Experts predict ‘new era’ in bathroom design

A panel of bathroom experts and designers has claimed that 2017 will mark the start of an exciting new phase in bathroom design.

Speaking as part of a design discussion at the CP Hart bathroom showroom in Waterloo, the panellists revealed their top bathroom trend predictions for the year ahead.

“I’ve been at CP Hart for 20 years, so I’ve seen a lot of changes and for me this is just the beginning of a new era in bathroom design,” said Rachel Martin, merchandising director for CP Hart. “Bathrooms are the new kitchens in terms of where design is going, because of all the developments and innovations coming through. All the colours and finishes, patterns and textures we’ve seen launch in the past 12 months have set a precedent. I think it’s the most exciting time to be in the bathroom industry.”

Rachael Martin
Rachel Martin

Nigel Palmer, marketing director at CP Hart, revealed four key trends – bathrooms as a living space: industrial design, Scandi/Nordic style, and wellness – that “will strongly influence bathroom design moving forward”.

“CP Hart has come up with the phrase ‘urban jungle’,” Palmer added, “which we feel sums up this multiplicity of current trends.”

The panel also claimed that the interior design sector will have a strong influence on bathroom design over the next 12 months, with patterned wallpaper, coloured furniture and sanitaryware all highlighted as key drivers.

Nigel Palmer
Nigel Palmer

Frieda Gormley, co-founder of luxury interiors brand House of Hackney, said: “There’s a really interesting new mood emerging across all interiors this year, which will be about cheering people up and, mark my words, we’re going to see yellow making a big comeback. We’ll also see a revival of English florals coming through – a new take on chintz, but made for now. People are looking to connect more with nature, so we’re seeing this real trend for indoor plants and foliage-based prints coming through in bathroom design.”

Frieda Gormley
Frieda Gormley

In terms of colours and finishes, the panel said that browns, pinks, greens and blues would dominate. Marble will continue to appeal in luxury projects both as cladding and as a feature on brassware and furniture.

Concrete and dark wood finishes will also play an important role in furniture design, while matt brasses, matt silvers and matt platinums will be long-term finishes on the brassware side.

During the discussion, Christian Sieger of Sieger Design waded in on the ongoing debate over the importance of smart-home technology, revealing his prediction that it would play a key role in the bathroom of tomorrow.

Christian Sieger
Christian Sieger

“Smart technology definitely has a right to enter the bathroom, as long as it really is ‘smart’ and offers genuine benefits to the user,” he said. “For me, the relevant smart technology is about improving the user’s experience, rather than enabling them to turn on their bath filler via an app on their smartphone, while they’re stuck in traffic. Incorporating this kind of technology is a challenge in the bathroom, because there’s electricity and water, and you need confident, qualified installers. It’s an exciting development, as it allows manufacturers and retailers to stand out from the rest of the crowd and I believe we’ll definitely start to see more of it coming through into the bathroom.”

  • For the full discussion see the kbbreview January issue
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