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  • Carmel Homes

Seven Bathroom Trends to Look Out For

As design and build specialists, we love to see spaces where both the form and function have been carefully thought through. Bathrooms are particularly good for this, as they are now treated as equal parts style statement and practical fixture. This is especially evident in the latest design trends, which focus as much on usability as they do on aesthetics.

Here we take a closer look at some of the latest bathroom trends and explore why they have become so popular. We also share our advice on incorporating these ideas and influences into your new home design.

Luxury French provincial bathroom

Trend #1: Luxury inclusions for Bathrooms

While bathrooms have long been spaces for rejuvenation and personal care, this is being taken to the next level. Now, homeowners are looking to recreate the experience of a luxury spa in their own homes. While exactly what this looks like varies, there are a few key features currently in high demand.

For example, underfloor heating has become a real must-have for any new modern home design. The gentle warmth this provides is perfect for taking the chill out of a cold winter’s morning. It also adds a much-needed sense of cosiness to what can otherwise be quite a stark space.

Large, freestanding bathtubs also continue to grow in popularity and provide a real focal point for a bathroom’s design. Once considered mostly a practical feature, they are now seen as the height of luxury and indulgence. There are also designs to suit every architectural style, from French Provincial homes to more modern home designs.

For those who prefer a shower, a rain shower head can add a real sense of decadence. These use lighter water pressure, so provide a softer and more relaxing shower experience. They can also be paired with a hand shower to give you more pressure and great control when needed.

Trend #2: In-built technology is the new trend for bathrooms

In addition to amping up the luxury, many of the hottest new bathroom designs also integrate the latest technologies. From automation and smart systems to remote and sensor controls, homeowners are adopting a wide range of bathroom innovations. Some of the most popular technologies we have seen include:


  • Sensor taps: The pandemic made many homeowners much more conscious of the number of surfaces they make contact with throughout their day. This has seen a significant increase in interest in touchless technologies, like bathroom taps that are sensor activated. In addition to being more hygienic, these taps minimise water wastage and can even help prevent water damage to surfaces.

  • Smart showers: The perfect shower settings can be difficult to find and even harder to repeat. Smart controls take the guesswork out of this, allowing you to set your exact temperature and water pressure. Many systems also allow you to create multiple profiles, allowing each family member to always have their ideal shower settings.

  • Smart home integrations: The widespread adoption of home automation systems has resulted in the creation of a range of bathroom management tools. Now you can set your underfloor heating to come on 20 minutes before you usually get up. You can also start running yourself a bath remotely and turn off the tap after a set time.

luxury bathroom

Trend #3: Minimalism for bathrooms

While minimalism has long been a trend in bathroom design, exactly what this looks like is evolving. Over the last couple of years, we have seen fewer stark white-on-white schemes and a much greater use of colour. This has added a much-needed sense of warmth and personality to many bathroom designs, albeit in a restrained way.

Colour blocking is being widely used as a way to introduce vibrancy while keeping the overall design clean and clear. Similarly, many homeowners are opting for monochromatic colour palettes, which create both a sense of richness and consistency.

Clean lines also continue to be important, subtly reinforcing a sense of crispness and helping define the overall space. For example, a simple freestanding bathtub can add a touch of luxury without distracting from the other design features.

Trend #4: Subtle texture

We are also seeing more texture being introduced into bathroom designs, further combatting any sense of starkness or sparseness. This is largely driven by the return of more “retro” influences, which are more layered and visually complex. To achieve this look, we are seeing homeowners opt for:


  • Wall panelling: In addition to adding depth and dimension to a design, panelling is also great for setting a specific mood. Depending on the type you choose, it can create a rustic, country feel or a more modern, industrial look. This means it can fit well in everything from a grand French Provincial home to a more modest contemporary property.

  • “Handmade” tiles: Over the last couple of years, we have seen a real move towards tiles that feel more natural and organic. Square glazed tiles with faded edges and other “imperfections” are particularly sought-after for their unique look and tactile nature. Some homeowners are also using tiles in different shades of the same colour to create a unique checkerboard effect.

  • Fluted glass: Some homeowners have started swapping standard glass panels for fluted glass to give their bathroom a more vintage vibe. This has the added benefit of increasing the privacy of key areas while not compromising greatly on the flow of light. In fact, many people prefer the softer, dappled light fluted glass creates.

  • Woven accessories: In another stylistic throwback, woven bathroom furnishings are once again being celebrated for their relaxed, organic feel. Woven baskets and other storage solutions are particularly common choices, contributing to both the look and function of the space.

Modern bathroom

Trend #5: Natural materials in a bathroom

As luxury custom home builders, we work with natural materials on the vast majority of projects we deliver. This is because stone and wood are extremely popular finishes in almost every area of the home. And the bathroom is no exception, with marble vanity tops, splashbacks and wood cabinetry the choice of many homeowners.

So, it should be no surprise that many of the hottest new bathroom designs feature liberal use of natural materials. This helps create the organic feel many homeowners are after while adding a sense of warmth to the space. When used thoughtfully, natural materials can also provide a real focal point and add an undeniable sense of luxury.

Most interestingly, we have seen certain materials really come back into fashion over the last couple of years. Travertine is a great example of this; having all but disappeared from bathroom designs a decade ago, it is once again being widely used. And, as design and build specialists, we can see why – it is extremely durable and has a unique, timeless beauty.

Trend #6: Sky lights in a bathroom?

As anyone who has designed a bathroom before knows, there is a bit of a catch-22 you need to navigate. You want to get as much natural light into the space as possible to make it feel fresh and airy. However, you also want to maintain a sense of privacy, which can make window placement very tricky.

However, contemporary homeowners have come up with an easy solution to this problem – skylights. This allows them to bring a lot of natural light into their bathroom, without compromising on privacy. It can also help add architectural interest to the space, highlighting the room’s height and accentuating the ceiling’s lines. Skylights can be an added feature in dual occupancy projects where some bathrooms need to be placed in locations with limited external wall access.

It is important to note here that skylights can be significant structural features that can be difficult to retrofit. As such, they are better suited to new build and knockdown and rebuild projects. That said, skylights are a great way to optimise the functionality of an existing footprint when you knockdown and rebuild.

luxury bathroom tips

Trend #7: Colour palettes inspired by nature

Finally, it is impossible to talk about design trends without mentioning colour choices. As alluded to above, there has been a real move away from stark whites and toward warmer, more colourful schemes. This charge is being led by nature-inspired colours, like:


  • Greens: Arguably the most popular choice at the moment, with softer, more natural shades (like sage and pistachio) especially sought after. That said, many homeowners are opting for a more dramatic palette, featuring shades like emerald and hunter green. This is often offset with gold fittings to create a richer, more luxurious feel.

  • Earth tones: These are also having a bit of a moment, with many homeowners taking inspiration from the iconic Australian landscape. Light browns, dusty pinks, stone greys, and even deep reds are all being used in creative and interesting ways.

  • Blues: After falling out of favour over the last couple of decades, water tones are being welcomed back to the bathroom. Once again, lighter shades, like powder blue, are particularly popular, creating a clean and bright, but relaxing feel. However, some homeowners are choosing deeper tones, like navy, to create a moodier, more dramatic space.

Want to discuss this further?

If you need help planning your new bathroom or want more information on the hottest trends, give Carmel homes a call. As experienced custom home builders, we are passionate about great design and keep across all the latest innovations and industry developments. We can also help you incorporate these into your new home design, creating an on-trend space tailored to your unique requirements.

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