From fluted finishes to forest green, these are the latest bathroom trends for 2021 to take note of for your bathroom remodel – or simple room update. And while following – and applying – the latest trends isn't a guarantee of achieving a timeless look, these are, we think, elegant enough to stand the test of time.
So, browse our selection – and don't miss our bathroom ideas page for our very favorite looks for bathrooms – on trend or not.
See more: Interior design trends in our dedicated guide
1. Blended schemes
Bathrooms are now less confined to clinical white, polished ceramic and a clean contemporary feel. Instead people are becoming more confident about going busy and bold in bathroom and powder rooms.
Next year will be all about bringing the outside in with biophilia, creating spa-like sanctuaries with intricate murals and fusing vintage and modernity with stunning installations.
Victorian roll top baths will remain a crucial component in a 2021 chic bathroom but this will be harmoniously blended with modern, sleek alcoves, bright tiles and the latest tech.
2. Luxurious cleansing
Transforming an interior space into a seamless experience to create a more satisfying usage is key over the next twelve months. As homeowners, we tend to use our bathrooms at least twice a day, studies have shown that the average female spends at least 29 minutes in this space each day so it’s become a necessity to ensure that bathroom design delivers an at-home spa-like atmosphere so we can linger for longer.
In addition to luxury tiles and spa-like nooks for storage, Biophillia – the integration and inclusion of nature as a focal point – isn’t going anywhere. The goal of creating a rich, sensory connotation with nature is still growing in popularity.
A biophilic bathroom design will boast certain patterns that reduce stress and improve creativity while featuring forms and materials that emulate those found in the great outdoors.
There are extensive ranges of luxurious showers and heads allowing the creation of an indulgent showering experience in your own home. Connection between water and wellbeing has never been easier with waterfall shower heads and walk-in showers to replace bulkier units.
3. Cocoon Room
It's hardly a surprise after the year that was 2020 that bathroom trends into 2021 are very much headed up by the trend for home spas.
From scented candles to luxury fittings, there is a host of ways to create your very own spa retreat, ‘Bathrooms can now be so much more than purely functional spaces,’ explains Yousef Mansuri, head of design at C.P. Hart. ‘More of our customers want to create an oasis of wellbeing at the heart of their home – somewhere that they can enjoy as a private retreat to de-stress and unwind.
'We call this trend “cocooning” because it’s a way for people to wrap themselves in comfort and a quiet sense of luxury.’
Cocooning is a mood that can be created with simple moments that make us pause, such as the ritual of lighting a scented candle or wrapping ourselves in a warm robe. Or it can be fully enjoyed with fittings that offer spa-like experiences, such as massaging showers, hydrotherapy baths and state-of-the-art steam rooms and saunas.
4. Fluted finishes
A visual and tactile delight, ribbed surfaces have been given a contemporary twist in the bathroom. Reeded finishes are in the interiors limelight. The look is reminiscent of Art Deco glamour – think pillar lights – and now fluting is being reinvented. Delicately ribbed surfaces on vanity units and cabinets provide subtle interest, and shower doors in decorative, vertically grooved glass offer instant privacy while allowing light to shine through.
5. Forever green
In cabinetry or plants, this perennial hue can create a life-enhancing link with nature. The huge variety of eye-catching tiles, furniture and bathroom ceramics in verdant shades is providing opportunity for strong new looks.
In soft shades, green evokes a natural sense of calm and harmony, while bolder and darker tones provide individuality and depth. Try walls of saturated color in paint or tiles, or a contemporary vanity unit or countertop basin.
6. Warm earth
Embrace natural pigments to turn up the heat in your bathroom scheme.
Alongside the mood for comfort comes the move towards warmer tones, including terracotta, rust, caramel and biscuit. Look out for tiles in earthy colours and tactile finishes that make the perfect antidote to cold and clinical. Try contrasting them with black taps or a black basin to add definition. Untreated timber also works well, this time by echoing the natural, warm mood.
7. Minimalist mood
Far removed from the starkness of the past, today's pared-back bathrooms equal relaxed, not sterile. Long gone are the days of clutter. Bathrooms are no longer a maximalist mess.
'Architecturally and visually, it is best to keep a bathroom feeling open by not crowding too many things into it. Edit your amenities often, hang your towels on bars or hooks, keep pattern to a minimum, and generally, make it simple. The room will feel bigger if you use a pedestal or wall-mounted sink rather than a bulky vanity, a clear glass door rather than shower curtain and reflective surfaces such as glossy ceramic tiles in a large scale,' says Barbara Sallick, Co-founder, Waterworks.
8. Luxe lighting
Statement lighting is having a moment. Outsized or crystal, all-out glamour is the way to go.The latest innovations mean that you don’t have to completely overhaul a scheme in order to make a difference. Don’t be afraid to go big. It takes a little bravery, but you can afford to use larger lights than you might at first think sensible. Big chandeliers, drum pendants and giant floor lamps are all very much in vogue for those who like their lighting to make a statement.
See more: Lighting trends 2021 – glorious designs to illuminate your rooms
9. Botanical walls
Embrace blooms and foliage in your smallest room for the biggest, boldest and brightest impact.We may not live in a balmy equatorial climate over here in the UK, but that doesn’t have to stop you introducing a fun and tropical feel into your home. Embrace lively colour, add lush foliage and finish the look with quirky details.
10. Smart measures
Home automation is no longer a sci-fi thing of the future – it’s here, right now, and the good news is it’s useful, easy to use, and just a bit smarter than you might expect. Smart technology promises to put the control at your fingertips and to make your homework better for you, and now it has come to your bathroom. From de-misting mirrors, integrated charging and USB ports, LED temperature displays and automatic hand-wipe sensors, the bathroom is a haven for smart technology. The future is now.
'Marble is definitely enjoying its moment in the limelight. All bathrooms that we see being planned has some form of marble in it,' says Darren. 'It is a beautiful natural material which comes in a wide variety of colorings, markings and veinings. One can never find two pieces the same which of course greatly adds to its appeal. Although "book-matching" and "vein-matching" is still popular in high-end properties, particularly for those who want something unique,' he continues.
'In general, people are being far more adventurous with marble presently than in the past incorporating greens, blues, yellows, basically anything a bit out of the ordinary to make their own mark,' says Gary Walters, Managing Director of Stone Age.
12. Black bathrooms
The moody palettes that are de rigueur with on-trend paint brands are prompting a similarly gothic direction in bathrooms. Keep the look modern and fresh by opting for textured porcelain tiles. This look is also going to be at the forefront of kitchen design for 2021.
'Advances in technology and product development have also allowed for new colours and finishes in ceramics, enabling homeowners to embrace adventurous design in the bathroom more than ever,' says Faye Froy, Marketing Manager, Burlington.
Architect Natalia Miyar uses dark stone for the floor, walls and vanity unit in this project (below) to bring an earthy glamor to the space. Natalia breaks away from safe neutrals in favor of sumptuous, darker tones where possible. The bathroom in a recent London project sits within a light, bright apartment and changes tempo from the colorful space you enter from.
‘Using only one shade may feel risky but the result will be stunning,’ claims Natalia. Here she adds a welcome pop of vibrant colour in the form of flowers to lift the room. Accessories can be used for the same effect.
'Bathrooms are increasingly becoming places to relax and unwind in,' explains Faye. 'We’re seeing an increase in customers looking for luxurious, deep baths for the ultimate in bathroom relaxation, with dramatic colours a popular choice for a bold statement in interior design.'
13. Swags and swagger
Whether it’s a glamorous pooling of fabric or a classic louvered shutter, a window dressing plays a crucial role in the success of an interior scheme, and now bathrooms are taking note.
Swags might have been a thing on the 1970s, but as with most trends, they tend to come back around. Curtains may be an unusual choice for the bathroom. Steam and damp can of course be a problem for bathroom fabrics, but as long as your room is well-ventilated room, you should be safe. A well-chosen curtain can add drama and elegance to a bathroom, as well as warmth.
See: Kitchen trends 2021 – these latest designs are ahead of the curve
14. Living color
Raring to embrace the return of colored sanitaryware? The current vote-face from play-safe neutral interiors to embracing personality and design-difference is behind the revival of colored sanitaryware. Swoon Stone Vanity Units are available in 10 selected colors including new Seaweed Green, as shown below.
See our: Bathroom color ideas – for a scheme that is bright and beautiful
15. Go bold with basins and consoles
Choosing a sink can arguably be one of the hardest tasks when designing a new bathroom because there needs to be a balance of thought to aesthetics, functionality, installation and also budget.
There’s a plethora of options too. The new year will see people put a clever spin on classic white ceramic with decorative basins featuring ripples, brightly coloured matte versions, Miami vice-like pastels or the addition of gold rims.
Designs will also include more alternatives to the ceramic basin using new materials such as glass, concrete, pressurised surfaces and mineral cast basin.
If you are a lot less high fashion and prefer minimalist, scandi designs don’t panic, 2021 will also emphasise our need to be at one with nature. The year of Brave New World colour goes hand in hand with warmer toned surfaces, real-looking wood and more curved lines as opposed to cold and harsh surfaces normally found in the bathroom.
16. Marvellous marble
A recurring trend in interiors, marble has taken the world by storm over the past few years. Its crisp, clean and natural look with delicate pattern formations provide visual interest to our homes whilst still keeping it minimal, luxurious and tasteful. Cover your walls in marble tiles for a stylish statement or simply use it on the floor for luxury underfoot.
17. Crittall – or Crittall-style framing
First invented in the 1880s Crittall metal-framed windows were hugely popular in the Art Deco era. As with many design trends, it has come back around, but this time with a contemporary twist.
Use it in bathrooms for windows or to frame shower screens.
18. Metallic glamor
'This trend is heavily influenced by the 1960s and 1970s when metals, and brass in particular, were used frequently, metals are now having a revival in all design disciplines,' says Natalia Miyar.
'Chrome and steel are a popular choice for kitchens and bathrooms, however these metals can sometimes make a room feel cold and stark. Use less obvious choices and warmer metallic tones such as copper and brass. They create visual impact and change the mood from functional to indulgent.'