5 Bathroom Design Ideas With Staying Power

Written by Michele Dawson
Updated December 14, 2020
gray bathroom sink vanity with mirrors
Shades of gray are popular for modern bathroom remodels. (Photo by Ashton Hansen)

A big choice when remodeling a bathroom is whether to follow what's trendy or opt for tradition.

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The choice may depend on whether you're thinking about selling your house in the short term or you plan to stay put, so you want to remodel your bathroom to reflect your personality and tastes.

The good news is that several popular bathroom remodel trends today also have potential staying power.

1. Transitional style bathroom

If you're remodeling your bathroom with the aim of selling your house, then a transitional style — a combination of traditional and contemporary design elements — is ideal because it appeals to a wide range of potential homebuyers.

Bathroom trends are shifting from traditional style to transitional and into contemporary, according to the National Kitchen & Bath Association trend survey. This style lets you take various traditional and contemporary elements you like and blend them. Transitional style can be a great compromise for people who like different styles.

For example, a curved dark wood bathroom vanity would be considered classic. Pairing it with a shower with a curved door, considered contemporary, works well because curves are the common denominator. A vanity that is clean and sleek but also very functional, with plenty of storage, would fall into the transitional category.

When it comes to showers, many homeowners prefer to eliminate the bathtub altogether in the master bathroom and focus on the shower, the National Association of Home Builders revealed in its 2013 report, "What Home Buyers Really Want." Elaborate showers with glass, curved doors, multiple shower heads and tiled walls are in demand.

2. Gray walls

Another trend in bathrooms, as well as in kitchens, is the rising popularity of the color gray. Offering a feeling of elegance and sophistication, gray also conveys simplicity.

Regardless of what paint color you choose, a fresh coat of paint in the bathroom is one of the most dramatic changes you can make. Putting on a new coat of paint makes a bathroom look clean and bright.

If you're planning to sell your home, gray walls is a safe choice because the color is fairly neutral and will appeal to a variety of buyers.

3. Quartz countertops

While granite has been a traditional favorite for bathroom counters, quartz is a close second. Quartz offers many benefits:

• It's non-porous, which makes cleanup a breeze.• Quartz countertops are scratch-resistant and come in a broad range of colors and textures.• You won't need sealers or special cleaners.• The varied hues of quartz complement a range of bathroom color choices.

4. Undermount sink

The undermount sink continues to be a perennial favorite because of its sleek, streamlined design. With no rim around the sink to sit above the countertop, undermount sinks are well-suited to small bathrooms and can alter the look of the space.

Undermount sinks are available in a variety of shapes — rectangular, square, oval, and circle. They also come in a range of colors and materials. 

5. Backsplash tile

Backsplashes bring depth and texture to a bathroom, with glass an increasingly popular option. Tiling above the sink or in the bathtub or shower can add a beautiful pop of color.

Blocks of mosaic tile and glass are popular and offer rich color and texture for the bathroom.

Editor's note: This is an updated version of an article originally published on Oct. 27, 2014.

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