Designers say bathroom decor shifting as homeowners come out of COVID

Home designers and decorators are finding that plain colors, like white or beige, that contrast with strong color accents, like black or gold, are popular choices when designing bathrooms.

Photo provided by Nathan Caspers

 Single mirrors hanging above twin sinks and LED lighting are popular additions for bathrooms, according to home decor experts.

Single mirrors hanging above twin sinks and LED lighting are popular additions for bathrooms, according to home decor experts.

Photo provided by Lois Haron


METRO DETROIT — Home styles are always changing, and bathrooms are no exception.

Designers are saying that new trends in style and design are coming to the forefront, and more people are taking the time to make those changes due to the large number of people who either have been or are still working from home.

Corie Conroy, the owner of First Impression Interior Design in Bloomfield Hills, said that she was seeing many of her customers opt for more wood or stone in their bathroom designs, or more conventional materials that appear textured like wood or stone.

“Some of the stone that’s used kind of varies. You will see people have luxurious marble that has a lot of veining in it that really stands out in their counters and tubs. It’s a formal style but very trendy for 2022,” she said. “For more casual looks, you see tile textured to look like wood or stone because that brings a clean but warmer look to the bathroom. … Behind the sinks, we’re seeing more textured tile instead of drywall or wallpaper.”

Conroy also said she was seeing new trends in lighting, heating and mirrors.

“Heated floors are popular for more high-end bathrooms. You have lit mirrors on the walls, as well, and statement light fixtures that are oversized on the ceiling.”

Nathan Caspers, the manager of the Infusion Showroom in Wixom, said he was seeing people getting creative with space or trying different options for fixtures and faucets.

“We’re seeing open door storage turn into drawer storage so the entire space can get moved forward a little and you can store everything without falling over,” he said. “Having showers with multiple showerheads and manipulative showerheads are also increasing in sales.”

Lois Haron, the owner and designer at Designs in Decorator Wood & Laminates in Farmington Hills, said she was surprised to see what predicted trends are becoming realities with customers and which ones seem to have missed the mark.

“There’s supposed to be a floating sink trend going on, but I’m not seeing that from my customers,” she said. “I do see a lot of individual mirrors being put in over sinks with a sconce on either side and using LED lights. A new trend is putting a laundry basket underneath a counter that pulls out on rollers.”

She added that many homeowners are including safety amenities for when they get older.

“What I am seeing right now is a lot of people converting bathtubs to showers,” said Haron. “A lot of people are adding grab bars to them, as well, for when they are older. People are putting in a lot of double sinks, and I’m seeing a lot of granite countertops.”

All three said that the trend in colors is to go for a more plain and traditional look, albeit with some splashes of color added in.

“I’m still seeing a lot of white and beige tones in color,” said Haron. “When color is being added to bathrooms, it’s usually as an accent, such as trimming or carpeting or floor tiles.”

“We’re seeing mostly neutrals like white or earth tones,” Conroy added. “Scenic mural wallpaper behind tubs is increasing in popularity, showing off birds or florals or something like that.”

Caspers agreed but added that he is seeing more striking colors also being mixed in, even among fairly plain color schemes.

“I would agree that whites and grays have dominated designs, but while color has dominated recently, I think more neutral, soothing vibes are coming back,” he remarked. “We’re seeing a lot of black and white and eye-popping designs that people are liking. I think the modern farmhouse look is bleeding over from the kitchen to the bathroom. We continue to see blues and greens as popular colors, and the use of gold in faucetry. It makes a lot of fixtures pop.”

Several retailers and designers said they have been seeing an increase in business in the last year.

“We are definitely seeing an uptick in business now that more people are working at home,” said Conroy. “They want to make sure that what is behind them on Zoom calls looks good. We’re seeing more business in offices and bedrooms, but bathrooms are getting upgraded, too.”

“Business is good,” added Haron. “We started here two years ago this June, and we never saw a slump from COVID. I think people were at home and looking at what they wanted to change every day, so you had more people actually doing that.”

Caspers said that he thinks COVID-19 has made people more cognizant of cleanliness and germ prevention when thinking of their home bathrooms. He added that many customers are adding more technologically complicated appliances and fixtures to their bathrooms.

“Freestanding bathtubs continue to be really popular, and we are moving further into the age of electronic showering systems. Steam showers have been increasing in sales, and I think clients have been exploring different ideas for wellness and touchless faucets to eliminate the spread of germs. I think COVID has changed the way people think about the spread of germs in terms of bathrooms,” he said. “Bidet seats and intelligent toilets have been increasing in the last few years as people get more used to them and they become more available.”