April 16, 2021

Rayjin Teppanyaki

Beauty in design

Bathroom Trends 2021: These 6 Features Are Taking Off Right Now

Bathroom Trends 2021: These 6 Features Are Taking Off Right Now

A marble-clad powder room by Pierre Yovanovitch speaks to recent bathroom trends (namely, the use of high-impact materials to make a bold statement).

Photo: François Halard

For those of us who spent the past year almost entirely at home with our families, there was one place that unfailingly proved to be a refuge: the bathroom. A long soak in the tub, a pampering session at the vanity, or an invigorating steam shower offered the ultimate escape in a year of going nowhere.

Understandably, priorities have changed when it comes to bathroom trends, particularly in a world where health and well-being are top of mind. Previously, the ultimate goal was a “pretty” bathroom, says interior designer Doniphan Moore, but clients now expect a thoughtful execution high on functionality. “Beauty will always be a goal in luxury bathroom design, but ensuring that does not compromise other aspects of function is key,” he says.

From at-home spas to automated everything, here are this year’s luxury bathroom trends, according to Moore, trend forecaster Patti Carpenter, and interior designers Donna Mondi and Suzanne Tucker of Tucker & Marks.

A wallpapered bathroom in Cordelia de Castellane’s French country home.

Photo: Matthieu Salvaing

Bold statements

All of our experts agree that the bathroom is a place to go bold this year. “Materials and material mixes add visual stimulation to space,” says Carpenter. “Larger-scale patterns on wallpaper, many with outdoor themes of florals and fauna, add to the sense of escapism. Show them off with a colored floor for a fresh new take or ground yourself in graphics with a glint of a metallic.”

That boldness also extends to natural materials, as people become more daring in their choices of stone. “Marble, quartzite, and limestone are more popular than ever,” says Mondi. “Carrara is timeless, but more dramatic marbles are outshining their predecessors.”

“I am very much drawn to the less expected stones,” says Tucker. “Breccia marbles, crosscut and linear travertines, seductive onyx, and dramatic fossil stones. I love to book-match veining and mix colors in both soothing and energizing ways, placing them in conversation with each other.”

Carpenter adds that statement lighting fixtures—bold sconces, larger-scale chandeliers, glass globes that evoke bubbles, and tubular lighting fixtures—are also popular design statements, as are oversized mirrors with frames worthy of art.

Bath jewelry

Hardware designed by Roman and Williams for Waterworks.

Photo: Brinson William

“More of my clients are exhibiting an affinity and appreciation for good hardware,” Moore says. While bronze has been falling out of favor for a while when it comes to fixtures and hardware, matte black and polished gold epitomize luxury. “I will always incorporate bath ‘jewelry’—the knobs, pulls, and door handles,” says Tucker, who recently designed a collection of hardware for Nanz. “God is in the details!”

Spa sanctuary

Since the thought of spending time in a communal steam room is far less appealing than it was a year ago, many people are incorporating spa-like amenities into their bathrooms. “We’re seeing requests for an oasis within the home, a place to relax and renew as well as to indulge the senses,” says Tucker. “We’re putting in more steam showers, saunas both regular and infrared, fewer jetted tubs but deeper soaking tubs. Clients want the ‘oooh’ factor—visually beckoning, enticingly tactile, a virtual laboratory of aromatherapy creating an invigorating space for our mornings and a sanctuary in our evenings.”