When teenagers start wearing the fashion you did back when you were in the first blush of youth, you know you’re officially old. And your home and aesthetic tastes may be outdated, or at least a little tired. When it comes to interior design, there are certain rooms that are more likely to date than others – namely kitchens and bathrooms. They’re also the rooms that get renovated most often, both for aesthetic and practical purposes.
If you live in a home made in the 1990s of remodeled in that decade, there probably one or several elements that will visibly date your space. It’s unfortunately how trends go – you’re very fashionable one moment, and increasingly less so as the time goes on. There is undoubtedly a certain look that 90s bathrooms share, and you may or may not have some of these features present.
The 90s Look
Carpet & Curtains
One of the identifying elements of a 90s bathroom is a propensity for fabric. Carpet in the bathroom is a holdover from previous decades, and it is typically present as a matching set with curtains, and even toilet covers, none of which are current, or likely to come back, if we’re being honest. It’s not only a dated look, but carpet and fabric in the bathroom is likely to trap bacteria, odors, and dampness that ultimately leads to mold. The humidity and steam are very bad news for fabrics, especially in a bathroom with poor ventilation or an absence of it.
Shades of Brown
If there’s one thing 90s interior design is known for, it’s the alarming amount of brown. A callback to the 70s, wood is prominent not just in bathroom design, but also in kitchens, living rooms, and…everywhere else. The bad news is that it looks very dated. The good news is that it’s one of the more easily fixable elements in your bathroom, if you’d like to remodel and update your space.
Colorful tiling by itself is not necessarily dated or pertaining to a certain era, but what is very 90s is to have smaller square tiles in alternating colors. Or the same square small square tiles with “pops” of color on an otherwise neutral wall.
The 90s are also all about the rectangular tiling, with fake marbling effects. What was once the height of fashion and style is now inexorably dated. It’s one of the primary things that makes your bathroom look old, because it’s such a distinctive look and there’s so much of it on the walls.
Is there anything more 90s than corner bathtubs? Occasionally masquerading as jacuzzis, in the 90s, we were really all about maximizing that bathroom space and fitting in as big a tub as we possibly could. Corner tubs seemed like a good idea, but they’re not just unpractical, they’re also very ugly. And now very dated.
The Timeless Look
On the flipside, there are other elements that are much more neutral and timeless in style. Your 90s bathroom may very well feature these instead:
A much more timeless option, neutral colored tile and vinyl stand the test of time precisely because they’re much less subdued. Less likely to draw attention and much less of a statement, they just tastefully blend into the background and serve as a good neutral backdrop for any bathroom design.
While still very much a fashionable piece, a neutral countertop is a neutral countertop, at the end of the day. The type of marble, veining, and the color schemes may go in and out of fashion, but the basic concept of a marble countertop remains a classic for the bathroom.
How to Modernize a 90s Bathroom?
So, the bad news is that your bathroom is probably dated. The good news is that there are a lot of things we can do to modernize your 90s bathroom.
Keep Neutral Tiles or Add Vinyl Flooring
If the 90s were all about…experimenting with color and a bit of a 70s revival, the 2020s are much more focused on neutrals and timelessness. The easiest way to modernize a dated bathroom is, by far, changing its “face” by introducing more neutral colors. White can never steer you wrong, but grays can also find their place in this space.
Replace Corner Tub with a Freestanding Tub
A free standing bath tub is a really modern option – that is, if you decide you still even want a bathtub. A lot of people are finding that they don’t actually take baths that often and that space could be used in a different way. A walk-in shower is a very practical, modern option.
Paint Counter in White
If you happen to have a perfectly good countertop for your bathroom sink, there’s no reason to change it. The fact that the good is an ugly shade of brown doesn’t matter. Now, all we need to do is paint your counter in a different color. White is nice and neutral, it’s going to stand the test of the time, and it serves to brighten up your bathroom.
Replace Carpeting With a Rug
Ripping out carpeting, curtains, and removing any sort of toilet covers are the very first step. No one needs this much fabric in a room that traps so much moisturize and smells. Tile flooring or laminate are by far your best options, both for practicality’s sake and for a more modern look.
A good compromise is to have a smaller rug in this space, but carpeting should never touch your bathroom floor.
Many may think that a dated bathroom is unsalvageable and needs to be entirely ripped out and renovated. While you can do that if you wish and your budget stretches that far, it’s not the only option. You can also take a critical look at this space and decide which elements are visibly dated, which are timeless enough to work, and which can be updated very easily.
With just a few large bathroom remodel ideas, you can transform a dated 90s bathroom into a totally modern, current bathroom that will remain on trend for years to come. Removing garish elements and focusing on neutrals goes a long way.