But they're also finding new ways to help you enjoy the space, new ideas to amp up its ability to make you feel rested, calm and clean. As with all interior design trends, there is a general sense of irreverence, of creating schemes just because you love them and because they make you smile.
With that sense of freedom in mind, let's dive into the bathroom trends I think will make the biggest splash this year. Honeyed tones are a key look across all color trends - they're a softer take on the browns that dominated in 2022 but are no less warming.
'The bathroom should feel like a place to relax and indulge as well as the more utilitarian aspects,' says the designer Martin Brudnizki, who created this space above. New York-based agency Crosby Studios created this modern bathroom wrapped in a powerful blue and white wallpaper.
Interior designer and former Livingetc columnist Linda Boronkay created this bathroom as part of her fit out of Australian hotel Osborn House. And it embodies a general move towards minimalism in interior design which has been taking hold of every room in the house this year, looking set to dominate even more in 2023. Like the raised kitchen island, there’s a real airiness to this bathroom thanks in large part to the way the vanities aren’t shuttered off by cupboards.
This is an approach that is also emerging in living room trends - a new take on the traditional idea that regimented lines make a home.
'We pushed a line of symmetry in this Parisian apartment,' says designer Bryan O'Sullivan who created this marble space above. The hottest (and coolest) tap shapes of the moment are turning classic design on its head, challenging and reimagining its most basic features.
The revolution, it seems, has started at the handle, with two design superstars introducing a revamped, sculptural version fresh for the new year. ‘Just like watches, necklaces and bracelets are a finishing touch to our personal style, taps complete the bathroom atmosphere. 'Over the past year, we spent so much time at home and realized that our bathrooms have become almost like a personal spa, a space in which we can really enjoy moments of privacy and wellbeing in.
‘The bathroom is becoming more and more like any other living space and turning into a domestic landscape rather than cold white laboratory-style environment,’ says VitrA’s Erdem Akan.
These three-dimensional arches were used to create the large airy rooms needed in the popular roman imperial baths.’ And, arches aren't just about openings, but their soft cocooning curves are carrying through into shower room ideas too.
‘I’ve seen showers built into archway-shaped recesses which look really great – it’s a clever way to bring some design clout to even a really small space. I love curved entrances to walk-in showers too, giving you a sense that you are walking into a cocooning space and bringing some visual interest to the bathroom,’ advises Lee Thornley of Bert & May. That classic monochrome marble veining will step aside to reveal a whole host of other glorious rock patterns just waiting to adorn our floors, showers, splash basks and walls.
These stones are just as beautiful as their predecessors and just as personality filled, with semi-precious patterns that channel the organic movements found in onyx and jade starting out, just as marble did, as hyper realistic, stone-style tiles. ‘There is a demand for color this season as well as customers wanting something a bit different which is where onyx effect tiles come in,’ says Jo Oliver, Director, The Stone & Ceramic Warehouse. ‘They offer beautiful detailing and are available in a wide choice of colors ranging from subtle pale tones to dramatic blue and greens.
More unusual marbles, such as our new Coliseum Amazon slab-tiles, are also proving popular with their deep coloring and striking detailed appearance.’ ‘For most of us, the bathroom is a space we use to unwind in, or it’s often the first room we see for a prolonged period in the morning as we shower,’ highlights Ca’ Pietra’s Grazzie Wilson.
Both shades are soothing in their own way, and combined they have the dreamy effect of cool ice cream on a warm day. They add depth and texture to a bathroom and they don’t compete with other patterns or prints, so they’re at once a statement, and calming on the eye.’
If we’re unaccustomed and unable to travel the globe freely, we’ll turn our bathroom – the place where we have a few moments of peace and private time – into a leaf-filled habitat, a space that transports us into the rainforest with the simple swish and flick of wallpaper paste and a little imagination. Bathroom wallpaper has been coming into its own over the last few years, and is now showing off its water repelling credentials in all encompassing, wall murals offering us wild, panoramic views as we take a long soak in the bath and turning our shower into a tropical rainstorm.
‘Patterns from nature bring evoke memories and feelings, and drawing on thoughts of distant atmospheres different from our own habitat adds excitement and wonder to the day,’ says Christian Benini of Wall&Deco. Select darker timbers with an element of history evidenced in a vintage stain or rough-sawn surface.
Faking it with wood-look porcelain tiles can be equally as effective, provided there’s a textural finish to recreate the tactility factor. And the bathroom trend for fluted surfaces is a lovely subtle way to bring in those unexpected textures. For years there's been a slow but steady shift away from the sleek, clean, verging on clinical approach that was used in so much of bathroom design and towards choosing a warmer, cozier, more cocooning scheme. It's no surprise then that terracotta tiles in rusty orange hues are on-trend for 2023, switching classic white for something toastier and traditionally reserved for living rooms or bedrooms.
Textiles often aren't a focus in bathrooms, when it comes to window treatments, simple roller blinds or shutters are usually the go-to. While others may opt for smaller chips of stone, Dzek didn't hold back and the bold pattern of of its Marmoreal tiles packs a punch in this L.A. bathroom. Terrazzo tiles are an easy way to get this distinctive look without the hassle of the original application (a cement-type material poured on-site with chips mixed in). Serene yet sexy, dusky pinks and 3D monochrome features transform this chic Parisian bathroom into a sanctuary. Designed by New York-based Crosby Studios, it has strong geometric shapes that ooze a post-modern vibe. Versatile black-and-white bathroom products can be mixed with almost any other colours, while painting the back wall a lighter shade creates a sense of depth and perspective.
An amalgamation of Japanese minimalism and Scandi cool, Japandi has been around for a while but has soared in popularity this year, likely due to its calming zen vibes. ‘If you are seeking a serene space, then Japanese-inspired materials are perfect,' says Ca’ Pietra’s Grazzie Wilson.
‘Keep the bathroom tonal by opting for a lighter, warmer and neutral color palette to create an effortlessly chic and sophisticated space.’
‘Dial back to Miami in the Thirties and Palm Springs in the Fifties – big ice cream-coloured convertibles, glamorous abodes and pool parties,’ says Louise Ashdown, head of design at West One Bathrooms.
'The true beauty of sherbet shades is that they work exceptionally well with the still- trending metallic brassware we’ve all fallen hard for – try mixing strawberry pink with matt gold taps. As far as color pairings go, green and pink together are the key palette for 2023, creating a dreamy, tranquil backdrop to relax in.