In the first installment of this three-part 2020 residential design forecast series, we covered the macro trends driving preferences. In the second installment, we looked at kitchen trends. This third and final installment in the series focuses on bathroom trends.
I’ve asked these design industry colleagues to weigh in on what they’re predicting for the new year:
Space Planning And Layout Trends
“Baths are continuing to get bigger, with spa-like aspects to provide a personal wellness sanctuary,” predicts Costa, adding, “No-threshold showers are hot – yes, they’re great from an accessibility standpoint, but they also show off the stunning tile designs that are all the rage in bath design right now, and they simplify cleaning as well. Freestanding tubs can act as a beautiful focal point, but the shower is still where the daily activity takes place, so greater thought is being put into creating a luxurious shower experience that offers a soothing spa feeling.”
Alfano agrees: “We will see more bathrooms becoming a living space for personal pampering. Due to the acceleration of daily life, bathroom design has concentrated on ways to create a sanctuary away from all the noise. 2020 will be more about [leaving] the bathroom feeling relaxed and refreshed.” She sees this showing up as biophilic spaces with plant walls, nature-inspired wallpaper and sinks. The designer also sees a continuation of the wet room trend, in which tubs and showers share space within a large glass partitioned area. “The advantage is the bathroom looks a lot more spacious,” she explains.
For new homebuyers, “Layouts that accommodate the option of a freestanding tub are popular,” Crowder observes. “We are frequently seeing master baths designed [with] the choice between a built-in tub or one that is freestanding.”
Pickens is seeing the same, he says, but with tubs getting less focus than showers. “I’m actually seeing more people go for a separate standing shower and bathtub, and, in lots of cases, no tub at all. It is and will remain on trend,” he predicts.
“We are seeing a lot of renovators choosing wall-mounted, floating vanities,” shares Brownhill. “They provide flexibility (you can have them mounted so the countertop is at any height you like) and have a contemporary aesthetic.” Another continuing trend is a furniture look for vanities, the experts agree.
Modularity and customizability will be strong 2020 trends, they share. “A tricky bathroom layout with constraints can be solved when you choose configurable products,” Brownhill notes. Alfano sees compact vanities, smart mirrors and modular medicine cabinets that can be grouped for style and functionality, and built-in lighting where it’s needed all trending.
KBDN’s Costa comments, “Both open and closed storage are being used to offer a balance between hiding clutter and still providing visually interesting areas for items on display, whether rolled towels, attractive bottles or decorative items that help to personalize the space. Storage is also getting more thoughtful, with roll-outs and pull-outs similar to what kitchen cabinets offer, which may be customized to the homeowner’s specific storage needs. We’re also seeing more interest in products that offer plenty of interesting and functional details — everything from built-in electrical outlets, optional recessed LED lights, soft-closing hinges and drawer glides to dovetail interior drawer boxes stained to match the vanity exterior.”
Photo credit: Robern
Style-wise, the experts are seeing antique glass, natural and matte wood finishes, and a somewhat loss in status of the all-white bathroom that has trended strongly in recent years.
Countertop And Flooring Trends
“Marble and marble looks are still huge right now, and large-format tile continues to trend,” Costa says. “Colors are soft – whites, greys, greiges, taupes and nature-inspired hues, though hints of blue and green are showing some interest – and texture remains hot. The bath is still people’s private sanctuary and haven, and they want the space to be soothing, restful and easy to clean,” she observes.
Alfano expects surfaces to get bolder. “We will see more graphic patterns and 3D expressions,” she predicts, adding, “Clear shapes and dynamic modern arrangement can be achieved by the usage of tiles in different textures and shades.” The designer also sees terrazzo trending again, though some homeowners will opt for terrazzo-look porcelain to stand in for the real thing.
Sinks, Showers And Faucets
“It is all about technology in the bathroom,” Taylor Morrison’s Crowder declares, pointing especially to steam showers and customizable digital shower systems. “With the term ‘self-care’ being so prevalent, buyers are using their dollars to ensure their master bath is a retreat that meets their needs.”
HGTV’s Pickens agrees: “In my opinion, the bathroom is the only room in the house where technology really pays off. From remotes and panels that control jets, water temp and lights, it all seems like the cherry on top for a freshly-remodeled bathroom,” he says.
Technology has made its way into bathtubs in new ways, as well, Alfano notes. You can now get tubs with the feeling of weightlessness, chromatherapy, neck massage and other features once limited to resort spas, she shares. The designer and influencer also points to the increasing trend of smart toilets. “Companies are featuring toilets that are temperature-controlled and use spritzing wands and automatic dryers. Toilet seats are also heated and self-cleaning with anti-microbial seats. Another cool feature are self-closing toilet lids that monitor motion.”
“Digital faucets that are eco-savvy by conserving water and energy” are also trending, Alfano says. “These hands-free faucets have options to reduce flow and control temperature control. Some are programmable with timed settings for brushing teeth.” 3D-printed faucets are also starting to show up as artistic statements showcasing unique water flow styles.
Another emerging technology that applies to bathroom spaces is leak detection, Costa says. These systems “can catch problems before they become a very expensive flood situation.” They’re often installed where water comes into your home, and tie to a smart phone app that alerts you to issues. Some can shut off the home’s water supply if they spot a problem.
Style-wise, the experts are seeing mixed metals, mixed materials, brass and copper, exotic stone looks and personalization with less emphasis on resale.