6 Hot Bathroom Trends for 2021 That You Can Totally DIY

published Feb 24, 2021
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Between plumbing, tiling, tubs, and other fixtures, remodeling a bathroom can be expensive. In fact, Houzz puts the average cost of a master bathroom remodel at $8,000 in 2020 — and that cost goes up to $14,000, on average, for a major remodel.

The good news is that if you’re looking for a trendy upgrade for your bathroom this year, you don’t have to spend a ton of money. In fact, some of the year’s hottest trends are totally DIY-able. Here’s what experts say their clients are asking for — and how to bring the look into your own bathroom for less.

Add some color to your vanity.

This is something you can add in under 10 minutes to achieve a quick pick-me-up in your bathroom. A pop of color on the vanity can make your 2021 bathroom look more intentionally decorated. Interior Designer Cassandra Schinkel says the vanity in particular is the place to experiment since the time commitment and risk level is low.

For color, think planters, candles, dried flowers or a colorful DIYed tray.

If you want to go bigger, try painting your wood vanity in your favorite color; the small scale makes this a very doable weekend project.

Credit: Clara Doti/Shutterstock.com

Bring in natural elements.

Wood is back, and integrating natural elements will give your bathroom a spa-like feel. Jen Stark, founder of Happy DIY Home where she is a home improvement expert and blogger, calls this an “up and coming trend.” She suggests using your coffee table as DIY inspiration for your vanity.

“Vanities that have a console look are in, and you may even include storage space with double doors that swing out,” she says. “The idea with this trend is to pull your living room’s comfortable feel into your bathroom, and the vanity allows you to make it a focal point.”

She also recommends adding plants that complement your design aesthetic. “You could hang them in a corner, set smaller ones on your counter, or incorporate them in a wall design with a mounted planter,” she says. “Just make sure that they like humidity and moisture and have good drainage to keep them healthy.”

Incorporate black fixtures.

Industrial chic isn’t going anywhere in 2021, and it’s one of the easiest DIY styles to pull off, as small changes make a big difference. Architect and Interior Designer Leslie Saul says, “I’ve noticed that more folks are asking for a black and white bathroom, incorporating black elements such as faucets, cabinet pulls, lighting, and frames for shower enclosures.”

You can DIY the look in an hour (or much less!) by swapping out old hardware for new pulls or knobs in a sleek black finish, or replacing your faucet. You can also paint shower enclosure frames to get the trendy black finish — just make sure to use paint that’s made for metal for best results.

Credit: Ana Kamin

Give your shower a pick-me-up.

One of the more simple DIY changes you can make in your shower involves shelving and the showerhead. Nicole Michael, a Southern California-based interior designer, says people are requesting steam showers and multiple shower heads, including a rain shower head, stationary head, and a handheld showerhead. This is one of the most economically and impactful improvements you can make, often on your own.

Sturdy shower shelving is also a top request this year, according to Doyle James, President of Mr. Rooter Plumbing. Getting those toiletries off the floor, or off their precarious perches on your bath’s tiny ledge a tiny ledge, will immediately improve your bathroom’s aesthetics. “The last thing you need is for slippery suction cups to lose their grip while you’re showering, and cause everything on the shelves to come tumbling down,” James says. If shelf installation isn’t in your DIY wheelhouse, opt for a simple and innovative organization option that won’t cost much at all.

Swap that mirror and get in on the wallpaper trend.

If you are still looking at your reflection in that big sheet mirror that the builders originally installed in your house at the beginning of time, you are missing out on one of the easiest and most impactful DIY bathroom swaps. Especially in a bathroom with two sinks, swapping the sheet mirror for two high personality decorative mirrors makes for a beautiful focal point.

For even more impact, add wallpaper on the wall behind those mirrors, which is a big trend in Los Angeles right now, according to Paul Dashvsky, co-founder of GreatBuildz. “It’s a simple design idea to create a stylish pop of color,” he says. Peel-and-stick paper is more user-friendly than the real deal — and will give you more flexibility if you decide to change things up down the road.

Credit: Minette Hand

Go for geometric designs.

It’s time to brush up on those elementary school shapes you once knew, because they add serious dimension in your bathroom. Jen Naye Herrmann, an interior stylist, predicts lots more curves and hexagons in our future.

Interior designer Robbie Maynard adds that a great place to integrate interesting shapes and patterns is your mirror — an easy swap or even DIY if you have a plain mirror that needs an upgrade. Maynard also is seeing more shape play with tiling, with people opting for chevron or herringbone-patterned tiles. If shapes are your thing, check out these super bold pattern tiles you didn’t know existed.