The ensuite bathroom may be one of the most functional spaces in your home but homeowners realize it can also make a design statement. As they worry less about decorating and renovating with the next buyer in mind, they’re letting their personal likes and dislikes guide them.
“We’re redecorating the idea of what a bathroom is,” says Benjamin John Ouellette of BJOID in Waterloo. That could mean forgoing traditional white subway tiles in favour of patterned French- or Spanish-inspired tiles on the floor and/or walls. “It’s a stunning way to bring in texture, pattern and life into a space, making it truly unique to each person,” he says.
Also on trend is the minimalist Scandinavian style, which lends itself to textures, wood, greenery and materials like concrete, stone and marble. “One of the big trends is slabs rather than tiles, such as a full slab of a beautiful stone like marble or quartz or even an acrylic quartz in the shower, which is easier to clean than tiles with grout,” says Ouellette.
When it comes to cabinetry, think colour, such as navy, blue, hunter green and emerald green in a high-density fibreboard or painted maple, he notes. Incorporating one or two unique pieces of furniture, meanwhile, will add character to what might otherwise be a fairly “sterile space,” suggests TV personality and DIY expert Leigh-Ann Allaire Perrault of Hue La La.
“It might be a curio cabinet that could have gone in a beautiful living room but is now tucked into the corner of a bathroom to store towels, soaps and toiletries or a pedestal table beside the bathtub to rest a candle, which also lends itself to the Hygge movement.” (Pronounced ‘hue-guh,’ it’s a Danish word for a mood of coziness and comfort with feelings of wellness and contentment.)
“The other thing nobody can ignore is the influence of Marie Kondo,” Allaire Perrault says. The Japanese organizing consultant and author has been billed by many as the new Netflix phenomenon. “We’ll start to see a lot more compartmentalized storage in bathrooms. She’s very big on things in tiny boxes so we’ll see retrofitted drawers as well as cupboard inserts and organizers.”
Black fixtures and accessories offer homeowners long-overdue options, notes Martin de Sousa of designström, a Toronto-based residential design studio. “As a designer and consumer, it’s exciting that you no longer have just two choices: polished chrome and brushed nickel. You’ve got black as another option, as well as brass and gold,” he says.
More and more, Homeowners are willing to step outside the box, thanks at least in part to social media sites like Instagram, Pinterest and Houzz. “There’s much moreawareness of choices available and when people see someone has been willing to take a chance with something like a pink vanity, they’re also more willing to push the boundaries,” de Sousa says.
Wallpaper is making a resurgence and not just in powder rooms. Still, it should be used selectively and not on every wall, he advises. As manufacturers up the ante with interesting and playful textures and patterns – such as white with gold accents – don’t feel restricted to a traditional bathroom wallpaper.
Paying attention to the five senses, meanwhile, can be transformative and may increasingly involve technology, Ouellette reports. Play music via Bluetooth on water-resistant speakers in the showerhead and/or faucet. Embrace chromatherapy: the use of coloured lighting in the shower or bath. Yellow is hopeful and stimulating, especially for creative thinking, while turquoise is serene and stress reducing, for example.
Smart mirrors transform the bathroom into a personalized digital hub, allowing you to connect to your calendar, email, weather and favourite apps and even watch TV using voice commands. When it comes to bathroom essentials, a wall-mounted toilet gives the illusion of extra space. If your room is large enough, a large freestanding tub is a must-have, Ouelette says. In smaller spaces, make the most of your shower with trendy black grid doors for a modern and industrial look.