TRANSFORM YOUR BATHROOM INTO A RESTFUL RETREAT
Wet rooms, floating vanities among hottest trends
After months of social distancing, well-being and cleanliness are top of mind, impacting the role of our home's bathroom. More than ever, we want restful retreats with easyto-clean surfaces.
“The bathroom is becoming more of a luxurious retreat rather than just a utilitarian space,” AYA Kitchens senior designer Sandra Mendes says of the spa esthetic. “The trend is for light and airy spaces.”
Think wall-mounted vanities, open shelving to display lush towels, free-standing tubs or glass-enclosed wet rooms that bring the tub and shower into one space, and luxe items like wall-mounted towel warmers.
Especially when family members are together 24/7, the bathroom has become “a place to relax, take some time away from your busy day and regroup,” says Michelle Berwick of Michelle Berwick Design in Newmarket, Ontario. “Our clients want a more luxurious and spa-like feel in their bathrooms, decked out with large soaker tubs, shower benches and heated flooring.”
Here are some of the hottest trends:
Walk-in showers: “A walk-in shower gives you the luxury feel and also allows for barrier-free living,” says Kate Davidson of Kate + Co Design Inc. in Oakville. Durable and easy-to-clean porcelain slabs are popular choices for shower walls and offer the dramatic veined look coveted by many, she adds.
Berwick has noticed a trend toward larger showers complete with benches. “As personal wellness has been consistently getting more popular, it's becoming more popular to have `the works' in your shower,” she says. That includes steam showers, body jets, rainfall shower heads and speakers.
Larger layouts: Removing bathtubs to increase the size of the shower and taking down walls to connect the bathroom to a closet or dressing area are favourite layout changes, the National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA) says in its annual design trends study.
Smart toilets: Once considered a futuristic and costly luxury, smart toilets and bidets are taking centre stage amid the pandemic, according to the NKBA. Hands-free features like self-closing lids and touch-free flushing reduce interactions with germy surfaces. Self-cleaning technology includes bacteria-killing light under the lid. Clean lines, smooth surfaces and wall-mount installations eliminate the nooks and exposed plumbing of traditional models, which makes cleaning the exterior easier.
Porcelain tiles: Honed marble or porcelain with a non-slip finish are great choices for functional flooring, Davidson says. The NKBA predicts ceramic/porcelain tile flooring will be the most popular this year, followed by luxury vinyl wood plank and stone.
Clean, calm, minimalist style: Three styles dominate the NKBA study: contemporary, transitional and organic/natural. In terms of colour, whites and off-whites remain favourites, followed by greys, blues and beiges. The modern farmhouse vibe endures.
Natural wood cabinetry: Natural wood is making a comeback, especially in traditional or transitional designs. Mixing these textures with other neutrals, such as whites and greys, creates an airy palette, Mendes reports.
Davidson has also noticed a trend toward mid- to light-toned wood vanities. Metal or marble inlays appeal to those looking for luxurious feel, while a thick apron countertop lends itself to a contemporary vibe. When it comes to finishes, anything goes, including brass, black, polished nickel and chrome. “We recommend keeping the finishes to one to two colours for a cohesive look,” she says.
Jewel tones: Navy blue cabinetry remains popular, but AYA Kitchens expects green to enter the home in a big way. “Jewel-toned painted finishes add pops of colour to add a dramatic flair without being overpowering,” Mendes says. “They also pair well with other popular 2021 trends, such as natural wood or grey finishes.” Quartz countertops: When it comes to countertops, quartz continues to rule, particularly in white or light colours, according to the NKBA survey. Traditional white sinks with an undermount configuration remain on trend. Layered lighting, technology: From sconces on either side of the vanity mirror to overhead lighting surrounding the tub, layered lighting is transforming the bathroom, Davidson reports. LED strip lighting is being used under floating vanities, making the room appear brighter and more spacious, and is used inside cabinets to make things easier to find, says Mendes. Technology is increasingly mainstream. The NKBA points to smart temperature controls, water conservation technology, motion sensors for lighting and mirrors with integrated internet access.