The Comeback of Retro Design Trends in Modern Bathrooms – ArchDaily

December 21, 2021 by No Comments

The Comeback of Retro Design Trends in Modern Bathrooms

Puerto Vallarta ensuite bathroom / Studio Utkan Gunerkan. Image Courtesy of Studio Utkan Gunerkan



Even though white minimalism remains the norm, retro trends are making a serious comeback in modern bathroom designs, with homeowners incorporating pops of color, classic fixtures, and patterned surfaces. Despite often being static and traditional spaces in homes, bathrooms have certainly undergone significant transformations throughout the years. While those of the outspoken 1970s brought vibrant colors like avocado green and mustard yellow, the ‘80s introduced ceramic tiles in more muted, pastel shades. On the other hand, this century has set the ideal on white and marbled surfaces, slick gloss finishes, and silver fixtures. However, even as this all-white look continues to be the protagonist, bold retro enhancements are reviving and blending in with contemporary elements to create elegant, yet lively atmospheres with a strong character.

What exactly is Retro?

Essentially, the term Retro in interior design refers to reviving trends from the 1950s to 1980s era by incorporating them into modern spaces – whether it be through color, accessories, furniture or geometric shapes and patterns. This does not mean, nonetheless, that designs have to be aged or outdated, but rather implies an eclectic mix of the old and new. In other words, embracing a modern look with a refreshed retro sentiment that transmits a certain nostalgia. Today, this modernized version of retro is popular among homeowners (especially millennials) that are attracted to a more unique and playful aesthetic that escapes the classic white canvas.

Bond street apartment / Home Studios . Image © Brian Ferry

From classic fixtures to colorful patterned walls, many past design elements can be incorporated in bathrooms to achieve this contemporary retro style. Here, we present some trends that have made a comeback, along with the timeless materials used to achieve them.

Colorful ceramic tiles

Nothing screams retro quite like bold colors, whether it be in flooring, walls, sinks, toilets, or bathtubs. Lively pastel hues like dusty blue, mint, peach, and salmon all made their appearances throughout ‘80s bathrooms, providing a fun ambiance by combining seemingly incompatible tones. Even though this color scheme fell out of fashion in the ‘90s, it seems to be making a comeback. But, instead of being fully saturated spaces, modern bathrooms are mostly integrating some pops of color in the form of ceramic tiles.

Many modern houses encapsulate this aesthetic, such as a small granite home where pale green tiles clad the chimney-style shower. Likewise, House L&W has mainly all-white interiors, but includes a retro-inspired shower covered in mint ceramic tiles, a very popular bathroom shade in the ‘70s (even featured in iconic movies like The Shining).

Small House with a Monumental Shower / fala. Image © Ricardo …….



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