Designers are speaking of softer shapes, styles and finishes, naming “natural/organic” as the leading trend. This combination feels more European in style and scale, with clean lines, minimal detailing, and the warmth and texture of natural finishes.
Google reported searches for “home sauna” were up 73% year over year, while searches for “luxury sauna” doubled over the same period. Product manufacturers recognize the trend and respond with saunas and steam rooms and other items that recreate the type of health and relaxation benefits found at a high-end gym or spa.
NAHB’s recent study, What Home Buyers Really Want, 2021 Edition polled a panel of recent and prospective home buyers. When a few years ago, there seemed to be declining interest in tubs in favor of showers, it is insightful that in rating bathroom features for the primary bath, the desire for a shower/tub combination earned the highest number of “essential” rankings, meaning that these buyers would be unlikely to buy a home without this feature.
Ideally, the tub and shower would be free-standing. The jury is out on soaking tubs versus jetted tubs, with the NAHB study showing only slightly more than half said a whirlpool bath was important. The National Kitchen & Bath Association named larger freestanding showers as an emerging trend, recommending that they be designed to accommodate two people with zero-clearance entry with integrated seating and grab bars. NAHB’s study suggests that 59% of its respondents named multiple shower heads as a priority.
Also at the very top of the list, 76 percent of home buyers rated a linen closet as essential or desirable. Double vanities were essential or important to 69%, and 67%sought a private toilet compartment. Results also indicate that white toilet, tub, and sinks are preferable (65%) over their color counterparts (preferred by 44%).
Other items often cited for bathroom wish-lists include larger-format surrounds with fewer grout lines, voice-activated or hands-free faucets, toilets with self-closing lids and bidets.