Goodbye 2021 and what a year it was! With the lockdown at the start of the year making us spend so much time indoors, many of us took this opportunity to give our bathrooms a long-overdue refresh. But what can we expect to see in the new year?
Bathroom experts at Sanctuary Bathrooms have teamed up with other industry professionals to take a look back at the biggest trends of the past year and share their predictions for 2022. But first, here’s a look back at bathroom trends from 2021…
Biophilic design creates a calming space
Last year we saw a biophilic design trend in our bathrooms, which focuses on bringing the outdoors into our homes. Katie Fitzpatrick, Digital Marketing Manager at Merlyn Showers says: “Biophilic design is centred around the need for increased human exposure to the natural world, which can be achieved through adding greenery and natural materials to the built environment and interior spaces.
“Your bathroom is a sanctuary of sorts. What you want is a warm and inviting feel. Adding plants (even artificial ones) is one way to make your bathroom feel like a lush hideaway.
“There are many benefits to adding biophilic design to your bathroom – it can support cognitive function while boosting physical health, and psychological well-being.”
The bathroom is a wellbeing retreat
In the past 18 months, the pandemic has brought a lot of unexpected stress into our lives so it comes as no surprise that we want to use our bathroom as a space to focus on our wellbeing and escape our everyday life.
Katie says: “The bathroom is a great space to turn into a ‘feel good’ room for the mind, body and soul – and the only room with a lock on the door for some much-needed peace and quiet.
“Homeowners are now looking to create a more relaxing and revitalising experience in their bathrooms. The post-pandemic bathroom will be a sensory place to restore wellbeing.”
Emma Joyce, Brand Manager EMEAA at House of Rohl (parent company of Victoria & Albert Baths, Riobel, Perrin & Rowe and Shaws of Darwen), says: “There was certainly a surge in homeowners and designers creating spaces that became a place to escape to after a day of working from home or homeschooling. With so many people still working from home and a greater appreciation for the little things in life, the requirement for a place of calm and respite in the home has not dwindled.”
Darren Allison, Managing Director at BC Designs, says: “People are investing in their homes and want to create their very own sanctuary and place to escape and what better way than creating your very own spa in your home.”
A modern virus-free bathroom thanks to innovative metals
As we focused on creating a safe environment for our family from the outside world, many of us prioritised integrating hygienic materials such as copper to give a refreshed modern look to our bathrooms.
Darren says: “There has naturally been a shift to higher demand for products that promote good hygiene.
“We have seen a huge demand for products that both deliver on hygiene but also look the part and can still be the star of the show. It is why we’ve seen significant sales of copper baths and basins. Research came to light during the pandemic which revealed that copper is somewhat of a super metal and kills common viruses (everyday colds etc.) within minutes, and Covid-19 within a couple of hours.”
Paul Wells, Showroom Manager & 3D Bathroom Designer at Sanctuary Bathrooms, agrees: “One of the trends that we will probably see less of next year is heavy industrial-type trends with this being adapted and refined to have a slightly more modern touch like those with knurled handles and heads.”
Bathroom trends experts predict for 2022...
As we head into the new year, Sanctuary Bathrooms and other bathroom professionals reveal the 6 biggest 2022 trends we’ll expect to see in our interiors in the upcoming months.
Showers and wet rooms will be more popular than baths
As more people want to maximise their bathroom space, it looks like many will prioritise the practicality of wet rooms and showers over baths.
Paul at Sanctuary Bathrooms, says: “More people are choosing to go for walk-in showers and wetrooms over baths, while also moving away from smaller cubicles to much bigger and larger enclosures. This is matched with colourful and patterned tiles that can create a stunning feature wall or backdrop.
“It doesn’t mean the death of the bath but there is certainly more of a slowdown over the last few years, as people are starting to think for themselves more than for others. People have such fast lives that showers are a convenience but the luxury and eye-catching freestanding baths will always have a market.”
Nick Graville, Sales & Marketing Director at Kudos Showers adds: “We’re expecting to see an increase in level access/ wet room sales in 2022. Wet floors/ wet rooms are a great way of maximising the space that you have available and enable you to completely change the look and feel of your bathroom.”
Contrasting colours create a Japandi aesthetic
One of the predicted trends is the use of dark and light colours to create a modern environment inspired by the popular Japandi trend, a blend of Japanese and Scandinavian interior design styles.
Katie Fitzpatrick at Merlyn Showers says: “Striking, strong, sleek, matt black is a modern classic and is fast becoming a real alternative to chrome within interior design. If you want a more striking finish with a bold focal point, then matt black shower frames and fixtures can achieve this with warmer tones of grey against the crisp white of the ceramics.
"Some key features of Japandi design are neutral main colour palettes, accented with black fixtures and brassware. Japandi style also leans heavily on the use of wood, and the connection to nature, while also having functionality at the core.”
Emma at House of Rohl agrees: “There’s been a definite rise in homeowners wishing to bring colour into their bathroom. There has been a shift away from utilitarian white bathrooms into those with a little more colour and personality to them, and we anticipate that this trend will continue well into 2022.”
Calming natural hues to evoke the outdoors
The second trend that experts are predicting for the upcoming year is the use of materials and colours reflecting the outdoors to help you wind down and relax.
Emma at House of Rohl says: “Calming and optimistic colours are set to take the interior industry by storm. With off whites, gentle sages and warm blues, 2022 seems to be continuing the theme of making our homes cosy and comforting. Furthermore, we anticipate that natural hues with brown tones and warm greens will also take the spotlight as the desire to maintain our newfound love affair with the outdoors remains.”
Nick at Kudos Showers adds: “I think that we will see neutral palettes coupled with natural finishes and bold accessories continue well into 2022 – marble, slate and wood are going to continue to feature heavily.”
David Garner, Retail and E-Commerce Manager for the UK Bathroom & Wellness Division at Villeroy and Boch, says: “A trend on the increase is introducing soft shades of green into the bathroom area, whether this being in the form of plants, feature tiles, botanical wallpaper or even artificial moss walls. Green evokes a natural sense of harmony and peace so no wonder it is beginning to grow within designs as the bathroom is that one room of escape for many family members.”
Choose patterned tiles for a luxurious experience
Experts are predicting that tiles with simple yet elegant patterns will make a comeback and help refresh the look of our bathroom interiors.
Grazzie Wilson, Creative Lead at Ca’ Pietra, says: "From marble-effect to onyx-effect, this season wonderful stone effect patterns make their mark in the world of tiles. As stone effect tiles typically come in materials including porcelain and ceramic, it makes them more affordable than the real deal. We have found that innovations mean that porcelain stone effect tiles look so incredible that they have a premium look.”
“Stick-like mosaic tiles, or ‘kit kat’ tiles as many people refer to them as, have generated huge interest in the home interiors market this year and their popularity continues well into 2022 and beyond. While ‘Kit Kat’ tiles are striking, the subtle colourways that are typically available in this format allows for them to become a feature, without being overpowering. They add depth and texture to a bathroom and they don’t compete with other patterns or prints."
Bold details to revitalise your bathroom
Update your bathroom with these small vivid details that will help you create a uniquely creative environment.
Paul at Sanctuary Bathrooms says: “Gold is certainly going to come back next year. People are coming in looking for brushed brass items but then seeing gold fixtures and fittings and liking that more, particularly in a traditional look. Other finishes such as matt black and brushed brass will also still remain strong.”
Emma at House of Rohl agrees: “For those looking to make a statement, try opting for a bold colour on a freestanding bath and/or basin as a real focal point within your space. These contrast brilliantly against lighter tiles or walls.”
David at Villeroy and Boch says: “Coloured ceramic is one trend I see returning with a vengeance… maybe not avocado green or whisper pink which were so popular in the 80s and 90s, but we are already starting to see a large demand for statement coloured ceramic basins and even WC’s.”
Darren at BC Designs says: “The speed at which colour has been adopted in bathrooms has amazed me. It has shown how playful we are as a nation towards our homes and how bathroom design has now become as prominent as other rooms in the home. How we achieve the colour is growing too, from painted baths through to coloured ceramics, brassware and our love of different tiles has certainly evolved and will continue to do so into 2022 and beyond.”
Mix modern and period elements for a unique style
Although the pandemic was a great opportunity for many to overhaul our interiors, it is predicted that a new interest for integrating existing pieces of furniture with new ones will arise. This is also intertwined with the growing trend of sustainable alternatives, like upcycling, to create a refreshed look in our homes.
Darren at BC Designs adds: “We’re predicting that the modern period will be a big one for bathrooms going into 2022. This trend is about how you successfully combine the two styles. Consumers are more informed in what they love and want and are also willing to take more risks when it comes to their bathroom design, to create something truly unique.”
“The secret to making it work is in the mix. Just remember, opposites attract! Traditional bath with modern and sleek faucet. Period faucets with a modern shaped sink.”
“Our top product for making it work is a painted boat bath. The classic shape adds the traditional element, while painting it can bring on-trend colours like inky blue that are popular in the 21st century into your bathroom.”
Sofia Charalambous, Founder & Owner of Bathroom Origins, suggests: “Mirrors above baths is a trend that is growing. Place a mirror in a horizontal position on the wall above the bath. This acts as a focal point and instantly makes a room look much larger.”
“Adding curves will be one of the biggest interior trends for 2022. It’s all about softening your bathroom with curvy organic flowing shapes.”
For more information on predicted 2022 trends and popular bathroom designs, visit Sanctuary Bathrooms’ blog here.