One of the biggest trends in the bathroom is the absence of color. “Very few people can live with [bright] colors on a daily basis,” Jennifer Foresman, senior manager of trend and design for The Home Depot, told several hundred pros attending the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show last week in Las Vegas.

In addition to the no-bright-color movement, Foresman provided a number of bath trends and tips pros should embrace:

  • Although white remains the perennial favorite bathroom color, it’s now making a statement in a matte finish--and not just on cabinets. To warm it up, pair white with woods on countertops, toilet seats, and accessories. 

  • Gray is a soothing hue and “it’s a color palette you can live with for years,” Foresman noted. 

  • Black is in, but with a matte finish. Pair it with warm taupes and grays for a sophisticated, elegant look. 

  • Create focal points with brightly colored tub surrounds and even faucets. 

  • Mix and match metals in both modern and classic bathrooms. “It’s great because anything goes,” she said. 

  • Brighten up a neutral wall with a traditional boarder in a metallic finish. 

  • Wainscoting creates a rich look in both modern and traditional rooms. 

  • Employ shower doors with floral, Damask, and engraved patterns as decorative elements.

European Bath Trends
Foresman visits Europe to research what’s popular there and that will resonate with her Home Depot customers. Recently she’s noticed:

  • Manufacturers are creating twists on classics; for example, spindle legs on a modern, streamlined vanity. 

  • Luxurious fabrics are influencing tile looks, including overblown florals and quilted and Damask patterns in huge sizes. 

  • Animal prints remain in vogue, particularly ones that look like leather. Foresman pointed out zebra-print ceramic tiles from Petracer.

  • Leaf motifs are growing on wall tiles and as accents. 

  • Mosaics, like those from Marazzi and Vetrovivo, are being installed as works of art. 

  • Not only are manufacturers producing ceramic and porcelain tiles that look like tree bark, but also ones that replicate the tree’s inside rings.

Popular Overseas (But Not Here Just Yet)

  • Updated gold (not brassy) tones on fittings. 

  • Faucets and showerheads with buttons to control water flow, temperature, and on/off functions. Foresman mentioned products from KWC, Miscea, and Marti

  • LED lights integrated into the water stream. 

  • Unique faucet shapes, such as exaggerated teardrops. 

  • Bling on faucets, such as Swarovski-crystal handles. 

  • Faucets with bases in ribbon shapes, including lines from THG Paris and Mamoli

  • Faucets and tub fillers that create a waterfall effect, including those from Cristina and Fantini

  • Unique showerhead groupings, with contemporary shapes and traditional styles.

On a final note, Foresman mentioned that because square footage is at a premium in European homes and apartments, Duravit’s open-space shower closes up when not in use, offering much-needed floor space. 
Jean Dimeo is editorial director for Building Products and