When you’re busy planning a new bathroom, it can be easy to forget about the fixtures. But fixtures aren’t just an afterthought; in fact, they serve as crucial design element in many high end bathrooms. To learn which fixtures are trending both now and in the coming year, check out this roundup of tapware and hardware styles.
Silver Tones and Nickel
Fixture trends change in response to colors, patterns and materials. For example, dark bathrooms are trending due to their moody and sophisticated vibe. Dark-toned marble is also poised to grow in popularity, as it’s another way to create this atmosphere by way of countertops and floors.
Alongside these elements are silver-toned fixtures. Metal with silver undertones (especially polished nickel) fits into these dark colors well, explains home stylist Emily Henderson and author of “Styled.” Nickel is a timeless design choice, and remains popular because it blends nicely with other trends at the moment.
Matte nickel is another silver finish homeowners like. It gives a more subdued look compared to its shinier counterparts, writes RealSimple senior editor Katie Holdefehr. “Homeowners still love the look of silver-tone metals, but are opting for the softer, less shiny appearance of matte nickel over the mirror-like finish of chrome,” she explains.
Matte finishes hide fingerprints, smudges and dirt better than chrome, too. This makes it a great choice for family and guest bathrooms. Another feature of silver-toned fixtures (especially brushed nickel) is that they work well with cool colors, says Debbie Gartner at The Flooring Girl. Cool tones are popular across both vanities and flooring, meaning brushed nickel will suit most bathroom design schemes.
Gold Tones and Brass
In addition to cool, silver-based tones, gold-toned faucets continue to remain in style. Their use is changing slightly compared to design trends of the past, however. This year, brushed brass faucets will be used to contrast cool-toned rooms, explains the team at design studio Watermark.
This is a refreshing approach to a classic design scheme, offering a pop of shine and color against the black, white and silver tones present in the space. When acquiring gold-toned fixtures for your bathroom, think matte and brushed over polished and shiny. The matte look reinforces the more minimalist and subdued nature of modern design, and it will continue to look timeless for years to come.
A creative approach to gold-toned features can be seen in the ombré faucet featured by home design journalist Erin Carlyle at Houzz. This faucet in particular fades from vibrant rose gold to polished nickel, offering the best of both gold tones and cool tones in the same fixture. Another design from this company features a fade from titanium to rose gold.
Black Matte and Pewter Fixtures
Black bathroom elements have been rising in popularity for the past few years, and their prevalence will grow even stronger in 2019. Sebring Design Build says that while black is a bold design choice, it’s also a visually impactful one that works well across light fixtures, vanities and mirrors.
Black lends itself well to a variety of color schemes and themes. It can be mixed with different finishes, matched with an all-black theme, or used as a simple accent color, explains Julianne Hilmes Bartlett at Better Homes and Gardens. Using a black showerhead against light-colored or white tile, for example, creates a sleek high-contrast look.
Meanwhile, mixing black with gold or bronze finishes adds an unexpected, eclectic touch. To see what this looks like, consider the second example photo in a roundup of bathroom photos from House & Home. In this bathroom, designed by Mélanie Cherrier, black graces the floors, walls and metal shower edging. The chrome fixture makes a bright pop on the vanity, while a bronze mirror and light fixtures add warmth. This shows how black, silver and bronze can all work together in a single space.
While black fixtures can be found in all finishes, matte is an especially popular choice. On one hand, matte black fits into the modern farmhouse look that’s gracing suburban and rural America. But it also has a bold look that creates a high contrast against white elements.
White marble with grey streaks is a particularly striking element to pair with matte black hardware, as seen in an example featured by Houzz contributor Becky Harris. Here, a black and white color scheme is elevated with the addition of grey tiles, adding more interest to an already visually powerful space.
Something slightly different from black is pewter and gunmetal. It provides a less intense design aesthetic than plain black, but still makes a bold statement, says Highlyann Krasnow, cofounder of New York City-based real estate brokerage, MNS. “Pewter and gunmetal is the trend we are loving. It’s not as harsh as pure black or specific as brass or gold, but it gives fixtures some texture and depth,” she explains.
Bold Colors: Navy and White
If you want to move away from black, white, chrome and brass, take heart. Colored fixtures are making a comeback too in 2019. Artistic Tile CEO Nancy Epstein emphasizes the importance of color in modern bathrooms.
To make a bold color choice without departing too far from the ordinary, navy blue is a close alternative to black — but it feels more playful. Navy blue hardware can be paired with many colors, including white, gray and yellow. A sophisticated marble-inspired wallpaper in gold can be seen in a bathroom with a navy blue tap featured by Apartment Therapy, as discussed by Epstein.
For an even more striking look, white fixtures are generating quite a buzz. White brightens a space and offers a classic look, especially when it comes to tubs, sinks and toilets, says Jaclyn Crawford at ImproveNet. But what about white fixtures and hardware? Powder-coated white is a bold design choice in the bathroom that adds a unique look, explains the team at The Block Shop.
White hardware can be used in different ways throughout the bathroom, depending on the look you’d like to achieve, according to fixture designer Anzzi. “The clean, fresh look of a white faucet finish can blend in perfectly with an all-white color scheme or really make a statement against a bold, colorful backdrop. “
White fixture finishes tend to look bright and timeless, and can really work with any design style. However, they’re most commonly used in farmhouse, modern or farmhouse modern styles.
If you feel unsure about departing from traditional silver fixtures but you’re interested in gold, black or colored tapware, remember that the faucet actually plays a larger role in your life than you might initially realize.
"For something you touch several times a day, why not pick a finish for your faucet that will make you feel good? People will notice if you put in an unimpressive faucet," says residential designer Peter LaBau. Choosing a faucet you love is an important part of designing a bathroom that feels both comfortable and sophisticated.
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