The bathroom is one of the most important rooms in the home. Not only is it a sanctuary, but it’s also a space where the right design choice can add value. 2022 was a unique year for bathroom trends because it didn’t appear that there was anything majorly new, innovative, or must-have. Rather, homeowners were simply thrilled to be able to finish projects that were delayed due to Covid and supply chain issues. However, many who are currently beginning renovation projects are tired of what’s been popular in recent years and looking forward to new emerging trends.
Whether you’re renovating your bathroom or just doing a quick refresh, here are seven bathroom design trends going away in 2023.
White bathrooms have been a major trend in recent years. However, both consumers and designers are becoming extremely tired of this style. “One trend that has been on its way out for a little while now is the all-white bathroom. Although many acolytes of the all-white bathroom see it as a very clean look, its moment seems to be in the rearview mirror as many feel it is passé,” says agent Steve Gottlieb of Coldwell Banker Warburg. “Those embarking on bathroom remodels now favor veinier stones with a more natural look instead of all-white materials like Corian. Although many people still gravitate towards light tones, they favor light colors mixed with warm colors for balance instead of the stark all-white that was so popular in a previous design era.”
Paige Wassel, design expert and YouTube creator tells me that the reason why white bathrooms have been so popular is that many people are under the impression that white makes a bathroom look larger. “When you have a small bathroom, you immediately think you need to keep the space white to make it feel bigger, when actually the opposite can work, adding rich dimension that gives the illusion of infinite corners and curves.”
She prefers darker tones and warm lighting, especially if a bathroom lacks a source of natural light. “A small bathroom doesn’t always have to be a beacon of blue skies and bright sunshine to feel substantial. That’s not to say it always needs to be dark, I’m just suggesting that white and bright not always be the default. Fight the fallacy.”
Minimalism has permeated nearly every room in the home in recent years because most people believe it’s an easy aesthetic to achieve. However, when done right, it’s more work than most anticipate and when done improperly, looks uninteresting. “For bathrooms, we feel neutrals and minimalism are done for 2023. We find our clients are after luxe moments that often include dramatic, patterns, colors, and layering of textures and materials,” says interior designer Philip Thomas Vanderford of Studio Thomas James. “We say go for the patterned wallpaper versus neutral paint, use the black marble versus white. There is no reason a bathroom needs to be all white.”
Faux Wood Tiles
There are very few trends that are almost always executed as poorly as faux wood or wood effect tiles. More often than not, they look cheap. Add massive grout lines and this aesthetic fools no one. “This is an all-around no for me. Anything that is trying to be something it is not is a no,” says Wassel.
While many people opt for faux wood because it’s inexpensive, there are superior choices at the same cost or less. “Home Depot has plenty of amazingly simple, natural, and affordable tile options. Anything is better than faux wood,” explains the creator.
Sometimes old becomes new again and then it becomes old again. Limewash is a great example of this because authenticity has become more of a priority in design. “I could never get on board with the limewash trend,” says Wassel. “Anything that is mimicking something real is a no for me. It’s trying to replicate stone but it really just feels like sponge painting from the 80s. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes it does look good, but, I give you two years and you will be painting over it.”
There are so many other ways to make walls look interesting such as uniquely hued paint or wallpaper. Even just adding art to bathroom walls is a great way to instantly elevate a space.
Chevron tile, much like farmhouse doors is one of those design elements that’s either loved or hated. In 2022, it seems experts are airing on the side of hate. “Unless this tile or wood flooring is located in the original Parisian space, I hate the farmhouse’s modern twist to it. Unless it’s original, avoid it. I mean, unless you love the trend of course. You do you,” explains Wassel.
Large Format Tiles
“The last few years we saw a huge trend in the use of larger format tiles aimed to avoid as many grout lines as possible. This created a more transitional and contemporary bathroom look,” says interior designer Ryan Saghian.
He sees things going the opposite way with smaller-scale, more artisanal-looking tiles being popular in 2023. “This leans towards a more traditional look and feel which is the direction the design world is heading in.”
Glitzy Mosaics and Busy Patterns
Say bye to over-the-top glamorous bathrooms in 2023. “We are seeing less of the shimmer and glam in bathrooms and more of a spa-like serenity feel. There is a strong trend using color-blocking with tiles that have textures, like handmade zellige by Clé Tile,” says interior designer Holly Freres of JHL Design. “We’re using these quieter patterns with bold colors still to evoke a feeling of playfulness within the space. This gives a calming feeling for the eye but not too serious if you will.”