Bathrooms

Bathroom trends 2021 – 19 inspiring new looks for your bathroom

These bathroom trends will help you make your bathroom smart, luxurious and, above all, a place to retreat, relax and find time for yourself.

Bathroom trends 2021 showing a marble wall and circular mirror
(Image credit: Ribble Valley Bathrooms)

From fluted finishes to forest green, these are the latest bathroom trends for 2021 to take note of for your bathroom remodel – or simple room update. 

While following – and applying – the latest trends isn't a guarantee of achieving a timeless look, these bathroom ideas are, we think, elegant enough to stand the test of time.

1. Cocoon Room

A large bathroom with copper walls and tub showing the cocoon bathroom trend.

(Image credit: CP Hart)

It's hardly a surprise, after the year that was 2020, that bathroom trends in 2021 are very much headed up by the trend for home spas.

From scented candles to luxury fittings, there are a host of new spa bathroom ideas to create your very own retreat. 

‘Bathrooms can now be so much more than purely functional spaces,’ explains Yousef Mansuri, head of design at C.P. Hart. ‘More of our customers want to create an oasis of wellbeing at the heart of their home – somewhere that they can enjoy as a private retreat to de-stress and unwind.

'We call this trend “cocooning” because it’s a way for people to wrap themselves in comfort and a quiet sense of luxury.’

Cocooning is a mood that can be created with simple moments that make us pause, such as the ritual of lighting a scented candle or wrapping ourselves in a warm robe. Or it can be fully enjoyed with fittings that offer spa-like experiences, such as massaging showers, hydrotherapy baths and state-of-the-art steam rooms or saunas.

2. Blended schemes

Large grey and green mural behind a white bath tub.

The Orient mural by Avalana Design

(Image credit: Ribble Valley Bathrooms)

Bathrooms are now less confined to clinical white, polished ceramic and a clean contemporary feel. Instead people are becoming more confident about going busy and bold in bathroom and powder rooms. 

Next year will be all about bringing the outside in with biophilia. Inspired by bathroom pictures like the one above, people will create spa-like sanctuaries with intricate murals and fuse vintage and modernity with stunning installations.  

Victorian roll top baths will remain a crucial component in a 2021 chic bathroom but this will be harmoniously blended with modern, sleek alcoves, bright tiles and the latest tech. 

3. Luxurious cleansing

Bathroom trends example showing a pink built in shower and grey marble floor.

Trace by Fiora available from ribblevalleybathrooms.co.uk

(Image credit: Ribble Valley Bathrooms)

Transforming an interior space into a seamless experience to create a more satisfying usage is key over the next twelve months. As homeowners, we tend to use our bathrooms at least twice a day, and studies have shown that the average female spends at least 29 minutes in this space each day, so it’s become a necessity to ensure that bathroom design delivers an at-home spa-like atmosphere so we can linger for longer. 

In addition to luxury tiles and spa-like nooks for storage, biophillia – the integration and inclusion of nature as a focal point – isn’t going anywhere. The goal of creating a rich, sensory connotation with nature is still growing in popularity. 

A biophilic bathroom design will boast certain patterns that reduce stress and improve creativity while featuring forms and materials that emulate those found in the great outdoors.  

There are extensive ranges of luxurious showers and heads allowing the creation of an indulgent showering experience in your own home. Connection between water and wellbeing has never been easier with waterfall shower heads and walk-in showers to replace bulkier units. 

4. Fluted finishes

A bathroom trend in 2021 of a fluted vanity unit with black sink top and double mirrors.

A visual and tactile delight, ribbed surfaces have been given a contemporary twist in the bathroom. Reeded finishes are in the interiors limelight. The look is reminiscent of Art Deco glamour – think pillar lights – and now fluting is being reinvented. Delicately ribbed surfaces on vanity units and cabinets provide subtle interest, and shower doors in decorative, vertically grooved glass offer instant privacy while allowing light to shine through.

5. Forever green

A dark green bathroom trend with green units, round mirror and plants.

In cabinetry or plants, this perennial hue can create a life-enhancing link with nature. The huge variety of eye-catching green bathroom tile ideas, furniture and bathroom ceramics in verdant shades is providing opportunity for strong new looks.

In soft shades, green evokes a natural sense of calm and harmony, while bolder and darker tones provide individuality and depth. Try walls of saturated color in paint or tiles, or a contemporary vanity unit or countertop basin.

6. Warm earth

Terracotta and green tiles behind a wooden vanity unit show the warm earth bathroom trend.

Embrace natural pigments to turn up the heat in your bathroom scheme.

Alongside the mood for comfort comes the move towards warmer tones, including terracotta, rust, caramel and biscuit. Look out for tiles in earthy colours and tactile finishes that make the perfect antidote to cold and clinical. Try contrasting them with black taps or a black basin to add definition. Untreated timber also works well, this time by echoing the natural, warm mood.

7. Minimalist mood

Bathroom trends

(Image credit: Porter Bathroom)

Far removed from the starkness of the past, today's pared-back bathroom layout ideas equal relaxed, not sterile. Long gone are the days of clutter. Bathrooms are no longer a maximalist mess. 

'Architecturally and visually, it is best to keep a bathroom feeling open by not crowding too many things into it. Edit your amenities often, hang your towels on bars or hooks, keep pattern to a minimum, and generally, make it simple. The room will feel bigger if you use a pedestal or wall-mounted sink rather than a bulky vanity, a clear glass door rather than shower curtain and reflective surfaces such as glossy ceramic tiles in a large scale,' says Barbara Sallick, Co-founder, Waterworks.

8. Luxe lighting

An on trend bathroom with geometric tiled floor, white bath tub and gold lighting.

(Image credit: Victoria + Albert)

Statement bathroom lighting ideas are having a moment. Outsized or crystal, all-out glamour is the way to go. The latest innovations mean that you don’t have to completely overhaul a scheme in order to make a difference. Don’t be afraid to go big. It takes a little bravery, but you can afford to use larger lights than you might at first think sensible. Big chandeliers, drum pendants and giant floor lamps are all very much in vogue for those who like their lighting to make a statement or are inspired by luxury bathroom design.

9. Botanical walls

A green oriental wallpaper with pink panelling, double sink and mirrors.

(Image credit: Drummonds)

Embrace blooms and foliage in your smallest room for the biggest, boldest and brightest impact. Even if you don't live in a balmy equatorial climate, that doesn’t have to stop you introducing a fun and tropical feel into your home with creative wallpaper ideas. Embrace lively colour, add lush foliage and finish the look with quirky details.

10. Smart measures

A neutral bathroom with wooden floor, white fittings and rose gold faucets.

(Image credit: GROHE)

Home automation is no longer a sci-fi thing of the future – it’s here, right now, and the good news is it’s useful, easy to use, and just a bit smarter than you might expect. Smart technology promises to put the control at your fingertips and to make your home work better for you, and now it has come to your bathroom. From de-misting mirrors, integrated charging and USB ports, LED temperature displays and automatic hand-wipe sensors, the bathroom is a haven for smart technology. The future is now.

11. Book-matching

A large bath tub in a white marble bathroom, one of 2021's key bathroom trends.

(Image credit: Paul Raeside)

'Marble is definitely enjoying its moment in the limelight. All bathrooms that we see being planned have some form of marble in it,' says Darren. 'It is a beautiful natural material which comes in a wide variety of colorings, markings and veinings. One can never find two pieces the same, which of course greatly adds to its appeal. Although "book-matching" and "vein-matching" are still popular in high-end properties, particularly for those who want something unique,' he continues. 

'In general, people are being far more adventurous with marble presently than in the past, incorporating greens, blues, yellows, basically anything a bit out of the ordinary to make their own mark,' says Gary Walters, Managing Director of Stone Age.

12. Black bathrooms

The black bathroom trend 2021 with black tiled wall and floor and white bath tub and sink.

(Image credit: Topps Tiles)

The moody palettes that are de rigueur with on-trend paint brands are prompting a similarly gothic direction in bathroom colors. Keep the look modern and fresh by opting for textured porcelain tiles. This look is also going to be at the forefront of kitchen design for 2021.

Dark leopard and leaf print wallpaper and black bathtub show the black bathroom trend.

'Advances in technology and product development have also allowed for new colors and finishes in ceramics, enabling homeowners to embrace adventurous design in the bathroom more than ever,' says Faye Froy, Marketing Manager, Burlington.

A grey panelled bathroom with black toilet and sink.

Architect Natalia Miyar uses dark stone for the floor, walls and vanity unit in this project (below) to bring an earthy glamor to the space. Natalia breaks away from safe neutrals in favor of sumptuous, darker tones where possible. The bathroom in a recent London project sits within a light, bright apartment and changes tempo from the colorful space you enter from.

‘Using only one shade may feel risky but the result will be stunning,’ claims Natalia. Here she adds a welcome pop of vibrant colour in the form of flowers to lift the room. Accessories can be used for the same effect.

A dark grey stone covered bathroom trend with white sink and a vase of orange flowers.

(Image credit: Natalia Miyar)

'Bathrooms are increasingly becoming places to relax and unwind in,' explains Faye. 'We’re seeing an increase in customers looking for luxurious, deep baths for the ultimate in bathroom relaxation, with dramatic colours a popular choice for a bold statement in interior design.'

13. Swags and swagger

The 2021 bathroom trend for drapes shown in white alongside a green patterned wallpaper and panelled bath tub.

(Image credit: Penny Morrison)

Whether it’s a glamorous pooling of fabric or a classic louvered shutter, a window dressing plays a crucial role in the success of an interior scheme, and now bathrooms are taking note. 

Swags might have been a thing on the 1970s, but as with most trends, they tend to come back around. Drapes may be an unusual choice for the bathroom. Steam and damp can of course be a problem for bathroom fabrics, but as long as your room is well-ventilated room, you should be safe. Well-chosen drapes can add drama and elegance to a bathroom, as well as warmth.

14. Living color

A dark teal bathroom with matching sink and vanity unit shows the colorful bathroom trend.

(Image credit: Swoon)

Raring to embrace the return of colored sanitaryware? The current trend for embracing personality and color instead of safe neutral interiors is behind the revival of colored sanitaryware. Swoon stone vanity units are available in 10 different bathroom color ideas including new Seaweed Green, as shown above.

15. Go bold with basins and consoles

An on trend bathroom idea with pink walls, wide mirror and pair of stone sinks.

(Image credit: Ribble Valley Bathrooms)

Choosing a sink can arguably be one of the hardest tasks when considering how to design a bathroom because there needs to be a balance of thought to aesthetics, functionality, installation and also budget. 

There’s a plethora of options too. The new year will see people put a clever spin on classic white ceramic with decorative basins featuring ripples, brightly coloured matte versions, Miami vice-like pastels or the addition of gold rims. 

Designs will also include more alternatives to the ceramic basin using new materials such as glass, concrete, pressurised surfaces and mineral cast basin. 

If you prefer minimalist, scandi designs, don’t panic. 2021 will also emphasise our need to be at one with nature. The year of Brave New World color goes hand in hand with warmer toned surfaces, real-looking wood and more curved lines as opposed to cold and harsh surfaces normally found in the bathroom. 

16. Marvellous marble

A white marble bathroom with white bath tub and gold faucets.

(Image credit: Huit Laguna + Chad Mellon photography)

A recurring trend in interiors, marble has taken the world by storm over the past few years. Its crisp, clean and natural look with delicate pattern formations provide visual interest to our homes whilst still keeping it minimal, luxurious and tasteful. Cover your walls in marble tiles for a stylish statement or simply use it on the floor for luxury underfoot.

17. Crittall – or Crittall-style framing

Large crittall framed windows with white drapes behind a green bath tub.

York Bath, Victoria + Albert Baths.
(Image credit: Kate Walker Design + Armelle Habib)

First invented in the 1880s, Crittall metal-framed windows were hugely popular in the Art Deco era. As with many design trends, it has come back around, but this time with a contemporary twist.

Use it in bathrooms for windows or to frame shower screens.

18. Metallic glamor

A white marble sink with rose gold faucet, illustrating the metallic glamor bathroom trend 2021.

(Image credit: Natalia Miyar)

'This trend is heavily influenced by the 1960s and 1970s when metals, and brass in particular, were used frequently. Metals are now having a revival in all design disciplines,' says Natalia Miyar.

'Chrome and steel are a popular choice for kitchens and bathrooms, however these metals can sometimes make a room feel cold and stark. Use less obvious choices and warmer metallic tones such as copper and brass. They create visual impact and change the mood from functional to indulgent.'

19. Japandi bathrooms

A white bath tub and green raffia wall as an example of the Japandi bathroom trend.

(Image credit: Jake Curtis)

Bring in elements of both styles for a balanced effect, with soft, Scandi curves set against clean lines and structured Japanese pieces. Contrasting textures are a great way to introduce a sense of depth to a scheme. Here, a subtle raffia wallcovering throws the smooth curves of the bath into eye-catching relief.

How many years should a bathroom last?

If you're wondering how many years a bathroom should last, it's estimated the average lifespan is around a decade, before it needs sprucing up a little. Although there's no reason why this can't be even longer if it's well looked after. It's only natural for us to want to switch things up once in a while, so the 10-year-mark is a good benchmark to use when thinking about longevity. 

How can I modernize my bathroom cheaply?

There are many ways to modernize a bathroom cheaply, like simply giving the room a fresh lick of paint. This could be the walls, ceiling or the floor and why not go for a bold new shade to mix things up and keep it interesting. Alternatively, you could paint the tiles or experiment with some wallpaper, rather than going for a full-on makeover.