By Christa Pirl

Published on January 4, 2017

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Photography by Diana Relth
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Photography by Diana Relth

It’s an exciting time to renovate a bathroom. This year, these small rooms are bursting with big personality. It is an era of adventurous, colorful, pattern-full design. Rich hues take centerstage together with a fresh, graphic twist on Mediterranean and North African elements—influences we haven’t seen for many years. Bathrooms are no longer purely functional; they are meant to reflect personal style and flow seamlessly with the rest of the house. Luxury hotel-style “spa baths” full of light neutrals and minimal lines, while still popular, are no longer the only trend. Bathrooms are now a laboratory for bold design—a great place to let your personality shine.  

This bathroom was designed by Byrd Design.

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Photography by Allison Corona Photography

Bold Color

Last year we wanted a splash of color in our neutral spaces, now color is taking over entire rooms. With Pantone naming Greenery the color of the year, we are bound to see lime, grass, and jade bathrooms aplenty. These fresh hues look great with brass fittings and bright white accents.

This bathroom was designed by Judith Balis Interiors.

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Photography by Fabienne Delafraye

Patterned Tile

Patterned tile inspired by Mediterranean and Moorish motifs is the statement-maker of the bathroom this year. Often printed on handmade cement tiles, these patterns are most popular in black and white or blue and white. The look adds tons of visual interest to white bathrooms. For even more impact, try two or three coordinating motifs in similar colors or look for an unusual colorway such as pink and gray or rust and green.  

This bathroom was designed by Aurélia Bouyssonie.

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Photography by DecorPad

Inventive Tile Layouts

Economical ceramic tile is reinvented through creative thinking. Subway, hex and even the most basic square tiles will be laid in inventive ways that save on budget without skimping on visual impact. A carefully executed layout of multiple colors creates a custom look.  This is the budget-friendly way to add graphic Mediterranean flair.

This bathroom was designed by Matters of Space

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Photography by Susie Lowe for the Pink House

Wallpaper

Traditionally, wallpaper has been restricted to decorative powder rooms. This year, wallpaper moves into master and guest baths with vigor. Elaborate papers are gracing not only vanity walls, but surrounding tubs and creeping onto the ceiling. Just be warned, you may need to swap out paper regularly because of moisture damage.

This bathroom was designed by The Pink House

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Photography by Lauren Edith Anderson

Simple Cabinet Forms

Patterned tile, colorful walls, and eclectic lighting take center stage this year, with cabinet forms remaining basic and clean. Vanities are slab-front with minimal pulls and detailing. Colors and materials are plain and natural. Woods are unstained and matte, and shelving is meant to showcase decorative items, not themselves.

This bathroom was designed by Michael Hilal for Homepolish

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Photography by @DavidSamuelko

Dark Metals

Brass and gold will still feature in bathroom design, but darker tones are on the way. Matte black, dark pewter, and bronze are turning up in high-end projects. All three work well with brighter metals creating a mixed, modern look.

This bathroom was designed by Studio Life/Style

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Photography by William Waldron

Customized Storage

In the never-ending attempt to simplify our lives, bathroom storage is becoming ever more customized. While antique cabinets converted to vanities look fabulous, custom built storage suited to your preferred height and individual needs will be the rage in 2017.   

This bathroom was designed by Miles Redd

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Photography by William Abranowicz

Tubs Are Back

Large showers with multiple heads have been replacing tubs for several years, but decorative freestanding tubs are making a strong comeback. While cavernous showers look luxurious, they take ages to fill with warm, dewy air, making them chilly for the duration of an average morning shower. And nobody can argue against the restorative properties of an extra-long soak.  

This bathroom was designed by Monique Gibson.

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Photography by DecorPad

Framed Showers

Frameless shower enclosures have been the norm for more than a decade, praised for a minimal look and easy maintenance. However, framed showers, in particular those with graphic mullions, are back. Black or bronze metal adds substance and delineates smaller showers; colorful painted frames add major personality. 

This bathroom was designed by Geddes Ulinskas Architects.

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Photography by Artist Residence Group

Vintage & Antique Accessories

Personality is key in bathroom design right now. If you don’t have the budget to install new tile, add vintage framed prints and mirrors, an antique side chair, or etagere to make a statement.  Collected items from travel or the local flea market make the room practical and fashionable.  

This bathroom was designed by Justin Salisbury and Charlotte Newey for the Artist Residence London

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Photography by Corian Basins

Dark Colors

With Benjamin Moore’s Shadow (a near-black eggplant) and Sherwin Williams’ Poised Taupe (a rich, warm gray) selected as colors of the year, dusky bathrooms are bound to make a resurgence. Together with some serious white bathroom fatigue, inky spaces are eminent. Just remember to add lots of light.

This bathroom was designed by Corian Dupont