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  • Writer's pictureElla S

Modernising Your Bathroom

The bathroom is one of the most used rooms in the house. For this reason, the aesthetic of your bathroom should always spark joy within you. However, over time, everyone gets tired of seeing the same old thing day after day, or simply, the items within the bathroom become tired and worn out. Refreshing the bathroom’s design by bringing in more modern elements can easily help lift the dull cloud hanging over it.


Full Refit or Select Elements

Traditional taps in a brass finish offer a switch up from classic chrome

Due to their frequent use, bathrooms easily start showing wear and tear. It is imperative to notice when items in your bathroom are worn out to ensure you always have a bathroom functioning at peak levels. Certain elements within the bathroom can get worn out quicker than others (e.g., shower heads and accessories). These can be easily changeable, and selecting a different design or colour can instantly refresh the look of the bathroom.

If you find that lots of elements of your bathroom are past their best, it might be better to renovate your bathroom fully. It is suggested that you change your bathroom every 7 to 10 years. After reading this guide, check out our getting started guide to find your first steps for starting on your journey to a new bathroom. It should also be a consideration if you are thinking of moving and have a fairly old bathroom, and buyers tend to pay more for houses with brand-new bathrooms and kitchens as it means less hassle for them after moving in.


Modern Alterations within the Bathroom

If you are choosing not to redo your full bathroom, there are still a few changes you can make to modernise your bathroom. Simple and cost-effective changes included swapping out your bathroom accessories. Add to this by changing towel designs and adding in more plants or ornaments for a quick refresh. Lighting within the bathroom is key to creating a feeling of warmth and relaxation. A simple swap from yellow undertoned bulbs to white bulbs or vice versa can make a big change and ultimately alter the whole feeling of the bathroom.

Built-in lighting and black accents make this bathroom look uber modern

A slightly more drastic change would be to swap out existing fixings and fittings. Dated-looking fixings can drag the overall look of a bathroom down, even if the rest of the overall design is relatively modern. The simplest element to swap out is shower heads. Changing shower heads can elevate the overall look and create a different experience while showering. Other features would require input from experts to determine if they would affect your existing tiling, and it is always recommended you involve a plumber for more in-depth renovations. Modern upgrades to consider are swapping a basin and pedestal to a vanity unit, a closed coupled toilet to a back-to-wall/wall-hung or even shower toilet, a traditional shower enclosure to a walk-in shower/wet-room and a radiator to a heated towel rail.


Design Ideas for Refreshing your Bathrooms Design


Villeroy & Boch concept bathroom.
Villeroy & Boch concept bathroom.

Modern bathroom design is vast, and you can go down an array of different style alleys. This means bathrooms are no longer thought of as white porcelain and chrome brassware, modern bathroom design makes carbon copy bathrooms a thing of the past. While chrome and white are still design classics within the bathroom, alternative finishes offer greater design flexibility. One of the most convenient ways of adding colour to a bathroom is through brassware and accessory sets. This can be done in full refits or when just changing select elements. Another way to add colour is through accent walls, whether in tiles or paint this look can draw the eye and focus you on specific parts of the bathroom. When considering colours, think about what colours relax you, but also think of colours you won’t grow bored of easily.

Pops of colour elevate the final look of this bathroom

Modern colours within the bathroom include black, gold, copper and greys. Black has evolved as one of the stand-out colours of modern bathroom design in recent years. It has steadily, along with grey, become a staple colour within many rooms of the home and no more so than in the bathroom. Whether it’s matt black brassware or black framed shower enclosures, the overall look of a bathroom seems to be elevated when black elements are contrasted with white or other colours. Golds, whether it’s rose gold or brushed gold, always add a sense of opulence to a bathroom’s scheme. When done right, the gold elements can somewhat blend into a bathroom’s overall scheme so that it does not look overly brash and showy while still adding a touch of overall grandeur to the room. Currently trending are coppers and greys. Harmonizing with the popular industrial look that is a current favourite of interior designers. Giving a raw, imperfect effect to the overall bathroom design, copper and grey finishes are perfect for those who are looking for a utilitarian look for their bathroom.


Heritage concept bathroom with bright and detailed wallpaper.
Heritage concept bathroom with bright, detailed wallpaper.

Statement wallpaper is often seen being used within other rooms of the house to create focal points. Special damp and waterproof paper has now made it possible to do the same within the bathroom. Spectacular when used on walls facing the door in small narrow cloakrooms or used as a feature in a larger bathroom around a basin or toilet area. Design ideas are vast and change with what is currently trending; popular choices include bold floral patterns and intricate geometric designs.

Vado products being showcased by an intricate tap mosaic.
Vado products being showcased by an intricate tap mosaic.

Tiling is possibly one of the most traditional elements of bathroom design and has remained a firm favourite throughout the years. This is possible because the options for tiling are almost endless. From the design of the tiles themselves to the pattern in which they are installed, tiles can easily change the feel and atmosphere within the bathroom. Half-tiling walls can add height by breaking the room down into sections, and they also offer the chance to zone specific sections.

Wedi wall boarding ties all elements of this bathroom together

Becoming increasingly popular in modern bathrooms, wall panels are an alternative to tiling. They are less time-consuming than tiles to install and offer a waterproof solution for creating a wet room. Coming in an array of patterns, you can panel the whole room or just the showering area. This makes them ideal for when you simply want to remove an old shower and keep the rest of the existing bathroom elements. You are able to create a feature of the new shower by using wall boards instead of trying to replace the tiles like for like.

Bring in Nature

Matki One wet-room bathroom design with white detailing.
Matki One wet-room bathroom design with white detailing.

The addition of natural elements and plants is a modern twist in bathroom design that looks great but can also be amazing for the user’s health and well-being. Natural elements such as wood, concrete and slate are being utilised in modern bathroom design to make users feel more in touch with nature. From slate effect trays to concrete-style tiles and wall boarding, there is an option to suit everyone’s style. Wood is an element that can easily be used to refresh the bathroom. A traditional bathroom material, adding in pieces of wood storage or accessories can create a feeling of zen as the brain relates wood to spas and that overall feeling of better health. Wood panelling is a modern design favourite that transcends both classic and current design trends and can be easily installed in either sections or the whole bathroom. A bonus of using wood within the bathroom is that it can be stained or painted later on down the line if you want to change the bathroom’s design.

Matki Slate rectangular shower tray in graphite grey finish.
Matki Slate rectangular shower tray in graphite grey finish.

Adding plants brings in textures and colours that are hard to replicate within other elements of bathroom design. You want to choose plants that suit being in bathroom conditions; the best suited are often plants that are low maintenance and will get most of their water from the bathroom’s moist air. Green leafy plants are often best, go for snake or dragon plants, if you are looking to add colour peace lilies and orchids require slightly more maintenance but will also thrive in the bathroom. While any type of plant will help in purifying the air in the bathroom and ridding of extra moisture, some plants can offer dual benefits. Aloe Vera is easy to maintain and looks aesthetically pleasing in the bathroom. It is also an incredibly practical plant, with you being able to snap off the leaves and use the sap inside for soothing burnt skin or a variety of other skin conditions. If you don’t think you can handle a plant, don’t worry you aren’t alone, faux plants can look just as realistic as real plants if you buy high-quality ones.


Final Tips

Mixtures of concrete and wood give this bathroom a natural feel without being too overpowering

For fully modernising your bathroom you don’t want to rely on a singular trend. Focusing heavily on a single trend will lead you to be in the same boat in a few years’ time. You want to pick elements that you feel you won’t grow tired of, or if you feel you will, that they can be easily changed or altered. Pick a design style that you like and select a few features to add to your overall bathroom design that you feel will be timeless. As we have shown, there are always elements of your bathroom design that you can alter down the line, it is just harder to change the whole look. If you are just looking to simply refresh your existing bathroom, don’t be scared of getting the paintbrush out. Pick a trend you like and buy a few select pieces that showcase that trend well but that also complement your current bathroom design.


For more ideas on what is currently trending in bathroom design, check out our trending in bathrooms blog post.

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