bathroom trends

The bathroom is having a moment, taking its cue from the idea of sanctuary.

Clean lines, a layering of textures and materials and a focus on artisan and handmade products are among the hot trends for 2017.

1. Industrial

Channelling an industrial aesthetic, concrete will be popular, especially behind baths. Quality tapware is the go, and copper and brass tapware in a brushed finish will be popular, as opposed to shinier finishes.

2. Two-tone

Black and white, and black and muted grey, will be popular for their classic style and impact. “A two-tone bathroom allows people to add their own colour, taste and flair, and can appeal to a broad spectrum of buyers,” Joe says. Kate recommends pairing darker tones with white. A dark tile on the floor makes the room look bigger, while a white wall tile bounces light around, she says.

3. Upping the ante

Real estate agent Joe Grcic of Harcourts says renovators are going upmarket where, in the past, an entry-level renovation might have been considered good enough. “Now people want sleek lines and that quality feel,” he says.

Architect Kate Fitzpatrick, co-director of Auhaus, agrees: “Bathrooms are definitely becoming larger and more opulent – a restful sanctuary to get away from distractions.”

4. Natural materials

It’s back to nature with materials such as ceramics, timber and natural stone. “Timber-veneer oak has had a stranglehold for a long time, but warmer, richer shades of timber are coming back,” Kate says. “You just want it to feel like a restful space, and natural materials really help with that.”

5. Colours of the earth

There’s a trend towards more moody, opulent shades. “Not brights so much as rich greens, blues, terracottas and plums, or more muted variants in the green or blue spectrum,” Kate says. “Colours that work back well with a natural material palette.”

6. Moody light

Lighting is changing from being just one source to mood lighting, with pendants still popular. Kate says lighting is vital in bathrooms and should be carefully considered to eliminate shadows. Just don’t forget about safety regulations: a light overhanging a bath shouldn’t exceed 12 volts.

7. Organic shapes

People are moving back to curved mirrors, while egg-shaped and non-symmetrical curves are strong in baths and basins.

8. Black is back

Black is on trend as a highlight for the avant-garde because it goes well with metallics. Be careful not to overdo it. “You need extra light with darker tones as the black tends to suck in all the light,” Kate says.

9. Handmade tiles

Tiles are less about the ubiquitous subway design and more of the handcrafted variety, that have finishes with character and texture. “There is a groundswell of smaller artisans making a mark,” Kate says.

10. Plants

The move towards modernism has brought plants and views into bathrooms.

11. Bespoke joinery

Joinery is becoming bespoke and more like a piece of furniture. “People are tailoring their homes to suit their particular needs,” Kate says.

12. Big sky

Oversized skylights are becoming popular, especially over showers. “They accentuate the generosity of space,” Kate says.

13. Hold on to your marbles

“Moody greys and dark browns are coming back in,” says Kate, “along with the white tones, which are still popular”.

Written by Clare Kennedy. First appeared on