8 Bathroom Upgrades You Have to Have

Last year was a year we’ll never forget, as much as we’d like to. One thing 2020 has brought into focus is the need for our homes to be enjoyable places to spend time – lots of time!

Your master bathroom should be a place of sanctuary, a retreat from the rigors of modern living. Many people are looking to spas and boutique hotels for inspiration, but it is also wise to remember that the bathroom also needs to be a functional space. 

Whatever your priorities, here are some bathroom design ideas for bathroom upgrades. Get your bathroom on-trend to start 2021 in the right way! 


More is More With Decor

For the last twenty years or so our modern bathrooms have been somewhat clinical – clean white wall space and fixtures, perhaps offset with chrome or smoked glass. 

This is all set to change this year, with blended color schemes and a variety of patterns, materials, and textures coming into play. Think mosaic tiling or decorative murals, glass and ceramics, bold colors. Decorative and ornate are the watchwords. 


beautiful free standing bathtub

While refitting a bathroom – especially if you’re moving plumbed in features around – can be a big and expensive job, it can transform the entire feel of the room.

Freestanding tubs have been a thing for a few years now, giving a luxurious and classic vibe to the otherwise modern bathroom. More on-trend for this year is a Japanese soaking tub, or ofuro – a space-saving option where the bather sits more vertically in a higher sided bathtub. See my post on how to remove an old tub.

Luxury in the Bathroom

Luxury bathroom upgrade

Wanting a spa feel bathroom is nothing new, but this year sees designers taking luxury to new levels with the idea of cocooning the go-to concept. Cocooning essentially means wrapping yourself in comfort – a sure-fire way to spend an hour or so relaxing at home if you’re under lockdown conditions. 

From simple touches like scented candles, luxurious towels, and bathrobes through to designer fittings and fixtures and sauna or steam room features, a home spa is very much on-trend in 2021.  

Showers (and Plants)

Gone are the days of a bath/shower combo or a shower cubicle. Assuming you have space, a walk-in shower feels luxurious and exotic and gives the bathroom an aesthetic flow that transforms the environment.

Combine this with a selection of plants such as eucalyptus or lemongrass to give yourself a natural dose of aromatherapy when things get steamy. In fact, the ‘jungle’ look is also in for 2021, bringing the outdoors inside. Plants give the space a warm and tranquil feel. 

Modern Bathroom Taps, Mixers, and Showerheads 

twin bathroom sinks with mirrors

Offset your bathtub, shower, or sink with an elegant faucet. Depending on your design concept there are many options to choose from. 

Chrome is an evergreen option, but more on trend this year are matte white fixtures or ornate and decorative gold. There are taps, mixers, and showerheads out there to suit all budgets, from cheap and cheerful to ranges by top designers.

If you are upgrading your toilet, you may also want to check out my post on the best flushing toilets.

Get Smart

Smart technology has become ever more sophisticated, and as it becomes ubiquitous has become increasingly affordable. When it comes to the bathroom the best place to start is with bathroom fixtures, lights, and music. 

After that, how about some self-demisting mirrors? Many smart features contain integrated charging and USB ports, LED temperature displays, a smart bathroom vent fan, and more. Smart toilets are now available and look to become more popular in 2021. These feature hands-free components, like self-closing lids and touch-free flushing, reducing hand contact with germs and bacteria. Even better, self-cleaning models are becoming widespread on the market. 


Far from there being a consensus on what material works best on the floor this year, designers seem to recommend just about everything. 

From warm, earthy tiles in terracotta tones to wood such as white oak, red cedar, or redwood, the focus – if there is one – is on warm natural material. This works well with a lot of the other ideas trending this year, as different layers of texture and color can be built up, giving the floor space and the entire bathroom an enveloping – but not claustrophobic – feel. 

If you are using wood, make sure it is engineered – regular wood and water don’t pair well!

Bathroom Glamour is Back

Create a rich, dramatic, and glamorous feel in your bathroom this year. There are plenty of ways to do a bathroom renovation, from a beautifully dressed window with opulent fabric curtains (floor length of course) to elegant shutters. 

Think 1920s art deco or the gaudy glamour of the 70s. Ornaments have been banished from the bathroom for a couple of decades, but it’s time to dust off the gold candlesticks or china vases. If you can balance eclecticism without spilling into clutter, you’re on the right track. 

Bathroom trends  (including bathroom vanity trends) this year are leaning towards fun over precision, which is exactly what we need after 2020! Whether your bathroom – or your budget – is big or small, there are plenty of great ideas to get you started. You could even paint your toilet seat in a unique pattern.

While we are on the topic of bathroom upgrades, you might want to check out my Wood vs Plastic Toilet Seat comparison.

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