The ‘70s bathroom trend that’s making a big comeback

Your bathroom just took a stylish step back in time.
The Block 2022 Ryan and Rachel main ensuite
Rachel and Ryan opted for a natural textured stone to round out their monochromatic main ensuite.
Photo: The Block

A trend that was once popular in the ‘70s has swung back around and we’re now seeing coloured bathroom basins in contemporary bathroom renovations everywhere. For many people, sticking to the usual colour suspects; white, cream and grey are a safe way to create a timeless bathroom. However, as seen on The Block this season, the bold basin is making a comeback.


Contemporary bathroom with black marble basins
Go bold. This contemporary bathroom sports a stunning pair of rectangular black marble basins. (Credit: Brigid Arnott)

The bathroom is one of the most expensive rooms of the house to renovate and, while including a coloured bathroom basin may seem like you’re jumping on a trend, picking a design and colour scheme that can withstand the test of time is a great way to stamp your style on the space.

Big ticket items from tiles and waterproofing to shower frames and bathtubs are bathroom design choices you want to get right the first time around. Coloured hand basins are a cheeky way to take the space from drab to fab without breaking the budget. 

The Block 2022 Ankur and Sharon main ensuite vanity
Instead of plain white, The Block team Ankur and Sharon added textured round ceramic basins above a sage green vanity unit. (Credit: Photo: The Block)

While all-white interiors have dominated the decorating scene for some time, more recently coloured concrete basins in shades from candy-floss pink and purple to delicate greens and barely-there blues is a style statement many homeowners are now making. As a result, once-white domains, such as bathrooms and kitchens, are now enjoying something of a colour renaissance. 

The key to getting this trend right is all about selecting cutting-edge shapes in contemporary colours and installing them in a bathroom that can carry off a coloured vanity basin, rather than being dominated by it.

Here’s how to get it right.

1. Keep it simple

An otherwise white bathroom accented with brushed gold, brass or even chrome tapware makes the perfect fit for coloured bathroom basins. Add a little timber for texture for a classic combination and to make the coloured basin feel like a natural addition.

2. Don’t be afraid of dark colours

Not all bathrooms need to be light and bright. Particularly in a powder room, there’s plenty of scope to make a statement with colour. Start with a coloured concrete basin to combine a neutral benchtop or tiling with bold colours, statement wallpaper and feature tapware to great effect.

2. Stick to a shape

For a cohesive bathroom design in a small space, pair a coloured, rectangular or oval basin with a similar shaped mirror and carry the shape throughout the space with rectangular tiles.  Especially where space is limited, the addition of longer shapes makes the overall look feel effortless.

The Block 2022 Tom and Sarah-Jane powder room
Tom and Sarah-Jane’s unexpected pop of a blue coloured basin was the crowning glory in the powder room on The Block 2022. (Credit: Photo: The Block)

4. Choose a focal point

The coloured basin is the perfect opportunity to create a focal point in your bathroom. Tie in towels, tiles and other bathroom accessories to complement the hue.

5. Don’t limit yourself to one colour

Lucky enough to have a bathroom that fits two occupants easily? Why not be bold and have two coloured basins instead of one?

The Block 2022 Ryan and Rachel main ensuite
Rachel and Ryan opted for a natural textured stone to round out their monochromatic main ensuite. (Credit: Photo: The Block)

6. Let nature be your guide

If you’re feeling nervous about introducing coloured concrete basins into the bathroom but are still looking to make a statement, why not go for a natural stone instead? Travertine, marble or stone all make brilliant basins with a timeless, textured effect.


Nood Co Mount Basin IN Copan Blue

Nood Co surface mount basin in Copan Blue, $825, The Blue Space

Subtle colour in a streamlined coloured concrete basin to fit snug against a wall in a narrow space. SHOP NOW

Eight Quarters Terrazzo Circle Basin and Waste

Eight Quarters Terrazzo circle basin & waste, $419 (was $495), Bathroom Warehouse

Available in four colours from neutral to nero, tap into the terrazzo trend and tick the pattern box too with this softly curved ceramic coloured basin. SHOP NOW

Clay 350 Hand Basin by Robert Gordon Australia | Rose Quartz

Clay 350 hand basin in Rose Quartz, $725, Robert Gordon

Paired with pretty brass tapware, a pastel pink basin is just the right colour accent to pamper yourself in style. SHOP NOW

Maputo Medium Riverstone Wash Basin, Natural

Maputo medium riverstone wash basin in Natural, $409, Schots Emporium

Let nature do the talking with this textural stone basin, perfect for a country or coastal setting. SHOP NOW

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