What’s next for bathrooms? We talked to e&s CEO, Rob Sinclair, about what’s trending, from tiles to colour schemes and fixtures…

1. Raw metal finishes

Matte black will continue to thrive, but we are starting to see more raw metal finishes, whether they’re the real deal or coatings used to create this look.

Gessi has released metallic basins and we’re seeing metallic vanity tops as well. Or for something more subtle, opt for metallic trimming as highlights on a basin.

Copper, antique brasses and the like will continue to grow in 2017.

2. Fine, thin and rounded edges

We’re moving away from a market that was driven by bulkier, thicker-rimmed looks in bathroom products. Ceramic manufacturers have developed the technologies to strengthen their products, which means they can now create these finer, thinner edges and rims on basins and baths. I think this will be strong and emerging trend in the bathroom this year.

3. Earthy tones

They’ll be a continuation of the trends we saw in 2016, but with the emergence of more earthy tones, softer pastels, natural materials and fabric being introduced into bathroom arena. Muted greens, blues and greys are also gaining popularity.

4. More matte

Where gloss finishes always have always been the way to go over the last decade, manufacturers have seen how the matte and earthier sandstone or limestone looks against a glossy basin. We will see more matte finishes on bathroom fixtures and fittings to blend into their surroundings.

While chrome isn’t going anywhere (it’s easy to maintain and it looks beautiful in a bathroom environment), there is a strong pull towards more vintage and metallic looks.

5. Hero baths

Free-standing baths will remain a popular big ticket item, with bathrooms being treated as more of a retreat, with the aim to create a sense of wellness.

We’ve seen almost an evolution of baths and they have come a long way, from cast iron freestanding baths, to baths featuring timber panelling, and then a move back to plastics. Now the bath trend has moved away from an acrylic material. There’s a range of natural products coming out, whether that’s a man-made faux natural or volcanic limestone. We’re also seeing baths made from fine pressed steel with no rim and the introduction of fabric onto the baths themselves.

Technology wise, leading European manufacturers including Bette, Kaldewei, Duravit or Villeroy & Boch, have developed technology to have air and champagne bubble systems. It’s not like a spa with vigorous jets, instead it’s about smaller bubbles for relaxation.

The wellness experience is not as expensive as it used to be and it’s now possible to have this kind of technology in your bathroom.

6. Mixed materials

The Duravit Luv range by Cecilie Manz at ISH (world’s leading trade fair) was a stunning example of design synergy being considered. It consisted of a mix of materials, featuring fine forms and soft, rounded edges – from a fine rimmed basin, to a rounded solid timber benchtop on their vanity – painted cabinetry with a choice of colours, and a rounded mirror.

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