In a room as utilitarian as a bathroom, it’s easy to overlook the importance of good design.
But between daily showers or baths, getting ready in the morning, and — if you’re a parent — maybe hiding from your kids a few times a day, you likely spend a fair amount of time in your bathroom.
So why not make it beautiful?
Luckily, this year’s bathroom design trends are focused on transforming this oft-forgotten space into an oasis.
From streamlined cabinetry to non-traditional tile, smart storage to luxurious spa amenities, bathroom trends in 2021 are here to rejuvenate your morning and bedtime routines.
Discover our top bathroom design trends below.
Bathroom tile trends for 2021
After years of classic subway tiles dominating bathroom remodels, we’re seeing a rekindled interest in non-traditional tile options. Homeowners are opting for more organic, handmade shapes and textures, as well as matte finishes.
Vintage options like terracotta and terrazzo are also seeing a comeback this year as design trends continue to embrace warm, earthy color palettes.
That doesn’t mean subway tiles are out, though. Many designers are giving the familiar shape an updated twist. Instead of installing in a classic offset pattern, we’re seeing more subway tiles installed vertically, in a double basketweave pattern, or stacked for more clean, modern lines.
Whether it’s unique, handmade tile, or a customized installation of a budget-friendly classic, homeowners are looking for ways to create their own one-of-a-kind retreat at home.
Large-format tile and slab stone in bathrooms
Expect to see less grout this year. A 2021 design trend we’re seeing everywhere is oversized tile and slab stone. On floors, walls, and tub surrounds, this large-format option exudes spa-like luxury.
Not only are the solid surfaces easier to keep clean, but the large surfaces provide an excellent opportunity to show off the natural stone. And it’s not just soft-toned Carerra marble (although that’s always on-trend, in our opinion). Homeowners are going bold, opting for rich colored stones with high-contrast veining, for a bit of added drama and spa-like luxury.
Clean lines for bathroom fixtures
Clean, modern lines aren’t just for bathroom tile. We’re seeing more streamlined silhouettes in cabinetry, too. In a recent blog post, interior designer Steph Morris discussed simple, slab-style cabinets making a comeback in kitchens. And the same trend can be seen in bathroom renovations.
Part of the appeal is the easy-to-clean surface, which is no surprise after a year so focused on hygiene. But when bathroom focal points are shifting to luxurious stone feature walls or glamorous lighting, more subtle cabinetry provides a bit of balance.
To keep things really streamlined, many homeowners are opting for floating vanities. This makes floors easier to clean and creates that luxury hotel feeling at home.
You’ll see streamlined details in the shower or tub, too. Fixtures from lighting to faucets and showerheads are shedding ornate detailing in favor of sleek silhouettes. Warmer finishes like rubbed bronze, brass, and brushed nickel keep them from feeling cold.
Bathroom color trends are warming up
Cool greys and whites are giving way to tans, warm beiges, and earth tones. From tile to paint colors, things are getting a bit warmer on the color wheel.
This trend isn’t just bathrooms of course. Expert color predictions for 2021 are filled with colors that evoke desert sunsets and natural settings for every room in the house. And with this, white lacquered trim is taking a backseat to warm wood tones, bringing the calming feeling of nature indoors.
In a bathroom, these colors create the soothing escape we’re all craving — especially mid-winter here in Minnesota.
Soaking tubs are back
Once a staple in every home, bathtubs have been eliminated from floorplans in recent years as homeowners prioritized longer double-sink vanities and larger shower enclosures. But after a trying year, and with more time at home, a good soaking tub is on many homeowners’ wish lists.
Still, homeowners want separate tubs and showers, which requires some bathroom real estate. Thankfully, Japanese soaking tubs offer the best of all worlds. They’re smaller in circumference, yet still allow for a deep, relaxing soak. These freestanding bathtubs save floor space and water. Plus, they fill faster, so you can start your at-home spa night in less time. Win-win.
Smarter storage in the bathroom
When it comes to bathroom storage solutions, all are not created equal. In fact, Morris suggests homeowners opt for shallow storage in vanities and cabinets — since the back half of deep cabinetry is prime real estate for forgotten linens and expired products anyway.
Updated medicine cabinet styles mean you can create optimal bathroom storage without sacrificing style. And they’re gaining popularity in bathroom design.
Morris also encourages homeowners to consider custom storage solutions that keep clutter at bay. For example, heat-safe drawers with built-in outlets prevent hair styling tools from taking over the countertops. You can use them — and put them back — all in the same spot, instantly.
Increased tech means spa amenities at home
You might not think ‘bathrooms’ and ‘technology’ go together, but there are many new tech features that bring big upgrades for home bathrooms. Smart lighting, touchless tech, and heated elements all elevate bathroom design and provide a luxe experience at home.
First off, touchless technology means toilets and sinks can operate hands-free — cutting back on bacteria transfer, which speaks to all of us right now.
Bathroom technology can also help you create a luxurious retreat. From radiant floor heating to heated towel bars, you can enjoy a warm, soothing oasis at home for less money than you might think.
To really up the luxury, a steam shower can warm you up on even the coldest winter days.
Bring 2021’s best bathroom design trends home
Whether you’re looking at a full renovation or adding a few upgrades to your bathroom, this year’s trends have everything you need to create a spa experience at home.