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7 Bathroom Trends That Anyone (AKA The Non Renovating Risk Takers) Can Try in 2022

Welcome to Part One of our 2022 bathroom trends predictions. That’s right, this year we’ve spotted so many that we are dividing them up into two categories. Today I am introducing the non-renovation-based (so also renter-friendly) trends, but stay tuned for all things renovation coming soon. Now I have to say when it comes to bathrooms, I find the risk-takers and rule-breakers in design keep me on my toes every year. We tend to think of bathroom design in terms of permanent fixtures–the flooring, sink placement, faucets, etc.– but bathrooms have more decorative elements than we give them credit for. As a renter, I am certainly guilty of taking my bathroom for granted, focusing more on my more lived in spaces. But those days are gone because the trends we are expecting to see in 2022 are more approachable, innovative, and exciting than ever. Allow me to demonstrate…

The New Window Treatment: CAFE CURTAINS

Last year we predicted roman shades would dominate and while that trend is still going strong, we expect cafe curtains will be huge in 2022. When I think of cafe curtains I think of the charming greasy spoon diner down the street that’s been around for 50 years. There is a certain nostalgia about them, perhaps because they are often associated with ruffles, pattern, and good old fashion bacon and eggs. In 2022 we predict nostalgic vintage aesthetics will continue to thrive, so it should be no surprise that cafe curtains are defying odds by becoming the newest bathroom window treatment trend. I am all for it.

design by beata heuman

A delicate white cafe curtain like in the above bathroom designed by Beata Hueman gives just the right amount of whimsy to this colorful vintage style bathroom. This bathroom is undeniably playful, so I love that Beata went with a neutral curtain to level it out (although if anyone can make pattern work it’s Beata herself).

design by kara mann | via apartment therapy

Cafe curtains are not only a stylistic choice. They are also a great way to allow as much natural light in as possible as we can see here in this bathroom designed by Kara Mann. Side note: if you are worried about privacy, think of cafe curtains for second-story windows or windows that face a private outdoor area (like a backyard or side yard).

design by heidi caillier design | photo by haris kenjar

Of course, a cafe curtain is an excellent way to add pattern and color. Heidi Caillier is an expert at pattern and material mixing and this bathroom is no exception. As an added bonus, cafe curtains have less fabric and require smaller rods so they are inherently a cheaper window treatment option. Yep, that means they aren’t just cute–they are also budget-friendly!

Upholstered Furniture

Consider me shocked yet delighted that upholstered furniture is making its way into the bathroom. I think this is yet another residual effect of Covid–with so much staying at home, we want every room to be a place we’d like to spend time in. Every space needs to be multifunctional and yes, that includes bathrooms. I am not talking about taking Zoom calls from your tub, (if you do that then more power to you) but I know bathrooms are becoming the relaxing escape rooms we all need at times. So if a comfortable, pleasing to the eye cushioned seat is what you crave in the bathroom, you are not alone. Let’s observe:

design by beata heuman

In this predominantly blue bathroom, a patterned upholstered chair adds character and of course, a place to sit. Look, no one is saying every bathroom should be equipped with comfortable seating but if it is a viable option and makes sense for your needs, we say go for it. I’ll never knock function and style and as a huge fan of sitting, I am a big supporter of this trend.

photo via reschio

If there is one word I associate with this trend it is luxury. The above bathroom is via Reschio, a 1000-year-old castle turned decadent luxurious hotel, so of course a tufted chair is an appropriate bathroom accessory. Is it over the top? Maybe. But no one can deny a velvet blue chair is a lavish treat for the eyes.

design by studio shamshiri | photo by stephen johnson

You will never hear me complain about a furry armchair. EVER. Studio Shamshiri pushes the envelope (which is why we love them so much) and you know what? Why not have a fur armchair beside your bathtub. It’s 2022 and we deserve that luxury.

You do of course want to consider the amount of steam, moisture, and ventilation before bringing in your grandma’s French velvet stool.

Vintage Gallery Walls (+ Vintage Inspired Everything)

You all know I love a budget and renter-friendly trend and this is it. We are seeing a huge shift towards vintage aesthetics and one-of-a-kind pieces in every room. Bathrooms are now a place where you can flex your eclectic vintage finds whether that’s an antique chair, vintage lampshades, or a gallery wall. We always advocate for art in unexpected places and if you have the wall space, the bathroom is a fun place to curate an old-world style gallery wall. It’s also quickly becoming home to vintage light fixtures and faucets so if you are intrigued by this trend, just know you can go all out.

design by louise roe home | photo by james mcdonald

Louise Roe is sort of my idol when it comes to vintage-inspired design. She really knows how to choose a color palette that feels simultaneously retro and fresh, which is what I love about the above bathroom. The oil paintings bring in moody, earth tones that juxtapose the bright (but not too bright) red pattern wallpaper. All of that mixed with a gold frame mirror, wall plates, and olive green paneling? Let’s just say I am sold.

design by pierce & ward

This blue paneled bathroom by Pierce & Ward has been on my Pinterest board for a minute, and I think it sums up this trend perfectly. We love a gallery wall that is essentially a collection of the same subject art, and to me, nothing feels more eclectic and vintage than hand-drawn female form prints.

Tiny vintage chairs might also be an emerging bathroom trend but don’t quote me…yet. All I am saying is vintage furniture is having its moment in bathrooms and whether they are for functional purposes or not, I am on board. But back to the gallery wall. For even more vintage charm, a gallery wall paired with small-scale botanical wallpaper is the perfect marriage. Mix and match frames of different colors and styles is also a sure-fire way to bring your gallery wall to the next level.

Risky, Highly Saturated Wall Colors

Honestly give me all the rich, saturated colors in every room but especially in the bathroom. Have you ever walked into a bathroom for the first time and had to catch your breath because you were suddenly enveloped in an unexpected color? Like I said, the bathroom can be a private space, making it the perfect spot for an unexpected color exploration.

design by rachel chudley | photo by simon upton

The richness of the green walls here sends me to another dimension. The color is custom by Donald Kaufman color, so I am not surprised that it is capturing my attention so vehemently. Also, the border detail here is simply stunning.

design by rachel chudley | photo by simon upton

Rachel Chudley blows me away again, this time with a marble-inspired green wallpaper. I think what is most impressive about going with a rich saturated color is the texture and secondary colors that one chooses to accommodate it with. The almost cherry redwood vanity is simply *chefs kiss* up against this green and same goes for the organic stone sink.

design by katie ridder inc | photo by eric piasecki

Try not to get too distracted by the turtle-shaped wallpaper (I know it’s hard) and just look at how that blue invites you in. Staring at it is like dessert for my eyeballs, and has me believing a bright blue bathroom is something we all need in our lives. Also, can we talk about that colorful tiled mirror with built-in sconces?? It is so good I have GOOSEBUMPS.

Stand Alone Table Lamps

While minimalism is certainly not out the window, we expect to see more decor in bathrooms than ever before. Stand-alone table lamps are not a typical bathroom accessory which is why this a such a fun (renter-friendly!) trend that we can’t wait to see more of.

photo by ryan street architects | photo by douglas friedman

Speaking of minimalism, this neutral organic bathroom proves that adding extra decor pieces is not synonymous with maximalism. The stone curved lamp is neither loud nor show-stopping, but it is an added decor element that brings texture and movement to the space.

design by caitlin higgins for ehd | styling by emily bowser | photo by sara ligorria-tramp | from: caitlin’s first moto reveal: a vintage bathroom gets a modern update

If you remember Caitlin’s bathroom reveal, you know that that turtle lamp is not the only animal sculpture that makes an appearance. I’ll just say there’s a leather giraffe sculpture and leave it at that. But back to the lamp, here is a clear example that lamps should not be secluded to living rooms and bedrooms. You can absolutely opt for a novelty lamp simply because it’s a fun decor element that will take your maximalist style to another level.

The Return Of The Shower Curtain In High-End Spaces

There is no question that shower curtains are more budget-friendly than say, glass shower doors, so it’s somewhat surprising (and exhilarating) to see more curtains in high-end spaces. We expect this shift is in response to a collective desire for more pattern mixing, color exploration, and again, vintage-inspired everything. Some of these spaces do not require a shower curtain at all, so the design choice to include one is that much more intriguing.

design by heidi caillier design | photo by haris kenjar

The choice to add a shower curtain here is wildly unexpected and very fun. This little bath nook would be completely acceptable bare-bones, so it’s exciting to see a curtain here for even more pattern mixing.

design by studio robert mckinley | photo by read mckendree

Here is an example of a shower curtain that could easily have been replaced with glass shower doors. Whether the choice was to save on expenses or simply for the aesthetic, I am here for it. The curtains add movement and a bit of texture so this bathroom feels all the more inviting.

design by jane hallworth | photo by laure joliet | styling by colin king | via architectural digest

I am not sure if there is a showerhead behind those curtains but my gut is telling me there isn’t, which means those curtains are purely for style. I am not mad about it at all. The small-scale plaid plays off the rustic vibe here extremely well and adds just the right amount of pattern.

MAKE ROOM FOR MONOCHROME

Let’s call the monochrome bathroom trend pattern mixing’s introverted but daring cousin. It’s not in-your-face maximalist but it’s still bold and takes some guts to pull off. You can’t go monochrome without taking somewhat of a leap of faith (talk about commitment to a color am I right?) so it is fun to see how much designers are leaning in. For example…

design by oh joy and cleo murnane of project m plus | photo by bethany nauert | via oh joy

My secret dream is to have a pink bathroom so I love this one designed by Joy Cho and Cleo Murnane of Project M Plus. The trick with monochrome is to mix tones so you don’t risk overwhelming your senses with one single color. Here, the terrazzo tile sprinkles in more blush tones and the decor goes the opposite direction with brighter hues.

design by flack studio | photo by anson smart

Again, materials play a huge role in making monochrome work. The marble sink brings in several red hues that make the wall color absolutely pop. To ground it out (literally and figuratively) the floor adds darker and lighter tones that round out the entire color wheel.

If you are a renter or a non-renovator like myself, you can still opt for the monochrome look without ripping out tile. Painting or installing wallpaper to your walls and ceiling will help achieve this and as I said above, adding decor items in differing tones is what really makes monochrome work. If you do have less than ideal flooring, try adding a larger scale rug within your desired color wheel so you can achieve the monochrome look from top to bottom.

And that concludes our non-renovation-based bathrooms trends for 2022. Be sure to come back for our renovation trends, and let me know what you expect (or want) to see when it comes to bathrooms in 2022. xx

Opener Image Credit: Design by Jane Hallworth | Photo by Laure Joliet | Styling by Colin King | via Architectural Digest

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Annie
4 months ago

Bathrooms give me a lot of feelings about germs and mildew that make lots of framed prints and upholstered furniture feel like bad ideas on some weird visceral level, but I do love that little wooden chair! (and that square yellow tile in the Beata Heuman bathroom makes my heart sing)

Karen
4 months ago
Reply to  Annie

Yes! The furry armchair is sure to be disgusting, between hair and bathroom floaters…. It’s pretty in a picture though

Elaine
4 months ago
Reply to  Annie

I’m with you…I get full on ick at the thought of furnishings in a bathroom! I can still remember my granny’s carpeted bathroom, with an upholstered wicker chair, fluffy toilet seat cover and those feet mat thingys that used to be put in front of toilets! Awful!

Love this post though…2022 EHD is off to a cracking start!

Karen
4 months ago

I have cafe curtains in my 2nd floor bathroom. The window has privacy glass so it’s not a huge deal that only half the window has curtains.

Susan
4 months ago

This post was super fun to read and I love the way you guys pull together info for trend posts and choose such a wide range of images to illustrate the trends. This was well done. Thanks!
Also, no way can I do upholstered anything in a bathroom. Unless it’s a rarely used space, how does one disinfect or clean an upholstered piece? Especially ones with gorgeous fabric? I’ll save the gorgeous chairs for other living spaces. Makes for pretty photos though!

Shannon
4 months ago

Great post, thanks Ryann! I have a suggestion that maybe you guys were planning to cover anyway in the second bathroom-trend post: I keep seeing wood floors in bathrooms and wondering if they’re all faux, wood-look tiles or what? The pics I’ve seen are super high end and I wouldn’t expect faux anything in these spaces, but wood seems like an inherently bad choice for a bathroom floor with all that water splashing around. Is there some new treatment for wood floors that makes this trend possible?SMH

kim
4 months ago
Reply to  Shannon

I’ve seen lots of ‘wood’ floors in bathrooms lately, I think they’re porcelain tiles w/ a wood look.

Katie
4 months ago
Reply to  Shannon

I’ve wondered this, too! I love the warmth and history it can bring. A lot of boats are wood, so I’ve wondered if there’s some seaworthy way to treat for a wet environment.

Jeffrey C
4 months ago
Reply to  Shannon

You can use marine-grade sealants on wood to eliminate or significantly minimize any water issues.

Eleanor
4 months ago

Just like the kitchen trends post, this was another fun read. Thanks for compiling the list and the eye-candy pictures. Love the cafe curtains (but maybe not for me — thinking of those top-down/bottom-up shade to replace the blinds on our primary bathroom) and vintage gallery walls. Definitely no for me on upholstered furniture, and while saturated colors look nice, not for me as I’m more of a spa-like, calm bathroom vibe girl. Lamps look good but I would have to clear counter space for it so maybe not for me.

4 months ago

I love all of these and am especially into cafe curtains. Do you have a recommendation for a good quality tension rod? My tile returns into the window and I don’t want to drill into it to install a curtain rod, but most of the tension rods look cheap. I also love all the vintage and the rich colors!

Erin
4 months ago
Reply to  Sarah
Suzanne
4 months ago
Reply to  Sarah

I found this great tension rod at Target. It comes in two adjustable lengths in either a brushed nickel or bronze. Looks and works great.

https://www.target.com/p/18-34-30-34-tension-rod-brushed-nickel-room-essentials-8482/-/A-53434114

heather
4 months ago

yay, i’m already on the stand-alone lamp in the bathroom trend! needed some soft light for these long, dark winter days 🙂

4 months ago

Love the look of the upholstered chairs, but they don’t seem to be too sanitary.

Julie
4 months ago

Pretty rooms but totally NAY on upholstery and fabrics which cannot be washed/sanitized regularly!

lisa
4 months ago

I have had cafe curtains in my house for 20 years. I live in an older home and I have always loved the charming vibe the cafe curtain

give and plus that I can bring in light with just half the window covered. It is funny to me that my cafe windows, blue and yellow/gold in the family room, a bathroom whose walls, trim and crown all in the same paint color and green painted walls in the family room that I have had for 20 years are now back in! Ha. Love this post!

kim
4 months ago

I love it all. But I MUST know where the mirrors were sourced for the hotel Reschio. We’re building, the powder room is a jewel box. And I must have spent 50 hours so far trying to find the perfect mirror. This is it.

Kj
4 months ago
Reply to  kim

This is similarly shaped and looks like it could be hung upside down, but may not be big enough: https://www.amazon.com/WZ-Bathroom-Removable-Hanging-Entryway/dp/B083VYKPSL?th=1 . But any good frame and/or glass shop could make one exactly to your specs.

kim
4 months ago
Reply to  Kj

Thank you for the link. Yes, it would be too small. A glass shop could cut one. But it wouldn’t be beveled. And a frame for it would be hard to come by.

Allison Taylor
4 months ago

I’d love to find a rental with any ONE of these bathrooms! 🙂

Lindsay
4 months ago

OK, full disclosure. I don’t “get” Beata Heumann! I love the Kara Mann and Pierce and Ward bathrooms that you show, but I just really really don’t get the appeal of the Beata Heumann bathroom–Her work comes up a lot on this blog, in the most worshipful tones, so I figure the problem must be me. In the same way that I don’t like Bruce Springsteen, Neil Young, or Joan Armatrading–there must just be a gap to genius that I simply cannot cross.
Does she have a book I should read to further my appreciation?

Lindsay
4 months ago
Reply to  Lindsay

OK, me again, I see she does! “Every Room Should Sing” is the title, yes? I definitely appreciate some of the pics from this book more, and I will see if I can find it, as for sure it is intriguing and unique! But for whatever reason, this particular bathroom makes me wince–I think it is the clash between the chartreuse tile, toilet and the floor. No way to undo that with the pretty mirror, cafe curtains, and chair. But, to each her own!

Addie
4 months ago
Reply to  Lindsay

I discovered Beata Heumann’s work through this blog and find it fascinating and inspiring. Yet I totally understand that her style is not mainstream or ever going to appeal to a lot of people. I’m impressed with how she uses color, pattern, and style mixing in an expert and unexpected way. Do I adore every room of hers I’ve seen? No. But I don’t necessarily adore every work by a painter I love either, and that’s fine. Personally I’m not much of a yellow fan in home decor (especially in tile and toilet) so the biggest statements in that bathroom are not very appealing but I can appreciate how she’s curated a designed space that really works and doesn’t look like any other kid’s bathroom I’ve seen before.

Winifred
4 months ago

I am working on decor for my remodeled hall bath and half bath. I was thinking how cafe curtains would work nicely for the little window in my tiny half bath but I didn’t know it was a trend. Excited to look for curtains now! Easy and changeable way to add color and texture to the tiny room.
For the hall bathtub shower, I am going with a shower curtain. Didn’t know this was a trend too! Less expensive, but I find that the glass doors alway need to be cleaned to look decent. A machine washable curtain liner, I find to be easier. I also like that it adds color and texture to the room but you change it out when you get tired of it. Now, if I could only decide on one.

Shannon
4 months ago

I wouldn’t do full-on upholstery, but what I do have is a small vanity stool that has an upholstered padded top. I have a combined tub and shower area that is glassed off, and I never sit on the stool unless I am clothed. I don’t worry about it! It’s a shiny chrome metal (matches my fixtures) with a jewel-toned blue velvet seat.

I suppose you could upholster in outdoor type fabric if you really wanted to?

Lauren
4 months ago

this post makes me laugh. these bathrooms are so beautiful! And I love the idea of monochrome! but i literally do not have room for 3/4 of these in my (spacious for NYC) windowless apartment bathroom. I was hoping it would be things like “consider changing out your faucet to x finish which is trending” which aren’t so dependent on having a giant bathroom. I do love a wall treatment, though!

Sarah
4 months ago

Yes, the chairs arevgorgeous, but I have to agree with other writers who would not put ulpholstery in a steamy bathroom. The fabric and padding wouldn’t last long and… well…hygiene!

A plug-in lamp on a countertop where there would be water? Very unsafe.

The curtained shower enclosures look great, but is there enough light in there to shave your legs?

I’d check with an art expert before putting any valuable or irreplaceable originals in a humid environment.

Some of these issues might be avoided by a room that is large and/or ventilated well enough to avoid excessive humidity.

I am new to this site and I must say that I LOVE it overall.

Addie
4 months ago

I have used several of these design details in my rental bathrooms, cafe curtains & shower curtains (I prefer to sew them myself so I can choose the fabric) and lamps (a little vintage brass pineapple, so cute) but the other trends are mostly only for exceptionally large rooms where moisture is kept well away from things like art and upholstery. I’ve never taken the effort to paint or wallpaper a rental but I see how it’d make a dramatic change and could be worth the effort and money if I planned on staying in the same place for many years. Thanks for sharing!

Janessa Olney
4 months ago

Thank goodness shower curtains are coming back. The all glass doors are such a pain to clean.

Nicolettte
4 months ago

I will forever be on team shower curtain. Glass is so high maintenance and the curtain adds a soft texture to a normally hard space

janice
3 months ago

I like that cafe curtains in the bathroom are making a comeback. We are currently in a rental and I’m always looking for ways to 1. not spend too much money and 2. not make any non-fixable changes. Plus only purchase items that we will be able to use wherever we finally buy (we are in Portland, OR so that may be awhile). The bathrooms are quite small (one was recently completely overhauled due to a major leak, but not in size) and a chair wouldn’t work but I’ve always loved a small non-upholstered chair in a bathroom. When we lived in an old renovated Victorian in NY, I was able to do so in one of the bathrooms, which was nice with the claw footed tub. How I miss that bathroom!!

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