Bathroom with oval freestanding bath, wall hung vanity, towel rail and round bathroom mirror.


While traditionally viewed as cold and industrial, the sustainability and durability of concrete combined with an increased appreciation of its stylishness has led to it becoming a big player in bathroom design.

Commonly seen in flooring – both as polished slab and within tiles – as we move into a new decade, expect to find plenty of vanities, basins and baths cut from concrete in a rainbow of soft colours. When paired with earthy materials it delivers a modern, clean look that will stand the test of time.

Trending looks: Concrete and timber make stunning bedfellows, especially in a space accessorised with living plants. It’s beautiful as a backdrop to fresh white baths and basins, especially those warmed with soft gold tapware, hooks and towel rails.


Timber, as well as timber-look materials, have become the go-to in New Zealand as a way of bringing the outside in, adding texture and warmth, and creating the sense of a sanctuary. In the new decade sustainable options, using materials such as bamboo, cork and hemp, will become more popular, as will the use of reclaimed timber. Extremes are the key when it comes to colour, the currently popular dark woods are being joined by lighter, brighter pale oak colours, with more pronounced grains and knots.

Trending looks: Using pale wood vanities, cupboards and shelves breathes life into a minimalist light bathroom. Timber will add dimension to a monochrome colour scheme, and is also being used to ground spaces featuring bold patterned tiles.


The lush sensuality and elegance of marble has made it perennially popular among designers, and demand for this smooth, indulgent material is only growing, as its use increasingly spreads from walls into furniture. This year new shades will join the whites and creams, as oversized slabs in grey and soft pinks appear, often with prominent veins. For those who want the luxury of this look but with a lower price tag and more versatility, engineered stone products are flooding into bathrooms, delivering the likes of thin-rimmed basins and baths that hold heat well and recreate the opulent feel of marble.

Trending looks: Pale grey marble across the floor and in the shower makes an impression in a white bathroom, especially when given depth through earthy accents. Black marble works beautifully with copper, and is sensational offset against pale blues and greys.


Wooden vanity with concrete hand basin and tapware.


As New Zealanders embrace the concept of wet areas and open bathrooms, floor-to-ceiling glass has become common. And while clear options deliver a seamless finish, textured glass is enjoying a revival, adding interest to the space, especially when room dividers are echoed in a glass vessel basin. Coloured glass is also starting to trend, particularly in tiles and also, somewhat unexpectedly, glass bricks. However, unlike the kitsch 1980s version, these are sleek; more rectangular and slimline in shape. Although glass basins are a stylish extension of the use of this material, the jury’s out as to whether bathtubs with glass sides will take off.

Trending looks: Black framed glass shower enclosures deliver a dramatic look, especially with brass tapware. Glass tiles in muted blues and greens laid in contemporary mosaic patterns channel cool sophistication.


If you can’t decide whether you want marble or glass, granite or concrete, why not get it all with terrazzo? This confetti-like speckled material had its heyday back in the 1980s, but unlike fluffy toilet seat covers and avocado bathroom suites, it has lived to fight another day. A durable composite of chips of materials set in concrete, it is celebrated for the fact it’s bespoke – no two pieces will look the same – plus it adds texture and energy into a space. The endless colour options make it easy to coordinate with the rest of the room.

Trending looks: Large format terrazzo floor tiles flecked with greys create an impact within a black and white bathroom, or, for a more playful look, blush pink spotted terrazzo works well with matte black fittings. A terrazzo pedestal basin will make the ultimate statement.


Just as accents of colour complete a space, pops of alternative materials can enhance the overall finish. This year popular choices come from the natural world, with the likes of seagrass, cane and rattan appearing in tiles, light fittings and accessories. These are not only sustainable, they channel the trend for making the bathroom space one with the outside world. As Mico Bathroom Expert Louise Cook says, “In New Zealand we have a love for wood, greenery and all those lovely natural elements. We’re surrounded by them, and people enjoy bringing them inside.”