Now is the time for almost every homeowner.
Story by Tracy Dickinson
Featured in January/February 2022
More often than not, the motivation for a bathroom remodel lies in the dated style or poor function of the current space. And the choice of decor may vary from homeowner to homeowner, depending on individual tastes and style of the home.
But when it comes to remodeling the master bath, the majority of homeowners have one goal in mind. They want the comfort of a spa feel right in their own home.
“Clean lines, natural materials, and minimalistic decor make for a classic, spalike bathroom,” says Woodharbor’s Jill Lampe.
Those are all trends local designers are seeing for 2022, from cabinet designs to material selection and every detail in between.
Colors and Finishes
Jean Nichols of Moehl Millwork says, “I’m seeing some customers choose darker paints mixed with richer stained woods; others want more neutral, lighters tones. But woods and natural stone are key to that spalike feel.”
Designers explain that a spa look isn’t limited to light finishes and creamy-white paint.
“We have a lot of clients looking for stained wood for their bathroom cabinetry,” says BLC Projects’ Rob Walker. “Painted or deep, deep-black stains are really growing in popularity right now.”
Deb Pudenz of AIM Kitchen & Bath says, “It isn’t about light color, but less color, more contrast.”
One way to do that is by creating a statement piece, says Nichols. “Cabinetry with pops of color, but keeping everything else light and neutral, creates a statement without taking away from the clean look.”
To enhance that look, spa-style cabinetry features Shaker or slab doors with plenty of concealed storage, keeping surfaces cleared of clutter. Lampe says, “Although a classic flat-panel cabinet is the most common vanity, floating vanities are becoming a popular trend,” further enhancing the clean lines of the design.
In addition to woods, designers recommend incorporating other natural materials for texture, like stone tile and countertops.
To keep the open feel, Walker says, “We’re seeing more designs with larger-format tiles for floors and walls both, tiles as large as 18×24 or even 8×36 inches.”
Lampe says, “The most common tile size is 12×24, but in larger bathrooms I’ve been using 24×24 and even larger sizes.”
In addition to floors, those large tiles are popular in spa-style showers. “Tile showers feel more luxurious,” Lampe says. “And with a unique design that suits the homeowner’s style, they’re even more luxurious.”
For countertops, experts say marble and stone remain popular, with quartz being the most common selection for its durability and low maintenance.
Although it’s not necessarily part of a remodel, many homeowners incorporate living materials in their spa plan as well. According to HOUZZ.com, “Nearly one-third of homeowners add greenery to their bathroom while renovating because they find that plants are aesthetically pleasing, create a calming environment, and purify the air.”
Materials and designs can give your bathroom the spa look, but it’s the details that make it feel like a spa. Heated floors are almost standard in master bath remodels, and homeowners are adding other luxury details as well.
“Heated floors with a phone monitoring app are still one of our top upgrade requests,” Lampe says. “Bidets come in a close second. We’re seeing an increase in requests for televisions, fireplaces, and customized storage drawers.”
According to Pudenz, key details can add significantly to that spa feel. “Things like built-in speakers for music and layered lighting with dimmers” help create a relaxing mood, she says. Add a soaking tub or multiple showerheads, and the space feels like a retreat.
“It has always surprised me how many bathroom showers do not have proper lighting,” Lampe notes. “It sounds so simple, but putting a bright, water-safe ceiling light in the shower that is separate from the ventilation fan is a winner with clients.”
Says Nichols, “Undercabinet and toe-kick lighting or touch LED lighted mirrors allow homeowners to create just the right lighting for their needs.”
Because these designs are more spacious with open layouts, many of these spa-style features can serve to make the master suite more suitable for aging in place as well. Lampe says, “Taking these future needs into consideration during a remodel allows us to customize those features in a beautiful, noninstitutional way.” Frameless shower doors, zero-entry showers, built-in shower seating, custom shower heads and sprayers, and heated flooring are all features that serve homeowners seeking to design for long-term needs.
Homeowners may choose to remodel a bathroom because the fixtures are functioning poorly or the design is outdated, but bathrooms have become more than just utilitarian spaces. You can have all the comforts of your own private oasis the moment you step through that door. •
- Deb Pudenz AIM Kitchen & Bath
- Rob Walker BLC Projects
- Jean Nichols Moehl Millwork
- Jill Lampe Woodharbor