We all want our bathrooms to be stylish and indulgent—places where we can relax and find time for ourselves. Over the last few years, the ‘Don’t Move, Improve’ maxim has led many homeowners to concentrate on making home improvements, rather than selling up and buying somewhere new. With 2020 coming to an end—thank God—it’s time to look forward to 2021 and the design trends you can take inspiration from to make your bathroom look the best it can.
1. Bold graphic designs
Clinical white is no longer the be-all and end-all when it comes to colour schemes. Bold colours, patterns, and botanical prints are set to take UK homes by storm. Statement wallpaper is increasingly being used to create a more playful, adventurous look, from birds and foliage to geometric metallic shapes.
2. Bringing the outside in
In other words, for the outside to feel part of the inside, maximising natural light and making the most of your surroundings. Increasingly, designers are finding ways to blur the borders between exterior and interior, using natural materials, frameless windows, and skylights to create a fluid connection between home and garden.
3. New brassware finishes
Over the past few years, the range of different brassware finishes available for taps and other bathroom fittings has expanded considerably, with matte black, brushed brass, and brushed nickel finishes now available alongside last year’s copper and rose gold.
Like many industries, the bathroom industry has had to adapt to meet the demands of its eco-aware consumers. Sustainability is something we should all be striving to achieve with our bathroom projects in 2021, whether this means choosing low-flow fixtures, a dual-flush toilet, or recycled bathroom tiles.
5. Merging modern and organic
The juxtaposition of wood and glass, warmth and minimalism, creates a balanced atmosphere of elegance and homeliness in the bathroom. Think natural stone basin with contemporary brass taps—or live edge timber shelving below a round frameless mirror.
6. Industrial-style taps and showers
Industrial-style bathroom features are becoming increasingly popular, inspired by the metalwork and equipment found in old factories and industrial spaces. Industrial bathroom taps and shower heads are stripped down and streamlined in appearance, come in various metals, and give your bathroom an understated, vintage feel.
7. Fluted finishes
Fluted or ribbed surfaces on glass, vanity units, and cabinets bring a touch of art deco glamour to a contemporary bathroom. Fluted finishes work well with minimalist design styles, as well as bold colours—another 2021 top trend. Vertically grooved glass shower doors and screens have the benefit of privacy while still allowing light to shine through, and are also easier to clean.
8. Mixing contemporary and traditional
Mixing traditional and contemporary styles can pose a challenge, but done well, you can achieve a unique and eclectic design scheme to suit your personal tastes and lifestyle. The secret is in the mix: you can absolutely pair a Victorian-style roll top bath with a modern matte black tap—just make sure you include other elements from each era, like Victorian lighting fixtures and a framed modern print, to blend it all together.
9. Touch-free functionality
Touchless taps and toilets could be the next big trend for bathrooms. The pandemic has shone a light on hygiene in our homes, making us super aware of hotspots for germs. Infra-red touchless taps and toilet flushes, already commonplace in public restrooms, could soon appear in private homes, saving water and minimising the transmission of germs.
Wood in the bathroom can present a warm and elegant alternative to cold ceramics, and even works well in contrast to materials like marble and porcelain. Wood flooring, countertops, vanities, and even tubs can give a beautiful rustic finish. However, care must be taken when mixing wood with water. The wood must be safely protected and maintained with a finish like linseed oil, otherwise humidity will cause the wood to crack and bend.
11. Floating vanities
A floating vanity is a bathroom cabinet that is attached to the wall, giving the impression that it is floating, as opposed to floorstanding. Modern and minimalist, wall-hung vanity units also help to keep your floorspace clear and work well in smaller bathrooms, giving the illusion of space. Coloured sanitaryware is making a comeback, with sophisticated options in darker shades like slate grey, midnight blue, and sea green.
12. Nude colours
Nude colours are the perfect way to get back to basics in the bathroom, taking inspiration directly from the colours found in nature. Earth tones such as brown, beige, caramel, and taupe work beautifully alongside natural stone and wood, creating a soothing, harmonious atmosphere to escape to and relax.
13. Simple lines
Architecturally and visually, it is best to keep your bathroom simple. The popularity of clean, straight lines inspired by the industrial and modernist styles of the 1920s and 1930s shows no sign of waning—simplistic lines lend themselves to an orderly environment, perfect for starting the day with a clear head. Soften the hard lines of a minimalist bathroom with some indoor plants and neatly rolled towels.
14. Smart technology
Thanks to innovations such as Amazon Alexa and Apple HomePod, smart homes are becoming more accessible. As well as making style updates, more and more people are transforming their bathroom into a place they can monitor and control. Smart showers, touchless toilets, voice-activated lighting, and waterproof TVs are all making their way into the bathrooms of the future, offering better comfort, convenience, efficiency, and enjoyment.