Many new bathroom trends are like bathwater — hot at first but becoming lukewarm over time. Whereas we blushed over pink bathrooms in the 1960s, we were scoffing at them by the time the ’90s rolled around, when big and bold geometric patterns bowled us over. As we entered the new millennium, jacuzzis and subway tiles captured our fancy, but 20 years later some homeowners are starting to cool on these.
Of course, things like nostalgia or pop culture can refill the hot water tank on virtually any bathroom design trend (for example, there is a growing movement to save the pink bathroom) — that’s why it’s always best to prioritize the functional over the topical when planning a bathroom remodel. Not only will that serve you better in the long run, it will also serve whomever the next homeowner is, eliminating the need for another major overhaul.
That said, what are the latest trends for bathrooms? Let’s take a look at what today’s homeowners are frequently asking for.
Emergence of the bathroom suite
What has long been known as the master suite (i.e., master bedroom + master bathroom) is now being commonly referred to as the primary suite (i.e., primary bedroom + primary bathroom). Regardless of what you call it, the design principles remain the same — favoring seclusion, escape, and a certain degree of luxury.
Primary suites have long been a coveted feature in modern houses, but with an uptick in work from home situations and time spent at home in general, their popularity is peaking. There are many potential layouts for primary bathrooms, but the ideal is a spacious, spa-like space with distinct “zones” for toileting, bathing, showering, and vanity. To enhance the spa vibe, organic and natural elements (such as plants and skylights) are often employed to full effect in modern bathroom suites.
Mixing and matching
Thanks to Pinterest, HGTV, and the proliferation of home improvement blogs and websites (such as this one), today’s homeowners are being exposed to more ideas and possibilities than ever before. As such, we’re seeing customers with a keener sense of their individual preferences, which may not strictly be confined to one era or one philosophy of design. The mix-and-match mindset might manifest in a number of ways — colors, textures, furniture, fixtures — as long as harmony can be achieved amongst all the elements, virtually anything goes.
Nonetheless, there is still a contemporary undercurrent to all of this in that a calm, soothing, and minimally distracting atmosphere is still the overarching goal. Although we may be getting more creative than subway tiles and all-white bathrooms, and we may be a little more adventurous in where and how we add visual interest, we should still be wary of overwhelming ourselves and others. There’s a reason bright red and yellow bathrooms are much rarer specimens than those that layer soft blues or greens.
Technology is forever trending upward, and it’s being integrated into nearly every aspect of the bathroom experience in 2022 — partially motivated by cleanliness and efficiency, partially motivated by convenience and luxury. Among the smart bathroom technologies on the market are:
- Smart toilets: touch-free, self-cleaning, even equipped with speakers or seat warmers.
- Interactive LED (smart) mirror: with built in-display (for time, weather conditions, reminders, etc.) and voice recognition technology.
- Adjustable privacy glass: Allows you to adjust the opacity of bathroom windows with a smartphone or voice assistant.
- Smart showers: Digital shower systems allow you to personalize your shower experience to your exact preferences (temperature, water pressure/spray, lighting, music, etc.)
- Touchless faucets and soap dispensers: More in vogue than ever during the pandemic.
- Radiant floor heating: To keep your feet warm.
- Fine-tuned light, sound, and smell: Chromatherapy lights, waterproof Bluetooth speakers, aromatherapy diffusers.
Universal/inclusive design principles
Guiding many current bathroom trends in 2022 is universal or inclusive design, which centers first and foremost on accessibility. One place we see this in play is the location of the bathroom itself — whereas the primary (or master) suite is traditionally situated on the second level, it’s now pretty common to locate it on the ground floor, thus accounting for aging and/or loss of mobility.
Within the bathroom itself, one of the more prevalent applications is in a custom shower. A walk-in shower is virtually a must, with barriers to entry minimized as much as possible (e.g. no curbs to step over, doors that are easy to open or even partially automated, if they exist at all). In fact, it’s not unusual for some bathroom suites to be built with a wet room, much like you’d find at a health club. These might also include handheld showerheads and benches to help make bathing more comfortable for all.
Of any of the top trends in bathroom design, this seems likeliest to stick.
Custom bathroom designs from Ayars
At Ayars Complete Home Improvements, we are constantly fascinated by the new developments in bathroom design, but also well-versed in what works. We take a collaborative approach with our clients to plan bathroom remodels they’ll not only love today, but well into the future.