The Bathroom Retreat

Local Interior Designer Dena Thomas Weighs in on Current Styles, Materials, and More

No matter the size, bathrooms are meant to be a retreat and Chandler interior designer Dena Thomas is already spotting some definite trends for 2022 for the very busy spaces in any home.

“This year is bringing more warm colors into bathrooms,” says Thomas, who is the founder of Dena Thomas Designs. “Brass finishes are very big right now, and it is okay to mix and match finishes, as long as they coordinate.”  Black matte finishes, white marble, bold wallpaper, vintage furniture, wood and other organic elements like low-maintenance plants are also on this year's list.  All-in-one shower and tub combination spaces, called wet rooms, are also trending this year with multiple shower heads and spa-like aesthetics.  It is important to use surfaces that are easy to clean and to declutter the space for a sense of calm.

Thomas says another key element for bathrooms that are being remodeled in 2022 involves replacing old tubs with free-standing models, along with floor mount or wall mount plumbing.

For lighting, Thomas says clients are looking for something beyond the ordinary, and are often opting for beautiful and sparkly chandeliers that are customized to their taste.

As for the flooring, she says luxury vinyl plank, or LVP, is sought after by many of her current clients, due in part to its versatility, water proofing and low maintenance.

“Porcelain tiles in showers are still the way to go,” she notes.   

Many of these current trends and styles were selected and installed in two bathroom projects that Thomas and her team recently renovated.

In one case, the homeowners selected LVP flooring to replace old large square tiles; for added visual interest, Thomas then surrounded the tub with the same type of attractive gray-and-white-patterned tile that was used in the shower.

“I wanted to bring the shower accent tile into the tub surround,” she says.

Rather than replace the cabinets, Thomas repainted them with a lighter and more modern color, and then removed the soffits in order to maximize the space of the bathroom, giving it an immediate look of added height.

“We then added glorious light fixtures to fill the space,” she says.

In the second bathroom, Thomas made many of the same types of upgrades and renovations, including replacing an old built-in tub surrounded by columns with a stand-alone model that instantly updated the look of the room.

One main difference in the second project, she notes, is the addition of wallpaper, which is very popular right now.

Thomas also found a way to solve a low-light issue in the bathroom.

“The shower is a stand-alone walk-in shower with a state-of-the-art ceiling shower head and LED lights, as there is not natural light in that bathroom,” she explains.

Thomas says she truly enjoys working with homeowners to transform their dated bathrooms into spaces that look much more modern and attractive.

“I work with many kitchen and bathroom remodels, as well as more simple modifications of these spaces. We finish the room by adding new furniture, wall coverings, plush towels and artwork.” or

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