Gray holds as much influence in the bath as it does in the kitchen, although experts say there is also a lot of interest in all-white, white and black, and even some khaki-hued spaces. That said, homeowners tend to favor patterned tiles on the floor, white, dark, or light gray cabinetry, and lots of light, mirrors, and glass“We are using a lot of marble, says Ann Calvert of Sara Ray Interior Design.
“We specify Carrara and Calacatta, often paired with white or gray cabinets. Generally, we keep the industrial trend to a minimum, but we take cues from that aesthetic. We use black, gold, and polished nickel metals most frequently, as well as white tile with contrasting dark grout, matte finishes, and raw and natural materials,” Calvert says, adding, “There’s a resurgence of interest in hexagon tiles, and we often pair penny round tiles with new mosaics in unique patterns for special accents. We use mostly porcelain or natural stone tile.”
According to Allison O’Keefe of Cambria, bathrooms have been spa-inspired—sprawling and luxurious—for several years. and that trend is not changing. “The décor has been neutral, but we are going to see movement toward an increasingly dramatic and glamorous bathroom,” O’Keefe says. “We see opulence in the future, through mixed use of materials in light fixtures, black and bold colors, golds tones and finishes.”
I haven’t seen many of the industrial elements make it into bathrooms yet,” says Stephanie Pierce of MasterBrand Cabinets, “but a leaning toward contemporary styling is definitely on trend. Wall-hung vanities and linen cabinets give the illusion of more space by exposing more floor area. And minimalistic elements and clean lines that are popular in other aspects of our lives are certainly applicable for bathrooms.”
Pierce adds that there is more color being brought into bathrooms than in kitchens—”but color is a very personal choice and varies widely from bright, bold opaques to tranquil blues or even monochromic neutrals, while homeowners are choosing to change textures or patterns to add depth to tight spaces.”
“Today’s bathroom decor is cool, fresh, and clean,” says Teresa Zilinsky of Teresa Zilinsky Interior Design. “Many clients are enjoying white paired with chrome details. Using all white gives a room an open clean feel. Others, who can’t quite get on the all-white band wagon, are using some white with soft cool colored walls, but keep that same open fresh feel. We are seeing everything from a retro look using subway tile to a farmhouse look using white shiplap walls and occasionally a trough sink. The openness continues with the use of baskets and open shelves and fresh white towels.
From tractional to contemporary, clean lines seem to be a unifying factor for the Nashville market, reports Mary Souder of PDI. “Metal legs for bathroom vanities have been very popular as have been wall-mounted vanities. These styles are no longer relegated to the modern aesthetic. They are a great option for those remodeling in tight spaces or interested in universal design,” she says.
In agreement with others, Souder notes that while grey cabinetry is still very popular, black and white are also favored in design, in cabinetry and tile as well.
Bohnne Jones of Decorating Den Interiors says many of her clients opt for a classic, timeless look. “Typically we use polished nickel or chrome, which is quite classy. I am seeing a lot of brushed brass at the trade shows, and I’m sure we’ll start using it more in our designs. Additionally, many clients are using wallpaper in their bathrooms,” she says.
When it comes to design, according to Kate Gray Fudim of Beth Haley Design, custom vanities are “the top of many of our clients’ wish lists. Everyone wants to maximize storage and have a perfect piece of ‘furniture’ for their bathroom designed just for them. Next on the wish list is a separate tub and shower.”
Specializing in universal design and aging in place is Sara Beth Warne of Aging in Place Services, who offers design tips including accessible bath entrance (often requiring wider doors), lever-style door hardware, glass front or open shelving for easy viewing and access, roll-out shelving in base cabinets for easy access, adjustable or varied-height counters, as well as floating vanities with space under them for a wheelchair if needed.
“A number of our clients are doing away with their bathtubs and opting for larger showers with bench seating or integrating their bath tubs into the shower enclosure to create wet rooms,” says Carla Taylor of Hermitage Kitchen Design Gallery. “Homeowners are becoming more aware of aging in place. They’re requesting grab bars, higher vanity heights, and zero transitions into the shower. Small niches down low for placing your foot to shave has also become popular in today’s showers.”
Taylor adds that many clients love the look of natural stone for bathrooms, but hate the maintenance. “Porcelain tile that is made to look like natural stone is still very popular in our designs,” she reports.
“We also get requests for large format geometric tile, concrete, and teak, when it comes to floors and showers.”
Fudim suggests the biggest trend her company sees in bathroom flooring is ceramic tile made to closely resemble wood planks. “We also see the look being carried up the walls as shiplap,” she says.
“Tile is always a great way to express personality and we see a lot of glass tile in jewel tones used as accent pieces. Tile is also great because you have a lot of variety in size and shape which allow for a broader choice and for personalization. Clients definitely find appeal in the larger tiles on the floor and smaller, more linear tiles on the wall. Think 24-in. x 24-in. floor tiles and linear wall tile mosaics on the wall.”
Bohnne Jones says many of her clients are doing away with the tub in master bathroom remodels, and increasing the size of the shower. “Clients are looking for more function with their shower fixtures—handheld sprayers, multiple heads, etc.,” Jones says. “We discourage clients from a freestanding tub, unless they have the space to be able to clean around it. Often this isn’t considered and there is no way to clean the floor all the way around the tub. I’ve even seen construction debris behind tubs in show homes.”
Jones adds that in many showers the tile goes up to the ceiling. “Sometimes we even tile the ceiling in the shower, which is imperative in a steam shower. Steam showers are often requested, but they do require a lot of planning and are not easy to include except in a major remodel or new construction,” says Jones.
Calvert says wall sconces are a favorite of clients, rather than overhead lighting. “We also love large framed mirrors, as well as gold, black, and brushed bronze hardware and faucets. Our clients want large showers with niches, benches, and two showerheads – one wall or ceiling mounted, and one handheld. Double vanities are a must, and tubs are often optional in master suites. Our clients love freestanding, soaking tubs.”
The trend toward large master baths in new and remodeled homes is a trend not likely to fade, according to Rochelle Coll of Nashville Glass. “Large walk-in showers with bench seats, wider doors, rain shower heads, and multi-sprayers remain popular. In addition, we’re seeing more tile or glass shelves in larger baths.”
The percentage of panel-only glass enclosures for showers with no door is growing, Coll says. “With no door you don’t have to worry about glass hitting commodes or cabinets, and having no door often allows more space in tight areas. It also reduced expenditures. That said, we did return to a couple of homes to add doors after the initial installation. The homeowners didn’t like the cold air coming in the open end of the shower.”
Coll also addresses the growing trend toward large mirrors and sconces included in the mirror. “Most homeowners are maximizing every inch in their baths, installing mirrors on the walls to make a space look larger and bring in more light. We’re also noting a growing trend toward adding light fixtures through/on mirrors instead of placed above mirrors. Once the wiring is done, it’s a simple matter to replace the fixtures if your tastes change.”
Wall mount vanities are trending paired with a set of drop pendants in the place of traditional sconces, according to Souder. “LED lighting has also been on the rise,” she says, and “is especially fantastic for makeup and shaving. The LEDs have a brighter light output, come in many color ranges, are lower in energy consumption, produce significantly less heat, and don’t require bulb replacement. Many of our clients have been going for simple sleek medicine cabinets with beveled glass mirrors. These are great space savers and take most of the visual clutter out of your vanity area.”
Taylor reports that wall-to-wall frameless mirrors with light fixtures mounted on them are growing in popularity. “And clients are beginning to ask for mixed finishes in plumbing and hardware. Polished nickel and brushed/antiqued brass is a popular combination. Our designers are specifying less and less satin nickel and oil rubbed bronze, but still using chrome,” she says.
Like others, Jones says she is seeing an increased call for lighting integrated into the mirror—”and of course, lighting on either side of your face helps eliminate shadows.”
Fudim concludes, “We see clients wanting to match the mood of their home, making a design statement in the bathroom. For historic Nashville bungalows, clients tend to favor contemporary design mixed into the old framework, including custom vanities, tile, and integrated lighting systems. In traditional homes across the area, we’ve seen a resurgence of bathroom retreats or really glamorous spaces that serve as part of the master suite. These spaces are all about statement lighting, plush surfaces, great tubs, and luxurious showers. Lighting frequently includes sconce lighting and overhead chandeliers.”
There are a number of sources for bathroom design trends in the Nashville area including:
Clarksville 931/ 647-0276
Lebanon, 615/ 444-2111
Nashville 615/ 385-3054
Murfreesboro 615/ 890-5599
Kenny & Company
Only Towel Warmers
Sara Ray Interiors
Smokey Mountain Countertops
Teresa Zilinsky Interiors