The bathroom may be one of the smallest rooms of the home, but it is also one of the most important when it comes to injecting personality into a property. It may not be the heart of entertaining like the kitchen is, or a hangout spot for the whole family like the living room, but the bathroom is somewhere you are inclined to visit several times a day, so it should feel special. A personal space overall, the modern-day bathroom has become an extension of our living spaces, with comfort, indulgence and luxury being as much of a priority as the fixtures themselves.
For a long time, the focus for sanitaryware in the bathroom has been starkly white, but things are changing. While we remain a long way from the avocado greens, electric blues and candy pinks of the 1980s, wall-to-wall white and chrome bathrooms are also seeing a change-up, with a return to colour. Soft pastels and muted shades are increasingly being seen on sanitaryware, particularly as inspiration for this room’s design increasingly takes its influence from the hotel sector.
Less clinical than an all-white bathroom, these pops of colour can be scaled up or down to meet individual tastes. It is not necessary, for example, to choose an entire suite of sanitaryware in a single colourway; a washbasin bowl in cappuccino can add colour and visual interest to a bathroom while being enhanced by more traditional white pieces elsewhere, an idea that works particularly well in smaller spaces, such as en-suites and cloakrooms.
Colour doesn’t need to mean bold and bright, and in this instance, the trend takes a far subtler approach, with nature-inspired tones that serve to add character while creating a relaxed and tranquil vibe. Indeed, we are seeing a rise in the use of organic materials and earthy, nature-inspired colour schemes alongside a strong focus on wellness and relaxation throughout bathroom design. This gives a great opportunity to express personality through the choice of materials and finishes to complete the look. As trends turn towards warmer, earth tones, bathroom tiling trends are shunning stark white too, in favour of stone-effects with warmer hues like travertine and limestone.
This subtle use of colour also works in harmony with brassware finishes other than chrome, giving greater creative freedom in what it is, after all, a very personal space. This is an emerging trend in bathroom design that taps into the shift towards industrial-inspired styling, first seen in the kitchen but lending itself quite nicely to the bathroom, from metallic finishes and raw materials through to basic white, brick metro tiles. Some areas of the bathroom lend themselves to the industrial trend more than others. Brassware, for example, is an obvious one and taps and showers in finishes such as matt black, brass, copper and brushed nickel all work well with this trend. Surfaces such as countertops and wall and floor tiles too can be industrial-led, with nature-inspired quartz and ceramic and textured finishes all adding to the ambience.
Many homeowners want to create a bathroom that wouldn’t look out of place in a five-star hotel and doing so can add real value to a property, as well as resulting in a sense of luxury and comfort. Creating a spa-like feel is made all the more possible with the inclusion of a contemporary, walk-in, wetroom-style shower area. Shower trays with a very low profile create a feeling of space in the bathroom as the floor area is opened out, and access is made really simple. For baths, think painted exteriors, freestanding tubs offset from other fixtures to make a statement and baths with slim rims.
A final but important clear trend emerging in bathroom design is technology – from sensor-controlled flushing systems for better hygiene and ease of use on WCs, to LED lighting on mirrors and cabinets, the bathroom is as smart as any of our living spaces. Bathroom mirrors and cabinets with integral lighting are now often than not the main lighting focus in the modern bathroom, and while such products are becoming increasingly slim-line in their design, they are also now packed with useful features such as demisters, touch and motion controls and Bluetooth connectivity, making the bathroom a pleasure to spend time in.