The bathroom trends for 2023 are an interesting mix of decorative and functional approaches. Designers are becoming even more daring with color and print, and being more brave when it comes to finishes. But they're also finding new ways to help you enjoy the space, new ideas to amp up its ability to make you feel rested, calm and clean.
As with all interior design trends, there is a general sense of irreverence, of creating schemes just because you love them and because they make you smile. 'Mix metals and remember finishes don’t have to match!' says Scott Maddux and Jo Le Gleud, the visionary creative duo behind interior design studio Maddux. 'This gives freedom to source fixtures and fittings, such as shower heads and light fittings, from different suppliers and, the differences allow you to notice the intrinsic beauty of them individually. It creates a narrative.'
With that sense of freedom in mind, let's dive into the bathroom trends I think will make the biggest splash this year. Or that I think are worth taking the plunge for. Or that are making me run hot. Or... you get the picture.
Bathroom trends for 2023 - the 15 key looks explained
1. Honeyed tones
Honeyed tones are a key look across all color trends - they're a softer take on the browns that dominated in 2022 but are no less warming. And, like brown, make you feel a little like the room is giving you a hug.
'The bathroom should feel like a place to relax and indulge as well as the more utilitarian aspects,' says the designer Martin Brudnizki (opens in new tab), who created this space above. 'There is nothing better than sitting in the tub with a drink next to you looking out of the window over the gardens.’
Expect to see warm ambers on floors, walls and even vanity counters.
2. Dark color palettes
The flip side of honeyed tones is an embrace of darker colors. And they have the same effect - layering them on top of each other creates an elevated space which feels cocooning rather than oppressive.
In this bathroom by Kingston Lafferty Design, the dark blue cabinet pairs with the black walls and large round mirror (a look you'll see in a lot in new mirror trends).
'When it comes to specifying materials, it's all about the balance, contrast and play,' says Roisin Lafferty (opens in new tab), founder of the design studio. 'Raw and polished, soft and hard, light and dark.' The overall vibe is cosy, despite the sharp modernity of the shapes and finishes used.
3. Pattern drenching
Color drenching has been a big trend in interiors, but designers are amping this up in the bathroom. New York-based agency Crosby Studios created this modern bathroom wrapped in a powerful blue and white wallpaper. The result is a space that can't fail to make your heart sing.
This approach works best in high ceilinged rooms, and when the base color of the pattern is light - smaller rooms or darker shades tend to get too heavy.
4. A minimalist take on storage
Interior designer and former Livingetc columnist Linda Boronkay created this bathroom as part of her fit out of Australian hotel Osborn House. And it embodies a general move towards minimalism in interior design which has been taking hold of every room in the house this year, looking set to dominate even more in 2023.
‘This bathroom is marble clad with marble mosaic on the floor,' Linda Boronkay (opens in new tab) says. But that doesn't stop it having some minimalist bathroom principles. Like the raised kitchen island, there’s a real airiness to this bathroom thanks in large part to the way the vanities aren’t shuttered off by cupboards. True, this does cut down on the amount of storage space, but that just exhorts us all to be better at not hoarding old shampoos.
5. Symmetry in the layout
By centering the bathroom layout around a sense of symmetry, a really pleasing feeling of orderliness emerges. This is an approach that is also emerging in living room trends - a new take on the traditional idea that regimented lines make a home.
'We pushed a line of symmetry in this Parisian apartment,' says designer Bryan O'Sullivan (opens in new tab) who created this marble space above. 'The lines went into the bathroom, through the double doors, with a bath tub at the center. This approach suited the atchteure, and while its quite a trad take on design, we out our twist on it. We made sure shapes were rounded and organic, to stop the formality.' And he included one thing - the white stool - which was off kilter.
6. Sculptural taps
While the best bathroom taps have been becoming progressively more elegant, beautiful and exciting over recent years – think elongated spouts, surprising material choices and experimentation with bold finishes – 2023 is the time that tap design really steps into the spotlight. The hottest (and coolest) tap shapes of the moment are turning classic design on its head, challenging and reimagining its most basic features. The revolution, it seems, has started at the handle, with two design superstars introducing a revamped, sculptural version fresh for the new year.
‘I see taps as the jewelry of the bathroom,’ says Erdem Akan (opens in new tab), Design Director of VitrA. ‘Just like watches, necklaces and bracelets are a finishing touch to our personal style, taps complete the bathroom atmosphere. Rather than being discreet, their new visual volume is becoming more dominant.’
7. Bathroom stools
Part storage, part place to rest, part handy table for your laptop while in the bath, the three legged bathroom stool is having a moment.
'This particular bathroom trend works on so many levels,' says Livingetc's editor Pip Rich. 'The rough texture of the untreated wood helps as a contrast to tiles, which usually gleam. The space around the stool legs helps air and light to flow, increasing the use of space. And it just provides a small and relatively non-bulky way of having something to sit on if you're waiting for hair to dry or face mask to finish. Perfect.'
8. Spa spaces
The quest to turn the home bathroom into a spa isn't particularly new in itself, but after the turmoil of recent years homeowners are doubling down on their desire to do so, making it a big bathroom trend for 2023. Expect to see a rise in grey bathroom ideas to go alongside this.
‘The bathroom is a place for retreat and self-care, now more than ever,' says the designer Patricia Urquiola (opens in new tab). 'Over the past year, we spent so much time at home and realized that our bathrooms have become almost like a personal spa, a space in which we can really enjoy moments of privacy and wellbeing in. The design of objects for the bathroom are beginning to follow the re-discovery of this pleasant domestic moment.’
9. Art in the bathroom
The way people choose to decorate - and personalize - the bathroom is evolving for 2023. Expect to see gallery wall ideas translate into this space, or large, overscale prints hung if there is enough space.
‘The bathroom is becoming more and more like any other living space and turning into a domestic landscape rather than cold white laboratory-style environment,’ says VitrA’s Erdem Akan. ‘Bringing art and/or sculptural designs into these spaces will become more commonplace in the next few years, and taps such as Tom Dixon’s cone-shaped, timeless design will become decorative objects of desire.’
We've seen arched doors appear as an extension trend, and they're now making their way into the bathroom, too.
‘The pandemic made us carefully examine things that make us feel good in the home – such as a relaxing bathroom where we can take care of ourselves, mentally and physically,’ says Monica Born (opens in new tab), CEO and Co-Founder of Superfront. ‘What could create a soothing atmosphere better than the classic arch shape used in ancient roman baths? These three-dimensional arches were used to create the large airy rooms needed in the popular roman imperial baths.’
11. Curved showers
And, arches aren't just about openings, but their soft cocooning curves are carrying through into shower room ideas too.
‘I’ve seen showers built into archway-shaped recesses which look really great – it’s a clever way to bring some design clout to even a really small space. I love curved entrances to walk-in showers too, giving you a sense that you are walking into a cocooning space and bringing some visual interest to the bathroom,’ advises Lee Thornley (opens in new tab) of Bert & May.
12. Semi-precious stone
Say ‘decorative stone in the bathroom’ and marble will be the immediate reply. For 2023 our minds will be opened and our horizons broadened as we enter an age beyond Carrara. That classic monochrome marble veining will step aside to reveal a whole host of other glorious rock patterns just waiting to adorn our floors, showers, splash basks and walls. These stones are just as beautiful as their predecessors and just as personality filled, with semi-precious patterns that channel the organic movements found in onyx and jade starting out, just as marble did, as hyper realistic, stone-style tiles.
‘There is a demand for color this season as well as customers wanting something a bit different which is where onyx effect tiles come in,’ says Jo Oliver (opens in new tab), Director, The Stone & Ceramic Warehouse. ‘They offer beautiful detailing and are available in a wide choice of colors ranging from subtle pale tones to dramatic blue and greens. More unusual marbles, such as our new Coliseum Amazon slab-tiles, are also proving popular with their deep coloring and striking detailed appearance.’
‘For most of us, the bathroom is a space we use to unwind in, or it’s often the first room we see for a prolonged period in the morning as we shower,’ highlights Ca’ Pietra’s Grazzie Wilson. ‘The natural colors and materials found in stone works so well in the bathroom because they’re innately calming. With natural colors and materials everything is in harmony and nothing is competing, so they are the perfect backdrop for relaxation’.
13. Green and pink
A classic color combo in the home for years, green and pink is moving over the bathroom, specfically when it comes to bathroom tile ideas. Both shades are soothing in their own way, and combined they have the dreamy effect of cool ice cream on a warm day. It makes sense that that mood of light, joyful relaxation is one that is being carried over to the bathroom.
14. Gold bath trays
It's always handy when storage looks good too. And so this is the year that bath trays have gone luxe, appreciating that soaking in the tub and wanting somewhere to rest your glass of wine is only ever meant to be a treat experience, and so the finishes of the tray reflect that.
'Really luxe hotel bathrooms often feature gold bath trays, and I'm delighted to see them catching on for home design, too,' says Livingetc's editor Pip Rich. He says this gold bath tray from Anthropologie (opens in new tab), pictured above, is his favorite.
15. Finger tiles
Slim profiles which are neatly laid next to each other, finger tiles – also known as Kitkat tiles – are the 2023 update on mosaic and penny tiling. A seemingly minimal take on bathroom tile trends, once repeatedly put on a surface alongside each other, they suddenly become more than an extremely thin slice of tile, forming a perfectly imperfect pattern which merges into itself the further away you stand. Grout plays a key role here, with nuances in its thickness around the tiles creating an organic-feeling pattern which highlights the hand of the tile layer and makes each application unique.
‘Stick-like mosaic tiles, finger tiles or Kitkat tiles as many people refer to them as, have really boomed this year, and their popularity is set to continue well into 2023 and beyond,’ says Grazzie Wilson (opens in new tab), Creative Lead at Ca’ Pietra. ‘While Kitkat tiles are striking, the subtle colorways that they are typically available in 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, so they’re at once a statement, and calming on the eye.’
16. Jungle motifs
Jungle motifs have flourished in the home of late, and we’re not quite ready to live without them. Over in wallpaper trends, we're seeing tigers, but for 2023, in bathrooms, it's jungle leaves specifically. If we’re unaccustomed and unable to travel the globe freely, we’ll turn our bathroom – the place where we have a few moments of peace and private time – into a leaf-filled habitat, a space that transports us into the rainforest with the simple swish and flick of wallpaper paste and a little imagination. Bathroom wallpaper has been coming into its own over the last few years, and is now showing off its water repelling credentials in all encompassing, wall murals offering us wild, panoramic views as we take a long soak in the bath and turning our shower into a tropical rainstorm.
‘Patterns from nature bring evoke memories and feelings, and drawing on thoughts of distant atmospheres different from our own habitat adds excitement and wonder to the day,’ says Christian Benini (opens in new tab) of Wall&Deco. ‘Also these plants have a strong connection with water, which makes the bathroom their natural environment.’
17. Raw and natural textures
Natural, unrefined finishes offer respite from the hard, cold surfaces commonly found in the bathroom – not to mention the hard, cold reality of life beyond the bathroom door.
Wood is an obvious go-to. Select darker timbers with an element of history evidenced in a vintage stain or rough-sawn surface. Faking it with wood-look porcelain tiles can be equally as effective, provided there’s a textural finish to recreate the tactility factor.
18. Fluted finishes
Texture always comes into the trends of living rooms and bedrooms, but this want for unusual 3D finishes and tactile materials is coming into bathrooms too. And the bathroom trend for fluted surfaces is a lovely subtle way to bring in those unexpected textures. Opt for a fluted vanity cabinet, fluted glass shower panels, or, as can be seen in this grey bathroom, go for a fluted marble backsplash or create a similar look with fluted tiles.
19. Terracotta tiles
Terracotta is a color we're seeing in kitchen trends, too. For years there's been a slow but steady shift away from the sleek, clean, verging on clinical approach that was used in so much of bathroom design and towards choosing a warmer, cozier, more cocooning scheme. It's no surprise then that terracotta tiles in rusty orange hues are on-trend for 2023, switching classic white for something toastier and traditionally reserved for living rooms or bedrooms. In fact, orange bathrooms generally are a growing trend.
Give these firery shades a contemporary feel by pairing them with minimalist hardware or up the rustic farmhouse feel with wooden accents and traditional fixtures.
20. Soft textiles
Textiles often aren't a focus in bathrooms, when it comes to window treatments, simple roller blinds or shutters are usually the go-to. However, bathroom curtains and blousy fabric blinds and a big trend this year as again there's that shift to make bathrooms, softer more living room-like spaces.
Of course, practicalities still have to come first in bathrooms so rather than long heavy curtains that pool around the floor, opt for something soft, floaty, and sheer that still adds texture but doesn't feel too heavy or dramatic for a bathroom.
21. Statement lighting
And again, usually, bathroom lighting ideas are a mostly practical part of bathroom design which spotlights being the most popular choice. But for 2023 it's all about making more of a focal point of lighting. Why shouldn't a chandelier hang in a bathroom? Just be sure to think safety first, a pendant light should hang around 6 feet above the floor, and don't position a low hanging light close to a water source unless it has ingress protection or IP-rated fittings that are sufficient enough.
22. Top-to-toe Terrazzo
Terrazzo flooring has been back for a while, and for bathrooms it's now going bigger than ever. Quite literally. While in the past for years, subtle designs with smaller chips of stone have been popular, we are seeing a rise in bolder patterns with bigger chips and brighter colors.
Dzek's trailblazing terrazzo arguably led the way in the material's current revival. While others may opt for smaller chips of stone, Dzek didn't hold back and the bold pattern of of its Marmoreal tiles packs a punch in this L.A. bathroom. Terrazzo tiles are an easy way to get this distinctive look without the hassle of the original application (a cement-type material poured on-site with chips mixed in).
23. Graphic Lines
Serene yet sexy, dusky pinks and 3D monochrome features transform this chic Parisian bathroom into a sanctuary. Designed by New York-based Crosby Studios, it has strong geometric shapes that ooze a post-modern vibe. Versatile black-and-white bathroom products can be mixed with almost any other colours, while painting the back wall a lighter shade creates a sense of depth and perspective.
24. Japandi style
An amalgamation of Japanese minimalism and Scandi cool, Japandi has been around for a while but has soared in popularity this year, likely due to its calming zen vibes.
‘If you are seeking a serene space, then Japanese-inspired materials are perfect,' says Ca’ Pietra’s Grazzie Wilson. ‘Keep the bathroom tonal by opting for a lighter, warmer and neutral color palette to create an effortlessly chic and sophisticated space.’
25. Sherbet shades
This past year has seen a surge in pink bathroom ideas. Sherbet hues – think pastels with a zingy twist – evoke an era of glitz and hedonism.
‘Dial back to Miami in the Thirties and Palm Springs in the Fifties – big ice cream-coloured convertibles, glamorous abodes and pool parties,’ says Louise Ashdown (opens in new tab), head of design at West One Bathrooms. 'The true beauty of sherbet shades is that they work exceptionally well with the still- trending metallic brassware we’ve all fallen hard for – try mixing strawberry pink with matt gold taps. The effect is stunning and will lift your bathroom to new heights.'
What is the most popular bathroom fixture finish for 2023?
Antiqued brass is set to reign in 2023. It has a sophisticated gleam - not too bright, slightly industrial - that is in keeping with the pared back approach design is taking right now.
'Brass has been a popular fixture finish for years, but antique brass has taken over this year,' says Livingetc's editor Pip Rich. 'The subtlety of its shine, the way it just picks up the light but without too much sparkle helps to create a really relaxing space. I'm seeing designers use it as the most common choice.'
What bathroom colors are in for 2023?
Terracotta and peach-tinged white are the biggest colors in bathrooms for 2023. Both having warming qualities to them, the terracotta being quite powerfully so, and the peachy white becoming a more subtle version. As far as color pairings go, green and pink together are the key palette for 2023, creating a dreamy, tranquil backdrop to relax in.
'More and more, we see the bathroom as a space to relax, rather than just as a functional room,' says Livingetc's editor Pip Rich. 'And that includes during the five minute morning dash while you do your teeth - why shouldn't it soothe you then, too? Terracotta and peachy tones are perfect to do this - pair warm orange-y tiles with soft, plaster pink walls. Heaven.'
The editor of Livingetc, Pip Rich (formerly Pip McCormac) is a lifestyle journalist of almost 20 years experience working for some of the UK's biggest titles. As well as holding staff positions at Sunday Times Style, Red and Grazia he has written for the Guardian, The Telegraph, The Times and ES Magazine. The host of Livingetc's podcast Home Truths, Pip has also published three books - his most recent, A New Leaf, was released in December 2021 and is about the homes of architects who have filled their spaces with houseplants. He has recently moved out of London - and a home that ELLE Decoration called one of the ten best small spaces in the world - to start a new renovation project in Somerset.
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