The bathroom may be a functional space, but there’s no reason that it can’t also ooze style. From the latest colour palettes to the most covetable fixtures, here, I reveal how to create the ultimate retreat.
The bathroom is normally the smallest room in the house and traditionally homeowners have opted for neutral palettes to create a spacious, clean feel. But, think again, say colour experts. Bold schemes and dark colourways can evoke a luxurious, indulgent feel even in the smallest spaces. Benjamin Moore’s deep ‘Calypso Green’ paint colour, for example, is sultry and sophisticated, while its ‘Old Claret’ shade taps into the latest trend for all things pink.
Charlotte Cosby, head of creative at Farrow & Ball, gives her insight:“Pinks offer a huge amount of warmth which are perfect for bathrooms, try ‘Pink Ground’ or ‘Calamine’ as a softer alternative to white. For rooms that face north, use a dark colour like Paean Black on the walls and Peignoir on the woodwork to create a rich and romantic scheme.”
Interior designer at Heritage Bathrooms, Charlie Williams, agrees that dark shades can bring a high-end experience and a spa-like quality to a bathroom. “The key to achieving this look,” he says, “is to be brave with your use of matte blacks. Use the colour on the walls, floor or key pieces, such as your freestanding bath. Lighting is vital when creating a usable darker space so ensure that your fittings have the functionality to offer both bright and dimmed lighting, enabling you to create a relaxing, atmospheric space.”
Meanwhile, at Crown Paints, colour consultant Neville Knott, says that the must-have hues for this year are ‘Deep Bottle-Blue’ and ‘Ocean Green’ used on feature walls. “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 spaces in the home.”
Echoing this sense of drama, is a rise in a variety of unique surfaces on offer for design-savvy interior aficionados, with hand-crafted tiles, unusual marbles and terrazzo surfaces bringing a sense of worldly glamour to our most practical room. Tapping into a timeless French feel is Gemini Tiles’ Havana Silver Poiters tile, which works well underfoot. While, Gerald Culliford’s Brazilian Marinace Rosso Granite, sourced from the deep river-beds in Brazil, is a decadent and striking statement choice.
Otto Tiles’ latest collection is all about colour, with bright green, ochre and rose pink tiles – inspired by Moroccan designs – introducing a modern aesthetic. Founder Damla Turgut says: “A small bathroom is a great space to experiment and decorate with colour and pattern. Choose geometric patterns rather than floral patterns – they make much more of a graphic impact in a smaller area.”
SMALL STYLE: Surface advice from Otto Tiles
- For a small space choose a single tile which carries a pattern, this will create a statement ‘wow’ look. For a larger space choose a design where four tiles make one pattern.
- The brighter, the better. Avoid plain coloured tiles if you really want to make a statement.
- Consider using tiles on the floor and on the walls, either using one design all over or mixing complimentary designs.
Consumers are also becoming more adventurous when it comes to flooring, with lots of patterns, textures and finishes on offer. Above all, bathroom flooring needs to be practical, durable and robust. A good choice, therefore, says Amtico, is Luxury Vinyl Tiles (LVT).
“Our design is rooted in traditional methods, but we embrace digital technology in order to evolve,” says Sarah Escott, design manager at Amtico. “We also scour the globe looking for unique design inspiration which will ultimately transform people’s living spaces.”
The natural trend: Top tips on what to choose from stone supplier Gerald Culliford
- Terrazzo allows you to experiment with colour and pattern – perfect for clients who want pieces which are distinctive and one-off.
- Statement bathroom countertops are definitely a trend at the moment, with vibrant surfaces used almost like works of art.
- Natural stone gives you individuality and clients can select their own, as each piece is unique.
Also offering a range of vinyl flooring – and perfect for those after vivid schemes – is For The Floor And More, with husband and wife founders, Joe and Louisa, applying their print experience to produce their own unique patterned options.
From bathtubs to luxury showers, updating fixtures and fitting is the most obvious way to make a difference in the bathroom. A statement bath tub, for instance, adds instant glamour. Britton’s square Sustain bath is a modern take on the standalone tub, while the Albion Bath Company offers a range of traditional shapes, with claw or ball feet, available in metallic burnished and coloured finishes.
Meanwhile, the American Graffiti porcelain tiles, from the Stone and Ceramic Warehouse, feature designs inspired by street art and famous icons. They create a stunning visual impact when laid together on any floor or wall. The brand’s Rainforest Patterned Slab Tiles also offer a striking forest pattern, turning your walls into art forms.
Ashton & Bentley’s traditional baths come in a range of coloured finishes and are a great way to inject personality into a bathroom. “Pinks and greens are particularly popular at the moment,” says MD Edward Carey. “Soft shades of pink give the room an elegant, retro feel, while green hues are perfect for creating a relaxing, natural ambience, especially when paired with wooden accessories.”
Clearwater, meanwhile, offers curvy, modern designs and Faye Froy, marketing manager, advises: “A bath is the main focus of a bathroom. Our distinctive Nebbia bath isn’t the usual symmetrical shape, but instead features one long end to provide bathers with extra back support and comfort. For those with small bathrooms, the Formoso Petite bath is ideal, and for those who appreciate the aesthetic of straight lines and edges, the Vicenza bath would be a good choice. The floor-standing bath spout is also ideal for those who enjoy a particularly clean-cut looking bathroom.”
From Lundhs’ antique basin to Crosswater’s range of black and gold feature taps – one key piece can transform your room. The BetteCraft basin, from bathroom manufacturer Bette, for instance, is formed into its craft-like, ‘potter’s wheel’ shape by hand, while the BettePond Silhouette is a freestanding circular bath reminding us of the original shape of the ‘tub’. Mix and match these contemporary shapes with vintage radiators, industrial lighting and copper-toned accessories for an characterful feel.
Offering a wide range of innovative bathroom furniture is CP Hart. Rachel Martin, the company’s merchandising director, gives the last word: “In 2019, bathroom trends are manifesting themselves in a kaleidoscope of colours, finishes and shapes. In particular, we’re seeing water-inspired blues and greens revitalising bathroom schemes. There’s never been a better time to escape the restraints of minimalism and have a little bit of fun with bathroom design.”
MY TOP TEN BATHROOM BUYS
Hand-woven Batu towel, £28, hammamandhome.co.uk
Arch Vinyl Flooring, £39 per square metre, forthefloorandmore.co.uk
Parisienne Vincent Tile, £78 per square metre, sacw.co.uk
Waffled Cotton Linen Towels, from £15, secretlinenstore.com
Brooklyn Copper Bathroom Pendant, £75, industville.co.uk
Urban Paradise Glass Candle, £8, Sainsburys.co.uk
Oxford Cast Iron Radiator, £1,095, frontlinebathrooms.co.uk
Eichholtz Hexa Gold Mirror , £890, sweetpeaandwillow.com
Antiqued Gold Metal Swan Door Knob, £6, giselagraham.co.uk
Brushed Copper Soap Dispenser, £18, redcandy.co.uk
*This article is also published in the May issue of The Cambridge Edition Magazine.