Richmond Group celebrates its 20th birthday this year, and we thought it would be fun to take a look back at how bathroom design trends have changed since the turn of the century. Just like fashion, interior design trends tend to make comebacks, whether we like it or not. 

The early 2000s introduced us to iPods, BluRay and Windows XP. It also gave rise to some design trends that were questionable at best (we’re looking at you lime green everything) and others that started out as one thing and became another. A prime example of this is the shabby chic decor, with its distressed paint and vintage style. While the poor paint jobs were thankfully left behind, we’ve embraced vintage decor elements with the recent rise of the cottagecore aesthetic. 

Something that was massive in the early 2000s was jacuzzi or spa baths. These may have been great back when they were installed, but they have pumps and motors that can fail and the jets can be less than hygienic. With so much going on nowadays, worrying about your bath should be the last thing on your mind. That’s why jet baths have been replaced at the top of our trend list with gorgeous and simple free-standing baths, like these beauties from Victoria and Albert

Barcelona Bath - Victoria & Albert

Barcelona Bath – Victoria & Albert

The 2000s also saw nautical motifs everywhere. Now don’t get us wrong, the occasional seashell or splash of navy can look amazing, wall to wall ocean-themed decor is best saved for beachside BnBs

Not all colour schemes in the 2000s was loud as lime green. Tuscan style decor was wildly popular and introduced bronze finishes, limestone, and lots of earth-toned shades to the bathroom. We love a good natural finish, but this trend took it to a whole new level. Bronze is one thing from this era that is making a comeback, especially the muted tones of oil-rubbed bronze. 

By the time the 2010s had rolled around, two big trends were taking over bathroom design. The first was minimalism, with seamless storage and sleek, clean design elements. This peaked in the early to mid-2010s with the Scandanavian Minimalism craze.

Scandanavian Minimalism bathroom

Creating luxurious sanctuaries was the other big buzz in 2010 bathroom design. Bathrooms were transformed into spa-like rooms meant to be enjoyed rather than just used for utilitarian purposes. Freestanding tubs, rainwater showerheads, and soft colour tones all added to the calming atmosphere of the 2010-era bathroom.  

Even South Africa hosting the World Cup in 2010 affected our bathrooms and the upsurge in national pride this created demand for local elements such as woven baskets and indigenous wood.. 

Looking back on how much has changed in the last 20 years, it’s difficult to predict what the next two decades may hold. Talking showerheads? Smart bathrooms? Only time can tell. 

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