Bathroom design trends contemporary vanity green tile and pendants

7 LOUSY BATHROOM TRENDS TO AVOID AT ALL COST – Why it’s bad for you, and what to do instead…

The other day a neighbor asked me casually what’s trendy in bathrooms these days?”

I said I could tell her what’s hot right now, but because trends change ALL THE TIME, there’s a better question she should be asking…


(Feature Image source)

I dare you to do a quick search on Zillow for the first 3 houses in your neighborhood, and tell me what you see.

Do you see it?

What on earth have we been doing to our bathrooms?

I may be wrong, but if everyday I see, smell, or touch something that consciously or subconsciously irritates me, certainly it must affect how I feel about myself and show up in the world?

Seeing that the bathroom is the first place we visit in the morning, and last place at night, and since it is the hub of personal hygiene that stimulates at least three of our senses, surely we should be more mindful of how we set it up?


For instance, look at this lovely bathroom below. So calm and harmonious, with oodles of natural light, and balanced in every way.

Can I start my day here, please?




Anyway, I gave my neighbor a list of things she should avoid at all cost. Things that will date her bathroom tomorrow, that she’ll get sick of the day after installation, and things that are a complete waste of money.

Then, to satisfy my own curiosity I rushed home to do my own very unscientific research of the worst design elements in bathrooms, and why it’s so bad.

Bad for our health, and bad for the planet.

I must confess I geeked out a bit – and as I delved deeper things got REALY interesting.

This is what I found…



The biggest sin of all, and the most unsustainable tile variety on earth.

The type that says – I want to do something “different”, but I cannot make up my mind, or commit to anyting, so I picked this jumble.

The multi-color mosaic appears most notoriously in the form of strips – strips above the vanity, strips around the tub, strips in arbitrary lines up and down the shower, and around bathroom walls.

Someone I know calls it the barf-band.

The multi colored mosaic tile strip and niche in bathroom shower

This type of tile is not cute, it is  not fancy, and it doesn’t work as an accent.

What it does is distract. It disrupts the calm, and makes a bathroom look cluttered.

This busy mosaic is also the NUMBER ONE element that is going to date your bathroom very quickly. You WILL get sick of it, and sooner than you think. And then you’re stuck.

Worst of all is the maintenance – especially where you find them on the shower floor. Apart from it looking like someone got sick in your shower, can you imagine cleaning the endless tiny lines of moldy grout?!

Avoid this tile like the pest.



I already mentioned strips, and decided to make a separate point of it so there’s no doubt that it’s not only the colored mosaic that’s obnoxious.

It’s also the strip itself. In any form or shape.

Not sure where this ridiculous notion originated, but it was a weird idea back then, and it’s even weirder today. Just look at all the stupid lines in the collage above.

Enough said, I think you get the point…



Did you see all the niches? Of course, how can you miss them!

Why anyone would want to draw the attention to a small box in the middle of nowhere that will soon overflow with the nasty paraphernalia of everyday bathing, is beyond me.

The niche is NOT a focus point.




For a worthy accent in your bathroom, large color blocks – the entire shower, or the full back wall – work great. In this elegant bathroom, the striking block of green wall in the shower becomes a powerful focus. The niche blends in perfectly, it doesn’t distract or steal the attention. Perfect.



GRRR! You see them everywhere, the sconce that looms over the mirror like it’s about to attack it.

First of all, a light from above your head is not good for you.

See the ghostly shadows under your eyes? Scary.

Nobody needs that first thing in the morning, or ever.


bathroom bad ideas three lamp vanity sconce above the morror

Also, the lamps in these light fittings are normally spine-chillingly, super white. This is not good, and I don’t know how anyone can fall asleep after that kind of exposure.

Funny these lamps,  they manage to be dazzlingly bright – yet in terms of ambiance – remarkably dull.

It wasn’t always like this.

Previous generations got it right, they placed candles in sconces on the wall at eye level. And later, when electricity appeared in bathrooms, that’s where the vanity light stayed.

Because that’s exactly where it makes sense.



But someone had to mess with it, and now the dreaded three-headed sconce over the mirror became the norm.


The best thing you can do for your face is to have two sconces, or pendants, flanking the mirror at eye level – right where you need it to light up your face beautifully.

Look at the lights around this exquisite vanity below.


Elegant bathroom with white countertop on black vanity with wood panelling behind mirrors and wall sconces at eye level flanking the mirrors


It’s close to perfect. At eye level from both sides of the mirror. Warm-white lamps, and dimmable.

By the way, what is it that’s making this bathroom so magnificent? It’s the harmony between the different materials – the natural wood panelling, sleek countertop, shiny glass, velvet drawer fronts, muted metals, marbled tile. So damn elegant.


Talking of wood, here’s a cringeworthy tile trend that SHOULD NEVER HAVE BEEN…



Tile can pretend to be all sorts of things – marble, stone, concrete, terrazzo – that’s fine. But what tile should NOT do is try looking like wood.


There are so many reasons this is wrong, but frankly neither you or I should waste much time elaborating on this. Suffice it to say – it’s just wrong.

OK, here’s a few reasons anyway…

– feels wrong – tile is cold underfoot, while wood is warm to the touch

– seems odd– tiles are short and regular, while wood planks are long and random

– looks fake– due to the nature of tile, patterns and texture repeat too quickly. Real wood doesn’t

– is out of place – wood in the shower? Nobody in their right mind does that.


Please, please, for the sake of the planet, can we stop wasting resources on stupid ideas like wood-looking tile?

 bathroom bad ideas wood look tile horrible idea


Wood look don’t look good.

The end.


However, because bathrooms are completely wrapped in hard, cold surfaces – every bathroom needs a touch of of wood.

Could be the vanity cabinet, a mirror frame, shower bench, or stool.

Or something like this…

Elegant bathroom with shower-tub combination and clear glass swing door instead of shower curtain


Wood panelling around the tub. How cosy is this lovely bathroom, from the calming tones of the soft green-grey tile, the wood panelling, the non-standard rug, and the crisp-clear glass panel and door. A tub-shower combo done so well, it’s almost edible.

Which brings us to the very next two points…



I get it, sometimes there’s simply not enough space and you have no choice but to combine the tub and shower.

But in EVERY bathroom of the house?!

Not necessary

Never comfortable

And indeed right out dangerous!

It’s jut not done anymore.



One tub per house should be sufficient. Walk-in showers for the rest.

This delightful bathroom above has all the elements for comfort, beauty, and wellness –  easy layout, good light, calm colors, natural materials. Everything in balance and harmony, fresh and light.

Which cannot be said of the last point on the list.



AH, that clingy, moldy, and soon to be disgusting irritation in the shower.

Not only do they harbor mold and germs in their musty folds, they block light and make any bathroom feel much smaller than it is. On top of that, they’re made from cheap, quick-drying chemicals that are bad for the environment, and with heat, release toxins into the air we breath!

So much for taking a fresh shower!

So they’re bad for your health, they’re bad for the environment, and do NOTHING for your bathroom.

Can someone please tell me WHY do we still have them?


While the shelves of American stores are groaning under the weight of endless options of this dreadful thing, the rest of the world has moved on to frameless glass panels and doors – decades ago!

Because glass just makes so much more sense. For starters it’s crisp and clear, and easy to clean. It allows light through, and make the bathroom feel more spacious.

Above all, glass lasts forever,

and it doesn’t cling to your leg!


It is fascinating that the most timeless designs, are also the most simple.

Yet, the things that excite us most, are often the things that are more complex, busy, and detailed.

They’re also the things we tire of soonest.

If you want to be happy with your design for longer, remember:



Over to you – what is the one thing in your bathroom that’s been irritating you for years?

If you have a design question, ask in the comments – we answer all of them.

interior design informationMia







Bathroom trends to avoid, why it's bad for you and what to do instead

Posted in Bathrooms, Design, Finishes, Lighting, Wellness and tagged , , , , .


  1. My biggest pet peeve (other than lighting above a mirror, which you mentioned) is a windowless bathroom. I will never buy or build a house with a bathroom lacking a window. Horrible!

    I’m guilty of the sin of trim tile, but only because we wanted to keep true to the original style of our 97-year-old house. We matched the existing white-with-green-flowers hex floor tile with subway tile in the shower—white with green trim. It goes with the character of our old home, but I’d never do it in a newer home. It’s better than what the previous owner did: A giant mosaic sun surrounded by white square tile with orange trim!

    • So true, nothing beats natural light, and a bathroom without it is a sad, sad space. Thank you for stopping by. And I agree one should do upgrades in a way that harmonizes with the character of the house. That said, the sunflower mosaic sounds awful – in ANY interior. Glad you got rid of it!

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