Bathroom design has come a long way from the portable fixtures (think bedpans) and public bathhouses of the early 20th century. 100 years ago, a private bathroom was a luxury – in London, only one out of every 500 homes had a bathroom. For most people, the bathroom remained a practical space until the post-war era, when opulent design boomed.
Following the scarcity and devastation of WWII, the economic boom of the 1950s ushered in a new era of design. As families moved to the suburbs, en suites and guest baths became the norm, redefining the bathroom as a space for primping, pampering and personalization. The advent of Formica and other plastics (and their affordable price tag) popularized the glossy, countertop shine of the time. Gone were the days of colourless, “hospital like” bathrooms – by the mid-century, bathrooms were splashed in a variety of pastel pinks, greens and blues.
As 60’s culture shifted to emphasize pleasure, so did bathroom design. The bathroom became spa-like with additions including the sunken bath, shag mat, bidet, and, if you were lucky, the Jacuzzi. Relaxation units became popular – shelving units by the toilet for storing magazines and cigarettes.
The bathroom became a space to relax in, and to show off to guests as a reflection of taste and status. The 60’s saw the soft hues of the 50’s deepening, intensifying and setting the stage for the decade to come.
The 70’s aesthetic was anchored by the “concept bathroom,” a customizable design vision where nothing was off limits. Bathroom structures took on a more sculptural, furniture-like look, incorporating wood, carpeting, marble and other materials. In a decade of sensuality and open-mindedness, the wilder and more opulent the design, the better.
The creativity and decadence of the 70’s bred the gaudiness and extravagance of the 80’s. From floor-to-ceiling pink carpet to spaceship-like design, nothing was too much for the bathrooms of the decade.
From the end of the 20th century to modern day, the aspirational bathroom aesthetic has shifted from the colourfully tacky to the ultra-modern. On YouTube and in magazines, you can tour the marbled, bright, white bathrooms of the uber-rich, almost identical with their sleek, minimalist aesthetic. Kim Kardashian’s bathroom is so streamlined that it features a flat sink. With technology, the modifications and spa-like comforts available to the bathroom renovator are virtually unlimited.
For the average homeowner, marble, bed-sized bathtubs may be slightly out of reach, but modern, luxury living doesn’t have to be. The bathroom is more than the home-spa – it’s a sanctuary, a retreat from the stress of modern life. Especially during COVID- the bathroom is now more than ever a place to relax, to sink into a long bath (flat, sunken baths are in).
At TUBS, we offer high-quality bathroom fixtures and furnishings to turn your bathroom into a serene space – with all the high-tech furnishings you’re looking for. With TUBS360’s virtual shopping and design experience, you can browse the showroom virtually from the comfort of your home. Book a free 1hr consultation with a Brand Ambassador and connect via Zoom, or come by the showroom in person, where you can touch and feel products in store. Taking inspiration from the decades (maybe skip the 80’s?), you can customize your bathroom to reflect your 21st century design vision. Our incredibly knowledgeable staff can guide you through your renovation, from the plumbing to the design aesthetic. In 2021, your options are limitless.