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Bathrooms Embrace Several Trends in 2018

May 7th, 2018 | Posted in Blog, Design Trends, Nashville | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Many area experts say that two bathroom trends are popular. Most popular is the embracing of zen-like spa spaces, but there is also a growing interest in bolder colors, whether they are found in vanities, paint, tile, or accents.

“Neutral colors are trending,” says Erica Bunten of True North Designs. “Also, on the flipside, bolder colors and patterns are hot. It all comes down to personal preference. I’ve seen more people lean toward the natural, neutral, zen kind of space.”

Billy Toungette of Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting also reports the biggest trend in bathroom design is transforming the master bathroom into a spa getaway. “The incorporation of luxurious pieces, such as freestanding tubs, digital showering systems, and bidets, help create relaxing experiences in the bathroom,” he says.

“Modern, freestanding tubs are the focal point of any spa sanctuary because they are striking in form and designed for function,” Toungette says. “They feature sleek lines, geometric shapes, and can be combined with a wide variety of coordinating freestanding faucets and hand showers. These tubs also offer a generous size that provides the ultimate in all-around comfort and relaxation.”

There is a tendency toward scaling down master baths, utilizing the space for storage or extending the kitchen, utility room, pantry or other areas in the house. Jessica Davis of JL Design points out, “Overall sizes are scaling back again, often to allow more closet space for en-suite bathrooms.”

In agreement about bathroom design scaling down is Beth Duer of Markraft Cabinets. She says, “the bathroom design trend is toward smaller bathrooms with a focus on efficiency, functionality, and luxury.” This will, she suggests, result in “more free-standing tubs, smaller artfully designed toilets and sink bowls, walk-in showers, floating shelving, and floating vanities, all designed to increase the perception of space.”

When it comes to bathroom trends, ample storage space comes to mind, according to Albright. “That alone is a common trend among many homeowners. They like products like Kohler’s Tailored Vanity Collection and accessories that provide personalized storage and the option to add in-storage drawers, custom electrical outlet hardware, or coordinating medicine cabinets,” she says. Cabinet accessories can include electrical shelves, roll-out trays, make-up storage trays, roll-out appliance storage, and more.

Disagreeing with simplifying of the master bath space, Kate Fudim from Beth Haley Design says, “Clients want it all! In new construction, bathrooms are the focal point of the master suite. It’s not uncommon to have a space that includes a large walk-in shower, soaking tub, double vanities, and toilet closet.”

According to Kimberly Schmunk of Focus Builders, “Homeowners are becoming less interested in the highly decorative bathroom and are gravitating toward clean lines, natural materials, and interesting textures. We’re seeing a lot of asymmetries when it comes to mirrors and lighting placement. The bathrooms aren’t perfectly balanced, but the design is refreshing and it works.”

Schmunk says, “I’m also seeing extra-long floating vanities with open shelving below for towels—more of a minimalist and clean approach to bathrooms. Natural stone, cement, and ceramics are some of the natural materials being used in mirrors, light fixtures, and tile. Handcrafted mid-century style brass and opal glass light fixtures are also making a comeback.”

Also, disagreeing with Davis is Heidi Anderson of Marcelle Guilbeau Interior Design. Anderson says, “Bathrooms are getting bigger with larger glass showers including wide benches and multiple shower heads to wash away the cares of the day. The goal, regardless of the size of the space, is to prioritize your wishes so you get the features you crave.”

Anderson also reports seeing a growing use of bold color and wallpaper, especially in powder rooms. At the same time, she reports seeing use of wide plank bleached flooring in bathrooms for a beachy house vibe. “Matched with dark floating cabinets the look is sleek and modern with a touch of drama,” she says.

Albright says she’s noted the growing popularity of matte black plumbing fixtures and contrasting them with white walls and countertops. “Today’s bathrooms are getting a lot of stylish upgrades like subway tile, deluxe showers with control panels, and smart technology – like Bluetooth devices and wireless speakers, to name a few,” she says. PDI’s line of Native Trails free-standing tubs in bold finishes such as polished copper and slate can easily become the focal point of any bath space.

“While we see a large influx of color tile, wallpaper, and paint,” Fudim says, “we’ve also seen a lot of color in hardware and faucets. Black and gold have the timeless appeal, while brushed nickel and polished chrome are classic as well.” She adds that Beth Haley Design has seen an uptick in clients interested in green, sustainable materials.

Albright says Kohler offers a wide array of WaterSense labeled High-Efficiency Toilets (HET), among other efficient products, that can save a family of four up to 16,500 gallons of water annually.

One thing that remains the same in bathroom design is the desire for a space to relax and recharge. Gina Hewlett of Louisville Tile says, “Bathrooms continue to be a place of escape. Large or small, homeowners want a touch of luxury. In a large space, that may be a free-standing tub with a large chandelier overhead and bold porcelain tile set in a herringbone pattern. In a smaller space, marble might be used to give the luxury feeling.”

Macy Otten of Cambria offers, “Classic whites and creams with subtle wood accents and organic nature elements maintain that spa-like atmosphere.”

Personal taste has a great deal to do with homeowner selections, but so does HGTV, says Otten, which means “penny tiles, tankless toilets, gold or silver fixtures or knobs, and shower heads and faucets that are like art forms.”

According to Duer, brass and gold tone fixtures are a perfect complement to the cooler gray paint colors that have become popular. “Homeowners love the change to warmer accents with the brass/gold toned bathroom fixtures versus the traditional shiny polished chrome which conveys a more modern, sleek look. Finish options such as satin, matte, and spun gold can add a classic traditional element to space.”

Hewlett says homeowners most often make their selections based on personal taste and budget but adds that modern technology is helping customers. “Many of them browse an endless amount of pictures online to see what they do—and sometimes most importantly— don’t want their space to look like. It’s very helpful in combining elements so they are happy every time they enter their sanctuary.”

One of the top bathroom trends is monochromatic style. A small space, bathrooms give homeowners the opportunity to experiment with unique style and design. Monochrome makes design easy—choose one color and decorate with different shades and the result will be a clean and minimalist look with a little shine from accessories and fixtures.

Courtesy PDI

Several sources mention the addition of high tech in the bathroom, particularly in the area of lighting and showering. “We’re seeing a growing trend from manufacturers to incorporate dimmable LED lighting into the edges of the mirror,” says Toungette.

In addition, digital showering systems allow homeowners to turn a routine shower into a personalized hydro-therapy experience with the help of a digital interface system. Functioning as a remote control, the digital display allows homeowners to save their favorite temperatures and showerhead combinations, as well as play music from a handheld device like a smartphone.

Courtesy PDI

Homeowners can also incorporate smart technology in their bathroom with the new Verdera Voice Lighted Mirror, according to Albright. “It uses Amazon Alexa to control your lighting, included Kohler Konnect features, and more,” she says.

Jennifer Jones of Jennifer Jones Design Inc. says, “Details for every bath and kitchen are deliberated upon extensively for long-term function, beauty, and hi-end value,” and David Emmons of Newport Brass says, “incorporate design features and decorative finishes that complement the space while also allowing them to showcase your personal taste and sense of style.”

In other words, know what you want, understand your space and potential materials, and how space will be used—then allow your design choices to become clear.

—Starshield Lortie





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About Markraft
An established leader in cabinetry design and installation services, Markraft has over 115 employees
across states in the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic. Markraft supplies cabinetry, countertop and design
elements for kitchens and baths, working with professionals in all phases of building – architects and
designers, builders and contractors, decorators and homeowners.