The Latest Looks for the Bath

Recently Houzz contributor Natasha Saroca gave us the lowdown on bathroom trends expected to be big in 2015. This is going to be fun! Here are Saroca’s 2015 predictions applied to smaller but still stylish bathrooms.

The Latest Looks for the Bath

1. Feature floor tiles. Concrete floor tiles in a graphic geometric pattern work well in a minimalist contemporary bathroom.

2. Natural beauty. The river stone tile in this bathroom adds a beautiful natural texture, as does the teak shelf. After going through several layout options, designer Mary Jo Fiorella decided, “It’s OK for the tub to get wet.”

3. Plant life. Saroca showed us just about the most fabulous vertical garden I’ve ever seen. The plant-life trend also references “cascading creepers.” For a low-maintenance, inexpensive alternative, a rosemary topiary; an orchid; a big, fat fern on a stand; or wall vases can bring the green into your room with ease.

4. The master suite retreat. Saroca mentioned that bedroom suites more open to the bath were gaining traction — whether completely open or separated by sliding doors. But if you spend money on a freestanding bathtub or beautiful wallpaper, you may want to enjoy the view.

5. Clever water control. You know that phrase, “Save water — shower together”? It usually means one person is left cold and shivering outside the showerhead’s stream. A range of options, including dual showerheads, lets you enjoy togetherness while still being efficient about getting clean. And speaking of efficiency, I love the control of a handheld shower.

6. Freestanding bathtubs. I know it seems like you need a large bathroom to incorporate a freestanding bathtub and a shower, but you can combine them. Rigging it up with a shower curtain ring around the top is not tough and really does prevent the water from splashing out.

7. Custom vanities. A long custom vanity spans the wall of this bathroom, making the space feel much bigger than it is. The fact that it sits atop feet gives it a furniture look that also lends a more spacious feel. Four drawers offer enough room for everyone in the family to store their toiletries, while the cabinets have room for towels and cleaning supplies.

8. Geometric tiles. These stunning tiles create a showstopping backsplash. Using just a band between the top of a sink and the bottom of a mirror means you can splurge on a fancy tile without breaking the bank, because you’ll need only a few square feet.

9. Bigger showers. You may decide to replace a tub-shower combo with a larger shower stall. Another change that will make your existing stall feel less claustrophobic is using clear glass. Creating an open view is an easy upgrade that costs a few hundred dollars. If resale is not a concern in the next few years and you don’t need a bathtub, consider opting for a big shower instead of a tub-shower combo

10. Sustainable style. There are countless ways to be energy efficient and water conscious in the bathroom. Some of the less visible ways are via systems and products — like low-flow toilets and shower heads, tankless water heaters, greywater systems, LEDs or compact fluorescent bulbs, and ecofriendly TP…

11. Bathrooms that reflect the rest of the home. If you live in an older home, chances are that your bathroom has gone through an unfortunate renovation at some point. Handmade tiles in historic patterns and colors, and vintage apothecary style, can bring the bath back to its architectural roots.

12. Gray tones. It seems gray is here to stay, and it’s not all about “greige” anymore. Tones picked up from natural stone, like Carrara marble or slate, are a good place to start.

13. Engaging lighting. In a master bath you need functional bright lighting for getting ready in the morning, but there are mood lighting considerations as well. Decide which lights you’d like on a dimmer for relaxing soaks in the tub or those late-night trips to the look.

14. Grout as a design feature. The grout between this bathroom wall’s subway tiles ties it to the gray and white palette of the marble floor.