It’s where we go for our daily ablutions; where we get primped for work, where we find time-out from the kids, and where we source solace after a long hard day: the bathroom. What was once considered a purely functional area of the home has evolved into a sophisticated space designed to create calm with feel-good features we once associated with day spas and beauty salons.
The design professionals at WA Bathrooms, who are known for creating 5-star resort style renovations, talk us through the key trends and techniques that have been making a splash this year.
One thing is for certain, the bathroom revolution is set to continue. Huge advances in design, technology and materials coupled with people’s changing needs are totally transforming bathrooms from purely functional spaces into seamlessly stylish wellness sanctuaries – with the ultimate aim of improving our quality of life.
Designs showcased at this year’s Salone Internazionale del Mobile (commonly known as Milan Design Week, and which is acknowledged as the global reference point for the furnishing and design sector) confirmed this trend with many exhibitors offering a tantalising glimpse at just how far the humble bathroom has evolved.
1. Timber treasure
The natural warmth of timber continues to feature strongly in bathroom designs. It’s versatile and textural and is particularly effective when paired with other earthy materials like marble and stone. Trends include bespoke furniture-like joinery, wooden vanities, open timber shelving, flooring and even sanitary ware, as people move away from artificial materials to create a more down-to-earth, organic space.
Staying with timber, duck wood flooring is also featuring in more and more bathroom designs as it looks and feels natural, gives the illusion of space, and is warm and comfortable underfoot.
2. Fifty shades of grey
With many bathroom designs now focusing on simplicity and serenity, a more subdued colour palette has come to the fore. Shades of grey, whites, creams and muted greens offer a calm warmth, while clever accents of colour add interest and detail. Interestingly, with the growing popularity of the industrial look, black is featuring more prominently in the bathroom notably in tapware and accessories.
3. The rise of rose
Whilst last year was all about metallics, this year’s bathroom designs feature pink, blush and rose gold in many different formats including tapware, lighting, storage, wall art, and as embellishments in vanities. This sophisticated tone gives an elegant opulence and is becoming increasingly popular when balanced with natural materials like marble and wood.
4. Mood lighting
Bathroom designers are continuing to focus on lighting, using innovative products and placement to create atmosphere and add drama. Hanging pendant lights, either as a single feature or clustered together, is a strong trend that has the added advantage of being easily replaced when a different aesthetic is required. You can always start by replacing harsh overhead lighting with dimmable downlights, which enable you to easily switch from functional to ambient lighting, and consider framing mirrors with more flattering lights.
5. Timeless tiles
With the softer industrial look and focus on rustic authenticity, tiles are being used in more timeless colours and shapes to create artistic and decorative backdrops. Examples include classic subway tiles in a herringbone design, geometric patterns such as chevrons (V-shape) and hexagons, contrasting grout and three-dimensional visually tactile tiles.
Trends come and go, which is why it’s so important to put a great deal of thought into designing your bathroom. Modern bathrooms are all about the user’s experience and it’s really worth spending time and effort creating a personal retreat where people can indulge, relax and recharge.
At the end of the day, good quality materials will never go out of style and nor will quality workmanship.
Top image courtesy of WA Bathrooms.