We’re just starting 2014 and with the new year, new ideas abound for home remodeling projects. For one of the smallest rooms in the home, the bathroom can pack a big design punch. In 2014, some bathroom trends have been around a few years and are still on the rise while others are newer to the scene. So here are the Top 5 Bathroom Trends for 2014 that you can incorporate into your next bathroom remodel project.
1. Digitally Printed Porcelain Tiles
Wouldn’t you love to have the look of stone or wood in your bathroom? Yet many people are discouraged by the maintenance of stone, and the fragility of wood around water. Now you can have the look of either without the upkeep! Porcelain tiles have seen a huge increase in popularity over the last couple of years, and advances in modern technology are further improving the look and range of digitally-printed porcelain tiles.
The appearance of real stone is enough to fool even the most discerning eye. Would you have guessed that the porcelain wall tile in the top left photo above is not real stone? Neither will your guests!
One of the best features of porcelain tile is the ease of care and maintenance, much simpler than real wood or stone. The amazing porcelain wood flooring above in the upper right photo of this Windsor Terrace bathroom is easy to clean, and the textural appearance of wood graining on these tiles looks like the real deal. Can you tell it’s porcelain rather than wood?
In the bottom image the wall tiles are made to look like weathered metal, which would have no longevity in a wet bathroom. But these porcelain tiles create a unique look normally unattainable. With virtually no maintenance needed, porcelain tiles are easy to keep looking great.
2. Showers Replace Tubs
According to a recent survey of over 7500 homeowners by Houzz.com, 4 in 10 homeowners plan to forgo a bathtub in favor of a larger shower this year – even in the master bathroom!
This trend conserves water and energy, and speaks to the preference of a steam versus soaking. Surprisingly, both older and younger homeowners love this idea: Those surveyed ranged in age from under 35 to over 65, and many prefer a shower over a bathtub.
3. Bathroom Tech
The bathroom used to be a place to escape a high-stress, high-tech life. Now you can use technology to help decrease your stress – even in the bathroom! LED showerheads feature lights powered by water pressure so no wiring is involved, and some of them even feature colors that change with the temperature of the water.
Have you ever gotten into the bath and then realized that you wanted to dim the lights? With new technology from Philips, you don’t have to get up, just keep your iPhone within reach. The Hue line has been expanded to include features such as a timer, gradual increase in light to simulate sunrise, or even sampling a color from a favorite photo and using it to light your space. It even has a popular remote feature controllable by an iPhone app. And if you ever forget to turn off your lights, the Hue system knows to turn the lights off when you’ve left the area via your iPhone.
Another tech-trend for the bathroom that’s rising in popularity is air baths, specifically those including chromatherapy. Air baths are better than the old whirlpool-type tubs because they pump air through tubes into your tub, instead of pumping the water itself, which would sit in the pipes and become stale, even growing harmful bacteria.
Air baths can treat painful conditions such as arthritis and rheumatism with ease. Keypads allow you to control the power of the air massage from soft and caressing to more vigorous, or you can select the wave effect that alternates the two, providing a very effective lymphatic massage. Some air bath systems can be outfitted with a complementary aromatherapy system.
Therapeutic use of different colors of light is known as chromatherapy and adding chromatherapy to these healthier air baths is a great way to promote mental and physical health. For centuries, light and color have been known to have an effect on human biorhythms.
From the MTI Baths website: “Red energizes and activates blood flow, while yellow stimulates nerve functions and may aid the digestive process. Orange is a mix of red and yellow and carries greater therapeutic characteristics than both of these colors used separately, including the soothing of muscle and joint pain. Green, as the intermediate color of the light spectrum, fosters harmony and has a calming, restorative effect on the mind and body. Blue, a cooler color, is comprised of light rays that are very fine, which allow them to penetrate deep within to promote mental and physical calmness. Magenta is known for its power to inspire creativity as well as relieve irritability and reestablish a peaceful state.”
This trend has been around for millenia; it’s overdue to be appreciated in our bathrooms in 2014!
4. Frameless, Curbless Glass Showers
Not only are people eschewing showers instead of tubs, but they are specifically choosing glass shower enclosures that are frameless and curbless, removing access barriers and visual barriers. Curbless showers are one element of universal design, long known to be a great boon to the elderly and those with physical disabilities or injuries. Now we are recognizing that it makes a beautiful statement, too.
5. Powder Rooms with Character
The powder room is often the last place that people think about interior design – after all, it’s extremely small and a single-use space. But this is also a great place to experiment! You can try something adventurous, something that doesn’t necessarily match the theme of the rest of your house or apartment, precisely because it’s not visually connected to the rest of your interior spaces. Not only is the powder room a good place for invention, but you can use uncharacteristic materials here – wood, wallpaper, fabric – that you could not use in a wet room or traditional bath/shower room. The trend in 2014 is for powder rooms that really pack a punch!
So now that you know the top 5 bathroom trends for 2014, which ones do you plan to implement this year?
San Francisco Bay Area interior designer, Kimball Starr, provides bathroom design for home remodels throughout San Jose, San Francisco, and Marin Bay areas. Kimball strives to “change lives one room at a time” through designing creative and innovative interiors as unique as the homeowner.