While bathrooms are a sanitary space for everyday use, they’ve also become a sought-after sanctuary, whether it’s a luxurious spa-at-home or simply designed with contemporary comforts. We'll see bathroom design delve into themes like construction, organic shapes, natural materials, floating cabinetry, open shelving, and geometric tile patterns.
One of the most influential trends in bathroom design is “industrial”, with the gritty aesthetic of concrete, brushed metal and exposed structural elements.
However, in our bathroom sanctuaries the look is less ‘rough and ready’ and more ‘industrial-chic’, with polished concrete walls and floors. It’s rumoured that resin-effect tiles will cement themselves as favoured options for floor and wall coverings, especially in 2017.
Design Tip: Avoid grey tones feeling too cold by infusing warm notes of rose-gold
No longer purely functional, practical places, bathrooms are now imbued with a relaxing, restful ambience. To create a homelier feel in such sanitary spaces, we are starting to bring in furniture and accessories more commonly found in the living room or bedroom. Cabinets custom-made to imitate furniture such as small wardrobes, vanity units and dressers are made bathroom-friendly with built-in faucets, storage, mirrors and lighting.
Detailed, bespoke furniture can feel quite special, creating an inviting place to escape to. Create a seamless transition from the bedroom by continuing the floor tiles and wall coverings across the bathroom threshold.
Design tip: go one step further by opening up the bathroom into the bedroom for a no-holds-barred window into this traditionally private area.
The natural world offers a heightened sensory experience with contrasting visual performances and tactile textures, which exude wellbeing. In a place previously deemed unfriendly for wood, this material (or imitations of) is now being welcomed, bringing in natural warmth to a room that can easily look quite cool. Designers are turning to wood panels laid horizontally on walls, providing a warm contrast to white washbasins, and custom-made wooden cabinets create a striking monochromatic look. However, draw the line at wood panelled bath surrounds – stand-alone baths are still fashionable.
Design tip: the effects of humidity and water-absorption needn’t be a worry with porcelain wood-effect tiles, so Mirage’s Koru, Nau and Signature series are perfect for that cool yet cosy Scandi-chic look.
The popularity of patterned tiles shows no signs of waning, and this year tile layouts have an even more creative twist. Focus has also moved to the walls, where geometric patterns create an eye-catching feature on bare walls or when surrounding baths and washbasins.
Subway, basket-weave, windmill and the classic herringbone will be styles that come to fore from wall-to-wall; striking geometric designs will create a striking statement; parquet patterns will make an effortless leap from the floor to the walls.
Design tip: to combat fast-changing trends, choose a tile that has a timeless colour and finish, so no matter what the pattern is the overall aesthetic will have staying power.
Wellness is no longer confined to the spa – it’s seeped into every aspect of our lifestyles, from eating healthy to living green, organic makeup to sustainably-made furniture and fashion. At home, the epicentre of wellness remains the bathroom, whether you like to soothe away the day’s stresses in a spacious spa-like sanctuary or unwind with eco-friendly appliances. Design reflects the sense of nurturing nature (and ourselves) with elements of natural and earthy materials, such as minerals, stone and river rock.
Design tip: finishes can be slightly structured for a tactile element, while smooth, polished surfaces emphasise the bathroom as a calm and comforting cocoon to escape to.