>> THE MODERN BATHROOM serves a multitude of purposes, from the most utilitarian functions to a more meditative role as a relaxing, spa-like retreat where homeowners can unwind and enjoy some solitude.
This year, many people are spending more time in their homes than ever before, and that means they want to create a more comfortable ambiance — even in the loo.
Matte black finishes and accents remain popular picks to add a sense of drama to the bathroom. Black bathtubs, faucets, shower heads and even safety grab bars are having a moment.
At the same time, Maryssa Zondag of Dynasty Bathrooms & Kitchen Centre has noticed an increase in orders and inquiries for brushed or polished gold finishes. Champagne bronze is gaining momentum as another trendy tone.
"I personally renovated my bathroom with bold accent tiles in a herringbone pattern with matte black finishes," she says. "I absolutely love my bathroom."
Homeowners don’t want to invest in fussy, flash-in-the-pan fads that will look dated in a few years. Instead, they’re taking a long-term view, leaning towards bathrooms with clean, timeless and elegant designs that will remain in vogue for years to come.
"Many customers are wanting something that will withstand the course of time," Zondag says, "including bold, fun tiles, minimalistic vanities in shaker or slab-front styles, dark tiles or vinyl flooring, and lots of black or gold accents."
Stand-alone bathtubs are still all the rage, notes Astrid Bergstrom of Robinson. The most common freestanding tubs span 66 by 36 inches, although smaller 60-inch tubs are also making a splash — just not in the literal sense.
"Believe it or not, they’re not for bathing — they’re for looking at," Bergstrom says.
"I think most people prefer to take showers but they want the look of the bathtub. They love these bathtubs with a freestanding filler, which is a faucet that comes up through the floor and hangs over the tub. There are just so many beautiful choices now."
With the frenzy to stock up on toilet paper during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, perhaps it’s no surprise that bidet seats are quickly becoming the next must-have item.
"Bidet seats can be attached to an existing toilet. They’re not cheap, since they’re usually upwards of $1,500 to $2,000, but they are popular," says Bergstrom.
Regular bidets have not reached the same level of popularity, but if you are in the market for a luxury brand, LIXIL’s DXV SpaLet could be just the ticket. The lid opens and closes automatically and its features include hands-free flushing, a dual-nozzle spray system, an integrated air dryer and a room deodorizer — the latter of which relies on "plasmacluster" ion technology to work its magic.
For homeowners who want a clean, sleek look that’s easy to maintain, wall-mount toilets are flying off the shelves. And floating bathroom vanities continue to offer esthetic appeal to elevate bathroom design to the next level.
"The look of freestanding vanities is very popular. Also, people still like single-hole faucets with one lever for hot and cold water," Bergstrom says.
"These days, people don’t want high vessel sinks — nobody wants a salad bowl. Instead, they prefer smaller ones that sit above the counter just a little bit. Drop-in sinks are also popular because people like to see the ridge around them."