Bathroom remodeling is one of the most important aspects of renovating your home for two reasons. First, you spend a lot of time in the bathroom, and it is a space that can be designed to make your life easier. Modern bathrooms are not just utilitarian, but can be almost spa-like, giving you a place to completely relax and unwind in your own home.
The second reason relates more to the overall value of your home; bathrooms and kitchens sell houses. Even if you don’t plan to move any time soon, life circumstances change and that often means moving to a new city. A corporate buyout or unexpected promotion may require relocating. In later years, changes in the families of adult children, and especially the arrival of grandchildren, have been known to cause a change of heart about what determines the best place to live. So it’s always wise to keep the bathroom updated with current bathroom trends in case you do decide to sell your home.
We won’t be recommending any mirrored furniture or other “trendy” décor ideas that will leave you wondering what you were thinking. We will, however, be filling you in on the things that are currently popular bathroom trends that will add value for years to come.
Universal Design for Aging in Place
One aspect that we think should be incorporated into all bathroom remodeling is universal design. This means taking the needs of all household members and guests into consideration. Traditionally, homes were designed for an average sized adult, but universal design aims to make things workable for all sizes of people, and those with differing abilities.
Aging in place, or staying in your home instead of going to a nursing home is a trend we are seeing more of all the time here in Peoria. Throughout the Phoenix area, the number of retirees continues to grow, and almost every one of them cherishes their independence, making aging in place a top priority. The great thing about universal design is that it has promoted a more aesthetic approach to including safety features for the aging. Your home doesn’t need to look like a hospital in order to have all the things you need to be able to care for yourself, even as your physical ability starts to diminish.
Some of the simplest aspects to include are handrails, as well as storage designed to make every part of a cabinet accessible and easy to use, even without upper body strength or extensive reach. Universal design can be incorporated into any of the following trends, and we recommend doing so, even if you don’t have any special needs right now. It’s easier to do modifications while the bathroom remodeling is happening than it is to do them as a separate project later.
One way planning ahead for aging in place can save work (and money) is by letting your bathroom remodeling contractors set anchors for handrails and other supports while things are taken apart, rather than having to cut into walls later, after they have already been repaired and painted. Then when you need them, the rails and other supports can easily be added on.
Making kitchen and bathroom items accessible is especially important for aging in place, and designing your cabinetry with aging in place in mind will make sure that you have beautiful cabinets that match, and don’t have the expense of retrofitting a few years down the road. You’ll find more details on how to do that in the storage trends below.
Organic Design with Natural Elements
Nature has found her way back to the top of the list for home trends, including bathroom remodeling. By using natural materials, it’s easy to include color and texture in subtle ways, and natural materials also tend to feel nice to the touch.
Neutral colors are part of the natural design trend, with gray still being very popular. “Greige” is the term used for the warm gray that tends towards beige, which is found in a lot of natural stone. It is likely to remain a strong trend in bathroom design because it works well with so many elements.
The warmth of wood makes it a strong contender in the natural design trend. Lighter shades contribute to giving the bathroom a softer, more open feeling, while dark woods can have a sophisticated air, but aren’t cold like the manmade materials.
For bathroom remodeling, it’s important to make sure that your choice of wood will do well in a moist environment, and that it is properly sealed.
Stone has the combined benefits of providing texture and being a natural design element. It is also available in a wide assortment of colors, ranging from solids to completely unpredictable patterns. You can get almost any effect you want by choosing the right stone to work with. The texture is also widely variable and can be very coarse or as polished as glass. Consult your bathroom remodeling contractor to make sure you choose from appropriate types, they are properly sealed, if necessary, to avoid staining and water damage, and especially to ensure that anything used on the floor is slip resistant.
Metal and Marble
Not everyone is seeking warm and cozy, and for those who want a more bold, modern feel, the popular design trend of metal and marble may be just the thing. Marble is classic for countertops, but it is also a great option for covering walls (one or all).
Brass is at the top of the list of metals for bathroom fixtures, with gold and copper also being popular, but the bright, shiny copper that was so popular for accessories in 2016 is expected to rapidly fade from popularity.
Geometric Shapes Add Interest
Traditionally, tiles have been square or rectangular, but the trends for 2017 include more variation in tile shapes. Small hexagonal tiles have been available in porcelain mosaics, of course, but now hexagons are readily available in 3 to 14-inch sizes and a wide variety of colors. Textured hexagonal tile in about a six-inch width creates a floor that has a much softer, more organic appearance than square tiles can produce.
Colors Rich and Dark
Dark colors are making a comeback. Since bathrooms are not large rooms, you don’t want to overdo it, but black and white, or black and a light, cool gray are very stylish. Black isn’t the only way to use dark colors, though. Deep jewel tones are in for 2017, with emerald being top choice.
The best way to use dark colors in bathroom remodeling may be on the walls if you think you will want to change it out. If you are sure you will want to keep it for a decade or so, then consider patterned tiles or cabinets in your color of choice.
Texture in tiles gives the bathroom a more organic feel, but one of the newest trends that has come to us from Europe is dimensional tile. These tiles are actually sculpted using waterjet technology and add an artistic element to the walls. They are available in a variety of designs from those that make a 3D pattern of squares and rectangles like many other tiles, but with some sticking out and others recessed, to carved curves resembling ocean waves.
For the most dramatic effect, you can do one wall with dimensional tiles and the other walls in a smoother style in a matching color. This is also the most cost-effective way to use them in your design. The wall behind the vanity or the one opposite the entryway would be the most likely places to use this approach, and your bathroom remodeling contractor can help you plan where to use them for the greatest effect.
Dimensional tiles can also be used as a design element if your budget doesn’t allow for an entire wall. Consider creating a frame around the mirror and doors, or a panel in the shower.
Water Conservation /Efficiency
Changing weather patterns have raised awareness of how important water is, whether or not you believe in climate change. Here in the desert, we are especially conscious of how precious our water is, and water-efficient bathroom fixtures will always be desirable.
Toilets with two flush settings are a nice option for minimizing water use but not subjecting guests to having to deal with multiple flushes. Shower heads are another feature that can have a big impact on water usage, and having your bathroom remodeling contractor install a model that both manages water rate and provides the kind of flow you enjoy will have a huge impact on your water usage over the years.
One of today’s trends that we don’t see going away any time soon is the luxury shower. Life has a hectic pace these days, and what better way is there to unwind than a long soak in a warm bath? But given that hectic pace, who has time for a long soak? For most people, the shower gets daily use. Making it a rejuvenating experience, whether it is to wake up first thing in the morning or to wash away the stress of the day in the evening, is worth a lot.
Home showers designed for luxury not only include dual showerheads, but also have seating and the aesthetic appeal of a spa. Recessed shelving gives users a place to store soaps and hair care products without the need for adding racks.
The shower is one of the most amazing ways in which universal design has made modern design streamline with aging in place. The trend towards luxurious showers has also resulted in a larger footprint, and that’s just what’s needed for wheelchair access. Stepping over ledges can be a tripping hazard, so some universal design showers don’t even require edges around the bottom, but have subtly sloping floors that run the water off, without requiring containment—which looks like something you’d find in a high-end spa.
One especially popular design is to have marble tiled walls and a glass enclosure. The glass gives the room a bigger feel and lets more light into the shower. For a bit of a feeling of privacy without giving up the benefits of glass, you can etch a design on the glass.
The clawfoot tub still has its place in bathroom designs, but there are many more styles of freestanding tubs to choose from. These not only are separate from the shower, but today’s trend is away from building any kind of deck around the tub so that the lines of the tub itself form a design element in the bathroom.
Tub designs can be very minimalist, with straight lines and crisp edges, or very curvy and rounded for a softer, more cozy feel. A freestanding tub is a large piece in the bathroom so its style can set the overall tone of the bathroom design.
Storage—Smart and Efficient
Whether you go full-on minimalist or not, clutter-free is decidedly on trend. Coupling this concept with the fact that we have more toiletries, appliances and personal grooming gadgets than ever before makes it clear that efficient storage is going to be a key factor in bathroom remodeling designs.
“Smart” storage is one of the latest additions, and it refers to adding the ability to connect to your electric and electronic devices. If you like music in the bathroom, you can include built-in speakers in your bathroom remodeling plans, and a connection in the vanity that lets you plug in your phone to hear your current favorite playlist. Whoever is in the bathroom gets to hear what they want this way, without ever having to find radio stations or swap out CDs.
Plugging in a blow dryer may not seem like too much to do, but when it requires unplugging someone else’s electric toothbrush or shaver and finding a place to plug in a hair straightener, not to mention managing all those cords every time you get one out or put one away, small electric appliances can get to be a hassle. That’s why divided drawers or pullouts with baskets, housing electrical outlets are gaining popularity. There’s a space for each thing, and it can stay plugged in so that when you need it, you just pull out the drawer, use the appliance, and drop it back into its spot; no more tangles of cords or having to find a plug!
Medicine cabinets have come back in style, both recessed and wall mounted. They provide easily accessible storage at eye level and keep medicines out of reach of little ones. Today’s designs blend right in with the rest of the bathroom design, and can be large enough to provide quite a bit of storage for small items as well as housing a big mirror on the door.
Electrical outlets are often included in these new medicine cabinets as well, so razors and toothbrush chargers can stay plugged in. Since more and more devices are going to USB charging, there are even models of medicine cabinets with USB ports built in.
It can be difficult to reach top and bottom shelves, which results in wasted space. Universal design has resulted in many solutions, which benefit users of all abilities. Upper cabinets become easily usable with racks that fold out and down. Simply replacing the open lower cabinets with deep drawers makes it possible to access what was once unreachable space
As with all things in the design world, there is a contradiction to the trend toward increased storage, and one aspect of it is the floating vanity. Another European design that has caught on here, floating vanities sacrifice cabinet space for a reduction in bulk, and to open up the bathroom space. Again, a wide variety of styles is available, ranging from a simple shelf, or cabinet just the size of a sink to a structure that is the size of a normal bathroom vanity, but it is wall mounted and does not reach the floor.
For a completely minimalist design, a floating vanity can consist of a shelf with a basin and faucet on top of it. Another version that works particularly well in a tiny bathroom is to have an inset sink in a cabinet that just houses the sink, or may have one small storage cabinet below it. The open space beneath can have a surprising impact on how spacious the room feels.
Overall, the trend in bathroom remodeling for 2017 will continue in the direction it has gone through 2016. Personal expression and self-indulgence have more influence on bathroom trends than they ever have in the past. The bathroom is no longer a place to get in and out of as quickly as possible, but one of the primary focal points in home design.
With 20 years of experience as a bathroom remodeling contractor in Peoria, TWD has seen a lot of change in home trends. If you would like more information give us a call at 623-544-1211. We have certified universal specialists available to show you how you can prepare your home for aging in place, or accommodate any other special needs.