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What Are The Worst Home Improvements Of The 21st Century?

The end of the year is drawing near, and it’s tempting to look back and reflect on the trends of the past 12 months. In terms of bathroom design, it’s been an interesting one as several  trends and ideas have emerged or strengthened during 2023. 

There has continued to be a progression away from the clinical minimalist look with very muted colour schemes, and a move towards bolder use of colour and pattern. Greens and blues have become popular choices for bathrooms as they offer a clean and uplifting feel that suits the purpose of the space very well.

There has been a general move towards seeing the bathroom as not just a functional space, but also a more luxurious sanctuary area that we use to relax, unwind and generally restore body and soul. This has led to the rise and popularity of the spa bathroom, with features such as a hydrotherapy bath or shower, plush towels and greenery.

Smart home technology is also transforming the 21st century bathroom with features such as interactive LED mirrors, touchless taps, self-cleaning toilets and digitally controlled shower systems. All this is a long way from some of the more disastrous and unpopular ‘home improvements’ of the past 25 years.

The Metro newspaper recently took a look at some regrettable choices that could even impact the value of your home. Topping the list of interior design crimes is carpeted bathrooms. This is a divisive issue, with some people actively loathing the very idea, and others being in favour of it.

You will be hard pressed to find an example of a carpeted bathroom in any interior design magazine or fashionable Pinterest board. There have been some attempts to revive the bathroom carpet as a niche fashion statement over the years, but thankfully this has never really taken off.

The drawbacks of a carpeted bathroom are fairly obvious: it’s a naturally damp and humid environment that is prone to spills and splashes. This provides the perfect breeding ground for mould and mildew, as it’s very difficult to dry out a damp carpet, especially once the moisture has soaked through to the underlay. 

The thought of having a carpet in a bathroom with a toilet, especially if certain household members are careless with their aim, is really a rather off-putting prospect. 

However, carpets do have some advantages. There is no doubt that carpet is more warm and comfortable underfoot than a tiled floor, especially when you have bare feet as you might tend to do in a bathroom. It’s also a non-slip surface, which may be a consideration if the bathroom will be used by an older person. Carpets also muffle the sound of footsteps.

If you are determined to install a carpet in your bathroom, choose a synthetic low-pile option that will dry out faster, and lay a waterproof lining or subfloor. Tile the wettest areas around the shower, bath, and sink, and keep on top of maintenance to prevent leaks.

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