Consumers expect a lot from their baths: baths are havens - a refuge away from the rest of the world. A place to get away to (I'm reminded of that old Calgon commercial, "Calgon, take me away!"
While we don't have a bath soap that will help take the cares of the world away for you, we have gathered some of the biggest bath trends we're seeing - trends that help to create a spa-like getaway feeling for just about any consumer.
Blending Natural Materials
The natural, organic, clean look will continue. Spice up your designs with continuing your tile work onto the walls, or reusing materials in other parts of the suite. Not only are these aesthetically pleasing designs but they can also be lower maintenance for your cleaning staff. While we might be hesitant to incorporate wood directly in line with water, consider wood-like tile products that incorporate the look you want without constantly worrying about water damage.
White on White
There's a big reason why white is so used: it's clean, it's elegant. It can help small rooms seem more light and airy... So why wouldn't it be commonly used in the bath? Note in this photo, too, other smaller trends: the use of the trough-style sink, the freestanding soaking tub, and wood floors -- all of which are ongoing trends for you to consider.
As shared on interiorzine.com, "When one uses a combination of modern and organic, it creates a dynamic atmosphere that evokes clean and stylish sensation. The juxtaposition of wood and stone to synthetics is very clever, combinative and suitable for many variations of design." Take note of the mosaic, bold color tiled wall behind the free-standing soaking tub: these are continuing trends from 2016 to consider as well. (Note in the picture above the use of wood accents. The smooth cement flooring trend can also be incorporated here as well.)
Shower Benches/Grab Bars
As people get older, it's wise to consider adapting what you normally might look for in shower design. Shower seats and safety bars can get a bad rep, with most thinking they're clunky or awkward looking in the shower. But they don't have to be.
Instead of thinking "chair size" - go big and think "bench." The mental shift immediately changes your concepts in what is possible in designing the space. Also, draw in other design elements: the antiqued brass or mosaic patterns/graphical treatments.
Rethinking Water Spouts
Whether it's a metal "fountain-like" faucet, or a faucet made out of clay materials with room for plantlife, your choice in faucetry can bring big personality to a small space.
"Living walls" are a big trend - particularly in the industrial space. But they can also be done on a smaller scale in people's homes. You often see them used in verticle planting for small spaces like very small back yards or on patios. But now we're seeing them included in bath areas. Also shown here: open shelving as storage to help stay organized - things are kept within reach but yet out of sight (just be sure you can keep those open shelves from looking too junky!)
At the other end of the spectrum, matted big, bold and dark colors can create drama in a counter-intuitive way. Normally, we think small spaces should incorporate light colors to create a lighter feel of spaciousness. But dark colors can create drama, warmth, a feeling a relaxation and cocooning. Neutral colors can also go dark - think charcoal grey. (Note here too: the continuation of tile on the walls and open shelving.) Also, consider the shape of your tiles. While the traditional, rectangular subway tiles are common, consider other standardized shapes like hexagons (see above).
When most people think of "brass," they think of the high-shine metal: but there's more than one way to finish or treat brass. There's just something about the classic elegance of the right treatment of brass with marble.
As mentioned earlier, dark neutrals are in -- especially when used in combination with one other color (ie: black, or a dark teal, etc). Also note here the use of a longer, trough style sink, and unique organizational method/open shelving and the hanging bar - an unusual but cool method for keeping organized.
Water Efficient Fixtures
You may not think of fixtures or water efficiency as "trends" to pay attention to, but they are - and especially for Millennials and Generation Z who are sensitive to both the environment as well as anything that impacts their wallets.
It seems like a contradiction in terms: the "luxury" feel evoked in rainshower showerheads, versus being "environmentally friendly." The two trends couldn't seem more in contrast. ... Until now.
While the EPA required that manufacturers make showerheads that only used 2.5 gallons of water per minute (gpm) in 1992, (down from 5.5 gpm), they also have a "voluntary WaterSense" classification using only 2.0 gpm flow for certification. That might not sound like much: it's a 20% savings, which, added up over time can mean buckets of cost savings to the average consumer.
An earlier version of this article ran on our sister-site, hoteltubspro.com, which provides business, trends and remodeling insights for the hotel industry.
Check out some of our other articles: