Between quarantines, lockdowns and remote work, you likely spent more time at home over the last two-and-a-half years than any other similar span of time in your adult life. Unsurprisingly, this has had a profound effect on home design.
After years of minimalism, brought on by the popularity of HGTV renovation programming and real estate flipping shows in which neutrality is always the preference, we’re shaping our homes to become our nests (rather than preparing it for a photo shoot).
Perhaps surprisingly, no space in our home has seen the effects of this shift in thinking more than the bathroom where antiseptic institutionalization has been replaced by a sense of warmth and humanity.
This is the overall theme we’ve gathered for this year’s bathroom design after taking part in several webinars, listening in on roundtable discussions, talking to industry experts and reading many trade publications.
And it’s with this in mind that we present the Top 10 bathroom design trends for 2023:
1. A high texture front is moving in
Texture is going to be huge in 2023. In the bathroom, this means ribbed looks, undulating surfaces and everything three-dimensional. The more unique the texture, the better. You’ll see this most prominently in cabinetry with fluted doors and decorative hardware, but look for any opportunity – from tiling to brackets – to add more texture to the bathroom.
2. Vanity, thy name is wooden
A vanity is often the starting point for a bathroom, and we see once again the general design shift to more tactile and natural materials with furniture-style, wooden vanities expected to be very popular in 2023. You’ll see these wooden vanities featuring natural finishes that show off the grain of the wood with the purpose of making a connection to nature and producing a calming aesthetic throughout the space. Bespoke, vintage and repurposed vanities are a great choice here. It’s worth noting that there is an element of minimalism still having an impact, however. Many of the vanities we can expect to see in the coming year will feature storage and organization features to minimize bathroom clutter.
For more budget-conscious clients or customers with smaller bathrooms (that can't facilitate a large wooden vanity with double sinks), a single sculptural pedestal sink will be the popular choice. When it comes to sinks this year, the less ordinary, the better. No more biscuit drop-in oval sinks. Look for vessels with shape, freeform basins and sculptural pedestals in accenting colors (more on that, later).
Those pedestal sinks are also perfect for a powder room – another one of this coming year’s trends. While powder rooms have never truly gone out of style, look for homeowners to use these smaller bathrooms to add flare or personality to the overall design of their home. This is a great place for designers to take a risk, get away a little bit from the concepts that have guided the rest of the spaces in the home and who knows, maybe whatever you try to pull off will be in next year’s trend lists. A powder room is the place to be a little more innovative.
5. Just for the health of it
As health and wellness remain welcome trends in our culture at large, we can expect this type of lifestyle to continue making its way into the bathroom. Recent studies have found longevity benefits associated with extreme temperature treatments, so look for large soaker tubs to be among the more popular bathroom products – especially on the luxury side. Once again, these will feature ornate and decorative elements. Think: Clawfoot tubs, sculptural tubs, colorful tubs and embellished tubs in general.
The bathtub won’t be the only source of splashes in the bathroom in 2023. Along with neutral, earthy colors on walls, expect to see splashes of lively colors – bright oranges, soft blues – in both paint accents and bathroom accessories. This could take the form of hand-painted tiles or ribbons of color painted across a more neutral base to add a bit of life to bathroom walls.
It seems silly to think of porcelain and ceramic as bathroom trends given that they’ve been a standard for so long, but the materials are going to be more popular than ever in bathroom design this coming year. Look for both materials to be used in tiles, tubs, sinks, toilets, counter tops and showers. Adding a slight twist to this will be the increased accompaniment of glass. At this past summer's Salone del Mobile in Milan...
8. Terrazzo is never out of tiles
It seems every year, the trend alternates between bold terrazzo tiles in bathrooms and a more subdued version of terrazzo tiles, like monochrome. This year, we’re back to bold terrazzo all over the bathroom. Think: fluted terrazzo tiles on walls and large flat square terrazzo tiles with chic patterns on the floor. But the real constant in this is terrazzo in general. It’s fun. It’s retro. And in one form or another, it’s been the trend for a while now. If you’ve been resistant until now, you may want to reconsider. It doesn't seem to be going anywhere. It’s time to embrace the terrazzo.
9. Be open about your shelf
Also not going anywhere soon are open shelves. Perhaps more of a movement now than a trend, the idea of open shelves seems like it’s now an established part of bathroom design. Of course, there are some tweaks to the concept for this year. Just like in this year’s kitchen trends, look for the open shelves in bathrooms to include unique brackets and metal work that is a little more decorative than in the past, as we move away from the minimalist approach.
Enhanced, luminated, LED mirrors are going to continue to be a massive trend in 2023 with industry experts predicting continued growth in sales of these items. What quickly became a mainstay of en suite bathrooms connected to master bedrooms, is now showing up in secondary bathrooms throughout the home. Smart technology, in general, will continue to be on the rise. That may seem in conflict with the overall homier approach to design expected for this year, but it offers manufacturers and bathroom designers an excellent opportunity to creatively incorporate and integrate tech into their plans to impress customers and clients.
Subscribe to our blog to get monthly industry-related content delivered right to your inbox.