Blog entry

2017-2018 Bathroom Design Trends

25Jul 2017

Bathrooms may be a very functional part of the home, but that doesn’t mean you have to skimp on style. Take a quick look through a decorating magazine, home improvement blogs or Pinterest, and you’ll see just how creative, lavish and beautiful bathrooms can be.

Staying current on custom home bathroom trends helps you make design decisions that arise when you build your custom home. From bold patterns and colors to quirky fixtures and wall art, the 2017 to 2018 bathroom trends are anything but boring.

Vintage Style

Sleek and modern is always in, but the current trend takes bathrooms back in time. The inspiration for this bathroom trend may come from periods before modern plumbing, but you don’t have to give up your modern-day conveniences to nail the look. You’ll find a wide range of fixtures and bathroom components with inspiration from Victorian, Edwardian, Art Deco and other periods. You get the latest in bathroom technology with a vintage look. If you prefer an authentic design, you can find restored antique fixtures to integrate into your bathroom.

If you choose a throwback style for your bathroom, go all in. Choose tiles, wall colors and cabinet styles that fit the look of that period. Keeping all elements in the bathroom compatible with the period pulls together the look.

Throwback Bathroom Trends

Freestanding Tubs

No matter where you draw inspiration for your bathroom, a freestanding tub is a trendy option in custom home plan bathroom designs. A claw foot tub brings in the vintage feel if you like the historical trends of 2017. If you prefer a more modern approach, you’ll find a variety of freestanding soaking tubs with contemporary beauty.

Positioning the tub away from the wall requires a large chunk of bathroom space, but it makes a stunning impact on the room. Another way to make the tub stand out is by choosing a different color for the exterior. Choose a dark color or a wood-grain finish for a bold look in the middle of the bathroom.

Keep the drama going by choosing a floor-mount tub fille. You’ll find these elegant fixtures in a variety of styles, from sleek and modern to vintage charm. The tall faucets make a statement and enhance the upscale feeling of having a freestanding tub. Some include hand showers for convenient rinsing in the tub.

Natural Elements

Porcelain and metal tend to dominate the bathroom, but a growing trend is to pull in a little warmth from nature. Natural elements often add texture to the room to take away some of the sterility that can make the room feel cold or unappealing.

Need a little natural inspiration? Here are some ways to weave in natural touches:

  • Wood paneling, either on all walls or as an accent
  • Wooden shelves
  • Stone tiles in natural color
  • Botanical-inspired wallpaper
  • Plants
  • Earthy, natural wall color
  • Wicker or bamboo storage containers

Bold Patterns

Forget the solid-colored bathroom. Instead, give your space personality with bold patterns. Tile the floor in the patterned look, or integrate a pattern into your shower tile. Tiles featuring big, bold patterns are one way to achieve the look. Mediterranean and Moroccan inspirations in the patterning are trendy this year. If you prefer a more modern look, choose tiles with geometric patterning.

2017 Bold Pattern Bathroom Trend

Consider adding patterning with the shape of the tile itself. Mermaid scale tiles have a curved side that creates the look of overlapping scales. With the popularity of all things mermaid, it’s not surprising that this is an option. Honeycomb or hexagon tiles are another option to create a unique patterned look in your bathroom.

Another growing trend in bathroom patterning happens on the walls. Instead of painting your walls, install a bold wallpaper. If you instantly imagine your grandma’s dining room, it’s time to check out modern wallpaper. You’ll find a range of beautiful patterns perfect for creating an accent wall in your bathroom.

Dramatic Colors

All-white bathrooms give you a clean look, but if that plain palette isn’t your taste, you’re in luck. The new trend in the bathroom is to infuse rich, bold color. The key to doing bathroom color well is moderation and balance. Instead of choosing a bold color for every component of the room, choose a few key areas to incorporate drama. Install a black vanity or tile one wall of the shower in a boldly colored tile, for instance. That singular block of color creates a standout feature rather than making the bathroom a sensory overload of bold colors.

You can also combine the idea of bold patterns and dramatic color. Bring in geometric patterns in dark colors, or create a floral accent in the space. Again, moderation is key when working with colors and patterns, especially if you have a small bathroom.

The finish on various bathroom components is also an easy way to add some drama to the room. Iridescent tiles or sparkling metallic finishes on various elements make them attention worthy and fit with the current bathroom trends.

Unique Metal Finishes

Bathrooms have plenty of fixtures featuring metal construction. If you’re tired of brushed nickel this and gold-tone that, you’ll be happy to hear that the latest trends lean toward a wider range of metal colors and finishes. Brass and gold continue to be popular colors, with a little competition from darker metal finishes. Pewter will be a popular choice. You’ll even see matte black as a popular metal finish option.

2017 Darker Metal Finishes Bathroom Trend

Why do darker metal options work in on-trend bathrooms? They add a dramatic pop without being overwhelming. Image a matte black fixture against a light surface. It makes the fixture a decorative element instead of just another functional piece in the bathroom. Opting for different metal finishes also helps you achieve a period look. Choose the type of metal finishes popular in that time period to pull the look together.

Standout Light Fixtures

Quality lighting is essential in the bathroom, but you don’t have to settle for the standard bar-style vanity light. Turn that functional component into a showpiece with the growing trend of choosing eclectic light fixtures for the bathroom. Colorful pendant lights over your vanity are one option for jazzing up the lighting scheme. Add overhead lighting with a modern chandelier. You don’t have to stick to the traditional bathroom lighting section to illuminate your space.

Freestanding or Floating Vanities

Tired of the same old vanity style? Many bathroom designers are trending toward a freestanding vanity that looks more like a dresser than a traditional bathroom vanity. The elevated style gives your bathroom an open, airy feeling, and it’s quick and easy to clean under the vanity.

A similar option is a floating vanity. With this style, the vanity cabinet attaches to the wall with the area underneath open. These vanities don’t have legs for support. The space below is simply open. Again, this creates the airy look, and it’s a modern take on bathroom cabinetry.

Wall-Mounted Faucet Fixtures

Instead of going with the traditional countertop-mounted faucet and handles, raise the bar with wall-mounted fixtures. This option frees up a little more counter space, which makes this trend perfect for small or cramped bathrooms. The wall-mounting style also gives the faucet an updated, trendy look, and you don’t have to worry about soap and other gunk building up around the faucet since it’s mounted to the wall.

Hotel and Spa Inspiration

Spa Bathroom Inspiration

Who doesn’t love the relaxation of a spa or a luxury hotel bathroom? Since most of us can’t go on vacation permanently, many people choose to pull in some of those elements at home. You don’t need a huge bathroom to pull off the look. A few elements create the feeling without overtaking the bathroom.

Integrate some of these spa-like amenities and touches for at-home relaxation and luxury:

  • Dedicated sit-down vanity for a relaxing morning routine
  • Artisan soaps displayed on a shelf or in a jar
  • Thick, luxurious towels
  • Wooden stool
  • Plants
  • Baskets of towels or pampering tools
  • Shelf that fits over your tub
  • Candles
  • Soothing colors

Throw Rugs

Traditional bath mats are uninspiring, so some clever designers are bringing in throw rugs you might normally expect to see in a living room or bedroom. This rug trend gives the bathroom a cozy feeling that makes it feel more like a living space than a functional area. Rugs are an easy way to bring in patterning and color when you want to make a statement. You can easily change a rug if you get tired of the color or pattern, so it’s a low commitment way to try different elements.

Another advantage of throw rugs is the potential to cover more of the floor. Bathroom floor mats are usually small with little protection for the floor or your feet. A larger throw rug that fits the space well keeps your toes warm by adding a soft, fluffy layer.


Traditional bathrooms include the basics: a sink, toilet, bathtub and possibly a vanity. A trending option is to add an extra piece of furniture into the bathroom as a statement piece. Chairs or ottomans seem to be a popular option for this trend. You’ll need a slightly larger bathroom to accommodate this statement piece, but it adds that luxe touch that sets your style apart from builder-grade bathrooms.

Round Mirrors

Sometimes it’s the little details that count when finishing your bathroom. Take the vanity mirror, for example. The growing trend is to move away from large mirrors and sharp angles of square or rectangular mirrors in favor of round mirrors. The circular shape stands out in a room full of angles, and it creates dramatic and attractive contrast when paired with a squared vanity and sink.

Don’t skimp on the size or style. Oversized round mirrors are hot right now. You’ll find frame options ranging from simple and sleek to rustic to glam. Choose a round mirror with a frame that blends with the rest of your bathroom décor.

Unique Showers

2017 Shower Bathroom Trends

Why should the freestanding tubs have all the fun? Many designers are looking to the shower to make a unique statement in the bathroom. A number of trends are brewing in the shower department. One option is the French door entry. Instead of a traditional sliding shower door, the surround features a door that looks like a beautiful French door. It makes your shower feel a little more luxurious while giving the entire bathroom an updated look.

Another unique option is the undefined shower without borders. Essentially, the shower is a section of the room without a rim around the base, doors or walls. All surfaces in the room are covered with tile, and the shower area has a strategically placed drain in the floor. The showerhead is often mounted on the ceiling, so you feel like you’re showering in the rain. If you don’t like the idea of water spraying everywhere, a frameless screen is an option to keep the water contained. The clear glass divider doesn’t have the traditional metal frame, so you don’t notice it as much as you would a traditional divider. Ultra low-profile shower trays also help keep the water in the shower if you don’t like the idea of a wetroom-style shower.

Choosing Your 2017-2018 Bathroom Trends

With so many different trend options from which to choose, avoid shoving every bathroom style into your space. Now that you have a broad overview of all the current style trends, you can narrow it down to the styles that fit your tastes and space. Here are some tips to help you figure out which trends to consider:

  • Bathroom size: Many of the upcoming trends work in bathrooms of all sizes, but some work better in larger rooms. For example, a freestanding tub occupies a lot of floor space, which you don’t have in a tiny bathroom. When creating your custom home plans, opt for one with a bathroom large enough to hold the features you want.
  • Personal taste: What is your general style or preference for home décor? Are you a minimalist? Do you love ultra modern styles, or do you lean toward rustic elements? No matter what the trends say, it’s important to choose an overall bathroom design that you love. After all, you’re the one who has to see it every day.
  • Coordinate your elements: Some trending bathroom elements are vastly different and won’t complement one another. You may love several different design ideas, but eventually you need to prioritize those elements to achieve the look you want without making the space look like a hodgepodge of ideas.
  • Work with a designer: If you’re having trouble sorting out the bathroom trends on your own, enlist the help of a pro. An experienced designer with an eye for what’s trending can help you pick out the best elements that create the look you want. A designer may also be able to help you work in different elements that seem like they wouldn’t go together.

Which custom home design bathroom ideas fit your style? If you’re ready to tackle on-trend design in the bathroom and beyond, contact Nelson Design Group for your custom home plan design. We can help you create the perfect home with plenty of room for the on-trend bathroom of your dreams.

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Best House Plan Designer
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NDG SmartChoice Home Products™
View our Photo Gallery