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Bathroom design trends for 2013

Kori Ellis is an editor and writer based in San Antonio, TX, where she lives with her husband and four children. At SheKnows, she writes about parenting, fashion, beauty and other lifestyle topics. Additionally, Kori has been published i...

New year, new bathroom

From organic materials to surprising splashes of color to spa-like retreats, we have the scoop from the experts about the latest in bathroom design.
Delta Faucet bathroom
Photo credit: Delta Faucet Company

Organic and eco-friendly

In the last few years, interior design trends have been getting greener and greener. And in 2013, bathroom design will be more natural, organic and eco-friendly than ever.

"A nod to the organic is revealed in most spaces through the fixed background like flooring or cabinetry while other spaces obtain the organic through added layers in rugs, towels or plants. It is the blend of the new with the organic that appeals to most," explains Dixie Stark of Dixie Stark Interiors.

"With that said, in all of our projects, we recognize the need to conserve the environment with the low water usage products and any products that have been or can be reclaimed or repurposed. Anything eco-friendly is still on trend."

Though people want to be environmentally conscious, they don't want to sacrifice style or functionality either. "More than ever, consumers want to make smarter water choices in order to maintain high environmental standards and save money. However, they are looking to do this without compromising their experience in the bath space," explains Judd Lord, director of industrial design for Delta Faucet Company.

"To address this need, Delta developed H2Okinetic technology, which when incorporated into our popular shower lines, provides a consumer-proven feeling of more water while using up to 40 percent less than their standard showerhead counterparts."

Oxblood bathroom

Surprising color

Many of the designers and bath experts we talked to said one of the hottest trends for 2013 is unexpected color.

"Design inspiration from the 1920s art deco era is a favorite among our color team," says Erika Woelfel, director of color at Behr Paints. "Warm, blush pinks, such as Bee's Knees, represent feminine beauty and emerging notions of individuality of women of the era. Jazzy Jade, a cool mint, replicates the blue-touched, sea glass tones popular at the time. Shanghai Peach is an optimistic color moving from the orange family into melon tones. Flapper Dance is an inky navy that adds a bit of intrigue and acts as a grounding element to the more ethereal members of the palette. Heavy Sugar is a bright clean white that keeps the room light and open. 1920s bathrooms were small, but lavishly decorated with exotic oriental rugs, plush towels, flattering lighting and large mirrors.

"One of the most dramatic colors I’ve seen this season is oxblood," Woelfel says. "A perfect balance between rich chocolate and deep garnet, oxblood serves as a great accent color with gray for a modern bathroom."

Adding color to your bathroom is easy. Even if you don't want to paint, just changing your accessories can take your space from drab to fab.

"From hand towels and floor mats to shower curtains and tissue boxes, the bathroom is one of the easiest places to incorporate color in the home," Lord says. "Even updating finish colors on faucets and shower fixtures can impact the entire look of the space for very little investment. If you want to add rustic charm to the space, for example, consider switching out your sink and bath faucets for those with a warmer finish. Our new Cassidy bath collection comes in a rich Venetian Bronze finish which would pair perfectly with a rattan rug for a charming and outdoors-inspired vibe."

Splurge-worthy

So what's worth splurging on in your bathroom? The Frank Webb's Bath Center design experts say that more and more customers who are replacing their bathrooms are choosing a custom shower. "It gives the user the area to move, create a more open space, install a bench, offers the option of multiheads, rain showers and other unique showering experiences."

Delta Faucet bathroom
Photo credit: Delta Faucet Company

Escape to the spa

In recent years, bathrooms have become more and more spa-like. Consumers want a place to relax, de-stress and escape.

"Bathrooms are an oasis, and this is seen throughout the very serene upscale finishes to the over-the-top plumbing fixtures," remarks Elizabeth Noack, an interior designer from Faulkner Design Group. "People have wonderful steam showers in their homes with multiple showerheads and commodes that light up and sense when you walk into the room, and the lid lifts up and plays music! Updated bathrooms now have tiles on all walls; wonderful mood lighting and music and/or televisions built in for long soaks in the tub."

Emmy-winning lifestyle host and best-selling author Christopher Lowell says the spa resort effect is coming into the home in a big way. Lowell gives us the rundown on the latest trends that can turn your bathroom into your sanctuary.

  • Shower curtains are replaced by simple glass enclosures with no visible metal trim.
  • Focused mood lighting replaces broad overhead lighting, transforming these spaces from utility to moody sexy spaces.
  • Upholstered flexible seating elements like large terrycloth-covered ottomans offer places for people to sit comfortably while toweling off or going about their personal regimens.
  • Dark painted floors or stone floors with texture-driven area runners replace the old bath mat concept.
  • Fully mirrored walls (from countertop to ceiling) over vanities help stretch the space visually and offer a cleaner and streamlined look. Medicine cabinets become a thing of the past replaced by organized pullout drawers below — almost like spice racks used to outfit kitchen drawers.
  • Colored or embellished towels are out in favor of simple white terrycloth towels that say "spa."
  • Brushed nickel is the new metal accent as chrome, brass or even white ceramic fixtures now can date these investment spaces.
  • Freestanding armoires with stacked towels, pullout drawers and even TVs now keep bathrooms as self-contained as possible and act as the new linen closets in today's homes.

More about bathroom decor and design

Cheap and chic bathroom makeovers
5 Decorating ideas for small bathrooms
Bathroom decorating ideas gallery

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