a modern line drawing, with the bulk of the fixture erased. It’s an intriguing design that still has plenty of water flowing from the tap, just as an ordinary faucet does. designs like this allow homeowners to be more creative in coming up with a bathroom design that expresses their personalities and adding interest to this hardworking space.
Freestanding bathtubs have been all the rage in recent years, replacing the mammoth built-in jacuzzi tubs of decades past. Now, within the freestanding category, there are different types available. This new model from Villeroy & Boch sits on a chrome base, lifting the height of the tub and lightening up its footprint in the bathroom design. Similarly, the wall mounted toilet, where the tank and plumbing are secreted within the wall, is a streamline option. Even if space is plentiful, the wall-mounted toilet is a sleeker option than one with a hulking tank attached.
Shower fixtures have also come a long way in terms of design as well as function. Designers have created sleeker, more streamlined fixtures to go with today’s modern showers, whether they are tiled with stone, glass-enclosed or made from something else entirely. Alape’s wall of fixture options shows how low-profile they have become. Large button-like knobs, slim hand-held units, and electronic controls are all possible in today’s shower designs.
Almost anything is possible in bathroom designs now, from integrated color-changing lights and music to programmable water temperatures and bathroom furniture options that are as stylish as can be. With bathroom renovations — or even just a refresh — planning, prioritizing desires and budgeting are key because today’s options are so wide-ranging. Even if an overhaul isn’t possible, it’s really fun to look at all the new bathroom designs!