Historically, the bathroom isn’t a room where trends tend to change from year to year, mainly because they are a long-term fixture and people are generally looking for something that will last for years to come, or something that will be appealing to their future buyers when they come to sell. The past few years, especially 2020 however, have proved that trends in the bathroom are just as alive as in any other room in the home. Bathrooms are becoming somewhere where people are less afraid to make a unique statement, somewhere that feels personal and tailored to their own tastes and requirements. With an increased focus on the ‘improve don’t move’ effort, it’s safe to say that it’s an exciting time to be looking at bathroom design and trends. From creative tile placements and colour trends to the rise of the home spa, we’ve put together our top bathroom trends for 2021.
Self-care: creating spa-like sanctuaries at home
It’s no secret that we’ve had to spend a lot more time at home recently… pretty much all of our time actually! As a result, there has been an uplift in the trend for creating spa-like sanctuaries
in our own homes.
Bathrooms are a place where we can escape from the days stresses and unwind and homeowners are now seeing the space as more than somewhere for your daily rituals, but rather places that can help with mental and physical wellbeing.
Image Credit: Finnmark Sauna
“The home health and fitness market has been pretty robust since lockdown as people are looking to create their own spa areas at home”
says Robbie Thompson of Finnmark Sauna
, specialists in residential Finnish sauna installation. “The luxury market in our sector is thriving as most people still have wages coming in, have less opportunity to spend on holidays and other activities. Quality and durable facilities in their own homes helps to improve their own spaces and therefore their own wellbeing.”
From furniture that eliminates clutter to spa-inspired sanitaryware and calming colour palettes and textures, the bathroom has become an area that needs to evoke a sense of tranquility, somewhere that acts as the ultimate place to unwind and indulge in.
Built-in bathroom storageClever storage has always been a vital design consideration, especially when working with smaller or more awkward spaces or in a family home. Bathrooms naturally accumulate a lot of clutter, but with some cleverly thought-out storage solutions there’s no reason why you can’t have a wonderfully neat space.
Image Credits Left: ctabuilds.com | Right: Pinterest
Built-in niches are a great way to get things off the ground and tidied away, but they’re not just for the shower area anymore. The key to a clutter-free space is using all of the available space in your bathroom to its maximum potential, after all, the more storage you can fit in the better! Try and add in any cubby holes or nooks wherever you can. Either side of your vanity unit or washbasin area is often a great place to look for ‘nook’ opportunities! Even the smallest of spaces can house a selection of things to make your entire bathroom feel more organised overall.
Plants, plants and more plants
If you’ve been anywhere near Pinterest or any interiors Instagram accounts over the past year, you will have noticed how obsessed we all are with plants at the moment! It started off with a few cacti and succulents here and there, but now seems to have grown into a full-blown tropical fascination! There’s a lot of positives associated with biophilic design (check out our blog here all about this trend
), and we honestly don’t see the trend for plants going anywhere any time soon, especially in the bathroom!
Image Credit Left: House & Garden Pinterest
Proving our love for plants in the bathroom, Showers Direct
actually looked into the top 20 bathroom plants that were searched for each month last year, as homeowners search for which are best suited to the humid bathroom environment. The results showed that nearly 650,000 people search for ‘bamboo’ each month whilst over 400,000 searched for ‘monstera’ and over 350,000 for ‘snake plant’. If there are that many of us searching for which plants are best suited to the bathroom each month, we think it’s safe to say we’ll be seeing this trend hanging around for a while yet!
Image Credit: Showers Direct
Creative tile patternsFrom multicoloured herringbone patterns to modern twists on metro tiles, homeowners are getting creative with their tile layouts! Gone are the days when people were afraid to make a statement with a permanent fixture like tiles, we are now seeing more and more homeowners push the boundaries with their tiles in the bathroom.
Image Credits: @semi_in_suburbia
The easiest shaped tile to get creative with in the bathroom is a rectangular metro tile
. From basketweave layouts to jagged, almost unfinished looks, there are so many ways to position them to create a focal point. Take a look at our tile layouts guide
for some ideas on different ways to lay your tiles!
Embracing natural materials
Perhaps because we’re all craving the outside world more than ever, the trend for natural materials and nature-inspired colour palettes shows no sign of waning in 2021. Whether it’s through wood-effect bathroom tiles
, sage green walls or the incorporation of lots of organic textured accessories, this trend can be incorporated in a number of different ways.
Image Credit: Left - Pinterest
Not only are the materials and colours we choose being inspired by nature, but our ceramicware is also being influenced and taking on more organic, fluid shapes:
“The trend for nature-inspired palettes that hone in on warm earth tones and forest colours punctuated by neutrals, greys and whites continue to gain popularity; beautifully suited to softer, more organic fluid forms that baths and basins are taking”
says Lee Frost, Director, Waters Baths of Ashbourne.
Image Credit: Waters of Ashbourne
With the world and consumers becoming increasingly involved in aspects of sustainability in design and in product choice, the trend for nature-inspired design will be around for a long time to come throughout the entire home.
Colourful metro tilesColourful metro tiles are having their moment, especially in the kitchen and bathroom! It seems that no colour is out of bounds at the moment, and one search for ‘metro tiles’ on Pinterest will demonstrate just how fun people are being with their designs!
The best places to be creative with metro tiles in the bathroom
are behind the sink/ vanity unit area, behind a bath or on a shower wall. Whether you choose to go for a deep emerald green set against white ceramics and chrome fittings or you go all out with two vibrant and contrasting shades, the metro tile is the ideal way to be creative with colour in the bathroom, and we’re loving it!
Japandi bathroomsNow you may have thought this trend had been and gone, but we’re here to tell you otherwise! We first heard of ‘Japandi’ in 2020 and instantly started asking ourselves what it meant. A fusion of the traditional elements of Japanese design and the sought-after laid back rustic vibe of Scandinavian style, Japandi is the perfect blend of modern minimalism and inviting warmth and lends itself beautifully to bathroom design.
Managing Director Mike Manders says: "Minimalism is key with Japandi, as is focusing on the functional nature of the space without an abundance of decor. Unlike the separate design concepts, the merging of these styles ensures there is variance in texture that wouldn’t be found in Japanese decor and elements of colour that wouldn’t be seen in something quintessentially Scandi."
With our love for Nordic-inspired interiors showing no sign of decreasing and an augmented desire for a stress-free and minimal interior aesthetic set to remain prevalent at least for the near future, we think we’ll be seeing Japandi-inspired bathrooms for a while yet.
Busy & bold walls Wallpapers are having a moment in interiors and in particular in the bathroom. Coinciding perfectly with the trend for bolder colours, homeowners are getting creative with pattern, in particular in smaller cloakrooms. From busy florals that sit beautifully next to a traditional pedestal basin to brightly coloured patterns that will really make a statement, it’s time to embrace more daring walls in bathroom design!
Image Credits Middle: Pinterest | Right: Burlington Bathrooms
Seen here paired with our Poitiers Indigo gloss tiles
on the lower half of the wall, this mural wallpaper from Emma J Shipley
adds a characterful and charming twist to this bathroom space; something wonderfully unique to be admired.
Coloured sanitaryware and brasswareColourful ceramics in the bathroom might make you think of a bygone era of avocado suites and your grandparents’ house, however, the trend for coloured sanitaryware is making its way back into mainstream interiors and we think we quite like it!
Image Credits Left: Ex.T | Middle & Right: Kast
Brands such as Kast
are leading the way when it comes to contemporary colourful ceramicware. And whilst some colourways can appear daring (check out this pink tap!!) the soft introduction of colour on our baths and basins can actually be quite pared-back and offer a subtle twist on bringing colour into the bathroom.
Fluted finishesThe trend for fluted finishes and textures has been growing in popularity across various areas of interiors, from furniture to glass partitions. It’s a trend that can be easily incorporated into the bathroom and we’re starting to see it much more regularly. A fluted glass screen can act as an interesting touch to a crittal shower screen, it can also look beautiful and even add a hint of art deco style if used as a glass front on cabinets or furniture. Lighting can also easily bring in a bit of fluting in the bathroom. Whether you choose to make a big statement feature with this ribbed look or just subtle hints here and there, it will always add a finishing touch of elegance to a bathroom space.
Image Credits Left: thedesignfiles.net | Middle: dezeen.com | Right: Pinterest
Mixing Modern & TraditionalWhilst this might not be a new trend, we’re seeing an increased desire to celebrate traditional styles and key pieces in the bathroom but adding a contemporary twist to the scheme either through colour or finishes.
Image Credit: Becki Owens
Pairing traditional ceramics and brassware with contemporary colours through bathroom tiles is something we are seeing a lot of and a great way for fans of a more classic style to ensure their scheme works for today.
Another increasing trend is the interest in charity shop and antique finds that can be upcycled and used as vanity units or even storage cupboards in the bathroom. This really ticks all the boxes for anyone wanting to create something truly unique!
That’s our round-up of our top bathroom trends to keep an eye out for in 2021. We’re sure that more exciting things will develop, and we’ll keep trying to inspire through all of our channels! For some inspiration head over to our Pinterest