Barrie Cutchie, Design Director at BC Designs, considers the latest bathroom designs and the growing trend towards colour.
2020 looks set to be a big year for bathroom design. Long gone are the days of a white three-piece bathroom suite and instead, design now focuses on the widest colour palette that we’ve seen for decades.
To keep up, manufacturers are having to really push the boat out with the products they are launching, as well as being conscious about modern day living including multigeneration families and smaller spaces. However, that doesn’t mean that design has to be compromised at any point.
Advancements in technology, both from a ceramics and brassware point of view, has made colour more feasible and accessible, which has fuelled the rise of colour as a trend. We also cannot underestimate how the bathroom industry is heavily influenced by trends we first see emerging in kitchen design with colour now playing a prominent role.
As with the vast majority of trends, colour has started at the top-end of the market so will feature more heavily in bathroom products aimed at the higher-end of the market before filtering down to mass-market products.
We’re seeing two colours racing out in front of others and these are blush pink and green, with mint and dark shades by far the most popular. Green brings nature indoors and what better place to do it than the bathroom, as well as being proven to create a happier mood. How, as a housebuilder, you choose to add colour is up to you, but popular choices are through the use of tiles – a particular favourite is the Jungle Porcelain tile by Ca’Pietra – or through colour pops.
One way in which to add colour is by opting to go with a painted boat bath across your developments. It fits the brief for colour personalisation, and what is great, is that it can be repainted as colour trend changes or personal tastes. You’ll also find a traditional shape such as a coloured boat bath can work as a chameleon, blending into both contemporary and traditional bathrooms.
We can’t not also discuss coloured ceramics. Not quite a return of the 60s and 70s, neutral and pastel hues are less confrontational and work well in design schemes that need to appeal to a wider audience. There are also several manufacturers who have stuck to the new beige – grey; with grey baths and sinks – which work particularly well with bright coloured brassware making their mark on bathroom design heading into 2020.
There are more subtle ways to follow the trend for coloured bathrooms and can be achieved by thinking outside the box. As a nation, when we think of colour, we traditionally think of brighter colours, but it can also be achieved through the use of metallics. Opting for copper or tin boat bath is a great way of accomplishing this, as is brassware. No longer just about Chrome, we’re seeing brushed metallics and black finishes which can add a touch of colour to a largely neutral space and can reduce the clinical feel that comes from an all-white bathroom.
Five-star spa appeal
We first saw this trend emerge this year, but it isn’t one that is going anywhere. Recreating a bathroom that we would associate with a five-star hotel can really add value to a home and create a sense of luxury and desirability. Often done through the use of materials – such as marble and other naturally occurring materials – consideration also needs to be given to the bathroom products you pick.
To really nail the spa bathroom trend, it needs a freestanding bath as the key focal point as this is where people come to relax. There are some strikingly modern baths now available that have expanded the design possibilities that have made spa bathrooms such a huge trend. To really set it apart, consider placing it in the centre of the room or away from other sanitary ware.
Designing for small spaces
Having limited space shouldn’t have to impact on the overall aesthetics of bathroom design. A lot of people and even housebuilders are under the impression that smaller bathrooms mean that a bath has to be sacrificed for a shower, but this simply isn’t the case.
Several bath makers, we included, have launched smaller models of their best-selling products to fulfil demand for stylish and practical solutions for small spaces.
There is also the adage that baths can help to sell houses, especially those with a family focus as they facilitate a busy family like and children’s bath time.
Barrie Cutchie is Design Director at BC Designs, one of the UK’s leading bath, basin and brassware manufacturers, having founded the company in 1999. Responsible for all design and product output, Barrie is an authoritative voice on the latest in bathroom and bath trends.