Tiles, they are a-changin’
Tiles are getting creative. Everything from art deco-inspired scalloped edges and ancient fish scales to geometric hexagons, squares, and petite herringbone patterns finds favour in the contemporary scheme. Textured, handmade or hand-painted tiles are huge — and a mix-and-match approach to tiling walls and floors is bang on trend. We haven’t quite said adieu to the subway tile either. Look out for the ‘skinny subway’ a longer, narrower take on the classic. When it comes time to lay it all down, stay on point with vertical stacking that will make your ceiling seem to soar.
While it’s as busy as ever, the modern bathroom does a side hustle as a sanctuary of self-care beauty rituals and spa-like serenity. Bring a little five-star indulgence to your mood board with freestanding baths, artworks, upholstered chairs and timber stools, and practical luxuries including underfloor heating, back-lit LED mirrors, and a mini fridge to keep your eye cream fresh or your kombucha chilled. You’re basically creating another living space! Then lock the door and enjoy a few precious moments (or hours) of ‘me’ time. Bathroom bliss.
Clean, green comfort colours
Nature-inspired hues speak to our craving for the great outdoors. Think forest and moss greens, oceanic and stormy blues, blush and sunset peach. Warm neutrals that have been sidelined by the recent greyscape are starting to reappear, and even Moroccan-inspired terracotta has enjoyed a memorable cameo of late. Bring them into your permanent fixtures, including tiles, for total immersion or add a pop of colour against a monochrome scheme in the form of towels or a statement vanity. Add masses of living greenery or an indoor tree (very 2019) and you’ll be headed back to nature.
The new #bathroomgoals? Carefully curated shelves that are always ready for their close-up and well-ordered drawers that would make Marie Kondo proud. A desire for cabinetry that is plentiful, practical and stylish has brought vanities and double-duty mirrors to the fore (hello, face height storage). So, after your bathroom has been lovingly decluttered, invest in a few pretty countertop pieces to keep you on track and restock with care. Accessorise your beauty bottles with fresh flowers or greenery and luxe towels — then prepare for a regular edit to keep the look Insta-ready.
Work your curves
A 2019 design darling, the curve plays so nicely with the current wave of warm metallics (think fixtures in brass, nickel or brushed gold.) Tap into sophisticated vintage themes and go deep deco-glam with antique mirrors, gleaming monochrome mosaics, a shapely vanity and a rounded bath. Or try an industrial-luxe twist with exposed pipes in silver or matte-black, naked bulbs, and a moon-shaped mirror. Oval and circular basins lend a calming elegance while wallpaper in a confetti of gold spots will bring a playful touch. Even the shape of a simple accessory, like the smooth arc of a hand-poured candle, can be a nod to this well-rounded theme.
A back-to-black brief
A classic monochrome palette never dips out of the limelight for long. In a bathroom, black and white has serious longevity but expect to see an update in the form of black vanity drawers, tapware, accessories such as mirrors and planters, shower frames and lighting. Keep it current with a soft, matte finish and dip into the dark side.
Mad for marble, sold on stone
Our love affair with natural stone powers on. Try it as a feature — a marble slab in the shower or along a vanity wall is a showstopper — or in budget-friendly accessories. Also on the radar: beautifully durable engineered stone and composites, such as terrazzo and quartz. As well as looking the part, these economical alternatives get a gold star for their mould and mildew-inhibiting qualities and resistance to heat and chipping. A bonus for this hard-working space. Rock on.
Mirrors that de-fog themselves, voice-activated lighting, high-tech toilets, and speakers which blast a shower soundtrack of your favourite tunes. It’s all possible in a teched-up bathroom which goes way beyond underfloor heating. Program your shower from your car, catch up with CNN while you brush your teeth, and enjoy a space that functions at a level you may well aspire to.
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Timber still trending
Timber helps soften the crisp lines of tile and stone — and with the resurgence of texture and back-to-nature themes, it’s now a bathroom mainstay. The vanity is the perfect place to showcase solid timber or hardwood timber veneers which promise enhanced structural integrity and longevity. Warm up your accents with a timber-framed mirror and countertop accessories or a towel ladder and bath caddy in bamboo. Looking to create a contemporary classic? A black/white/timber bathroom brief is always a winner.
Power to the powder room
It may be the smallest room in the house, but the powder room has started to shine bright. Whether you’re designing a treat for your guests or a family necessity, luxe elements will elevate this seemingly modest toilet/sink combo to new heights. Keep the mood aligned with the rest of your home or let loose with a wildcard space that won’t be a distraction. Allow the reduced wall and floor dimensions to work in your favour when it comes to choosing tiles (mosaic feature wall? Go for it!) and select a gorgeous mirror to preside over your perfectly petite vanity. A low-key loo (wall hung is ideal) completes the picture.
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