2009 Bathroom Trends

February 17, 2009

real estate

Well, despite gloomy news in the housing market, people still have rickety old houses that need renovating (like yours truly). I’ve been keeping my eye on “trends” for renovations and new construction for several years now, trying to stay slightly ahead of the game; so, when it comes my time to gut my kitchen or bathroom, I’ll be modernized and efficient (and therefore won’t have to re-update in 5 to 10 years like so many of my neighbors do). One thing I have learned is– keep it simple. You can’t go wrong with keeping things simple. I try to think beyond design and make systems and functions simple, too.

According to the UK’s House to Home, the bathroom trends for 2009 are:

  • Natural Beauty
  • Hotel glamour
  • Freestanding baths
  • Shower power
  • Bathroom storage

I like that list (nice and simple!), however it’s missing one thing– a trend toward “universal design.” Universal design is what I am considering to be the ideal standard bathrooms design. With the majority of the populace getting older (Baby Boomers and such), universal design is becoming almost standard in new bathroom design, but it is commonly overlooked in renovation. I am using it in small ways myself now, and intend on going that route entirely when I remodel the bathrooms.

Universal design is kind of like the ergonomics for bathroom accessories. For example, instead of round doorknobs, which are more difficult for older hands to twist and open, use lever door handles. Instead of moulded bathtubs that are integrated into the wall (bathtubs that are very difficult to climb in and out), use kudos showers that have doors, even wider, bi-fold doors,– you can just walk in. Some showers even have stools and should definitely have handles.

Common universal design features:

  • Grab bars in tub/shower and around toilet area
  • Walk-in tubs and/or showers; showers with seats; tub handles placed to the side and not inside the tub/shower
  • Elevated (taller) sinks and cabinets, to eliminate bending to wash hands and face
  • Lever door handles and lever faucet handles
  • Wider doorways and wider tub/shower entrances (36″ wide) to accommodate wider people and/or wheelchairs
  • Taller toilets, or toilets on pedestals, to eliminate bending; elongated toilets instead of round ones

So while I like natural neutral colors, hotel glamour, and “shower power,” I think a trend that should remain consistent and never become outdated is universal design. Don’t overlook this when renovating or building! You will thank yourself when you are older.

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3 Responses to “2009 Bathroom Trends”

  1. Mizé Says:

    Hi Rebecca.
    I´d love to have more storage in my bathroom and, more important of all, an exterior window.
    My flat was build in 2000 and they still make WC´s like this, arrg.
    Good Tuesday xx

  2. Bonnie Story Says:

    That’s a great blog post. Really good design is about usefulness and you can’ beat Universal Design. Also it’s so much easier to clean. I’m so excited to hear the designers say that trendy big-bucks granite slab countertops are “out” now – thankfully.

  3. Tori Williams Says:

    Wow great post! I LOVE the idea of making an exterior window, I think it makes great lighting on bright sunny days. :P. I’m currently having my bathroom being done and I found my local contractors at [url]. They did everything perfectly and I think i’m going to ask about an exterior window as well! Nice post!