When it comes to the bathroom, all you really need is a functioning space where you can get in, do your business, and get out. But come on—it can be so much more! The latest bathroom design trends offer a way to express your unique style and indulge yourself as well.
This year, experts say, homeowners are focused on making the bathroom a place you’ll want to be—not just where you have to go. From statement furniture (yes, really) to bold decor pieces, the bathroom is the new “it” space of the house.
“The opening of doors in households around the world is literally making the bathroom a place of communication and family bonding,” says Justin Riordan, founder of Portland, OR–based Spade and Archer Design Agency.
Ready to level up your loo? Here are the biggest, boldest, and most beautiful design trends to expect in the rest of 2019.
Half-baths that make a statement
Photo by Houzz
This year, the half-bath is getting its full share of attention—designers are transforming this space into something that everyone will want to see.
“The underrated half-bath/powder room will be forgotten no more,” Riordan says.
Where better to make a bold statement than in a small space? Riordan’s favorite revamp is to use a funky wallpaper or a bold, dark paint color scheme.
“High contrast and large scale will actually make this usually forgotten, but important, room in your house be heard,” he says.
Photo by Boss Design Center
If you’ve tired of the white-on-white look that’s taken over our homes for the past decade, you’re in luck: Black is back. Yes, black-and-white decor is trending, and it looks especially fierce in a small interior space like a bathroom. Try painting the walls ebony, get a charcoal vanity, use it on the finishes—or all of the above.
“Black accents command a sense of respect and sophistication because the lack of color equates to a timeless design,” says Elizabeth Bolognino, an interior designer based in New York City. “You can also easily incorporate accent colors with accessories that can be changed out at a later date without breaking the bank.” (Think: black faucets and shower heads, or jet framing around the glass shower door.)
Furniture (yep) in the bathroom
Photo by Charlie & Co. Design, Ltd
Hear us out on this one! If you have the space, a beautiful piece of furniture can create a lounge feel in your bathroom—and give you a legitimate reason to retreat there when you need to get away.
“It has been a long time in the making, but we are seeing more and more free-standing chairs, couches, and benches in bathrooms,” Riordan says.
Be sure to pick pieces that have extra storage for towels or toiletries, or that you’d be comfortable draping your towel over, he recommends.
Luxe spa touches
Photo by Banda Property
“Self-care” has been the catchphrase for the past couple of years, with lifestyle gurus preaching the endless benefits of taking time to nurture yourself. And nowhere is that mentality more clear than in 2019’s bathrooms.
This year is all about adding some relaxing touches to make the whole space one where you can truly indulge, explains Leah Tuttleman, interior designer at Re-Bath.
“Transforming your bathroom into an at-home spa is as simple as rolling your towels; including a small, cucumber water tank; upgrading your shower head or Jacuzzi jets; and adding fresh plants and candles to your countertops,” she says. “Set the mood with the simple installation of a light dimmer that can be adjusted from beauty to relaxation mode.”
Photo by Falken Reynolds Interiors
Hate what you see in the mirror when you wake up in the morning? It might be your bathroom’s fault. This year, try to adjust your lighting.
“For so long we have mounted the light above our mirrors. The effect is that we all get dark shadows under our eyes that make us look more tired than we actually are,” Riordan says. “2019 will bring us a large number of fixtures and mirrors with fixtures that will properly light our faces with bulbs at eye level.” (Hallelujah, no more raccoon eyes!)
Plaster light fixtures
And you thought plaster was just a building material. It’s also being used in stylish light fixtures that fit nicely into a bathroom space, says Annabel Joy, interior designer and co-founder of Trim Design Co. in Boston.
“Plaster lighting is trending in part to its versatility—white works with everything—and because it’s a great way to pack a punch with texture,” she says.
Try out this trend with wall sconces in the bathroom, she recommends, or a statement chandelier.
Photo by Rebecca Interiors & Design by Numbers
Carpet isn’t usually welcome in the loo, but there’s nothing wrong with a rug that protects your feet from the cold tile. This year, turn to something vintage that you know can stand the test of time—and the inevitable moisture from your bathroom.
“The vintage rug trend is going strong, especially in bathrooms,” says Joy. “The best type of rugs for these spaces are really worn ones with extremely low pile, and wool-cotton blends like the hand-knotted Oushak rugs from Turkey,” she says.
These come prefaded and distressed, so they will hold up well in baths even if they get wet from time to time.