Whether it’s a rainfall shower or extravagant marble tiling – we all dream of different things when it comes to the ideal bathroom. Here are the latest trends to help you create your own idea of a blissful sanctuary.
Whether you want a sleek, minimalist look or a flamboyant ode to Victoriana, there are a myriad styles to choose when designing a bathroom. Mostly, this practical room in the house is a space for one – somewhere to start the day off with a song in the shower or to end it with a dreamy soak in the tub.
New trends indicate a return to colour, and a move away from the all-white, clinical rooms that have been in vogue for a while. From statement flooring – think tiny geometric mosaics or colourful encaustic Moroccan tiles – to opulent black and gold walls, adding interest through dramatic hues is suddenly all the rage.
Neville Knott, Crown’s colour consultant, explains:”Often the smallest room in the home, the bathroom has for too long become the victim of the ‘all white makes it look bigger’ design philosophy. Thankfully upcoming trends embrace a more creative and bold approach to what can be the most exciting space in the home. Using the bathroom as a space to experiment with bold shades can be the perfect way to trial daring ideas and dip your toes in the water of ‘out there’ trends.”
Charlotte Cosby, head of creative, at Farrow & Ball agrees: “Bathrooms are often the smallest rooms in the home that don’t offer much natural light. Neutral tones are typically people’s first choice to paint their bathrooms in the hope that it will create more space and light. We actually recommend painting your bathroom a bold colour as it will create the illusion of space whilst giving the room bundles of character. Our Calke Green shade brings perfect balance to stark white and chrome bathroom fixtures.”
Kasia Wiktorowicz, marketing communications manager at Valspar Paints, gives her tips
- Aim for your bathroom to provide a sanctuary from the outside world and offer a spa-like experience at the end of a long day.
- Bright hues and tonal colour schemes allow light to be bounced around the room, creating a sense of calm and openness.
- Choose a dedicated bathroom paint which will endure the scuffs of daily living, keeping the walls and ceilings looking great for longer.
When it comes to underfoot and wall finishes, tiling, of course, is the most practical choice. At Tile Mountain, in-house design experts say that textured surfaces are the new must-have. “Split-face mosaics are popular as they provide interest and soften the overall look.”
While at The Stone and Ceramic Warehouse, director, Jo Oliver adds:“We are seeing a huge demand for marble-effect porcelain. Not only is real marble often unaffordable for most people, it can also create application issues due to its extreme weight. An affordable and practical alternative to consider is marble effect porcelain. The reproduction is so accurate that our porcelain often gets confused for the real thing. Porcelain requires virtually no maintenance against scratching or staining and doesn’t need to be polished or sealed. It can also have anti-slip finishes applied making them ideal for bathrooms.”
As well as walls and flooring, colour can also be reintroduced with fittings and accessories. While no-one is recommending a return to the avocado-green bathroom suites of the 1970s, a statement, standalone bath in a bold shade can be a bold feature.
Phil Etherden, managing director of The Albion Bath Company, gives his advice: “Dark bathrooms are very refined and decadent when carefully thought-out. Colour plays a huge role in creating the look you want and, often, mixing darker tones with soft pastel hues works well. The result is moody and atmospheric while still being calming; a look that is particularly suited to bathrooms. A statement freestanding bath is the perfect choice for this theme. To complete the look, team with elaborate mirrors, beautiful lighting and opulent accessories, resulting in an almost theatrical finish.”
Meanwhile, the new Noir Collection at The Bath Store gives an edgy, architectural edge to bathrooms. Matt black fixtures – such as rainfall shower heads and taps – bring an element of drama in an otherwise neutral scheme, while the black-framed shower cubicles are a brilliant option for those after an industrial feel.
For those opting to add character with wall colours and accessories, the wise choice is to go for all-white bathroom furniture. Britton Bathrooms’ sleek, modular sinks and vanity units give a modern feel, while Laura Ashley’s high-performance York and Clifton shower systems are the perfect combination of form and function.
Helen Shaw, marketing manager for the Laura Ashley Bathroom Collection, says:“Traditional-style bathroom products provide a timeless look that will never go out of fashion. Classic, hand painted bathroom furniture has seen a resurgence in popularity and can be given a modern twist by painting it in an on trend colour such as light or dark grey.”
Making a splash
This month, luxury French Bathroom brand THG Paris launches three new ranges in collaboration with leading designers
- ‘System’ by sculptor Arik Levy features marble and crystal taps.
- ‘Les Ondes’by interior designers Gilles & Boissier includes sleek gold fixtures.
- The ‘Montaigne’ bathroomcollection, in collaboration with designer Stéphanie Coutas, uses marble and brass.
While the bathroom is often the smallest room in the house, it also needs to contain a lot of functional items for everyday use. Keeping essentials tidy and in one place is String Storage, which you can adapt to build your own personal system, and is made up of wire panels, sliding doors, glass cabinets and hooks.
Finally, from lighting to towels – the final touches are the easiest way to add personality. Brissi’s New England-themed mirrors are a classic addition, while beach-inspired towels and accessories from Argos bring an affordable, coastal-chic feel.
MY TOP TEN PICK OF BATHROOM ACCESSORIES
Zig-Zag Storage Basket, £42, anewtribe.co.uk
Bronze Duck Fee Vanity Mirror, £32.95, audenza.com
Marble Shelf With Brackets, £45, audenza.com
Brooklyn Glass Cone Brass Pendant, £69, industville.co.uk
Tretton Shelf Unit, £189.99, my-furniture.co.uk
Samode Rug, £130, nisiliving.co.uk
Sheridan Towels in Kingfisher, from £4.50, sheridanaustralia.co.uk
Collection Two Piece Gold Bathroom Accessories, £17.99, argos.co.uk
Banyan Mirror, £245, loaf.com
Brass Storage Basket, £30, hausofhyde.com
This article is also published in the September 2018 issue of The Cambridge Edition Magazine