Hint: Chrome is no longer the most popular choice for bathroom fixtures.

By Katie Holdefehr
Updated December 17, 2018
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As 2018 draws to a close, interior design pros and remodeling experts are revealing their predictions for the top interior design trends of 2019. In kitchen design trends, there are five trends that design pros expect to take off, as well as a few fads that are definitely over. And digging into the upcoming bathroom interior design trends for 2019, there are a few shocking styles that are poised to make big comebacks in the year to come.

While chrome used to reign supreme as the go-to metal for bathroom fixtures, according to the 2018 Houzz Bathroom Trends Report, shiny chrome has fallen to second place. And the vanity style that homeowners used to consider outdated is now being refreshed as one of the trendiest vanity options around. As old trends become new again in 2019, here are three fads you can expect to see in the most beautiful bathrooms in the year to come.

Kelly Scanlon Interior Design © Kathryn MacDonald Photography

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In recent years, bathroom design trends turned away from wooden vanities, in favor of bright white ones—or for the boldest homeowners, eye-catching colors were popular. But according to Houzz, unpainted wooden vanities are experiencing a resurgence in popularity, and will continue to trend in 2019. The design pros at Houzz explain the comeback: "What’s catching on is a turn toward reclaimed wood or light wood with clear stains that celebrate grain pattern details and knots." Wooden vanities with visible grain and knots not only add texture and visual interest to the space, but they can also help warm up an all-white bathroom. 

Chris Snook © 2016 Houzz

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Over the past few years, bathtubs have fallen out of favor. In fact, many homeowners planning a bathroom remodel were opting out of replacing the tub. According to Houzz's 2017 Bathroom Trends Report, 27 percent of remodeling homeowners were ditching the tub in their master bathroom in order to make room for a larger shower. But in 2019, the bathtub has regained a solid fan base, making it one of the most polarizing bathroom design choices of the year. Remodeling homeowners are divided on whether to keep the tub, but those who do keep it are choosing to upgrade it and celebrate it.

According to the 2018 trends report, 80 percent of remodeling homeowners were planning to upgrade their bathtub. A soaking tub was the most popular option, winning 69 percent of the vote (a 7 percent increase from the 2017 findings). As luxurious baths and self-care routines become even more popular in 2019, the bathtub will follow the trend.

Caiaimage/Charlie Dean/Getty Images

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Shiny chrome used to be the most popular choice for metal bathroom fixtures, but according to the 2018 data, matte nickel (whether brushed or satin) is now the top choice, used in 38 percent of bathroom remodels, according to Houzz. Shiny chrome landed in second place (28 percent), followed by matte chrome (10 percent) and oil-rubbed bronze (8 percent). Homeowners still love the look of silver-tone metals, but are opting for the softer, less shiny appearance of matte nickel over the mirror-like finish of chrome. Plus, this finish hides smudges and fingerprints better than chrome, helping bathrooms look neat in between cleaning sessions.