One of the hardest-working rooms in every house, the bathroom should be a place to soak away the pressures of everyday life. Little wonder that creating a practical yet serenely stylish pamper zone is high on the priority list for any new home or renovation project.
With that in mind, here’s our round-up of 10 leading design and decor trends to inspire your 2022 bathroom renovation
A highly functional and luxe alternative to the enclosed shower cubicle, the true walk-in shower has no fixed screens or doors. Easy to clean, the open ‘wet room’ looks set to become increasingly popular. As interior stylist Aimee Tarulli of Archer Interiors says: “It takes away the shower screen and makes the bathroom feel more spacious. It’s also great for space-saving and for a really beautiful visual look.”
“Instead of having the little shower shelf or recess cut into the wall, we’re now doing full-length ledges across the entire shower space to place things on,” says Mikayla Rose, director and principal designer of design studio Heartly. “It also provides an opportunity to split and ‘block’ the materials.”
Creating a strong sense of style and interest, terrazzo surfaces will continue to be an on-trend, yet undeniably timeless, choice for the bathroom. “Terrazzo has always been around – it will never really date,” Tarulli says. “Terrazzo can also be a relatively cost-effective material to use, especially for a benchtop, and you can get very creative with it, too, in terms of variety with colour and texture.”
Elegant, shapely and undeniably inviting, the freestanding tub will continue to make a huge splash in bathrooms around the nation. With good reason. Creating a strong focal point in the space, stand-alone baths usher family bathrooms and en suites into five-star territory. “They’re almost like a sculptural piece within the bathing area,” Rose says. “They make the bathroom feel much more luxurious.”
From floor and wall tiles to vanity tops and cabinetry, the transformative effect of luxe organic finishes is undeniable. “Natural, earthy materials and tones have certainly grown in popularity,” Rose says. “People don’t want spaces to feel too glitzy. We’re moving away from gloss surfaces to more organic-looking matt finishes. People are seeing a sense of calm, and there is something more honest about having a more humble approach to design in terms of materiality.”
Bolder hues reflective of nature – think deep greens and tranquil teals – will continue to trend in feature tiles. “But we’re also using pastel tones, which work back nicely with the more earthy and neutral shades that we’re seeing a lot of at the moment,” Rose says.
Enhancing illumination in the most stylish of ways, form truly meets function with backlit mirrors and medicine cabinets. “LED lighting is huge,” Tarulli says. “Wherever we can include it, we do, as it does give a mood. It lights up the features of a bathroom we want to illuminate, particularly texture on tiles. It’s also more versatile – it creates an ambient glow rather than having all the lights on in a bathroom.”
Distinctive wall and pendant lights have long delivered a potent shot of drama and style to living spaces. So why not also in bathrooms? As Tarulli says: “People have begun using lighting as their ‘artwork’ in a bathroom. There is so much scope for amazing statement bathroom lighting – you can get really creative with it.”
From brushed bronze to gun-metal grey, colour will reign supreme for tapware. “In the design community, we’ve all been on black tapware for so long that it’s almost starting to feel dated now,” Tarulli says, adding: “People are definitely becoming more adventurous with colour.” Rose agrees, saying: “We’ve been doing a lot fewer black taps and a lot more aged bronze or white taps.”
“Sky windows above showers and baths have become a really strong trend,” Rose says. “If we’re not able to have a window with a view in a bathroom, a view of the sky becomes extremely important from the place where you’re bathing. It makes you feel as though you’re on a holiday. And we all want to create the sense of something special at home, as we haven’t been able to travel as much this past year.”