Wednesday, January 6, 2016

15 Bathroom Trends Splashing Down in 2016

by Natasha Saroca

Four Australian designers break down the looks, finishes andfeatures they believe will reign supreme in bathroom design this year

Renovating your bathroom is a big investment in time and money, so it’s important to do your homework before you start. Creating a budget and searching for the right designer are important pre-renovation tasks, and so is coming up with a bathroom wish list. Doing this will ensure that you have a clear vision of how you want your revamped space to look, work and feel.

If you need some inspiration, reading up on the latest bathroom trends can help you get on track and pinpoint what you want and need. And there’s no better place to start than with the 2016 trend predictions we’ve rounded up for you from four Houzz experts in Australia.

1. Wood. “Timber will continue to flourish in the bathroom,” says Andrew Crawshaw, director of design at Smarter Bathrooms. “The release of new purpose-designed timber products enables us to bring its natural warmth into a previously timber-tabooed space.”

If you’re interested in working wood into your bathroom, take a cue from this striking example and consider using the material in unexpected ways, such as on the wall or as a sink.

Wall covering: Graupa Eterno European oak engineered wood floorboards, Tongue n Groove

2. Cool and calm. Cool tones that create a tranquil environment will be big in the bathroom in 2016, says Carmel Dee, senior interior designer at GIA Bathrooms & Kitchens. Her top two picks for cool hues are blues and emerald greens. Pair these with crisp white and touches of wood for a fresh, uplifting feel, or team them with metallic accents and rustic materials for a design that’s edgier and more sophisticated.

3. Creative tile patterns. Patterned and geometric tiles may have been hugely popular over the past few years, but prepare to see tile tastes change in 2016, Crawshaw says. The Melbourne designer predicts plain, basic tiles will return to the spotlight, but with a creative twist. “With the desire to combat fast-dying trends, simple, timeless tiles will be laid in unusual patterns in order to create enduring appeal,” he says.

Not sure which pattern to pick? A classic herringbone design, seen here, will lend a dose of visual drama and chic appeal. Basketweave and windmill patterns are other designs you might want to consider.

If you’re a lover of color and want a bathroom with extra oomph, an all-white or neutral palette probably isn’t going to cut it for you. Here, rainbow-colored rectangular tiles lift this herringbone feature wall to the next level and give the space some serious design cred.

4. Natural vibe. Wood isn’t the only natural material that will be trending in the coming year, says Sophie Seeger of Seeger by Design. Expect to see earthy materials like natural stone and river rock, “not merely on your floor and walls, but also on your vanity tops, sinks and baths, feature walls and bathroom furniture,” she says.

“As designers, we’re embracing the majesty of natural materials and minerals that contrast with each other, materials and minerals that offer us visual and tactile texture in a room that has become our sanctuary,” Seeger explains.

One way to bring the natural look to a bathroom, she says, is to opt for a kiln-fired ceramic or polished-stone sink instead of standard porcelain.

5. Duckboard flooring. “Timber duckboard flooring has been used in boat building for years, and I think it’s making a comeback in bathrooms,” says interior designer Alexandra Donohoe, director of Decus Interiors. “I think clients are moving towards more tactile finishes in bathroom spaces and generally seeking more warmth.”Another advantage of wood duckboard is that it’s “lovely to stand on barefoot, and feels very natural,” Donohoe adds.

The Sydney designer recommends incorporating duckboard into a shower floor to balance out the hardness of tiles.

6. Double header. Double showers will grow in popularity in 2016, Dee says, specifically a setup that consists of an oversized rain shower head and separate handset, as seen here, rather than dual shower heads mounted on the same rail or bar. Not only does this nifty configuration offer a more luxurious, invigorating and customizable shower, but it also delivers a chic, seamless look that won’t add visual bulk to your design. 

7. Functionality first. Spatial planning will be a key focus for bathroom designers in 2016, predicts Seeger, who says this approach is “like a return to modernism” and the idea thatform follows function. This is sure to be welcome news for renovators who loathe clutter and overdone design in favor of a clean, practical and streamlined look.

“Ensure there is adequate storage to hide your hair dryers and excess lotions and potions away,” Seeger says. “Items that are not functional are tucked away, allowing for a room of quiet contemplation.”

8. Metallics. Metal has been a major interior trend for the last few years, and it looks like it won’t be falling out of favor anytime soon. “Metals offer glamor and contrast beautifully with natural materials,” Seeger says. “They reflect light and inject style into a bathroom, whether with an industrial twist or a hint of glamor.”

Metals with matte or satin finishes will be especially popular next year, Dee says. “Brushed stainless steel [faucets] and brass will take over. People are getting over the bright, polished look.”

Want to work some metallic magic into your bathroom? “Introduce rich metals in fixtures,” Seeger suggests. “Have you seen copper baths? Simply stunning!” Alternatively, if you want to dial down the dazzle a notch, opt for smaller splashes with metal hardware, towel bars, shower rails and accessories.

9. White. White is the new black when it comes to bathroom fittings, Crawshaw says. Instead of sleek, moody black fixtures, white will be adding a fresh, contemporary vibe. Use white fixtures to complete a clean, pared-down look, or set them against a bold-color backsplash or tiled wall to create a striking space that oozes flair.

Faucet: PuraVida single-hole with lever handle in white, Hansgrohe

10. Ambience. “In 2016, there will be less focus on utility and more on creating ambience,” Crawshaw says. The bathroom is no longer purely functional, but also a place to escape to, and this will be seen in the move toward custom furniture-like cabinetry, mood lighting, feature faucets and the seamless integration of key functional elements.

Donohoe agrees that furniture-like cabinetry will become more prominent in bathrooms next year. “I think really special detailed bathroom furniture is quite a luxury,” she says. “Having a beautiful dressing table with a stool to put on makeup in your bathroom will make you feel as though you’re waking up in a hotel every day.”

Expect to see more home decor and small furniture pieces making their way into the bathroom too, Dee says. Think stools, armchairs, coat racks, poufs, rug-style bath mats and pendant lights.

11. Industrial chic. If you’re an industrial enthusiast, then 2016 is your year. According to Dee, edgy industrial-inspired bathroom design is on the rise. 

Expect to see the use of cool, gritty concrete (or silky smooth if you opt for a polished finish) not just on bathroom floors but as a wall surface too. Dee predicts that concrete-look tiles will also cement themselves as favorite wall and floor coverings next year.

But note that concrete can make a space look cold and harsh. Introducing contrasting textures such as wood, natural fibers and plush bath mats and towels will help soften the look and add coziness.

12. Lush and leafy. This was a trend in 2015 and will continue to thrive next year, Crawshaw says. “The indoor plant will bring the outside in and form part of the bathroom design,” he says. “They will no longer be a simple accessory but an integral, changeable element that can move with the seasons.” His top plant pick for summer is jasmine, and he recommends swapping it out for sansevieria, pictured here beside the vanity, in winter.

13. The love of handmade. Forget about mass-produced, cookie-cutter tiles that all look alike. According to Donohoe, 2016 is all about custom bathroom tiles crafted by hand. Artisanal tiles, considered beautiful for their imperfections, will infuse a bathing space with rich texture as well as visual appeal.

Donohoe recommends pairing them with a featured stone, as “the contrasting texture of the handmade tile and natural veining in the stone is beautifully complementary.”

14. A touch of pink. Are you fond of loud, lively hues? Then you’ll be happy to hear that next year will be one of having fun with color. Seeger says there’s one in particular that many decorators will experiment with. 

“If you’re a lover of pink in all its glorious shades, from dusty pink to peach and coral, then you’re in for a treat,” she says. She suggests using pink — whether you choose a sweet, playful or dramatic rendition of it — on your walls or introducing it in the form of towels or accessories.

Not a fan of pink? Try a palette of purple and black instead, Seeger says. It’s the perfect color combo for “those of you who love a little drama and opulence.”

15. Big tile. Move over, mosaics and slender subways, and make way for oversized tiles, which Crawshaw predicts will be a key trend. “Large-format tiles are huge in Europe and will shine through the Australian bathroom in 2016,” he says. “They have the benefit of creating a seamless spatial illusion, and they make cleaning a breeze with few or no grout lines.” Stylish, space-enhancing and a cinch to clean? This trend gets two big thumbs up!

Looking for a supreme bathroom design?  Stop by Cabinet-S-Top and meet with one of our expert designers.  Located at 1977 Medina, Road, Medina, OH  44256 ~ ~ 330.239.3630


  1. This is awesome! I've been trying to do some bathroom renovation , and this gave me some great insight for things to try. Thanks for sharing!

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