041a6fc5b690f0d9555cccff228dba6ea05429280-200x300All in all, 2013 bathroom trends point to one thing: a more natural, simple, usable bathroom space. Emphasizing the wood, light colors, and simple lines you’d find in a spa retreat, 2013 is starting to look like a good year for R&R.

Luxury bathroom remodels have been gaining momentum in the past few years, and they certainly aren’t losing any steam. Once the sole property of high end hotels and the ultra wealthy, spa-style bathrooms and all their fixings are probably the biggest of the 2013 bathroom trends in an average middle class home. This can manifest itself in a lot of ways, from spa style vanities to whirlpool tubs and steam baths and saunas, but jetted showers are at the top of the must-have list.

The spa-inspired 2013 bathroom trends don’t end with major bathroom fixtures, either. As luxury models become more common, the price of many of the “frills” has come down. Even if you aren’t planning on doing a huge renovation, installing an electric towel warmer or radiator-style towel warmer, a backlit mirror, or a chromotherapy LED color changing shower head is a good way to give your bathroom a quick luxury enhancement. For larger projects, heated floors are a must-have, and if you’re planning on building a shower enclosure, consider adding built-in waterproof speakers and an MP3 or iPod dock so you can easily listen to your music while you bathe.

Another trend that’s been gaining strength in recent years, 2013 is the year to green your home, especially your bathroom. Low flow and dual flush toilets are a good investment long-term as well as to meet 2013 bathroom trends, as ones with intelligently designed bowls and new hygienic glazes make them much more water efficient, effective, and easy to clean. If you have a lot of men in your home, you might even want to consider installing a waterless urinal to further cut your water use. And green bathrooms aren’t just water-saving bathrooms.

Nature is “in” in more ways than one, say 2013 bathroom trends commentators. Nature-inspired neutral tones and patterns are going to be big in the upcoming year, with a continued emphasis on last year’s light creams and whites, beiges, browns, and greys. But this year you’ll want to add pops of bright, vibrant color, too – especially green, blue, orange, and even pink. Remember, though, a little goes a long way; bright colors should be used to accent and accentuate.

041318cade3d2aa30862320254c135f0910420695-300x200Designers advise homeowners to accentuate that natural color scheme with natural patterns, too. That means natural wood bathroom vanities (or at least ones that emphasize the wood grain or have striking wood accents, wood veneers, or even wood-patterned finishes), granite, marble, quartz, or composite stone counter tops and tile, and, my personal favorite, wood tile. If you ask me, wood tile is the next big thing – wood plank sized tile that are printed with high-def images of actual weathered wood, and install to look just like a wood floor, but are water and slip rated for use in the bathroom.

2013 bathroom trends emphasize lots of light, and not just natural light. Big beautiful windows are always in style, but this is a year to take your bathroom lighting to the next level. If you’ve got a utilitarian bathroom light, nix it and fix it up with something creative and personal. Layered bathroom lighting offers the best mix of functional and ambient lighting, and bathroom chandeliers are one of the best, easiest ways to dress up your bathroom, even if you’re on a budget or are looking to do only a limited renovation.

Seemingly in contrast to all the natural vibes trending in 2013, it’s also going to be a year to transition to more modern, streamlined designs. That means wall-mounted toilets (especially ones with in-wall tanks) or at least ones with smooth, covered bases, and simplified fixtures. 2013 bathroom design is moving away from traditional designs, but the emphasis on natural materials, especially wood, makes transitional and contemporary bathroom vanities a good choice, with their natural wood construction but simple, contemporary lines. Modern takes on vintage styles – like simplified vintage inspired vanities, modernized clawfoot tubs, and simple but elegant chandeliers – are a great way to put many of these 2013 bathroom trends to work, with a luxurious feel but simplified design.

In the spirit of streamlining and simplicity, 2013 bathroom trends say forget old, poorly organized bathroom vanities and look for better designs. There are lots of brands out there that put a big emphasis on storage smart vanities, like Virtu USA, Design Element, and Robern. Look for vanities with drawers, and better yet, drawers with built in dividers that maximize storage space by accommodating the plumbing rather than avoiding it. Also, look for vanities that have internal shelves (better: internal shelves that pull out like drawers). Modern design is all about tidy minimalism, and smaller, better-designed bathroom vanities (especially wall mounted vanities) allow you both to keep your bathroom less cluttered and to make your space seem larger and more open.

Bathroom designers are increasingly starting to include whole sets of accessories in their major bathroom lines. From coordinating towel bars and robe hooks to soap dishes, toothbrush holders, and even light plates, it’s easier than ever to coordinate your bathroom top to bottom. 2013 bathroom trends say it’s time: for a major remodel, coordinate all your bathroom accessories with your sink faucet, bathtub filler, and shower hardware; for a quick, simple bathroom facelift, replace your current accessories with matching ones from your favorite line, and maybe add a few you don’t already have.

2012s tile craze is continuing on as one of the most important 2013 bathroom trends. This year, look for bold, statement tiles. In addition to the cutting-edge wood-print and stone-print porcelain tiles from companies like Mediterranea, tiles with large graphic prints or other designs and mosaic tiles are gaining in popularity. Glass tiles like those from Martini Mosaic are also becoming even more trendy this coming year, for their sleek, modern style and wide color availability. Ideally, 2013 bathroom trends would have you tile your whole bathroom, head to toe, but for a smaller project, consider installing a tile accent wall, or adding a glass mosaic tile backsplash behind your sink for a simple weekend project.

All of the photos featured in this blog post are from Heaton Dainard’s recent flips.