Bathroom Remodeling Trends for 2017

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Yes, bathrooms are functional spaces. That said, they neither need nor should be boring. After all, we start and end our days in our bathrooms, performing activities that are both earthy (you know…) and indulgent (long baths, makeup experiments). No other room serves such a variety of purposes!

So, when you’re thinking about your bathroom renovation this year, remember: style and function definitely can—and should—coexist. Fortunately, many, many new products, from tile to fixtures to hardware, have hit the market recently. The result: you and your remodeling contractor can make your remodel truly yours and very up-to-the-minute—as well as enduringly beautiful and functional.

Below are some trends for the 2017–2018 bathroom design season.

1) Bringing the Outdoors In

Juxtaposing the inherently reflective nature of bathroom fixtures and (frequently) tile with the natural warmth and texture of wood and stone is on trend for bathroom remodels in 2017. For example, adding a teak bench in a glass-tile shower creates a pleasing contrast. Likewise, a stone countertop—especially slate or textured marble—adds a sense of age and depth to a bathroom vanity. Other organic materials are in, too—including wood floors (be careful to ensure a waterproof finish), faux wood tiles, sisal rugs, and so on. Your renovation contractor can help you select the best finishing options and contrasts in textures for your space.

Plants are part of the trend for this season, as well. Don’t be fussy, though; choose strong sculptural shapes and large-scale greenery for the best effect. No one needs 40 tiny pots scattered all over the bathroom. The watering alone will drive you up the wall!

2) Removable Handheld Showerheads

Everyone loves a luxurious shower—and this is one detail that can amp up a bathroom from basic to spa-like.

3) Considering the Environment

While we’re talking about plumbing, let’s discuss conservation. Bathroom remodels in 2017 are evidence that the remodeling industry is taking the ecosystem seriously. Many options are available in faucets, showerheads, and toilets to reduce water flow without reducing effectiveness. Check with your contractor about integrating water-saving features into your bathroom. Frequently these details don’t involve an enormous initial outlay—but they can save you serious money (and will be a lot gentler on the planet) in the long run.

4) Consider Darker Colors—Especially Gray

Light and bright is no longer the only go-to option for bathrooms. And using a darker color doesn’t mean you have to coat the walls in it (though if you like a rich color on your walls, by all means give it a go—it can actually make a small space seem larger by visually pressing the walls back). Dark glass tile, dark grout (eminently practical!), and rich accents are comforting because they envelop. Gray is indeed a very popular color in bathroom renovations for 2017. No, it’s not boring or grim; gray has infinite depths and background hues (from yellow to blue to green to purple). It pairs well with pretty much any accent color in the right combination, as well. Your renovation contractor can link you up with a color expert to help you select the right colors for your particular space and aesthetic.

5) Brass Is Back

If you grew up in the 1980s and ’90s, the idea of shiny brass in a bathroom may take you right back to your childhood. But yes, believe it or not, even though nickel and other matte- or satin-finished metals remain popular, shiny (and patinated) brass is a big deal in this year’s bathroom remodels.

6) Geometric Play and Unique Tile Shapes

Tiles aren’t just rectangular or square anymore. Now there are Moroccan-inspired arabesque shapes, organically organized mosaics, hexagons (a classic returning in much enlarged size and gorgeous new colors and textures), and much more. A good home renovation contractor can point you to a tile store that will help you choose the best tiles for your space and design.

7) High Tech

Bathroom renovations these days are incorporating invisible or low-profile features like in-shower speakers and innovative heating solutions geared toward smaller and urban spaces. This is where your general contractor’s team can help you in crucial ways, since such features require infrastructure like plumbing and electrical wiring early in the renovation rough-in process.

8) Smart Storage

Walls of cabinets, articulated storage, and use of dead space are very on trend these days, especially as people are remodeling smaller apartment bathrooms and quirky spaces.

9) Personalizing Your Space

No, you don’t need to go crazy, but there are always ways to add your touch to a bathroom remodel, even if you’re planning on flipping a house pretty quickly after the renovation. Movable accessories, paint, art, a gorgeous tile (used judiciously)—make your bathroom your own sanctuary.

Feeling dizzy after you read about all the possibilities? Consult with your residential contractor to help sort through the options for the best mix of your style, classic appeal, and high function.