A Modern Oasis

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Bold colors and patterns on functional pieces, such as this matte black bathtub (left) and geometric countertop (shown below), add new life to bathrooms. ~ Photos by Chad Mellon

Update your bathroom to reflect current trends like freestanding, colored bathtubs, furniture-like vanities and patterned floors.

By Ashley Ryan


In recent years, it was all about the spa bathroom: finding ultimate relaxation in a calm, sleek and neutral interior. But the latest bathroom trends are incorporating more innovative materials and decor, making for an updated look that blends seamlessly with the rest of the home.

“When we’re designing a home, we aim to make every bathroom feel like its own moment while connecting each space to an overall style throughout,” says interior designer Lindye Galloway, a Newport Beach resident. “We focus on unique materials, great patterns and designing interesting vanities to give each area its [own] standout style.”

Galloway, who is the founder and creative director of Irvine-based Lindye Galloway Interiors, says that one of the biggest trends right now is vanities that “have the appeal of furniture.” To meet the demand, her company is designing custom options that feature legs and an open base. Many also include a drawer for hair tools with built-in electrical outlets.

Aside from vanities, Galloway says that countertops are shifting toward a more industrial look, with concrete taking center stage. For example, sinks made of this material help integrate the overall look for a flawless finish. Faucets are also becoming more industrial, which creates a fun, old-fashioned feel.

Another functional piece, the bathtub, has become a pivotal part of bathroom design. Currently in style is the freestanding bathtub, which Galloway says is enhanced by applying a bold color like a matte black. “It gives such visual interest by creating a focal point,” she explains. “… And when there is a view outside, we capture it by placing the tub near the window or [next to] doors to a deck, but create privacy with motorized shades tucked in a soffit for the most stunning look.”

The floors and walls are always major attention-grabbers as well, and Galloway notes that these aspects of the room are being given new life as clients take more risks with designs. “When it comes to floors, marble patterns are a big trend,” she says. “Often, the mix of a few different types of marbles in a pattern create[s] a really unique look while still being timeless in nature.” Other popular trends are terra cotta floors with a colored glaze as well as cement tiles with a pattern painted over the top.

As far as walls, Galloway says they are just as important as the rest of the room. “Instead of just tiling the shower walls, we’re tiling full walls behind the vanities as well,” she explains. “One of our favorite wall tile trends is the hand-formed tiles that feature more movement [and] rough edges.” Additionally, she says grasscloth wallpaper is making a comeback, with patterns being screen printed or painted on for a modern, coastal look.

And any bathroom wouldn’t be complete without some extra decor—but make it functional. “We … love to use towel hooks and create additional storage for perfectly rolled-up towels so guests feel like they’re staying in a hotel,” Galloway says, adding that another option is to warm up the space with an iron ladder against the wall or even a stool by the bathtub where towels can be placed. She also notes that accessorizing countertops with decorative canisters for the likes of Q-tips or cotton balls can add more character to the room while making necessities readily available.

And, last but not least, Galloway recommends adding artwork to the bathroom that showcases the ocean or other scenic landscapes. “We lean toward softer tones for a calming feel,” she says. This will uphold the relaxing vibe that was trending as of late while complementing these modern yet industrial chic accents for a welcoming allure.

Soaking in Style

These items, which can all be purchased locally, will help transform your bathroom into a serene space with its own contemporary flair.

Adorn your walls with easy-to-use grasscloth wallcovering like the elegant DEFINE GRASSCLOTH WALLCOVERING, $130 per yard, or the calming blue PLAIN GROUNDS GRASSCLOTH WALLCOVERING, $44 per yard, both at Barclay Butera Interiors, Corona del Mar. (949-662-1140; barclaybutera.com)


The PIEDMONT PEDESTAL SOAKING TUB, which features a 19th-century design and brass hardware with a choice of four different finishes, is ideal to place near a window with a view to create a luxurious setting in which to unwind, from $8,395, at Restoration Hardware, Fashion Island. (949-760-9232; restorationhardware.com)


This Danish-inspired, bamboo LADDER offers a fashionable and functional element that is perfect for hanging bath and hand towels, $139, at BoConcept Orange County, South Coast Collection, Costa Mesa. (657-267-0100; boconcept.com)


Add a bit of elegance to your counters with a set of three white MARBLE CANISTERS—in addition to the upscale look they offer, these polished pieces are great for storage and are designed to protect the contents from moisture, from $179.95, with advance order at Williams Sonoma, Newport Coast. (949-464-2168; williams-sonoma.com)


Use the HEWLETT ROUND SIDE TABLE as a place to set things during bathtime, from aromatic candles and incense to a book or your towel, $899, with advance order at Tommy Bahama Home, Fashion Island. (949-239-7171; tommybahamafurniture.com)


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