Is your bathroom merely a space to get clean and take a peek in the mirror before getting stuck into the daily grind? Well, we have news for you. While you’ve been showering in the confines of tacky frosted glass and cleaning grout out of boring square tiles, the interior designers of today are a million miles ahead.
Domain spoke to some of Australia’s most forward-thinking designers to get their take on the 8 bathroom trends that are making a splash in 2016. Here’s what they had to say.
#1 Back To Nature
Apparently, recent bathroom trade shows in Paris and Milan were big on the ‘natural material trend’. “Natural stone and timber will appear more and more in bathrooms. Timber vanities, seats and accessories showing timber grain will become more prevalent. Timber will be more often used for bathroom floors and even in taps,” says designer Katrina Malyn, of building design company Design Projector. “Make sure you bring in some earthy elements to balance the space out…Greenery, whites and a patterned tile work beautifully with tactile timber surfaces.”
#2 Black & White
The monochrome look isn’t only timeless, it’s relatively easy to achieve, whether you’re just updating your towel collection, adding a new soap dispenser or going for a total bathroom revamp. “The white Carrara marble look, but in porcelain tile, is incredibly popular and will continue to do so for 2016,” says interior designer and decorator Jane Gorman. “The beauty of the porcelain tile is that it doesn’t absorb like marble and is maintenance-free. It will give you the luxury and glamorous look without the price tag.” Gorman also recommends black velvet ottomans with sexy crystal light fittings if you’re really going for that monochrome-luxe look.
#3 Bold Brass
Newsflash: brass is totally on trend this season when it comes to fitting out your bathroom. “With either a beautiful light fitting, candle or even a shower caddy. Injecting metallics into a bathroom gives off such a glamorous, warm feel,” says Freedom’s interior decorator Clare Barnes. Most designers are steering clear of chrome this season and opting for black, pewter, brass or aged brass tapware instead.
#4 Moroccan Living
Take yourself on a little trip to Morocco next time you visit the bathroom. If you’re keen on the patterned floor tiles and plain wall tiles reminiscent of Morocco this season, your go-to piece should apparently be Moroccan Tadelakt. “This is a seamless waterproof render you can use in showers and even form baths from. The result is soft and luminous, a bit like the inside of a seashell. I find it creates a much more relaxed feel than tiled walls with grids of grout,” says Sarah Davison.
#5 Plenty Of Pattern
This season, patterns are becoming richer. “We are slowly going away from minimalist all-white simple form. As always happens in times of economic stagnation and downturn, people resort to brighter colours and busier patterns to introduce some variety and movement into their daily life. We will see playful combinations of materials, patterns and sizes,” says Malyn. One designer suggested using small rugs like kilims or cow hides instead of bath mats, but we’re not too sure about the practicality of that.
#6 Hexagonal Tiles
Swear by square tiles? Well you’re a square yourself. This season is all about the hexagonal look. “From small mosaics to larger and bolder hexagons used for feature walls…the success of hexagonal tiles comes from the organic shape that catches the eye and creates various associations, from animals’ carapace and skin patterns to snowflakes and minerals,” says Malyn.
#7 Balanced Lighting
If you’ve been showering beneath a fluorescent spotlight lately, you may be in need of a refresh. Low-voltage lighting and even circular skylights are big for 2016. “A balance of natural, task and mood lighting is important in bathrooms for functionality and atmosphere,” says Davison.
#8 Arty Farty
Bathrooms are just as important for showcasing art as any other room in your house, according to the experts. “I always hang art and style the room so it feels inviting to spend time there rather than just somewhere to shower and brush your teeth,” says Davison.