Inspired by the shimmering, Gatsby-inspired finishes of the Roaring Twenties, indulgent, glossy finishes are set to be big throughout our interiors in 2022 – with bathrooms a particular focus. Perhaps the easiest way to elevate your bathroom is to kiss the space with an ultra-chic gloss – but getting it right can be tricky.
See: Bathroom ideas – stylish decor ideas for all bathrooms
So while H&G isn't predicting that the days of matte finishes are behind us – we are on board with this return to luxe finishes. Here, designers share why we should revive our bathrooms with glossy finishes and how to ensure we stay on the right side of chic.
Why are glossy bathrooms trending?
'While matte finishes have recently dominated bathrooms, this is set to change. High gloss is now returning with a bang,' announces the Director of Design at C.P. Hart (opens in new tab), Yousef Mansuri. His observations are mirrored by Fired Earth's (opens in new tab) Creative Director, Colin Roby-Welford, who explains how glossy finishes can illuminate a bathroom and turn the space into something extraordinary.
'High-gloss finishes are particularly effective at catching and reflecting light, so they're a fantastic choice for bathrooms, where space is usually at a premium. We tend to be irresistibly drawn to glinting surfaces, so opting for gloss finishes is also a clever way to draw the eye to statement pieces such as a wall of beautiful tiles,' Colin shares.
See: Bathroom trends 2021 – Inspiring new looks for your bathroom
'There's something undeniably glamorous about glossy, shimmering surfaces, too, even if they're predominantly white. Sparkling high-gloss surfaces also look clean and tactile – just what you want in a bathroom. They look spectacular in candlelight, and they're ideal for creating a luxurious feel in any bathroom,' he adds.
How to style high gloss finishes in a contemporary bathroom
Want to introduce high gloss finishes into your bathroom carefully? Here's how.
1. Crown your bathroom with a glossy ceiling – and metallic tiles
If we're going to enjoy the splendor of this trend, then we can't be afraid of taking risks, and Barrie Cutchie, Design Director at BC Designs (opens in new tab), agrees: 'As we continue to explore new shades, we're being adventurous with new finishes,' he says.
This includes metallics in tiles, and gloss paintwork – and not just in the usual places.
'Gloss finishes on ceilings is a new trend that is emerging. It adds a sense of playfulness to a room and, again, is a great way to bounce light around,' he suggests. When considering glossy hues to paint a ceiling with, Barrie suggests choosing 'dark and moody' shades with 'warm earth tones like terracotta and peach,' which he predicts will be popular going into 2022.
2. Textures are key
It is no secret that Yousef Mansuri is a gloss-enthusiast, but his secret to a radiant bathroom lies in the combination of textures that work alongside the bright finish.
'Tactile textures, such as fluted finishes are becoming popular – from furniture to shower enclosures, tiles and even brassware,' he says. 'When it comes to brassware, warmth is clearly desirable with popular finishes including aged bronze, brushed brass, and matte copper,' Yousef adds.
3. Introduce a metallic bathtub
Metallic bathtubs pay instant homage to this luxe trend while creating a focal point that will make your bathroom anything but ordinary.
'As the centerpiece of any bathroom, the bath is perfect for introducing drama and character to interiors. More and more of our clients are opting for bolder finishes, such as high gloss, on the bath, to make an impact within the space,' shares Drummonds (opens in new tab) Creative Director, James Lentaigne.
'The sheen from high gloss can really brighten up a bathroom and helps focus the eye on the bath. It is also a relatively easy and inexpensive way to change the room's look,' he adds.
4. Soothe your glossy finish with matte tones
Glossy finishes may be replacing the eternally-admired matte look, but that doesn't mean we should neglect matte completely. Instead, Colin suggests combining these shiny stylized pieces with cool matte accessories to ensure the space is not overpowered.
'It's important to think about creating a balanced scheme, so if you're planning a high-gloss bathroom, you might want to consider introducing some contrasting matte elements too,' Colin says.
'This will ensure that the bathroom has a welcome sense of texture and plenty of visual appeals, something that can be really important if you've set your heart on an all-white bathroom since there's a fine line between spa-like and clinical,' he adds.
5. Experiment with large bathroom tiles
For a subtle and sophisticated twist on the trend, choose large tiles in a cool tone that will add a luminous light to your space. 'Instead of stark white bathrooms with plain gloss tiles, we’re seeing the gloss finishes being used on large format tiles that are often replicating other materials such as marble,' Barrie suggests.
'This option offers many benefits, from bouncing light around without having to forgo pattern and texture, to enhancing the design of the tile,' he adds.
See: Bathroom wall ideas – striking finishes for washroom walls
Now we have every excuse we need to turn the Gatsby-inspired bathroom of our dreams into a reality.
Megan is the News and Trends Editor at Homes & Gardens. She first joined Future Plc as a News Writer across their interiors titles, including Livingetc and Real Homes. As the News Editor, she often focuses on emerging microtrends, sleep and wellbeing stories, and celebrity-focused pieces. Before joining Future, Megan worked as a News Explainer at The Telegraph, following her MA in International Journalism at the University of Leeds. During her BA in English Literature and Creative Writing, she gained writing experience in the US while studying in New York. Megan also focused on travel writing during her time living in Paris, where she produced content for a French travel site. She currently lives in London with her antique typewriter and an expansive collection of houseplants.
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