Bathroom Design and Color Trends for 2015

In 2014, color and design trends were all about the kitchen – shelving was more open, cabinets went darker, and metallic accents could be found throughout the space. In 2015, we can expect to see major changes in the design and aesthetics of a different room in the house – the bathroom. From color schemes and tile patterns to bathtub design and plant life, there’s plenty of design trends and bathroom features to look forward to in 2015.

More Color

For bathrooms, the trend in color is more, and has been for the past few years. While you’ll still see plenty of white and neutral shades in bathrooms, there’s no time like 2015 to experiment with the color wheel. If you’re too apprehensive to paint your entire bathroom in a bold, beautiful color, try adding small doses of cheerful colors, like sunny yellow or ocean blue. Pantone’s Color of the Year, Marsala, would look great in virtually any bathroom – the earthy tone embodies confidence and stability, is universally appealing, and works well on its own or as a strong accent to many other colors.

Plant Life

If you’re eager to incorporate plants in your bathroom but aren’t sure where to start, vertical gardens are the hot trend in 2015. They’re a great alternative to potted plants, and are an easy way to dress up the walls of your bathroom. An added benefit of green or living walls is the health benefit: they’ll help purify the air of toxins and are beneficial for the environment. Some potted plants need particular conditions in order to thrive, so check with your local nursery about which types of plants prefer to live in the moist, humid conditions of a bathroom before investing in a vertical garden.

Freestanding Bathtubs

According to industry experts, America’s love affair with freestanding bathtubs is here to stay. They’re a popular choice for a variety of reasons: they’re aesthetically pleasing and help set the mood for rest and relaxation. When choosing a freestanding bathtub for your space, pay attention to the design of the tub. If you want the look of a freestanding bath with the added convenience of a built-in tub (such as ledges for storing soap and shampoo), consider installing a semi-inset stand-alone bath. Experts predict this design trend will prove to be popular among homeowners in the years to come.

Bigger Showers

These days, people are looking to achieve an “open” feeling in the bathroom, especially when it comes to shower space. Walk-in showers, also known as doorless showers or no-threshold showers, have been popular in five-star hotels for decades but, in 2015, expect to see them installed more often in modern homes. Not only are these types of showers pleasing to the eye, but they add accessibility for anyone, particularly seniors, who may have a hard time stepping up and over to access their showers.

Grout as a Design Feature

In the past, grout was a mundane and essential element that pulled a bathroom together. Gradually, people are warming up to the idea of using grout as a creative feature in their bathroom. Grout can be used to show off the pattern of a how a tile is laid, and can highlight specific tile types or designs. Think of it as an update to subway tiles: a trend that took the design world by storm a few years ago. For a striking and dramatic effect, consider pairing black grout with white tiles (or vice versa), or using colored grout alongside bold geometrically shaped tiles.

Wallpaper Ideas for Your Bathroom

Although wallpaper has been in and out of vogue throughout the years, one fact remains: it’s undeniably chic in small spaces like your bathroom. Not only can wallpaper instantly create a visually appealing aesthetic, but it can transform your bathroom from a practical room into a luxurious or quirky space – depending on the look you’re trying to achieve. Choosing a wallpaper design for your bathroom depends on the specific look and feel you’re trying to create; whether you choose a classic floral print or a funky striped pattern, here’s some tips for choosing the perfect bathroom wallpaper design.

Pay Attention to Personal Style

Transform your bathroom into your own little sanctuary by matching it with your personal style. If you’re a fierce fashionista with an eye for style, go bold with trellis wallpaper in bright colors or a bold, patterned design. Colorful wallpaper makes a bathroom exude cheerfulness and an adventurous spirit, while wallpaper in more traditional colors prevent a bathroom from coming across as being too frilly or over-the-top. When decorating a shared bathroom, allow each person to come up with a few options – hang swatches on the wall and narrow the choices down one by one.

Create Space with Prints & Patterns

Before deciding on a wallpaper pattern, evaluate the size of the space you’re going to wallpaper. Large prints and patterns and dark colors will make bathrooms appear smaller, so avoid these if you’re wallpapering a small guest bath. Alternately, if you’re interested in creating the illusion of space in a small bathroom, light wallpaper that’s textured or has small patterns can do the trick. Reflective wallpapers will bring light into bathrooms by reflecting light off their surface – if your bathroom is windowless or has small light-limiting windows, add reflective wallpaper to your list of possibilities.

The Two Ws: Water-Resistant & Washable

Have you ever been in a bathroom with visibly dirty wallpaper that was curling at the edges? In the past, wallpaper was universal – the same wallpaper you’d use in a bedroom or office would be sold for use in bathrooms. As technology advanced, wallpaper manufacturers began producing entire lines of wallpaper dedicated to overly hot and humid areas, like the kitchen and bath. Not only are these types of wallpaper resistant to heat and water, but most can easily be washed with a sponge and warm, soapy water. If you plan on wallpapering the inside of a bathtub or shower enclosure, make sure the wallpaper is marketed as fully waterproof and not water-resistant.

Create a Color Scheme

If your bathroom is adjacent to your bedroom or another room, use wallpaper to tie the two rooms together. Whether you use two wallpapers with different designs or use a similar print with slightly different colors, hanging these wallpaper designs in separate rooms can create a cohesive look. If you aren’t ready to wallpaper your whole bathroom or only have enough in your budget to invest in a few meters of ultra-luxurious wallpaper, choose one wall as your accent wall and decorate the rest of your bathroom using a similar color scheme.

Decorative Tile: A Guide

Once upon a time, choosing tile for your home was as easy as picking from a handful of pastel ceramic squares. Would it be mint green or pale blue? What about light pink or bright yellow? Today, the choices can be overwhelming – porcelain tile can be made to realistically look like everything from aged wood to sleek Italian marble, and tiles made of glass, cork, mirror and even leather are available in all shapes and sizes. With so many options, it’s tough making a choice: here’s some tips to guide you through the decision-making process.

Create a Plan

Before jumping into tile choices, you should lay out where the tile will be. Not only will this set your plans in stone, but you’ll have a general idea of how much tile you’ll need to purchase in order to complete the job. Your plan doesn’t have to be a professional layout; a hand sketch or elevation of each wall will do. The sketch can be given to your contractor or, if you’re taking a DIY approach and shopping at a smaller tile store, the professionals there can work with your layout to help you find the perfect tile.

Alternating vs. Consistent

While in the past homeowners chose a particular tile and used it throughout the space, some contemporary design trends favor alternating between large and small tiles. Simple changes, like using two different size subway tiles, can make a bathroom more stylish and interesting without risking it looking dated in a few years’ time. Another option is alternating the thickness of the tile so some rows jut out further than others. Some homeowners get creative with grout: thick lines of grout in bold or dark colors that contrast with the tile is one way to make a statement. No matter the type of tile you choose, deciding between a traditional or more contemporary style is crucial.

Tile Types

Once you’ve created a plan and decided on a style, it’s time to choose a tile type. If your tastes lean towards modern, clean lines, consider incorporating subway tile into your bathroom. If maintenance and durability are high on your list, you can’t go wrong with porcelain: it’s virtually maintenance-free and can be used on any surface or area of your bathroom. Glass tile is especially popular in bathrooms because the reflectivity is a great way to add light to dark spaces, but it shouldn’t be used in high traffic areas, such as bathroom countertops or floors, as glass can break more easily than other tile types.

Regardless of the size of your budget or home décor, incorporating decorative tiles into your bathroom is a great way to create an upscale look in your home. If your budget is small, consider using tile in a small area of your bathroom – such as a backsplash or behind the walls of your bathroom vanity. The variety of tile styles and designs for your bathroom are vast; find the one that works for you and transform your bathroom into the stylish, upscale haven you’ve always known it could be.

Accent Walls: Tips & Tricks

If you’re looking for an inexpensive and easy way to add a bit of dramatic style to your bathroom, creating an accent wall is the perfect way to liven up a room while creating an immediate focal point. Typically known as painting one wall a completely different color, accent walls aren’t necessarily limited to paint – some accent walls include patterned wallpaper, mosaic tiles, and other decorations. If you’re interested in revitalizing your bathroom with an accent wall, here’s some tips.

Pick a Wall

Before you settle on a paint color or material it’s important to decide which wall you’d like to accent. Typically, walls that feature a large piece of furniture or a large bay of windows are the natural choice. If there’s no clear architectural feature in your bathroom to build your accent wall around, don’t worry – an accent wall can create drama on its own. In situations where there’s no specific features, the most common choice is the wall directly across from your bathroom’s entrance. Once the accent wall is complete, you can add more interest with mirrors, décor, or a piece of artwork.

Choose an Accent Material

Whether it’s a coat of paint or adding a design, the next step is choosing the material you’d like to use. If you’re a minimalist at heart, consider a solid coat of paint. If you’re on the more ambitious side, the only limitation is your imagination. Textured wallpaper, geometric patterns, wall murals, weathered wood planks and chevron paint patterns can all be used to create an accent wall. For a contemporary look go for patterns in mid-century geometrics and bright colors. If the rest of your bathroom is traditional, try a subdued damask paper design.

Decide on a Color

When most people think of accent walls, bright oranges or reds probably come to mind. If that level of commitment scares you, you’re not alone – a wall doesn’t have to be bold for it to be beautiful. When choosing a color for your accent wall, it’s important to decide what color temperature you’d like. If you’d like your room to be cozy and inviting, colors like red, orange, and yellow produce warmth. Cooler colors, such as blue, purple, and green, tend to transform bathrooms into cool, restful, and serene spaces. Repeating a color already present in rugs and accessories can also help you decide on a color.

Don’t Be Afraid to Experiment

For an accent wall with a bit more character, try experimenting with a graphic wallpaper pattern, tiles, or color blocking. Some companies’ custom make wallpapers to work with the other colors in your room, so if you’re worried about your interior decorating skills, they can offer advice. Additionally, adding decorative tile to the space behind your vanity is a cost-effective way to make a statement in your bathroom. Finally, it’s important to remember not all accent walls have to be a solid color – you can get creative with color blocking by using striped paint or wallpaper patterns for your accent wall.

Avoid These Mistakes During Your Bathroom Renovation

When it comes to home improvement projects, transforming an old bathroom from an eyesore into the bathroom of your dreams can add significant value to your home – but only if done correctly. From the tub and shower to the sink and vanity, there’s a lot to think about during a bathroom renovation. Save yourself time, money, and headaches by avoiding these easily preventable renovation mistakes.

Budget Wisely

According to Remodeling Magazine, the average cost of a bathroom remodel is $16,634. Although this is the average, you’d be wise to budget more, especially if you’re remodeling in an older home. The bathroom is unique in that there’s hidden problem areas which you won’t find out about until you start ripping the room apart. Dealing with mold, water damage, dry rot, and plumbing issues can take a serious chunk out of your remolding budget. If you’re not prepared with emergency funds to address these issues, you may have to temporarily put your bathroom remodeling project on hold.

Get Help, If Needed

While it’s fun to take on a new DIY project, perhaps taking on a bathroom renovation isn’t the best idea. Although the bathroom is relatively small, all the skills needed to build a house come together in the bathroom – electrical, plumbing, construction, flooring, and wall covering or painting. If you don’t have the experience, tools, and skills required to take on a bathroom renovation project, hire a contractor or handyman to help you through the process. Before beginning a bathroom remodel, make sure you understand all the different elements you’ll need to know and decide who you need to hire from there.

Avoid Being Too Trendy

If you’ve ever shopped for a new home, we’re sure you’ve come across once-trendy bathrooms that now seem outdated: whether it was the bathroom with pink tile from the 50s, avocado green tile from the 70s, or massive Jacuzzi tubs that were popular in the 80s, these bathrooms may have looked great at one time, but now they’re nothing but an outdated mess. Instead of going with the latest design fad in your bathroom, consider sticking with something classic. Neutral colors, simple tiles, and a clean, fresh look will never go out of style.

Don’t Cheap Out

If you’re purchasing bathroom fixtures that seem “too good to be true”, be advised – they probably are. By surrendering quality for cost, you’ll likely have to do another renovation in less than a decade. It’s especially important not to skimp on paying for a quality contractor; the person who gives you a quote that’s far cheaper than their competitors probably isn’t the right person for the job. Although initially you might be hesitant about spending more money on better quality fixtures, you’ll save in the long run as these items are built to last.

Be Smart with Contractors

One of the biggest complaints against contractors during a bathroom remodel is that the final bill is far larger than what was estimated. Obtaining a properly written bid at the beginning of the project is one of the biggest protections you have. Even if your contractor seems like the most trustworthy person in the world, never hire them without a written proposal. Make sure basic terms are laid out in the bid. At the very least the bid should include the total price, specific description of the work to be performed, estimated completion date, and warranties. If the contractor refuses to leave you with a written bid, then choose another contractor.

How to Make a Small Bathroom Look Bigger

Unless you live in a custom-built home with a luxurious bath and walk-in closet, chances are you wish your bathroom was a little bit larger. While a small bathroom can feel cozy and intimate, it can also feel claustrophobic and cramped. Did you know it’s possible to create the feeling of more space without being forced to add more square footage? With these changes in color, lighting enhancements and decorating tricks, you can transform your small bath into something that appears a bit more spacious.

Pedestal Sink > Vanity

When you’re tight on space, replace your bulky vanity with a pedestal sink – or two! While a traditional vanity provides plenty of storage space under the sink, it can also obscure shower entrances and take up valuable floor space. Replacing a vanity with a pedestal or wall-mounted sink is a fairly inexpensive way to provide functionality while opening up floor space. Additionally, don’t install tall shelving units or cabinets that reach from floor to ceiling – these will only make your bathroom seem shorter and smaller.

Paint the Ceiling

Painting your bathroom ceiling the same color as the walls is a great way to open up a room, especially if your ceiling is angled or oddly shaped. By painting everything a unified color, unusual shapes will disappear and the space will visually expand. But how? Painting the ceiling to match the walls will cut down on the number of transitions and intersecting planes, creating a cleaner, more expansive upper space in the room. If your ceiling is flat, consider painting it a shade lighter since ceilings tend to read a bit darker than the rest of a room.

Color Selection

Pale, soft color schemes tend to great the illusion of more space. “Cool” colors, like light pinks, pale blues and sea foam greens, give the feeling serenity while strong, exciting colors can actually make your bathroom appear smaller. If you’re set on hot pinks or dark reds, consider using these colors for accessories, towels, and accent pieces. For the walls and ceilings, stick to pastel tones, neutrals, and whites. Additionally, keep everything the same tone/value as much as possible – avoid the contrast of dark walls and light tiles in favor of a more uniform color scheme.

Use BIG Mirrors

When it comes to mirrors in small bathrooms, the bigger the better. Nothing can make a bathroom feel larger than a mirror that reaches to the ceiling. When trimmed out in wood or tile and with lighting installed on top of it or in front of it, an oversized mirror will double the impact of the light and make the space grow. Note: don’t use double mirrors over side by side sinks, as this will chop up the space and have the opposite effect. Additionally, be sure to use clear glass in your shower – although textured glass promotes privacy, it can make the already small space feel like it has an extra wall.

Take Advantage of Natural Light

If you’re fortunate enough to have windows in your bathroom, take advantage of them. In many cases, windows are covered with shutters, shades, blinds or curtains in an effort to create privacy. Instead, cover a window with a translucent window shade or a light-toned stained glass window – this way you can have natural light while still enjoying your privacy. If you don’t have a window, consider installing a skylight, as natural light is one of the easiest ways to make a small bathroom appear larger.

Black is the New Black: How to Incorporate Black into Your Bathroom

Although black is not a favorite for use in home interiors, it can be an amazing idea if executed properly. When applied wisely, the color black can transform your bathroom into an elegant, dramatic, and trendy room. By incorporating black into your bathroom you’ll have the unique opportunity to create a room that’s the perfect mix between drama and elegance. Keep in mind the following basic rules and you can creatively use the color black when decorating your bathroom.

Use Black to Add Depth

One of the biggest misconceptions about using black is that it can make a room look cramped and small. While including black into a person’s outfit can make them look slimmer, black in the bathroom can actually add depth and make the room appear larger. One way to ensure your bathroom doesn’t look cramped as a result of using black Is to be mindful of how you’re incorporating the color – if you don’t have a large bathroom, consider only painting one or two of the walls black. If you’re still worried about using black on walls, consider opting for a black tiled floor or accent pieces instead.

Don’t Forget About the Lighting

There’s no denying that black works best in bathrooms with a large window and lots of natural light. If your bathroom doesn’t have large windows or is completely lacking natural light, you can still incorporate black by paying attention to the lighting. By adding contemporary light fixtures or a large mirror into your bathroom, the reflective surfaces will help light bounce through the room. If you’d really like to take it to the next level, consider installing a mirror with surrounding spotlights.

Don’t Feel Restricted

When incorporating black into the bathroom, many homeowners may feel restricted to painting the walls completely black. While this can work well when executed properly, it’s not the only solution. For those a bit less adventurous, there are a lot of fantastic wallpapers incorporating black and white patterns. Additionally, chevron stripes using two different shades of black can be a great way to add black to the bathroom without going overboard. Finally, don’t be afraid of experimenting with different textures. The use of materials like stone, granite, and slate can work brilliantly.

Consider the Ceiling or Trim

One more substitute for black walls or black floor tile is to paint your ceiling black. While ceilings are typically painted white, there is no great cause or reason for this. A black ceiling is a great way to draw attention upwards, and can make a bathroom look very chic and cohesive, especially when combined with black accent pieces, like rugs on the floor or knobs on the bathroom vanity. For those a bit wary about black ceilings and walls, coloring the trim and other accents of the bathroom in black is also a unique and interesting style statement that carries far less risk.

Classic Color Schemes

Black, when incorporated with white, is a classic color scheme perfect for virtually any size or style bathroom. One of the best things about this color scheme is that you can hardly ever go wrong with it – the color combination has survived centuries and has never seemed to go out of style. Whether you opt for the classic black and white checkered tiles or black and white striped wallpaper, you’re sure to enjoy the classic black and white color scheme we’ve all grown to love throughout the years.