A bathtub with organic lines from Kohler is right on trend.

If you’re one of those people who are in and out of the bathroom in a jiffy, then you may not consider bathroom decor to be all that important. But the next time you’re in there, sit a while and take a look around.

If you see cheap fixtures, shabby fabrics that don’t go together, and a cheap plastic shower curtain hanging on cheap metal hooks, you’re definitely sitting in the middle of a major design crime. That means it’s time for a bathroom upgrade.

As soon as you hit the stores you’ll notice that the modern bathroom has transformed from a no-nonsense place to do your business into a Zen-inspired mini-spa... a place to relax, cleanse and clear the mind.

Freestanding cabinets that look like fine furniture are replacing the old bathroom counter.

The traditional three bathroom fixtures — toilet, sink and bathtub — have evolved into soothing, curvy, organic shapes. There are no sharp corners or right angles in sight.

The built-in linen closet and old bathroom counter are out and replaced by freestanding cabinets that look like fine furniture.

Another hot trend is the elevated opaque glass vessel sink that rises above the cabinet. As for the taps and faucets, they’ve jumped off the counter and are mounted on the wall in finishes like pearl, brushed satin and nickel.

The other big bathroom trend is high-tech. Updates range from tubs and showers with steam generators, aromatherapy, colour therapy, and hydro therapy, to built-in TVs, stereo surround sound, radiant flooring, heated tubs that keep the water warm, and refrigerated drawers for storing hydrating beverages.

When it comes to tiles, it’s all about shimmer. We love the new glass tiles in coloured, metallic, clear, and iridescent finishes. They are absolutely stunning as accents, on a backsplash, or even for a whole wall.

If you’re not a shine person you’ll be glad to know that the classic subway tile is back. These are brick-shaped and usually set in a staggered “running bond” style. They look great in a retro black-and-white pattern set against elements of old-world style — things like console sinks and ornamental borders.

Also look to high-quality everyday details like towel bars, toilet tank levers, toilet paper holders and a shower curtain rod to add luxury and interest to a bathroom.

We love the stylish curtain rods with architectural detail such as the curved shower rod, or pivoting paper holders with bars instead of “sproing-y” springs from Moen’s Inspiration line.

Bathroom specialty stores are exploding with beautiful decorative hooks and pulls in patterns ranging from flowers to dragonflies to starfish in sensuous glass, stones and metal finishes.

Remember to treat your bathroom mirror as a piece of art as well. For example, adding a frame around a frameless mirror can add oodles of charm. Or, a collection of small mirrors in decorative frames add instant glamour.

And do not hesitate to hang art on the walls. But make sure you hang oil or acrylic paintings rather than works on paper, which can deteriorate because of moisture. And stay away from portraits or family photos in a bathroom; the living room is a more suitable place for these.

Finally, fluffy colour-coordinated towels and perhaps an elegant rug can add a stylish finishing touch. With all this elegant bathroom decor, you may even have to invest in a discreet knocker to discourage excessive lingering!

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