By Nancy Mattia
The best part of renovating a bathroom? Picking out the colors, finishes, patterns, and shapes of everything from the flooring to the drawer pulls. Adding to the excitement is figuring which trends could work for you. Here are a few making headlines today—and some that don’t quite cut it.
Blue Vanities and Sinks
Besides neutrals, blue is the most popular color for bathroom vanities right now, says Suzanne DeRusha, content marketing and design manager at Elkay, a manufacturer of sinks, faucets, and kitchen cabinets. “I’m seeing blues ranging from bright and saturated to almost gray. Blue sinks are less mainstream, but they’re quite stunning and come in a wide range of tones.”
Going with dark touches gives a bathroom a sophisticated edge. “For flooring, black is being used in patterned tiles,” says DeRusha. “Black is typically the imprint for the design with a white or light gray backdrop.” It’s also popular in lighting and plumbing fixtures but less appealing on bathroom countertops since such a dark color makes water residue more apparent.
If black is too dramatic for you, think about using multiple classic finishes instead to make your bathroom look more contemporary. Some combos to try: nickel plumbing fixtures and oil-rubbed-bronze hardware, or polished chrome and brass. To give the room a cohesive look when you have more than one finish, create harmony by choosing fixtures in the same style.
“I’m completely in love with this trend,” says DeRusha. “Patterned flooring is so appealing because the look is anything but ordinary and reminds us of something from the past, which gives it a sense of familiarity.” Some of the most popular floor designs today are classics—chevron, herringbone, and hexagon.
These are all over the contemporary style category as homeowners are finding ways to replace built-in tubs and whirlpools, which can look dated. Freestanding tubs come in many different materials (cast iron, acrylic), shapes (oval, asymmetrical), and colors (gray, black) for a fresh, modern look.
No room for a freestanding tub in your bathroom? You can still create a place to chill after a long day at work or tending to the kids. “Even in a small bathroom, this can include aromatherapy, ambient lighting, and subtle background music,” says DeRusha.
Trends that are better left off your list include:
Caribbean or retro are examples of styles that can be fun, but when overdone, tire easily and can be pricey to change, especially if fixtures are involved, says DeRusha. Instead, use just a few elements from a theme that wouldn’t r require a full-on remodel two or three years down the road.
Getting Rid of the Home’s Only Tub
“Though installing a large shower can be a wonderful tradeoff, especially with an amazing spa-like multi-shower head system, potential buyers may not appreciate the value and only see that the home is lacking a bath tub,” according to DeRusha. It’s an especially risky move if future buyers may be parents with small children—for them, no tub to bathe their kids in may be a deal breaker. “I’d suggest maintaining a tub with a glass divider rather than a shower door or curtain and invest in a smaller shower column system.” The look is very upscale and, along with the right wall tile, it’s something that everyone can appreciate.