When you consider where they came from, bathrooms have come a long, long way. One way to track their journey from “the necessary” to the sanctuary people prefer today is to look at where our bathrooms have been located. For once, it’s best to start this story in the middle. From just after the turn of the 20th century, we can get a good view of where the bathroom came from, and where it is headed today.

From this story, we can see how truly wide the possibilities have grown and appreciate the meanings behind the bathroom design choices we can make today.

Looking Back to Front

A friend who’s restored Craftsman and Mission style bungalows – the cozy kind that seems to be chosen for any TV commercial today that involves a family – noticed something interesting when he was researching this period of home design. “The word, ‘hygienic’ appeared again and again in the period advertising for this style of home when referring to the bathroom,” he said. “That, and the fact that everything in the bathroom was white – from fixtures to floor to tiles – says something about how new the whole idea of the bathroom being indoors was in 1915 to 1920. It was as if they were reassuring people that it was okay to go indoors.”

Looking back from there at Victorian homes, notice that the half-bath downstairs is often wedged under the stairway. And the major bathroom upstairs is not much bigger than an oversized closet. The reason is because those bathrooms were retrofit into the home. The original “loo” of even the stateliest Victorian home was, um, closer to the garden than the bedroom.

The Freedom of the Modern

The mid-20th century ushered in a feeling of optimism and freedom we can see reflected in the burgeoning energy behind bathroom design. Vibrant colors and often some discrete connection with the outdoors, such as a skylight, were devoted to this room that was purely utilitarian until then. Most noticeably, more space was granted to the bathroom in home designs as its role of refuge grew.

These are the trends that continue. Color, openness, and space make the bathrooms people prefer today a setting for more luxury, a place to build up the confidence and energy to set out on the day, or a retreat from the day’s demands.

The Lessons of 2020

Having spent more of the past year at home than any time before it, people are more interested than ever in making their bathrooms even more attractive and livable. In addition to the ongoing trends toward color, space, and an open feeling, the fixtures people are choosing offer new avenues for expression and comfort.

  • Floating vanities are a space-saving solution to keeping what you need handy. Like a free-standing vanity but without the legs, these are wall-mounted storage solutions that often also house the sink and countertop. They’re a cinch to clean underneath, too.
  • Backlit mirrors and medicine cabinets are becoming even more prevalent now, because a comfortable, personal space calls for a comforting source of light. Yes, nobody wants the mirror to lie, exactly, but a little more flattering is better for confidence.
  • As showers get larger and more luxurious, you don’t have to give up on a separate tub for relaxing in the bath. Space-saving soaking tubs are available today. In addition to holding onto that classic refuge, these space-savvy bathtubs take less time and water to fill.
  • Wall tiles tend to be larger today, not only for a less-busy design impression, but also because they reduce grout lines and make cleaning easier.
  • Colors range from vibrant to warm in the bathroom, offering an abundance of options for the moods you want your bathroom to encourage. Paints with suitable durability can now be found now to fit those moods perfectly.

Glad to Help You Choose

Let’s be honest, we love our work. We are always happy to share the growing variety of approaches and styles you can choose from today, to arrive at a style that is all your own. The bathroom comes much higher on that list of personal preferences today, and we can be your guide in exploring your options.