5 Bathroom Design Trends To Know
The decorating ideas that design pros are using to modernise bathroom décor.
The decorating ideas that design pros are using to modernise bathroom décor.
IF THE LAST 18 months taught us anything it is that bathrooms are sacred, perhaps the only place where privacy is nonnegotiable. And what is the most common peeve that leads homeowners to renovate this sanctuary? Old and outdated décor, said 69% of the respondents in the 2021 U.S. Bathroom Trends Study, recently conducted by home-renovation and -design site Houzz.
New York architect and interior designer Adam Rolston of INC Architecture & Design has noticed a bathroom boom too. “Recently, we’ve definitely seen around a 10-15% increase in bathroom size,” he said. Palatial or not, bathroom décor is echoing elegant living spaces with statement chandeliers and whimsical plumbing fixtures, elements that add personality. Designers “mix nostalgia with forward thinking,” said Mr. Rolston, who juxtaposed neoclassical fluted millwork against sleek stacked vertical tiles in the Brooklyn bathroom shown above. This historical mashup creates tension that will make you pay attention, unlike played-out subway tile and bland Shaker cabinets.
To help you keep your own temple up-to-date, here are five trends to which designers are gravitating, plus those they’re kicking to the curb.
A frame that mixes rounded and sharp corners offers “a kinder, gentler modernism” than your standard, rigid geometry, said Mr. Rolston. Dallas interior designer Ginger Curtis points out that an asymmetric looking glass works best if hung on plain walls that won’t compete for attention. “It’s like a piece of artwork and a functional tool,” she said.
OUT: The standard rectangular mirror on the wall above a vanity.
A grid of slim rectangles on end is like a meditation: pure, and a call to a higher power—or at least a ceiling. Vertical lines “stretch” the walls, creating an illusion of height, said Lisbon, Portugal, interior designer Laurence Beysecker, who recently installed vertical jade tiles above a terrazzo floor.
OUT: Subway tiles. “When you see something so many times, you stop seeing it,” Mr. Rolston said.
Fluting—a groovy, ancient architectural detail associated with Greek columns—“creates depth, shade and shadow, much like in classical woodwork,” said Mr. Rolston, who let the pattern star on this fumed, white-oak cabinet “in a distinctly modern manner…unwrapped onto a flat panel.” You get “the visual impact without the historical baggage,” he added. London interior designer Olivia Emery transformed a client’s tight washroom into “something quite feminine but with a sophisticated edge” by applying dusty pink, inch-wide fluting on the vanity front and all the way down a panel along the side of the tub. “It made the whole thing feel a bit more contemporary,” she said.
OUT: Hard-edge modern is passe, “as is anything historic, like Shaker-style cabinets,” said Mr. Rolston.
Skittles for your bathroom have arrived. Fantini’s Balocchi model (left) blobbifies ye olde cross-handle faucet and updates it in colors like bright red. Waterworks teamed with New York firm ASH NYC to produce a line that sneaks glee into a traditional design with porcelain faucet handles of blue, green, red or yellow. Bursts of color in an all-white bathroom add visual delight, said San Francisco interior designer Noz Nozawa. In a powder room, Los Angeles designer Caitlin Murray used a bright red, lever-controlled Vola sink faucet to echo a similar hue in a floral wallpaper. “With all the hand washing today, you’d be lucky to have a faucet that makes you smile,” Ms. Nozawa added.
OUT: Oil-rubbed bronze fixtures that once exuded old-world charm now just appear old.
“If a chandelier can go over a dining table, it can go in your bathroom,” contends Ghislaine Viñas. The New York interior designer added personality to a utilitarian space by installing a brass brutalist chandelier in architect Chet Callahan’s Los Angeles bathroom. In the same room, she uncorked “art’s energy” by hanging a witty Hernan Bas painting against purist white walls, avoiding the “tiled mausoleum” atmosphere she believes afflicts so many bathrooms.
OUT: Harsh downlight that creates ghoulish shadows, especially on the face.
Reprinted by permission of The Wall Street Journal, Copyright 2021 Dow Jones & Company. Inc. All Rights Reserved Worldwide. Original date of publication: October 12, 2021.
Chris Dixon, a partner who led the charge, says he has a ‘very long-term horizon’
Americans now think they need at least $1.25 million for retirement, a 20% increase from a year ago, according to a survey by Northwestern Mutual
Vacationers scratching their travel itch this season are sending prices through the roof. Here’s how some are making trade-offs.
Capri Coffer socks away $600 a month to help fund her travels. The Atlanta health-insurance account executive and her husband couldn’t justify a family vacation to the Dominican Republic this summer, though, given what she calls “astronomical” plane ticket prices of $800 each.
The price was too high for younger family members, even with Coffer defraying some of the costs.
Instead, the family of six will pile into a rented minivan come August and drive to Hilton Head Island, S.C., where Coffer booked a beach house for $650 a night. Her budget excluding food for the two-night trip is about $1,600, compared with the $6,000 price she was quoted for a three-night trip to Punta Cana.
“That way, everyone can still be together and we can still have that family time,” she says.
With hotel prices and airfares stubbornly high as the 2023 travel rush continues—and overall inflation squeezing household budgets—this summer is shaping up as the season of travel trade-offs for many of us.
Average daily hotel rates in the top 25 U.S. markets topped $180 year-to-date through April, increasing 9.9% from a year ago and 15.6% from 2019, according to hospitality-data firm STR.
Online travel sites report more steep increases for summer ticket prices, with Kayak pegging the increase at 35% based on traveler searches. (Perhaps there is no more solid evidence of higher ticket prices than airline executives’ repeated gushing about strong demand, which gives them pricing power.)
The high prices and economic concerns don’t mean we’ll all be bunking in hostels and flying Spirit Airlines with no luggage. Travellers who aren’t going all-out are compromising in a variety of ways to keep the summer vacation tradition alive, travel agents and analysts say.
“They’re still out there and traveling despite some pretty real economic headwinds,” says Mike Daher, Deloitte’s U.S. transportation, hospitality and services leader. “They’re just being more creative in how they spend their limited dollars.”
For some, that means a cheaper hotel. Hotels.com says global search interest in three-star hotels is up more than 20% globally. Booking app HotelTonight says nearly one in three bookings in the first quarter were for “basic” hotels, compared with 27% in the same period in 2019.
For other travellers, the trade-offs include a shorter trip, a different destination, passing on premium seat upgrades on full-service airlines or switching to no-frills airlines. Budget-airline executives have said on earnings calls that they see evidence of travellers trading down.
Deloitte’s 2023 summer travel survey, released Tuesday, found that average spending on “marquee” trips this year is expected to decline to $2,930 from $3,320 a year ago. Tighter budgets are a factor, he says.
Wendy Marley is no economics teacher, but says she’s spent a lot of time this year refreshing clients on the basics of supply and demand.
The AAA travel adviser, who works in the Boston area, says the lesson comes up every time a traveler with a set budget requests help planning a dreamy summer vacation in Europe.
“They’re just having complete sticker shock,” she says.
Marley has become a pro at Plan B destinations for this summer.
For one client celebrating a 25th wedding anniversary with a budget of $10,000 to $12,000 for a five-star June trip, she switched their attention from the pricey French Riviera or Amalfi Coast to a luxury resort on the Caribbean island of St. Barts.
To Yellowstone fans dismayed at ticket prices into Jackson, Wyo., and three-star lodges going for six-star prices, she recommends other national parks within driving distance of Massachusetts, including Acadia National Park in Maine.
For clients who love the all-inclusive nature of cruising but don’t want to shell out for plane tickets to Florida, she’s been booking cruises out of New York and New Jersey.
Not all of Marley’s clients are tweaking their plans this summer.
Michael McParland, a 78-year-old consultant in Needham, Mass., and his wife are treating their family to a luxury three-week Ireland getaway. They are flying business class on Aer Lingus and touring with Adventures by Disney. They initially booked the trip for 2020, so nothing was going to stand in the way this year.
McParland is most excited to take his teen grandsons up the mountain in Northern Ireland where his father tended sheep.
“We decided a number of years ago to give our grandsons memories,” he says. “Money is money. They don’t remember you for that.”
Chima Enwere, a 28-year old piano teacher in Fayetteville, N.C., is also headed to the U.K., but not by design.
Enwere, who fell in love with Europe on trips the past few years, let airline ticket prices dictate his destination this summer to save money.
He was having a hard time finding reasonable flights out of Raleigh-Durham, N.C., so he asked for ideas in a Facebook travel group. One traveler found a round-trip flight on Delta to Scotland for $900 in late July with reasonable connections.
He was budgeting $1,500 for the entire trip—he stays in hostels to save money—but says he will have to spend more given the pricier-than-expected plane ticket.
“I saw that it was less than four digits and I just immediately booked it without even asking questions,” he says.
Self-tracking has moved beyond professional athletes and data geeks.
Inside the Queensland capital’s most elevated residences.