Roper Rhodes | Get the Desert Modern Look in Your Bathroom

Get the Desert Modern Look in Your Bathroom

Add warmth and interest to your home, without the 100 degree heat.

Interior design trends often take an unexpected turn. The revival of the coloured suite, black finish brassware, designs’ new-found love of the once-tacky terrazzo to name a few. One such style that was equally hard to predict has as of-late been championed by celebrities, interior designers and influencers the world over. Popularised by the slow-living movement of Joshua Tree House - an Airbnb destination in the wilds of Mojave, California, the ‘desert modern’ style, is slowly making its way into our living rooms, bedrooms and now bathrooms - and the results are stunning. 

Otherwise known as Southwestern style, Southwest desert decor or desert boho, this nature-inspired trend is characterised by earthy colours and rich textures in sparse settings. Think distressed leather, macrame, rattan, cane and warm toned and neutral fabrics - like a Berber rug or tasseled cushions. But how to introduce the trend into your bathroom, a space not typically made for dry-clean only textiles? We give you the lowdown on how to enjoy the warmth this charming style can bring to your home.

Colour Swatches

Inspired by the natural colours of earth and sand, these rich shades add depth and effortless warmth to a room.

From left, Farrow & Ball Setting Plaster, Little Green Paint Company Tuscan Red, Farrow & Ball Calamine, Dulux Talvera, Valspar Canyon Earth, Little Green Paint Company Scree.

Desert Toned Paint

The Pantone colour of the year may be Classic Blue, but this bold, primary bright has been complemented by plenty of desert toned paint colours. Think about warm greys, pinks, oranges and beige for your walls. We love Calamine by Farrow and Ball, a muted, delicate pink with hints of grey, Farrow and Ball Setting Plaster and Dulux’s Talvera, while Valspar's Canyon Earth - a vibrant sunbaked clay colour, is an obvious favourite. Desert chic colours need not always be red toned- charcoals and warm whites and beiges also work beautifully. Team lighter and deeper desert colours together in colour blocks for real impact.

Rustic Tiles & Surfaces

Desert modern is all about creating warmth in colder spaces. Fortunately for us, terracotta tiles are back to bring a sunny glow to your bathroom floors. Whether you opt for the traditional burnt orange tile or a painted version, this beautiful material adds natural warmth and interest to colder spaces. Likewise, warm, patterned and variegated quartz and granite worktops have made a resurgence, while understated concrete worktops continue to add an earthy element to contemporary bathrooms.

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Terra Firma

Old favourite terracotta is back in a big way, as evidenced by new surface designs by Patricia Urquiola for Mutina and Sarah Ellison for Terranova.

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Wood Bathroom Furniture

Desert style is all about being simple, earthy and warm. Wood effect facade bathroom furniture and wood effect vanity units have come leaps and bounds from their laminated predecessors. Recreate Southwestern decor in your bathroom with a richly textured wood fronted unit in a dark finish. Enhance the natural texture of the wood with a gleaming brass handle.

Prints & Artwork

An easy update, the addition of a print or artwork to your bathroom can really help to set the colour and style of the space. Prints that feature arches or desert coloured rainbows are everywhere at the moment and are a great way to introduce colour without a busy pattern.

System 500 Umbra with column
System 500 Umbra Detail

Natural Textures

Our System and Scheme units are all available in a richly grained Umbra finish, a perfect pairing for warm wall colours.

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Unfinished Walls

Desert style is all about layering textures. Tadelakt, limed and Venetian plaster walls are fast becoming a key feature in bathroom design. Recreate the feel of a desert Hacienda in your bathroom with walls that add dimension and interest.

Mixed Metals

Give your bathroom an artistic, bohemian feel with unexpected metal combinations. Opt for matte and iodinised brassware finishes that allow you to easily mix metals of bolder and more natural colours, for instance, brushed brass and matte black make an impactful yet warm pairing.

Soft Shapes

Complement earthy colours with minimal statement pieces in round and simple styles. We chose this lattice bamboo light shade that gives a warm, welcoming glow.

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Rattan and Cane Light Fittings

While we don’t recommend opting for a rattan vanity unit (we would if it weren't so annoyingly impractical!), a great way to introduce this warm and interesting material is with a simple light shade. There are hundreds of styles of rattan lights available, but to really capture the boho desert style, look for more shapely light shades in soft or round designs.

Pampas Grass and Dried Botanicals

Pampas grass and other dried grasses have come a long way from being the 70’s suburban plant of choice to the interior stylists favourite. Full, feathery and ethereal, this hardy grass introduces warmth and whimsy to your bathroom. Style in a large pot or amber vase and spray with your favourite room fragrance as an up-to-date alternative to potpourri. For something a little different and more structural, palm spears are also a great option for long-lasting, minimal-effort botanicals.

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