Layering, vertical design, and multigenerational living will all be key trend drivers for the bathroom market in 2024, according to some of the industry’s prominent bathroom suppliers.
Speaking to kbbreview at the Hotel Interiors Experience show last week, suppliers’ views on the future of the bathroom industry reflect some surprising emerging trends, alongside the expected continued popularity of colours and textures.
Jorge Hernandez, group product and design manager at Bathroom Brands, believes that the next big trend will be layering materials and finishes together.
“This also ties into the wider trend for personalisation that we’ve been seeing,” he explained, “trends are definitely cyclical, but they need to build from what has come before, too, and this is where I think our focus on finishes and materials will take us. Although brands will need to be able to offer a range of fixtures and fittings to be able to do that well.”
The theme of personalisation was also mentioned by Grohe’s market activation manager, Ebru Bircan. She believes “we’re seeing a greater demand for products and designs that are customisable in some way, so modular products will continue to be popular for that reason”.
She also added that in terms of colour, we can “definitely expect to see more matt and grey colours, as they’re continuing to be popular in the wider bathroom market”.
Colour was the most frequently predicted trend among the exhibitors that kbbreview spoke to at the show. Keuco’s country manager, James Sketch, said that in his opinion, “brass, bronze and nickel are almost guaranteed to endure for the foreseeable future”.
He also added that this year has seen “multigenerational living products being combined with luxury design principles, which is very exciting, and I’m interested in seeing that develop further”.
Colour is set to be a major focus for Flair Showers over the next year, as its marketing manager, Louise Huston, explained that the company was looking to launch new colours around the time of kbb Birmingham, anticipating a continuation of the trend.
“After the pandemic, there’s been a bigger focus on cleanliness and hygiene in the shower market, so consumers want products that are easy to clean, and that have fewer awkward corners that can make cleaning a bit more of a challenge,” Huston explained. “I also think consumers want shower enclosures that look just as nice on the inside as they do on the outside – this is something that the Flair design team have particularly focused on with our Harmony collections.”
However, Martin Carroll, managing director of Duravit, believes that although colour will feature heavily in bathroom products over the next year, it may be slightly more understated than we’re used to seeing so far.
Carroll predicted: “As expected, colour will continue to feature heavily in products to come. One thing I think we might see, however, is colour playing a more subtle role than necessarily just being bright and bold. I also think we’ll see designers playing with texture in products, aside from just bathroom furniture. Perhaps this will happen more as we move slightly away from ceramic materials, as texture can be harder to play with in that material.”
Offering a different view, Simon Holbrook, business development manager at The Majestic Shower Company, believes we could be seeing colour used in even grander ways than before. “The easy money is on colour,” he said, “and I think we’ll see more colours than just metallic finishes as well. In line with that, the market is probably going to see a lot more colour coming into glass panes and dividers. I noticed the trend for that in Italy last year, and it’s started to creep into more and more in our market now too.
“Something that I think is going to be huge next year is this big push for maximalism. Bigger, chunkier products show off colour really well, so I think that will definitely continue and develop.”
He also predicted a trend for products that are taller, and make use of the full height of a bathroom space. “New houses are being built with taller ceilings now, so people want more verticality to take advantage of that. We’re seeing products that play with the height of a space more.”
A rise in luxury products was predicted by Natalie Bird, brand marketing manager at Roca. She said that “aside from delving more into colour and texture, a trend that we predict we’ll see more of in the UK is a greater interest in the shower toilets that have been so popular around the world.
“We’ve already launched several of these products before, but 2024 will see us putting out models that focus more on sleekness and simplicity. We’re also looking to emphasise to consumers that these products can have a real luxury element too.”
Finally, colour is also a big focus for suppliers in the surfaces industry. Gavin Shaw, managing director at Laminam, believes “what we’re seeing now is a lot of interest in warmer colours like creams and browns, especially as we’re moving away from the grey shades that we’ve seen a lot of over the last few of years. We’ve stocked these warmer shades for years and years, but we’ve seen a huge interest boom in them recently that wasn’t necessarily happening before.
“For the surface market, we’re going to see a huge push for texture in our products. With porcelain, people are looking for something tactile and interesting. For wall coverings, people want surfaces that have minimal joints for a solid and complete look. For this reason, we’re going to see a lot of products that prioritise pattern-matching and book-matching in their aesthetic design.”