As one of the most essential spaces in the home, the bathroom deserves occasional updates to keep it stylish and welcoming. However, renovating a bathroom can cost a pretty penny, so it's worth learning about trends that are phasing out before creating a game plan. This way, you can avoid spending cash on outdated designs — and keep your bathroom looking fresh for years to come.
Not sure where to start? Check out these bathroom trends that are no longer cutting it, according to interior designers.
1. The Bathtub-Shower Combo
Though bathtub showers are versatile fixtures, they're on their way out. The reason? Bathtub-shower combos limit options in terms of design and pleasure, says interior designer Kerry Vasquez of Kerry Vasquez Design. Instead, they're being replaced by one or the other, as "clients are craving either a luxe walk-in shower or a gorgeous freestanding tub," she notes.
2. Rectangular Tiles
"[Rectangular] subway tiles are a tried-and-true classic, but it has been everywhere — including the N.Y.C. subway — and I'm finding clients are ready for a new shape in the bathroom," says Vasquez. She notes that people are gravitating toward square tiles, from Moroccan zellige tile to modern matte versions.
3. Feature Walls
Bathroom feature walls are phasing out, interior designer Emma Beryl Kemper of Emma Beryl Interiors tells Hunker. Instead, she recommends committing fully to the statement you want to make (rather than restricting yourself to one part of the space), which is a lot more interesting and sophisticated. This lets you use "a rich color everywhere for a bold look or keep your tiles more neutral." She also recommends highlighting another feature element, like a beautiful bathtub or light fixture," she explains.
4. Double Vanities
According to interior designer Alex Nino of Alex Nino Interiors, double vanities are being split into two. "We all know what bathroom sinks look like on a daily basis. And the reality is that there's always small items left around them," she says. On the flip side, "separate vanities allow each person to have their own designated areas, give both people extra storage space, and create a luxurious bathroom feel."
5. All-White Bathrooms
For some time, all-white bathrooms were a breath of fresh air compared to the previous beige overload, but they quickly became cold and "anonymous," interior designer Henrieta Imrie of Imrie Design Studio tells Hunker. The solution? Play around with different shades of white and off-white to add character and personality, suggests Imrie.
Beryl seconds this approach. "If you want a bright white look, but still want to keep your space interesting, mix different textures, patterns, and sizes with your whites," she recommends.
6. Chrome Plumbing
Chrome plumbing is also out, says interior designer Montana Labelle. "We are finding that clients want more visual interest in the bathroom," she shares. In turn, people have been opting for more interesting metals for plumbing, such as brass, antique brass, and bronze, says Labelle.
7. Towel Bars
"In terms of bathroom hardware, we have seen a move away from towel bars and more interest in hooks," shares Labelle. "People are looking for a more casual, easy [way] to use space, and hooks lend themselves perfectly to that." What's more, there are many unique hook styles to choose from, she adds — ensuring that there's something for every bathroom.
Kirsten Nunez is a journalist and author focusing on food, health, and DIY. In May 2014, she published a craft book, "Studs & Pearls: 30 Creative Projects for Customized Fashion." Her work has appeared on eHow, PopSugar, Shape, VegNews, and more. She lives in Beacon, New York.