In need of some bathroom design ideas? Whether you want to revamp a spacious family bathroom or a cramped en suite, you've come to the right place. As part of the Real Homes Show, we asked interior design expert Sian Astley to share the three interior design trends that will help you transform a tired bathroom in 2020.
'If you’re still thinking of your bathroom as a purely functional space, then now is the time to change it up,' says Sian. 'I’ve rounded up the three three key bathroom design trends for 2020 that will turn your space into a relaxing haven that you can escape to.'
Want more interiors inspo? Find all our bathroom ideas, from design trends, ideas to colour schemes on our dedicated hub page.
1. Choose organic materials
Organic, botanical and natural-feeling bathrooms have traditionally been challenging due to the humidity, which doesn’t mix well with materials like wood, wicker and fabric. But instead of simply filling the room with plants – you’ll have seen those classic 18-plants-in-the-bath shots if you’re on Insta – new technologies and materials mean nailing this look is easy, without compromising on practicality.
I love timber-effect porcelain tiles, which you can use on floors and walls, and luxury vinyl tile plank flooring, which feels warm underfoot. New water-based varnishes are much better quality and help protect real wood in bathrooms.
You can even get ceramic wallpapers, which are highly durable, or you could cheat it and apply a cheap wallpaper covered in decorators matt varnish. In my bathroom, I’ve used moisture resistant MDP to line the walls and have wallpapered the ceiling. One of my en suites has also got a pine floor protected with good quality lacquer.
2. Be bold with your walls
For our second trend, we’re saying Sayonara to subway tiles and hello bold patterned tiles. People are definitely being bolder in the bathroom, and we’ve seen a few homeowners on Your Home Made Perfect, the BBC show I work on, really going for it.
Feature tile walls look great and you can really mix it up by laying the tiles in herringbone patterns, chevrons or even laying skinny tiles vertically. I love the Ca' Pietra Lilypad tiles, which are hexagonal – another trend that isn’t going anywhere.
Grout used to be white or white, but these days you can make a statement by using black or grey for added punch, and you can even colour match your silicone. Topps Tiles and Tile Giant are great for affordable options, and you can save money by DIY-ing. Just make sure you have flat surfaces and use decent quality slow-set adhesive to give you time for mistakes!
3. Choose statement lighting
Gone are the days when ceiling spotlights were the only option in a bathroom, although you do still need to be mindful of IP ratings, which relate to how well the light is protected from water. I’ve used some outdoor lighting in my bathroom, which is affordable, looks cool, and has an IP65 rating, so is super durable.
Think about positioning lighting in overhead shelving or around the edges of rooms, and install a sensor light that comes on automatically without linking to a fan for the middle of the night. Wall lights are great for highlighting a feature wall, and don’t forget to properly light a mirror – a central spot casts shadows, so you need even lighting from either side.
Finally, don’t discount chandeliers as long as they comply with the IP regs and the room is well ventilated, and remember that LED spots give crisper light and last for approximately 10 years.