Bathroom Trends to Avoid in 2019

Is it time to give your bathroom a makeover? Whether you are looking to completely rehaul a bathroom or create some minor changes, you can always learn from others’ mistakes. These are some bathroom trends that previously gained momentum but are now slowing down in 2019. Don’t invest in changes that will soon seem outdated or impractical. Instead, consider the alternatives that will add lasting delight to your home. 

Avoid Picking A Fleeting Design 

Bathrooms are not meant to be redesigned year after year. You want to make choices that will bring you joy for many years to come or that will attract future homebuyers. 

To do this, you should stick with a beautiful and functional design. Farmhouse doors, geometric angles and vintage colors are beautiful — but are not long-lasting, classic design choices. Unless you are an avid fan of bohemian decor and eccentricity, then transitional design might be a safe choice for your bathroom remodel.

“The transitional bathroom is the most popular bathroom design style, according to the 2019 Bathroom Design Trends report by the National Kitchen + Bath Association,” says Terri Williams at Freshome. Not only is it popular this year, but it is predicted to remain so for the next three years. The appeal of the transitional bathroom design is that is blends contemporary and traditional design. Bathrooms have the streamlined and elegant approach of modern design, as well as the warmth of traditional. 

There is a lot of flexibility with transitional design because it brings together the best of both styles.

“By avoiding the extremes of either style — like the elaborate scrolling and embellishments of traditional style or the most cutting-edge contemporary pieces — transitional style walks an elegant line between the two while carving its own distinct niche,” says Laura Gaskill at Houzz. You really can make transitional style your own. If you stick with its general elements, your bathroom will be luxurious, inviting and functional. 

Escape Bland Walls

White walls remain a popular choice, but white on white is a color scheme that has been overdone. Whether you go with white subway tiles, shiplap or stone, don’t overdo the white with other materials such as picture frames, sinks, and accessories. It will look too sterile and boring. 

Add color to your bathroom and don’t be afraid to go bold. Ann Lien at House Beautiful shows that adding a geode wall to your shower creates an inspiring space, more than any subway tile. Geode walls may be too eccentric for many homeowners, but the point remains. New patterns, materials and colors can add a beautiful contrast to white or neutral walls. 

Design editor at House Beautiful Hadley Mendelsohn shows how wallpaper is a great way to add whimsy to an otherwise classic bathroom. One bathroom designed by Studio Lifestyle incorporates white subway tiles and marble, along with wallpaper with hot air balloons. The wallpaper adds something playful for your eyes to enjoy, rather than an all white palette. 

Even a simple accent wall adds some spruce to your bathroom. It doesn’t have to be elaborate to make the look more refreshing. 

Don’t Nix the Tub 

Your tub or shower choice will be the centerpiece of your bathroom. When it comes to modern, luxurious bathing areas, you have a few options. You can choose between a stand alone shower, walk-in shower, freestanding tub, inset tub or a shower-tub combo. 

There is a growing trend to get rid of the tub all together, says Lee Wallender at The Spruce. The trouble with this is that it makes your bathroom a “three-quarter” bath, even if it is home to a luxurious shower. Removing a tub may be the right choice for your family, but it is not for everyone. It may isolate future homebuyers. Many homeowners are accustomed to having at least one tub in the house, and it may be a deal breaker for families. 

Bathtubs have come along way in design. Vintage clawfoot tub and modern freestanding tubs add beauty to the space. Even inset bathtubs can contribute to the modern design of your bathroom, says Tahni Mesann at Homes To Love. If you don’t like spending much time in the tub, you can add a practical, yet stylish handshower to create a shower that doesn’t look bulky and dated. 

Consider all your soaking options before getting rid of your tub completely. 

Reconsider Uber-Modern Floating Sinks

Floating sinks can give your bathroom a clean and modern look, but they are not always the most practical choice. Contemporary floating sinks often lack storage space a bathroom needs. It is hard to keep up a minimalist aesthetic if your beauty products don’t have a home in the bathroom. Instead, vanities can be a great area to incorporate natural materials, storage and color. 

Desire to Inspire’s Jo Walker makes us swoon over this Scandanavian-influenced California style bathroom. The wood vanity with a matte black countertop adds both a modern and warm touch to this stunning bathroom. The bathroom has a very clean look by offering a ton of storage with its deep drawers. 

Floating sinks aren’t the only design choice that may not be the most practical. 

Marble countertops also may be a beautiful and trendy choice to reconsider. Dans Le Lakehouse of points out how marble countertops are easily stained and require lots of care, cleaning and special maintenance. They may be a stunning choice for your counters, but they aren’t the most practical choice for a location that often gets wet. 

The popular look is no longer to appear sterile and cold. Cozy and practical is the way to go these days. Do your research on materials that do well with water, and look beautiful too. 

Avoid Extreme Ends of the Color Spectrum

White is a go-to color for bathrooms because it makes the space look clean and fresh — or spartan when overdone.  At the same time, bold colors are making a resurgence but require a canny eye for decor. While both ends of the spectrum can contribute to a beautiful bathroom space, there may be a better way. Liven up your bathroom with a balance of soft colors and hints of black.

“For those of us who aren’t quite ready to hop onto the mustard-yellow-and-orange bandwagon that’s happening near and far, perhaps just a whisper of a pretty hue is the way to approach this resurgence of colour,” says interior designer Jacquelyn Clark. One option is to incorporate muted pastels into your space. This can be on the vanity, parts of the walls, fixtures or the accessories. 

Looking for a way to balance new colors in a room? Black is having a sustained moment right now. Black adds depth to a room that can’t be brought out by bright colors. The trick is to tread lightly and not go overboard. “The secret - I've discovered - to adding black back into my life is to keep it low contrast,” says designer Cassandra LaValle. When black is paired with warm wood tones in a laid back style, it gives your eyes a place to land. While she’s referring to the use of black in rooms other than the bathroom, the same is true for that space. 

Apartment 34 founder Erin Hiemstra explains how an award winning bathroom designed by Decus Interiors featuring a tub clad in a rosy-hued onyx slab delicately incorporates black in the artwork and accessories. It is the perfect amount of black to add nuance to the color scheme, rather than to dominate the whole bathroom. 

Italian architect Andrea Serboli also plays with color and black fixtures with his own bathroom remodel in his Barcelona apartment. The colors work together to create a modern and cozy space. Finding the right balance between color, pops of black and other neutral colors is key for creating the perfect color palette. 

Resist Those Gorgeous Cement Tiles

The tiles you choose are some of the most important elements in a bathroom. You want to find something that is both striking and sturdy. A trend that has grown in popularity but raises some doubts is the use of cement tile. 

“Cement tile has a texture and depth unmatched by any other tile, but you’ll be fighting an uphill battle if you want it to continue to look ‘new’ after it inevitably patinas,” says designer Kate Arends. “The problem with encaustic tile is twofold: it’s expensive to buy and install, and it gets stained within the first hour of use.” Those beautiful patterns may be tempting, but probably not worth the investment. 

Dana McMahan at Apartment Therapy agrees. “It stains if you so much as look at it,” a tile installer told her. “He sealed a floor five times for a client and it still stained, immediately.” Over time, the staining develops into patina — a film created from all the scuffs and marks the tile experiences. For some, this dated look may be beautiful. For others, it just looks like their once beautiful tiles are now beaten up.

Instead, explore materials that will endure all scuffs, water splashes and beauty product spills inevitable in a bathroom.

“The types of tile that are particularly hardy, long-wearing, and timeless in the bath—in shower stalls, on floors, and on walls—are porcelain, glass, natural stone, cement, and, of course, subway tile (a type of ceramic tile so popular we’re counting it in its own category),” explains Annie Quigley at Remodelista. Today, porcelain and glass tiles come in all sorts of styles. It really comes down to if you prefer a matte or shiny finish. 

Only Choose the Accessories You Love

Bathrooms can’t be remodeled every year, but accessories can be swapped in and out at your pleasure. Make use of the carpets, bathmats, plants and artwork that bring you joy. 

“I love a good bathroom accessory,” says designer and founder of Coco Lapine Design Sarah Van Peteghem. “It can just turn the bathroom into something special rather than the place where you brush your teeth in the morning.” If you ultimately decide on fixtures and tiles that are more mainstream than your personal style, express your artistic side with your accessories. 

Images by: skdesign/©, Katarzyna Białasiewicz/©, Katarzyna Białasiewicz/©, Katarzyna Białasiewicz/©