Our resident interior designer Ruth gazes into her crystal ball to predict the biggest bathroom trends for the year ahead. Which do you like best?
One of the fun things about being an interior designer is keeping an eye out for the latest trends. As with many aspects of life, fashions come and go, with just a few standing the test of time. And, in the world of interior design, there are always new colours, materials, textures and styles that emerge and make their way into specific areas of the home, like bedrooms, kitchens and bathrooms. In this article, it’s the latter we’ll be focusing on, as I explore some of the biggest bathroom trends for 2023, and demonstrate how you can incorporate them into your own designs.
Each year, we see a focus on the metalwork in bathrooms, and in 2023 there’s no exception, with brass, copper and gunmetal all predicted to be popular finishes. Whilst brass and copper offer a slightly more traditional feel to taps, mirrors, lighting fixtures and cabinet handles, it’s gunmetal which has burst onto the scene with a bang! Finding form in basins, accessories and tapware, gunmetal accents can transform an ordinary bathroom into something lavish and luxurious, effortlessly complementing a wide range of materials like marble, wood, stone, ceramics and more.
Gunmetal grey has burst onto the bathroom scene with a bang!
Having already gained popularity in kitchens, we predict that gunmetal will break through into the world of bathrooms in 2023. Interestingly, this trend is merely an extension of two other macro-trends—namely Soft Industrialism and grey bathrooms. Grey has stood the test of time in interior design. It symbolises stability, providing a strong foundation for other colours, whether they are neutral, pastel or vibrant. Gunmetal is a new and intriguing kind of grey—it’s strong but elegant at the same time, and it lends itself perfectly to the Soft Industrial style. Industrial interior design embraces minimalism and has a function-over-form approach. This trend isn’t about ornate traditionalism—it represents an uncomplicated, contemporary lifestyle. These are aspects that the gunmetal trend helps to depict.
In total contrast to the popular minimalist trend is Cottagecore. A heavily styled look, abundant in texture and pattern, Cottagecore embodies a romanticised interpretation of country living. It is often summarised by dainty florals, feminine colours, scalloped edges, vintage details and rich woods. Architectural Digest describes it as "a movement that harks back to agricultural life, skills and crafts", explaining that “as a concept, it embraces a simpler, sustainable existence that is more harmonious with nature. It’s a nod to the traditional English countryside style; romantic and nostalgic.”
During the COVID pandemic, we saw this trend gaining popularity, as many yearned for simplicity during, what was a very stressful time. And, despite coming through this period, the trend has continued to grow—especially in bathrooms.
Cottagecore is a trend that harks back to a simpler life
To achieve this look, we suggest incorporating wall panelling into your bathroom design and painting this in a contrasting tone to your other walls. Whilst wall panelling adds warmth to a space and is often seen in countryside homes, it’s also a rising bathroom trend in its own right. In addition, we’ve opted for traditional products, including an elegant freestanding slipper bathtub with claw feet and a wall hung basin. We'd also recommend including rich wood features to add to the Cottagecore appeal—this can be achieved through accessories, such as your mirror, but you could also use wood-effect floor tiles.
Many of our customers have designed their own country-living-inspired bathrooms that fit perfectly with the Cottagecore trend:
We're seeing more and more Cottagecore-inspired bathrooms designed by our customers. Clockwise from top left: @lifeatnumber_.10, @painttherosesred_interior, @renovating_cartrefle, @ozzyshomejourney
Seamless glass showers
Perfect for small spaces, the frameless glass shower screen ensures there is no risk of creating a divide within a bathroom. But that’s not all… A seamless glass shower plays into the minimalist trend, offering an air of luxe to even the tiniest of interiors. This trend has come about, in no small part, thanks to the popularity of walk in showers over simple square and quadrant enclosures in recent years. Larger, open shower areas are more accessible (great for accessible bathrooms), have an opulent feel and can be achieved in smaller ensuites, as well as larger bathrooms. Aside from the advantage of a spacious feel, a bonus of this trend is that it allows you to show off beautiful tilework and even a bold shower in matt black or brushed brass, for example.
It’s clear to see why seamless glass shower screens are set to be one of the big bathroom trends of 2023
In the last 12 months, online searches for "glass shower screens" has risen by a massive 87,900%, and (if you pardon the pun) it’s “clear” to see why. Seamless glass shower screens can maximise the feeling of light and space, enhancing smaller bathrooms. As an example, we’ve opted for a “less is more” look by focusing on sleek, contemporary products, like a black shower system and Arctic grey marble-effect tiling. We’ve also included matching black accessories, such as a towel rail, for a further sense of depth and cohesion. This level of simplicity creates a feeling of minimalism, while the almost invisible shower screen lends itself nicely to this concept.
Denmark, as a Scandinavian country, has an intricate design history. This year, we have seen a colour trend emerge from the country’s Nordic heritage in the form of Danish Pastels. This trend has trickled its way down into interior design and is proving an attractive choice for the bathroom, thanks to its ability to soften a space. Whilst Scandi-style is characterised by uncomplicated, clean lines and neutral palettes, this trend welcomes a shift and incorporates “new neutrals” that add subtle hints of colour and interest. These shades are often described as “sorbet colours”, bringing a pleasant rosy tint to contrast previous examples of Nordic interior design. Danish Pastels are made up of light, candy-coloured pinks, plus mint green and sky blue shades, amongst others. Mixing these colours is highly encouraged!
Soften your space with Danish Pastels. An emerging Scandi-inspired bathroom trend for 2023
Despite first appearances, this trend doesn’t just involve colour; it’s also about form. We suggest using curved structures within your choice of bathroom products, like a round countertop basin or a circular mirror. As well as this, try to include abstract shapes—this could be achieved within your wall art. We have demonstrated the look using sage metro tiles, placed vertically, with touches of pink throughout the accessories. Lastly, we’ve finished the space with antique bronze tapware to play on the overall softness of the look.
Having developed in the Neoclassical movement of the 19th century, the “Hellenistic Aesthetic” or “Greek Décor” leans beautifully into the minimalist interiors we are used to seeing today. It is influenced by ancient Greek culture and includes mythical-inspired designs—think of columns and other subtly detailed structures like ornate trims. The simplicity of elegant shapes and lines are fundamental to this look, but the addition of natural materials, soft palettes and a delicate dusting of gold accents, will help to achieve this sophisticated and opulent style.
Wonderfully opulent and elegant, Hellenism is another key trend set to take bathrooms by storm in 2023
As an example, we’ve designed and styled this spacious basin area that combines an elegant, traditional, full pedestal basin with an over-sized round mirror. Luxury comes into play through the marbled wall panel and glints of gold in the tapware and accessories, but for a rustic edge and further depth, we’ve included wood-effect floor tiles. The Hellenism bathroom look can feel highly impactful and refined, and to accessorise, we suggest materials and textures inspired by nature, like faux pampas grass décor and clay ceramics for dispensers, pots or vases.
The tilework trend-focus for the upcoming season includes geometrics, chequered patterns and delicate, tasteful terrazzo.
The popularity of retro styles has directly influenced the latest, upcoming tile trend based around checks. Indeed, we’ve seen an influx of chessboard-inspired tiling schemes, from traditional monochromatic combinations to more muted colours for a softer look. Classic black and white checks offer a bold and graphic look, which is what we’ve opted for in the image below. Additionally, the Galaxy black tiles are quartz, producing a beautiful glint and shimmer when the light hits.
Check mate! Make the winning move in your bathroom with chequered tiles
We’ve also chosen 600mm x 600mm sized tiles, because large tiles are another big bathroom trend right now. Not only do large tiles make a small space appear bigger, but they also provide a luxurious, hotel feel. Their striking appearance is not the only benefit, as they also have the practical advantage of being easier to clean than small tiles.
In our take on this trend, we have paired this dazzling floor with a rich, jewel-toned green, a traditional slipper bath and a brass heated towel rail for a sense of opulence.
Like checks, geometrically-patterned tiles provide a more graphic and visually interesting alternative to plain designs. Allowing for a bolder approach, this trend can also be used in a monochromatic or more colourful scheme. This is a suitable choice if you’re looking to create a slightly masculine, but artsy, feel, and can be found in the form of hexagons, bricks, chevrons and parquet-like tiles. Here, we’ve chosen the hexagonal Calcolo Moonbeam tiles in grey, but these are also available in mint, sea blue and rose. To be in-keeping with the contemporary look of geometric shapes, we suggest opting for sleek, modern products like a freestanding bathtub, if space allows, and a black wall mounted bath mixer tap. Applicable to both bathrooms and kitchens, it’s simple to create either a bold, graphic look or a softer, more playful style with this tile trend.
Create visual interest with geometric tiles: a big bathroom trend in 2023
Although not necessarily a new phenomenon, Terrazzo continues to be popular and is predicted to be one of the leading bathroom tile trends in 2023. Loved for its natural look, Terrazzo sits in a category of on-trend, nature-inspired tiles, alongside terracotta, slate, marble and onyx-effect, as natural colours and materials for tiles continue to set the tone. Terrazzo’s signature speckled stone look will add a sophisticated depth to spaces, available in a range of soft, pastel shades with contrasting dark accents. The Calcolo Flecked wall and floor tile is the ideal option if you’re inspired by the Terrazzo trend. This product has subtle hints of colour, including navy blue and ochre, but these are very understated and so do not dictate the rest of your bathroom colour scheme.
Inspired by nature: Terrazzo tiles are ideal for on-trend bathrooms
The Gothic architecture style originated in the Middle Ages and has experienced many a renaissance since then. However, in 2023, it’s forecasted to come back with force in contemporary interiors and bathroom design. Think of “Gothcore” or Gothic interior design as Cottagecore’s older and edgier sister. The style is gaining momentum and can be demonstrated through rich, inky hues and accessible design elements with a more classical appeal, such as rolltop bathtubs with claw feet and traditional style wall lights. Some may find this look a little overwhelming at first, but it can offer a sense of luxury to a bathroom by layering darker shades and contrasting these with rich metal finishes, such as brushed brass or antique bronze. Black marble will help to create a moody feel, whilst simultaneously putting an unusual twist on the commonly used white and light-toned marbles.
Turn to the dark side with Modern Gothic—an emerging bathroom trend for 2023
To create this look, we’ve opted for wood wall panelling, which we’ve painted black, as well as wallpaper with a floral print. This inspires a less dark and gloomy space and brings an air of positivity to the bathroom. We have also included a rear feature wall using the Phantom Marble shower wall panel by Showerwall, to help incorporate a feeling of opulence and glamour. There are several products suitable for the Modern Gothic style, including the Dalston back to wall freestanding bath in grey, and for vintage appeal, the Dalston vanity unit with black marble basin. All metal features here are antique bronze, including the ball and claw feet and tapware.
In the interest of avoiding a clinical or sterile bathroom look, there continues to be an emerging trend in wall art that encourages the designer to be bold and brave with splashes of pattern and colour. These intriguing, contemporary and bold bathroom wallpapers and murals provide the perfect way to add character to a space. We’ve increasingly seen this trend being applied to cloakrooms, in an attempt to brighten up and enhance visual interest in what can otherwise be a boring little space.
Get creative with decorative walls
Whilst cloakrooms offer a great blank canvas in which to try out this trend, it also works incredibly well in larger bathrooms, as a unique backdrop to a freestanding bath. There’s also a vast variety of wallpapers available nowadays, in a range of colours, designs and even textures, but we’d highly recommend using bathroom wall panels. There are a number of benefits to using these:
- They can be cut to size and don’t take long to fit
- They are cost-effective
- They are very easy to keep clean
At Victoria Plum, we offer over 300 bathroom wall panels in an array of beautiful designs, but in our re-creation of the decorative walls trend, we’ve opted for the Victorian Floral Sage by Showerwall.
Find out just how easy it is to fit shower wall panels.
Focus on fundamental and simple shapes
Our final bathroom trend for 2023 is focused on simple, high quality design and beautiful, fundamental shapes within the bathroom. And the best way to achieve this is through intriguing product forms that lean towards a minimalist style—think clean lines and defined outlines. “Less is more” is an important term here and this sleek, minimal trend is evolving into a more inviting and warming look through the use of warm neutrals, which create a soft, Scandinavian look.
Keep things chic and simple, by focusing on beautiful, fundamental shapes in your bathroom
If this modern and minimalist look is your kind of style, we’d suggest selecting bathroom products with clean lines, like the Morris concrete grey wall hung vanity unit. A double vanity unit is ideal if you have a more spacious bathroom, adding a further feeling of luxury. If you are working with a small bathroom, this product is also available as a single vanity unit, maintaining its sleek, minimalist appeal. As this trend focuses on beautiful, uncomplicated shapes, the contemporary Spencer freestanding bath—complete with unique, asymmetrical shape—is a superb option. We’ve chosen to pair this with the Spencer freestanding bath filler in black.
Even more bathroom trends
If you’re still seeking inspiration, why not explore some of the bathroom trends and bathroom colour trends from previous years? Many of these remain fresh, popular and full of contemporary appeal. Simply click on any of the links below to begin.
- Brighten up your bathroom with the colours of the year 2023
- Bathroom trends 2022
- Get creative in your bathroom with the colour of the year 2022
- Bathroom trends 2021
- Discover the perfect colour of the year 2021 for your bathroom
- Bathroom trends 2020
We even focus on specific bathroom trends in the following articles:
- Bathroom Trends: Black accents
- Bathroom Trends: Block bold colours
- Bathroom Trends: 4 on-trend colour combinations
- Bathroom Trends: Tropical Spa
- Bathroom Trends: New metallics
- Bathroom Trends: Soft Neutrals
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