5 Bathroom Design Trends for 2012

The National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA), a non-profit trade association that has educated and led the kitchen and bath industry for more than 45 years, conducts an annual member survey to identify the latest trends in bathroom and kitchen design. Based on 350 responses throughout Canada and the United States, here are five (5) bathroom trends for 2012. Note that four (4) of the trends also cross over to Kitchen Design.

1. Medicine Cabinets

In recent years past, many decorators and designers have opted for decorative mirrors instead of the more traditional medicine cabinet. However, with many young people beginning the home buying experience in 500 sq ft condos and many others downsizing as their family needs change, efficient use of space is returning to the forefront on a larger scale. Since medicine cabinets are multi-functional – providing both hidden storage and a mirror – and have minimal to no impact on the overall footprint, they are a perfect addition to any bathroom, big or small!

2. The Return of Polished Chrome

Though brushed metal finishes have been dominant the past several years, polished chrome is being increasingly specified in both Bathroom and Kitchen applications. Consequently, the use of both satin and brushed chrome surfaces is on the wane. Stainless steel, which has a naturally polished surface, has also exhibited increased use. Bronze finishes are dipping in popularity.

3. Gray Love

Gray transitioned to a neutral colour quite some time ago. It creates a striking and elegant backdrop that does not overpower the rest of the design concept, which explains why it is rising in popularity. The most popular colour schemes remain whites and off-whites and bones and beiges. Gray currently sits as third most popular (in bathrooms), followed by browns and blues.

4. Transitional

Transitional styles have overtaken traditional for the first time ever since the NKBA began tracking design trends; the lines and details are less elaborate, resulting in a modern classic look and feel. Traditional is the second most popular, followed by contemporary, shaker, arts & crafts, and cottage styles, respectively.

5. Solid Surfaces

The use of solid surfaces has been rising in both the bathroom and kitchen, though granite and quartz remain the first and second most popular selections. In bathrooms, it is not necessarily used for countertops, but for thresholds, transitions, and/or shower bench seats.

Photo Gallery Author

MeCC Interiors is an award winning full service design studio specializing in residential design, commercial redesign, and project management. Have your spaces custom designed from the ground up or simply dressed and accessorized – no job is too big or too small.

Other galleries from this pro:



The Pantone Colours of Spring 2013

Oct 30, 2012 by MeCC Interiors

What will spring 2013 look like in terms of colour? While the colours are fresh and bright, they are not quite as bold as what we saw last year. The neutral tones are more subtle and almost fade into the background and there is a strong green influence for 2013. Greens are predicted to span all spectrums as we see undertones of blue, grey, and yellow in the top shades.



The Colours of Fall 2012

Oct 30, 2012 by MeCC Interiors

Welcome to fall, which officially begins today! The colours are not yet as vibrant as those shown at Fallingwater, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1935 and built between 1936-38, but colours are definitely starting to shift.



Recycled Shipping Containers as Buildings?

Sep 20, 2012 by MeCC Interiors

Have you ever driven by a stockyard and wondered what becomes of all those stacked shipping containers when they are deemed no longer useful for transport? Increasingly, many are being transformed into usable spaces, both commercially and residentially.



Inflatable Structures Help Solve Space Dilemmas

Sep 20, 2012 by MeCC Interiors

Do you think air pumps are just for tires and balloons? I think AirClad would strongly disagree. For years, the UK-based company has been producing temporary structures for both commercial and residential use that inflate when needed (usually for three days to three weeks) and deflate and neatly store away until they are needed again. Made of fabric, the structures are designed to compress with a ratio of 100m2 of usable space to 1 cubic metre when stored.



Design for the Greater Good – Mattel Children’s Hospital

Sep 20, 2012 by MeCC Interiors

Though some see design as a waste of time, the truth of the matter is that design has the power to change lives. It can brighten a sunken mood. It can envelope and bring a sense of safety. It can also unite; bringing people together to focus on a worthwhile task or cause.



A Space for Those Who Live at the Office

Sep 20, 2012 by MeCC Interiors

For those who live, eat, sleep, breathe their work, London- and Berlin-based architects Nilsson Pflugfelder have introduced Verbandkammer, a spaceship-like, customizable workspace / artist’s residence.



Colour + Colour + Neutral

Sep 20, 2012 by MeCC Interiors

"For me, colour-plus-colour-plus-colour isn’t as good an equation as colour-plus-colour-plus-neutral. Adding a neutral keeps colours from looking childish and amateurish, and colours look richer when they’re paired with neutrals." -Betsy Burnham (House Beautiful, June 2012)



The Design of Yoga

Sep 20, 2012 by MeCC Interiors

September is National Yoga Month. While a yoga practice should not focus on the look of the studio, a space can certainly impact one’s practice just as much as the combined presence of those practicing within the space. As an avid practitioner and teacher, I have compiled images of studios in which I would love to practice.