“It’s a small room but a big deal.”

Bathrooms are some of the busiest and most hard-working rooms in our homes. They are also a great barometer for the age of your house as the years roll by, wear shows and styles fade.

Bathrooms often see big new trends become popular, but that doesn’t mean you need to immediately grab a sledgehammer and go crazy if you’re considering a bathroom renovation. If the bones are good, making small cosmetic updates can transform and update your bathroom.

So, to give you a hand as to what could work in 2024, we did a bit of research and chatted with some people in the know. We have put together a list with bathroom trends to avoid in 2024 as well as a couple of up-and-coming trends. We have also included a wee list of some pet peeves when it comes to bathroom renovations.

Get everybody on the same plan

But first things first. If you’re undertaking a renovation and you have a bespoke idea you want to have incorporated, or you want to make something a little bit different, then success is all about working backwards and detailing products, special requests and timings.

When you’re doing a renovation, it is extremely helpful if you share those details in a document with the electrician, plumber, builder and whoever is on the job. If your tradespeople aren’t aware of specific design features, through nobody’s fault, assumptions can lead to extra costs.

For example, if you want a tiled shower niche, then the builder needs to know about it before they Gib. Wall-mounted accessories, such as a heated towel rail, toilet roll holder, wall-hung vanity, medicine cabinet or shower glass track, need timber framing and extra nogging behind them. We recommend you mark out the locations of where you want all your accessories to go to ensure everybody is on the same plan.

So, back to some outdated trends to avoid in your 2024 bathroom renovation project.

1. The all-white bathroom

The all-white bathroom trend is on the out. While it may seem timeless and exude calm and cleanliness, it’s now the time to embrace colour and texture again, although maybe not quite to the degree it was use in the ‘70s. It’s time to incorporates splashes of colour, texture and pattern with wallpaper, tiles, textiles, artwork, and hardware so your bathroom is warm and inviting.

2. Matchy-matchy everything

Go ahead and mix it up and break away from the ‘everything must match’ approach. The days of matching hardware, taps, and mirrors are gone. Go for your personal mix and choose one or two statement elements. Use bold colours, patterned tiles, and mixed metal accents.

3. Recessed shower niches

According to National Kitchen and Bathroom Association of NZ 2004 survey, a large shower niche was among the top three trends for bathrooms. A great storage option, shower niches look sleek and are easy to keep clean. You can be creative with different tiles or keep it seamless and matching with the rest of your tiling. for a modern minimal look.

4. Vessel sinks

The jury might be out on this, but according to some, vessel sinks, which sit on top of the countertop instead of inside it, are on the out. While they may be statement-making design, they can be impractical and lack storage functionality. A vessel sink also takes more cleaning. Instead of only cleaning the surface of the sink you also have to clean the outside. When used for activities like handwashing, quite a bit of splashing happens. For a sleek and functional solution, the more recent move is toward carved-out basins or innovative basin designs integrated into marble benchtops.

bathroom renovation ideas nz
shower niche
vessel sink

5. Built-in baths

Ditch built-in bathtub and shower combinations. Freestanding tubs that serve as focal points can turn a drab bathroom into a sanctuary. Durable, eco-conscious materials, such as concrete blends and copper are the way to go now.

6. Standard toilets

Basic toilets are out. Upgrade to luxurious toilets with built-in bidets and heated seats. Add a touch of comfort and sophistication to your bathroom experience.

7. The return of the medicine cabinet

Used in older homes, the medicine cabinet is making a comeback. A vanity mirror that has a cupboard behind, it is the perfect solution for keeping countertops clutter free. They are a great way to add easy-to-access storage. You can even recess the cabinet into the wall so it looks like a normal wall-mounted mirror.

Pet peeves in bathroom renovations

In addition to avoiding outdated trends, here are some common, yet major irritations to avoid in bathroom designs and renovations.

  • Avoid putting the shower mixer where you can’t turn on the water from outside the shower without soaking your arm.
  • Avoid having the shower head too low. Particularly annoying if you’re a tall family.
  • Don’t make your vessel sink too high. The vanity needs to be mounted lower if you have a sink that sits on top of it.
  • A basin mixer that sits too close to the tiles or mirror so can’t fully open is a real nuisance.
  • Avoid a tower basin mixer that is too high and stops the mirror cabinet from opening.
  • Avoid a hook towel rail too close to the toilet. Ouch!
  • Don’t put the toilet roll holder too far from the toilet so it is out of easy reach. Not everybody is super-flexible.
  • Where possible, try not to make the toilet the hero of the room. Don’t place the toilet in direct view of the door leading into the bathroom, if you can.

A successful bathroom renovation is all about steering clear of outdated trends while prioritising functionality and your personal style. By avoiding some common pitfalls, you can create a modern, inviting, and practical bathroom space that adds value to your New Zealand home.


For great bathroom renovations from someone you can trust in Warkworth, Orewa, Whangaparaoa or Millwater,  contact us on 027 265 4949.