Design a bathroom that will stand the test of time. 

By Katie Holdefehr
Updated November 12, 2019
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There are a couple rooms in the house that show their signs of age long before others. Namely, the kitchen and bathroom. Dated paint colors, old-fashioned tile choices, and regrettable countertop materials can all lead to these rooms looking like they belong to another decade. And when you consider the cost to renovate these spaces, design choices that will look dated in a few years can feel like a waste of money. To make the most of your bathroom remodel and sidestep style mistakes you'll soon regret, we've focused in on some common bathroom design ideas that won't soon fall out of style. Here are the paint colors, materials, and hardware that will stand the test of time.

1

If you're not sure which tile trends will stick, let history be your guide. Tile patterns that have been around for more than a century likely won't go out of fashion in the next five years. Subway tile, which first debuted in the New York City subway in 1904, has been a mainstay in bathroom and kitchens ever since. The ubiquitous 3-by-6-inch rectangular tiles will not only always be on-trend, but they also make a bathroom look clean and bright.

Another tile pattern that's been around for more than a century? Penny tiles. First made of unglazed white porcelain in the early 1900s, the small circular tiles have been a popular choice for bathroom floors for decades. To maintain the timeless style, opt for penny tiles in neutral colors and classic materials.

2

Okay, we'll admit that for those who aren't minimalists, sticking to a white or off-white palette in the bathroom sounds a little boring. But if your goal is to avoid repainting in two years, neutral paint will never go out of style.

However, if you're not afraid to pick up a paintbrush, go ahead and brush on a trendy hue. Fortunately, paint is the easiest and most affordable change you can make to your bathroom's design. So when blush pink eventually falls out of style, you can easily swap it for the latest color of the year. Keep in mind that while lighter hues will be easy to paint over, darker shades like navy or charcoal will likely require primer and multiple coats of paint to cover up.

3

If you haven't taken a bath in years, it may be tempting to ditch the bulky tub in favor of a modern walk-in shower for your next remodel. But if you want a bathroom with timeless style and the highest possible resale value, consider keeping at least one bathroom with a tub in your home, since home buyers with kids (or plans to have kids) will likely prefer a tub.

For those who are fans of vintage or farmhouse style, a classic claw-foot tub will never go out of style, and adding an overhead shower to the claw-foot tub is now a common update. While shower curtains may not look as luxurious as a glass shower door, they can easily be switched out as styles change.

4

Oftentimes, the bathroom countertop is the first feature that reveals the room's age. While natural stone like marble is generally a more expensive option than laminate, this luxe material is durable and will never go out of style.

5

If you want bathroom hardware that will stand the test of time, choose options that complement your home's style and your personal aesthetic, rather than the trendy hardware of the moment. For example, brass or bronze works well in a Victorian style home, while brass or iron coordinates with Colonial Revival homes. Look at what type of hardware would traditionally have been used in the style home you own, then search for updated versions of that style.

On the flip side, if you plan to update your bathroom regularly, buying stylish yet inexpensive hardware you can swap out every few years is a relatively affordable way to keep your bathroom on-trend.