The History Of Bathroom Design Trends

February 17, 2023

The bathroom is one of the most important and most frequently used rooms in the home. As a result, it has seen many changes in design over the years. From the ornate designs of the Victorian era to the modern minimalism of today, the history of bathroom design trends is a fascinating one.

Over the years, new bathroom design trends have made spaces become increasingly luxurious and stylish, while also being more practical and efficient. In recent years, the focus has been on creating a spa-like atmosphere, with a focus on creating a calming, relaxing environment.

From heated floors and towel warmers, to fancy fixtures and stylish accessories, the modern bathroom is a far cry from its predecessors. As technology advances and trends evolve, it’s interesting to see what the future of bathroom design holds compared to its past.

Changing focus on bathroom fixtures

Changing bathroom design trends over the years have often involved the types of bathroom fixtures and materials used. In the early 20th century, pedestal sinks and clawfoot tubs were popular choices, often made of porcelain.

Towards the mid-20th century, built-in vanities and shower enclosures became a lot more common. While it might not be as popular today, in the 1970s and 80s, coloured fixtures were quite on trend, with many bathrooms being in avocado green or baby blue. Fast forward a couple of decades, and the 1990s and 2000s embraced minimalism with simple and sleek fixtures in chrome or brushed nickel finishes.

Today, it is easy to find inspiration for your new bathroom design online, with Pinterest being just one popular website to use. House Beautiful also predicts that warm metallics will be popular for bathroom fixtures in 2023, as warmer, neutral, and earthy tones become more desired.

Today, there is also a focus on creating a spa-like atmosphere, with the use of freestanding tubs, vessel sinks, and rain showerheads. Ultimately, fixture choices should reflect personal taste, but it is important to consider functionality, durability, and style when making a decision.

Bathroom design trends for tiles over the years

Over the years, bathroom tile trends have also evolved significantly. In the early 20th century, tiles were often arranged in a simple grid-like pattern and were typically made of ceramic or marble. As the range of choice and personal taste changed over time, popular tile trends started to be all about bright colours in the 1950s.

It was following the post-war era, that many people wanted to add some colour to their home, so mosaic tiles in colours like mint, pink, and blue, were used in bathrooms as well as kitchens. In fact, mosaic tiles have been used throughout history in a variety of ways, and mosaic tiles even used to be installed in entrance ways and hallways in the Victorian era.

By the time the 1970s and 80s came around, bathroom tiles with floral and geometric patterns were popular, as were earthy colours and textured finishes. Again, as minimalism was embraced in the 1990s-2000s, large format tiles and neutral colours became popular to use.

With today’s focus on spa-like bathrooms, materials which are often sought after for bathroom tiles are stone and glass. Colourful grouting has also become a bathroom design trend in itself, with contrasting colours used to create a striking effect. For 2023, colourful tiles and chequerboard tiling are set to be quite popular.

Embracing colour in bathroom interior design

One popular bathroom design aspect that everyone spends significant time on is deciding which colour scheme to go with. Sometimes colour choice might depend on the size of your bathroom or maybe on your favourite colours at the time.

It can also be useful to look into what is currently trending for bathroom colour schemes too. In the past, pastels, earth tones, and bold hues were popular choices and in the 1970s this transformed into bright colours and bold patterns. However, with the rising popularity in minimalism in later years, bathroom design trends shifted towards neutral colours, such as beige, grey, and white.

Plenty of homeowners may also consider a colour scheme based on a particular aesthetic that they are looking for. For example, many aiming for a spa-like bathroom may want to look into the most relaxing colours to use for bathrooms, like dark grey, soft green, and blue, so that they are able to get the mood right. If you’re thinking about improving your home this year, neutral colours also continue to be popular, as they offer a timeless and classic look that is easy to accessorise with pops of colour.

However, there has also been a recent trend towards bolder colours in the bathroom too, with black bathrooms being quite a trendy design choice and bold statement for some. Neutral bathrooms are still very popular, however ‘black bathrooms’ also currently has thousands of inspirational posts on Instagram right now.


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I believe in making the impossible possible because there’s no fun in giving up. Travel, design, fashion and current trends in the field of industrial construction are topics that I enjoy writing about.

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