Survey Says: Spa Style Is Still Making A Splash

Bathroom design is increasingly influenced by boutique hotels

June 26, 2018
Bathroom interior illustration
Illustration: Viscious-Speed/387Images

Back in January, Victoria + Albert, a manufacturer of bathroom furniture and fixtures, released a list of the of five top bath design trends for 2018. According to the company, here’s what architects and designers said they were specifying:

  1. Spa style/back to nature. Spa-style baths have been big for the past few years, and there’s no sign that the trend is slowing down. More people are becoming aware of the impact that a balanced mind, body, and soul have on their health. The use of natural materials (even synthetic look-alikes) goes hand in hand with the spa-bath trend.
  2. The end of industrial interiors? Modern bathrooms have been dominated by industrial-style lighting, fixtures, and finishes. Experts don’t expect this trend to go away completely, but homeowners are showing a greater preference for bathrooms that are relaxing havens rather than utilitarian spaces. Instead of subway tiles, for example, larger-format tiles are being used that work well in both compact spaces and larger bathrooms. Plants, accent lighting, and warm metals soften dramatic color palettes.
  3. Transitional style. The demand for transitional style, which is a nod to both traditional and modern design, looks like it will continue. Softly contoured products that look equally at home in a new build or a historical property continue to increase in popularity.
  4. Color. In 2018, one of the key color palettes from global color consultants Colour Hive is named “Beyond,” which challenges the current dominance of digital technology by embracing touch, sound, sight, and taste. Beyond’s palette combines soft, gentle neutrals with energetic neons. Texture is also important, contrasting unrefined materials with smooth, polished surfaces.
  5. Bathrooms as living spaces. With more and more homeowners taking inspiration from boutique hotels and spaces, bathrooms are increasingly becoming a new living space in the home. More subtle luxuries such as heated shower benches are accompanying heated towel bars, and visual accoutrements such as extra-long hand towels add unexpected charm. Soft fabrics, seating, and luxurious vanities are being incorporated. What’s helped drive this trend is the versatility of unique, free-standing bathtubs that can be tucked into an alcove, elevated on a dramatic platform, or stationed as the centerpiece.


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