The world of bathroom design is constantly in flux, with new products and new methods regularly being introduced. Thankfully, since nobody really wants to be endlessly renovating their bathroom, bathroom decor trends tend to build up steam over a number of years. So rest assured that what was “in” last year will hardly suddenly be “out” this year. Sure, new ideas may be added to the mood board, but nobody expects you to rip out all your tile or upgrade the tapware every year.
And many of the bathroom decor ideas I’ve spotted lately suggest that certain trends will actually have healthy longevity—they may even be instant classics. Such as our fascination with coloured and patterned bathroom tile! It seems we can’t get enough of it and it doesn’t look like going out of style any time soon.
So what are some of the most popular decorating ideas I’ve come across while on my hunt to track down the best bathroom looks? I’ve definitely noticed some strong common tendencies out there towards certain colours, methods, materials and finishes. In fact, I reckon you’ll continue to see a lot of the following:
- Unexpected materials used in unexpected ways
- Luxe minimalism
- Injecting strong visual interest with statement vanities, tubs or showers
- Freestanding and floating everything—sinks, vanities, tubs
- Focusing on texture, including wall treatments like tile and wallpaper
- Being pattern-forward, especially towards terrazzo
- Other wall treatments, like wainscoting or beadboarding
- Creating organic and sustainable vignettes to satisfy the pursuit of nature
- Warmth in fixtures, and
- Yes, more black accents.
I’m sure there’s plenty more, but let’s start by taking a closer look at each of my key bathroom decor trends above and I’ll show you some examples I’ve gathered to illustrate each idea.
Using unexpected materials in unexpected ways
There’s nothing that makes a bathroom look more modern than the use of a bold, raw, textured material like cement or natural stone–especially when it’s used in an unusual way. You get instant visual interest, strong textural impact and the rest of the bathroom doesn’t need much in the way of accessorising.
The popularity of cement statement sinks and tubs and other concrete accents in bathrooms continues unabated in 2020. Let’s take a look at a few examples.
1. Pale grey concrete sink
This modern yet rustic bathroom is the perfect example of how beautiful a manmade material like concrete can work with natural materials like timber and natural stone tile. Notice too how the round mirror and the round stool reinforce the circle motif created by the cylindrical sink.
2. Medium-grey concrete tub
The concrete sink and tub in this bathroom work so well against the timber, crisp white walls and dark flagstone paver flooring.
3. Coloured concrete bespoke sinks
While grey is ever-popular, concrete can be any colour. Some manufacturers are making bespoke sinks and tubs in almost any colour you can imagine.
4. Concrete vanity countertop
This modern bathroom checks lots of boxes: Concrete counter? Check. Timber elements? Check. Black-framed mirror and tapware? Check. Floating sink? Check. I also like how the black frame helps visually extend the length of the vanity.
5. Cement vanity
These are cropping up everywhere—maybe because installing a gorgeous new vanity is a relatively easy way to upgrade your bathroom space.
6. Textured-surface concrete sink
While people apparently love the classic rough pale grey of concrete, some are going a step further to choose statement sinks or tubs with textural patterned qualities, such as this minimalist charcoal basin.
7. Concrete backsplash
When incorporating concrete, one good tip I’ve come across is to juxtapose its raw, unrefined aesthetic with lustrous, smooth, warm finishes and fixtures. For example, brass and concrete are a match made in heaven.
8. Concrete rendered wall
Here, a rough cement wall treatment is accented by luxe gold statement lighting. Bathroom lighting is seriously on the radar now, with people eager to add statement lights like chandeliers and plenty of practical task lights. Generally, people are highly focused on the ambience they are creating with their lighting.
Creating strong visual interest
No matter what your bathroom decor style, it seems that creating a focal point with a statement vanity, tub or shower is more and more popular. Whether it’s an unusual tub shape, or a new tub material (such as volcanic limestone), people are paring back their decor and choosing more basic palettes to let their statement feature do all the talking.
9. Luxe minimalism
This term is being used to describe how bathrooms are being transformed into spa-like mini-retreats in a quest to create the perfect fantasy pamper space, a haven of dreamy introspection and rejuvenation. Again, enter the freestanding white tub, give it a five-star finish with gorgeous tapware, and embed it in a simple, calming colour scheme. Think boutique hotel crossed with an Australian coastal style.
10. Matte black tub
A moody, stylish alternative to the white freestanding statement tub! If you were looking to design a black and white bathroom… this bathtub is perfect for you.
11. A statement shower
Tiling up a feature wall in the shower is a simple yet stunning way to modernise your bathroom.
If there isn’t a window that you can easily open, don’t forget to think about your exhaust fan installation.
13. Mosaic fish scale tile
Mosaics create visual interest but they don’t need to be loud, even subtle calming tones can still make an impact.
Freestanding and floating everything
Floating sinks and vanities are everywhere and the more unusual the shape, the better.
14. Freestanding tub
If the look of a freestanding tub appeals to you but the idea of cleaning behind them is off-putting, track down a D-shaped piece which will be flush at least against one wall.
15. Floating sink
I love how this sink seems to stay put as if by magic. Having a floating sink is great way to create a more airy feeling in your bathroom.
16. Tiny bathroom floating sink
Floating sinks are a brilliant space-saver—look how little visual space this cute little sink takes up?
17. Floating timber vanity
This floating timber vanity features twin freestanding sinks, gold fixtures, a pale timber-framed mirror and some gorgeous tiling in the shower.
18. Mixing materials
Here’s an example of a modern bathroom which demonstrates a beautiful melding of materials including concrete, timber, ceramic and brass. I love the addition of some Australian native flowers.
19. White and timber floating vanity
Love the white bathroom and timber aesthetic? Keep the feeling weightless and bright with a slimline floating vanity. It’s just so pleasing to the eye, especially with the repetition of the white sinks and mirrors.
20. One more…
Not having cabinet pulls or handles helps maintain the streamlined effect that a floating vanity provides. Attractive floating vanities are the perfect way to add storage without looking too utilitarian.
Love these floating timber vanity designs? Find a local bathroom cabinet maker to discuss creating your own.
A sustained love of texture is prompting the rise of wall treatments like tile, wallpaper or wainscoting.
Today let’s take a look at tiles. Phew, where to start? There are just so many varieties to choose from. Although we have a comprehensive round-up of current bathroom tile ideas, I couldn’t help including a few new favourites here as well. High gloss, deeply saturated, full of personality—I just adore tile! Soft neutrals, muted pastels and nature colours remain popular. But there are certainly those who can pull off bold, jewel colours as well.
21. Diagonal white subway tile
White subway tile is a classic, of course. Keep it from being boring by stacking it diagonally. The pattern on the timber seat really complements it.
22. Charcoal tile
The diagonally stacked rugged charcoal subway tile here, with its subtle colour variances, creates a gorgeous texture that works so well with the concrete farmhouse sink, timber shelf and exposed piping.
23. Hipper to be square
An alternative to rectangular subway tile, square subway tile is a fresh take. Here it’s looking beautiful with contrasting white grout to match the sink.
24. Pastel tile trend
One of the colour trends predicted to stay strong is the love for pastel. Here, pastel tiles create an op-art effect in this dreamy little bathroom.
25. Dramatic colours
While on the one hand, there’s a trend to a muted colour palette (soft pinks, seagreens, dusty blues), on the other hand there’s also a push towards intense, highly saturated colours. Here’s a powerful black tiled bathroom.
Not to be confused with the Woody Allen film, zellige is rapidly taking over from subway tile in the popularity stakes. Both subway and zellige are glossy ceramic tiles that are fired and glazed, but whereas subway tile was born in New York City in 1904, zellige tile was actually born all the way back in 10th century Morocco. Subway tiles are more preferred for their neat, clean lines, whereas perfectly-imperfect zellige tiles are prized for their organic vibe, colour variations and warm earthiness. Look at this beautiful pink tile…
27. Get it done right
So many gorgeous colourful tiling options, how on earth to choose?! But when you do, you can easily get someone to make sure your tiles are perfectly laid. And over time, make the most of your bathroom tile by hiring someone who specialises in cleaning tiles and grout.
28. Being pattern-forward
It’s plain to see: we’re all obsessed with a pattern. Whether it’s graphic, orderly geo shapes, or exuberant, wild terrazzo, introduce pattern into your bathroom for visual interest and texture.
Terrazzo bathroom decor ideas
This is definitely becoming increasingly popular in bathroom decor. Terrazzo is a composite material that is made of chips of marble, quartz, granite, glass or other materials and mixed with resin and cement. Many bathroom designers are currently experimenting with pattern and colour of terrazzo, including using new resins such as ones made with peppercorns or Himalayan rock salt!
29. Terrazzo vanity
This chic bathroom has mid-century modern overtones in the vanity legs and in the mint, black and white colour scheme, but the use of subway tile and terrazzo point to its contemporary origins. The twin black sinks look just stunning here!
30. Black confetti terrazzo
Sparkly and dynamic, terrazzo adds lots of excitement to a bathroom space. Style it with black fittings, a concrete sink and warm tapware.
31. Terrazzo and pastels
Combine the beautifully textured appeal of terrazzo with some neatly stacked subway tile. What an unusual colour combination has been created here: burnt orange tiles, white-based terrazzo, mint green sink, yellow counter, and pink ceiling and wall. And yet somehow it works!
32. Terrazzo counter
You can buy terrazzo in tiles or slabs. Slabs can make a wonderful statement vanity—check out this “one big slab” of pewter-coloured granite chip concrete terrazzo. Doesn’t the concrete look gorgeous with all that timber?
33. Patterned Moroccan concrete tile
Hand-cut mosaic Moroccan tiles, bursting with colour and pattern, remain popular as ever. Here’s an example of a stunning turquoise patterned bathroom where the simple freestanding tub does not detract from the tiles.
34. Tiled flooring
Patterned floors are not for everyone. But personally I love how a vintage tile vibe makes a plain white bathroom just that little bit more mysterious and unique.
This minimalist white bathroom has a Boho-ethnic touch thanks to the tiles, accessories in natural materials and neutral palette. It hints at a love of travel and other cultures. When you’ve picked the tile for you, there’s a bathroom flooring ready to help.
Wainscoting and beadboarding
There’s been a resurgence of interest in the use of wainscoting and beadboarding to add character to bathroom walls. Wainscoting is typically made from large inset panels, while beadboarding is a type of wainscoting and is made from thin, wooden planks vertically arranged. While the panelling has a traditional flavour, these days they are popping up in bathrooms ranging from Hamptons coastal to French country to modern.
Why is it so popular? Well, this is such an easy and inexpensive way to add colour and personality. And it’s so versatile. You can go up to the mid-wall or all the way up to the ceiling, and modernise it by painting it any colour or mixing it with wallpaper or tile.
35. Hamptons beadboarding
It’s classic but still adds a bit of flair to any room.
36. Baby pink panelling
This shade simply looks stunning against all the black accents here—I’m getting ballerina vibes here (and that’s before I even noticed the tiny dancer statue!).
If you would like a hand with painting your wainscoting, beadboard or bathroom walls, find an expert to help with your bathroom painting.
37. Traditional wainscoting and a claw foot tub
Evoking traditional elegance, wainscoting is often very effectively paired with a clawfoot antique-style bathtub.
38. Wainscoting with copper
Honestly, virtually ‘anything goes’ in bathroom design lately. There’s no right or wrong, so go ahead and pair the traditional vibes of half-wall wainscoting with a contemporary tonal colour scheme and an ultra-modern metallic statement tub.
Creating organic and sustainable vignettes
Have you heard of “biophilia”? It’s a concept that refers to our modern-day pursuit of a connection with nature and is linked to the rise of the health and wellness culture. It describes our need for immersion in nature and when translated to design, it stimulates a desire for sustainability in design solutions. But rather than just being a hippy-style return to embracing nature, today’s biophilia covers the so-called “engineered environment”, where nature is enhanced by technology, and there’s a preoccupation with our primal needs, circadian rhythms and stimulating all the senses.
OK, but what does all this serious eco-love mean in real terms? Aim to achieve revitalisation through organic elements like air-purifying live plants, layers of timber and eco-friendly, natural soft materials. Then, allow science to become one with nature by adding in smart technology (for lights, sounds, temperature, etc.) to manipulate your sensory experience.
39. Hand-crafted artisanal elements
Incorporate recycled or reclaimed timber furniture. Add natural decorative elements like hand-carved wooden bowls or woven hessian baskets, as well as organic, hemp linen or handknitted throws.
40. Ceramic sink, timber vanity and greenery
Flawlessly clean, simple and green.
41. Natural colours
You’ll find a lot of organic, natural tones in modern eco-loving bathrooms. Think earthy colours like forest greens and teals, sunny yellow, rosepetal, khaki, ocean seawashes, grey-blue violet, indigo, flickering gold.
42. More moody blues
I think there’s just something about this particular shade of faded seafoam that is so well-suited to bathrooms.
Warmth in fixtures
So brass is sticking around which is great because we really can’t have our tapware losing its sheen after just a year or two! Instead of moving onto the next shiny new thing, bathware designers have managed to refresh the brass aesthetic by creating a wider range of simple silhouettes and unusual shapes. But as well as brass, other warm coloured metals like copper are looking the goods too.
43. Concrete and brass charm
A good example of a modern bathroom featuring a cool mix of penny tiles and concrete warmed up with brushed brass tapware.
Silvery zellige tile contrasting to perfection with a gold-toned mirror frame. Notice how effectively the metals have been mixed here, with chrome tapware blending into the tile.
45. Marble and warm fixtures
A generous expanse of white Carrara marble looks beautiful highlighted by warm-toned tapware, showerhead and slimline mirror frame.
46. Black steel accents
The slim black steel profile isn’t going anywhere either! You’ll continue to see black accents modernising all kinds of bathrooms in all kinds of ways. Mirrors framed in black, black matte tapware, black accessories.
47. Pink tile with black
It works with so many materials, from marble to tile to timber, and just about any colour combo as well.
If you’re looking for more complete redesigns, take a look at these bathroom ideas too.
48. Twin black faucets in white bathroom
Black fixtures add a necessary touch of definition to this otherwise very plain, minimalist white and timber bathroom.
49. And finally, don’t forget to take inspo from kitchen tiles
So I’ve included this stunning kitchen splashback image just as a reminder to consider options beyond the allocated bathroom choices in wall treatments—why not see what you can steal from kitchen design? This teal herringbone design, for example, would be absolutely gorgeous in a bathroom as well.
So there’s my take on the bathroom decor themes you’ll continue to see gaining momentum this year. But have I missed something important? Have you spotted any distinct trends during your own ventures into bathroom decor ideas? And have any of the above ideas inspired your bathroom renovation plans?! Drop me a comment below. I’d love to hear your opinion!
And if you enjoyed this blog which featured a lot of modern bathrooms, you may also like to read our article on modern house designs.