Modern Bathroom Design Tips

Bathroom design trends come and go. These trends had a good run, but homeowners are ready to move on from these outdated bathroom trends. If your bathroom is looking tired and/or outdated, read on for some new trends and timeless styles that can turn your old bathroom into a design statement you can be proud of for years to come.

Out: The 1970s Roman tub

This old design trend is one of the main reasons homeowners make the decision to remodel their master bathrooms. Either a step or two up or a step or two down into a sunken Roman tub is no easy feat to master. There was the illusion of romance, but oversized tubs framed with wide tub decks are not practical for several reasons:

  • They take up a lot of space in your bathroom, where square footage is at a premium.
  • They aren’t easy to get in and out of, especially for those with limited mobility.
  • They’re hard to clean. Easy maintenance is an important consideration for remodeling your bathroom, and these tubs require a lot of crawling around on your hands and knees to keep clean.
  • They use a lot of water. Energy efficient, eco-friendly products and materials have become increasingly important to homeowners remodeling their master bathrooms. Not only do these oversized tubs require more gallons of water to fill—a regular size bathtub holds about 15-20 gallons of water, but an oversized bathtub will hold more than 40 gallons—but heating all that water takes more energy and will raise your energy bills.
  • Your plumber may find it difficult to access the plumbing valves, likely located inside the framed structure, behind tile, or other surface material.

In: Freestanding tubs

Freestanding tubs have become popular in recent years for their minimalist design aesthetic and smaller footprint. These bathtubs are more ergonomic than traditional tubs, making them much more comfortable. Their smaller size makes them easier to get in and out of, and easier to clean. They also take up less space than their oversized counterparts, which is especially important in small bathrooms. When it comes to bathroom ideas, what’s more on-trend than great style and low maintenance?

In: Walk-in showers

These spacious showers continue to be popular, especially in master bathrooms. They blend seamlessly with the rest of your bathroom and clear glass showers create a unified space and make the room appear larger. They are also easily accessible for homeowners with limited mobility. And as aging in place continues to grow (nearly 90% of adults over age 65 want to stay in their current homes), they can help to increase a home’s value because they appeal to a wide range of home buyers, especially seniors and those who use wheelchairs.

Using the space for a larger shower allows homeowners lots of shower spray choices, from waterfall showerheads to shower panels and handheld options. They’re also low-maintenance and do away with mold-attracting shower doors and shower curtains.

Out: Pastel color schemes and matching fixtures

Colored bathtubs, toilets, and sinks came into popularity in the 1930s and remained a decor trend through the 50s and 60s. Today, that might be considered ‘vintage’ design elements, which could be fun, but isn’t the height of timeless style! The days of matching your fixtures and appliances to your wall color and tile are (thankfully) long gone, but as all trends do, there is a resurgence in colored fixtures. Not unlike the rise in mid-century modern furniture, colored bathroom sinks, tubs, and toilets are making a new statement in some interior design circles. The styles have changed, however—a modern bathroom today might include a black freestanding tub with a white interior as the focal point of the room and vintage faucets and fixtures to complete the look.

But be careful when making these design choices. Tubs aren’t inexpensive to replace and once you choose the color, you’re stuck with it. Sticking with a white tub, sink, and toilet doesn’t mean color has disappeared from interior design and home decor! In fact, we feature new color trends each year, most recently the 2023 color trends that include everything from ethereal hues to vibrant shades of bold color. And remember that changing out the color of bathroom accessories is a whole lot more cost effective than changing out materials and fixtures.

In: Timeless white

The all-white bathroom is still considered by many designers as timeless and sleek. Starting your bathroom design with a white base color is a smart play. You can always add complementary shades and accent walls or colors. White conveys peace, calm, focus, and cleanliness. From there, homeowners can add warm wood tones to the flooring and bathroom vanities to add interest. Layer in pops of color with striking subway tile or a granite shower surround. Add depth with a granite, marble, or concrete countertop, and choose fixtures and accessories that complement your color choices. If you’re willing to commit to a bright color, don’t be afraid of bright accents. Colorful towels and cabinetry pulls are ideal for switching up the look of your bathroom without the cost of an entire bathroom remodel.

Out: Ineffective lighting

Remember those Hollywood-style round bulbs that surrounded vanity mirrors in old bathrooms? Those had their moment, for sure. But the truth is that they’re a poor design choice when you need to see your face to shave, apply make-up or get ready for your day. Same with those harsh, fluorescent ceiling lights (pro tip: replace the bulbs with dimmable LED bulbs that don’t get off heat and are available in different light temperatures). Lighting can make a world of difference in both the look and feel of your bathroom, and its functionality. So ineffective lighting needs to go!

In: Layered lighting

Apart from purely decorative purposes, layering light around specific tasks is a good way to look at bathroom lighting. You’ll need more than one light fixture, and the total number will depend on the square footage of your space. In general, though, there are four types of lighting you’ll want to include in your bathroom remodel.

  • Task lighting. Typically, the lights around your vanity mirror are the hardest working in your bathroom. It makes sense to ensure the lighting here is oriented for shaving, applying makeup or sunscreen, and other daily tasks. These lights are usually installed above the mirror, but be careful when choosing lights, as they can sometimes cast shadows that make it difficult to see clearly. These lights can also be mounted on either side of the mirror.
  • Ambient lighting. Because of their size, bathrooms tend to be dark and lack good natural light (pro tip: if you do have a window in your bathroom, make full use of the light pouring in by leaving the windows unadorned!). For this reason, ambient lighting can help to bathe (pun intended) the room with a warm glow. Ambient lighting can be mounted along molding and toe kicks, behind mirrors and medicine cabinets.
  • Accent and decorative lighting. Interior designers use decorative and accent lighting to create a mood and add visual interest to a space. An unexpected chandelier can set an elegant tone in your master bathroom, for example. Wall-mounted sconces can highlight artwork, a recessed shower light can spotlight tile work, and pendant lights can add depth. Wherever possible, incorporate dimmers so that you can change the mood to your liking.

If your bathroom looks outdated—or worse, hasn’t functioned well for you since pink toilet seats were all the rage—it might be time to remodel. Re-Bath does it all – and typically within just five days! Schedule a free Design Consultation and find out how quick and easy it can be to get the updated bathroom of your dreams!