Alan Dodds, Managing Director at Roca UK looks at the current trends in bathroom design and what they mean for developers.
The bathroom is an increasingly important space within a new home. Historically, kitchens may have ruled the roost when it comes to influencing homebuying decisions. However, the bathroom is increasingly a part of the house that can also make a distinctive impression thanks to new layers of style, innovation and imagination.
One of the biggest trends hitting the bathroom industry is personalisation. This is a key area of advantage for housebuilders, keen to strengthen the appeal of their properties to consumers. Just as with the rest of their new home, buyers want to inject their own design personality and taste into the bathroom. It needs to reflect their sense of style but also suit their needs.
Housebuilders can now access a broader range of options than ever before from the same collections. These new collections are designed to allow different pieces to be combined much more cohesively than in the past. They bring together minimal and modern design with the latest innovations in materials, providing optimum choice and the ability for homebuyers to select a combination that works best for their eye and their particular bathroom space.
For example, Roca’s new Inspira range is based on the three most essential geometric shapes and design lines – Round, Soft (with soft angles) and Square – all with a streamlined simplicity that brings universal appeal. Inspira pieces can be mixed and matched from across the collection to tailor a unique bathroom space. The range includes a variety of washbasins; on-countertop, semi-insert and wall-hung models in a choice of shapes and size options whilst the furniture complements the range and is available in a wide choice of sizes and finishes.
These more bespoke-driven options appeal strongly to homebuyers as they get to create their own bathroom whilst also making the process easier for developers as their customers can choose a number of options from one collected range and one brand.
Think about furniture
A bath or a shower may still be the hero in the room, but bathroom furniture is now becoming increasingly important. It is a trend that is set to continue and housebuilders should consider the storage and style options afforded by furniture carefully when planning a bathroom.
Wall mounted furniture can offer the illusion of space and deliver the storage that homebuyers want. Freestanding units increase storage capacity and thanks to their reduced dimensions, they can fit into any available space, for example, under the basin, beside a radiator or even under a window.
Furniture that has double, deep set drawers will make the most of lateral wall space, providing storage for electricals, beauty items and spare towels on hand. These furniture pieces can fit in, on or over countertop basins, depending on the style you’re looking for, leaving ample room on the countertop for everyday needs.
Today, there is significant choice in stylish, high quality and complementary bathroom furniture. Our soundings show that consumers expect it and value it.
Housebuilders can now access a broader range of options than ever before from the same collections.
The impact of technology
All areas of the home are rapidly changing due to the impact of technology, whether it is lighting control or smart thermostats. The bathroom is no different, with mirrors housing Wi-Fi connections, integrated sockets in furniture and in-built TV options. The bathroom is a hub of smart technology and will continue to be so for generations of homebuyers.
One of the latest trends to hit the UK market is for smart toilets. They are easy to use and incorporate intuitive controls with functions being controlled via a remote control. Smart toilets can also be extremely easy to install. For example, the Roca In-Wash Inspira has hidden fixings and requires only one inlet and a conventional power supply. In-Wash also features an integrated control panel with wash, dry and stop functions making it simple to use for homeowners. The water temperature, pressure, positing and dryer mode can all be set for individual users via the remote control. With its quick release soft close seat and self-cleaning nozzle, this toilet is easy to clean and hygienic giving homeowners peace of mind.
This kind of innovation appeals strongly to the premium buyer who expects the very best in hygiene and comfort, especially those pitched at buyers where cultural and religious beliefs demand the highest standards of cleanliness. It also offers strong appeal on retirement and assisted living developments where convenience and ease of use are powerful requirements.
In the smallest of bathroom spaces, one can also choose wall-hung accessories to free up vital countertop space. Every little detail counts, from the wall-mounted toothbrush and toilet roll holders down to a single robe hook. A range of matching solutions can be found in Roca’s Superinox collection, bringing together the overall design and practicality of the bathroom. Again, developers with the vision to see the bathroom as more than just about the bath / shower, toilet and wash basin will tap into this trend for a unified aesthetic.
Roca has been creating innovative bathrooms for 100 years and we have seen the bathroom emerge from simply a functional space to becoming an integral part of the home. The more homebuyers have the ability to take advantage of the latest styles and innovations, the more they will see that they can make the space their own and the likelier they will be to buy. Manufacturers are bringing product to market to help developers satisfy these demands and meet these opportunities. So, let’s make sure we work together for the benefit of us both.