Should bathroom taps and accessories be considered as a bundle by designers? Kitchens & Bathrooms News enquires
While deck-mounted taps may have been the go-to choice for bathrooms, with a wider variety of interior styles now available there is a myriad of mixers for all projects.
Think freestanding, wall-mounted or tall models to suit freestanding baths or basins.
And bathroom accessories have equally evolved from the basic toilet roll holder and robe hook to thoroughly embrace lifestyle living, with bath racks featuring champagne holders, and all matching the choice of brassware.
Such is the importance of accessories, senior category manager at Grohe UK Paul Bailey exclaims: “Accessories add a homely touch – without them, the bathroom is just the bare bones and not completely functional when installed.
“By offering a complete package, the customer has everything they need to start using their new bathroom as soon as installation is complete.”
So should designers now consider them as part of the tap package? Paul Bailey of Grohe certainly thinks so, as he comments: “The emphasis should always be on offering customers a complete bathroom solution, especially is a single brand can offer all components of the bathroom.
“Offering taps and matching accessories as a bundle package can be a smart way to upsell.”
And product and marketing director of Vado Angela Neve agrees: “We often re-iterate that it’s important accessories are considered at the outset of bathroom design, not after.
“All of our bathroom accessories at Vado are designed to complement at least one product.”
And with an influx of designer names influencing the bathroom from Diesel and Starck through to Conran and Armani, industry experts believe matching accessories are essential to “complete the look.”
And they point out it, accessories can be profitable to increasing total value of the bathroom project.
Managing director of Duravit UK Martin Carroll says: “Bathroom accessories should be viewed on a part with designer clothes – if you have the expensive suite, then you should have the matching shirt, tie and cuff links to complete the outfit.
“The links with key designers give the retailer an excellent opportunity to introduce specific accessories and up-sell the overall sale value.”
Cohesive colour choice
But whether is associated with an architect and fashion label, or not, consumers are keen to have a cohesive look across the bathroom but also inject their own sense of self into the space.
It has seen the go-to polished chrome mixer tap and matching accessories joined by a variety of warmer metals and brushed finishes through to matte black and white and even rainbow (yes, really!)
Angela Neve of Vado explains: “Bathroom interiors are no longer clinical but instead embrace colour and identification, allowing for a wider selection of brass finishes and a more enjoyable shopping experience.”
Paul Bailey of Grohe UK agrees: “The returning trend for colour in the bathroom and the opportunity to co-ordinate a coloured look throughout the space that has been available before is encouraging consumers to invest in making their bathroom a stylish, beautiful and relaxing space to be in.”
Black and gold
The trend has been reflected in Vado’s sales as Neve adds: “Our Individual range of statement colour finishes has been a strong growth trend for Vado over the last three years and our recent launch of revitalised finishes has strengthened this.
“We’ve noticed a market shift towards rich tones of gold and nickel which has allows consumers to add a premium touch to the white sanitwaryware backdrop.”
Whereas the industrial trend, which arguably may be more niche, continues to support the sale of black brassware.
Commercial director of Hudson Reed Colm Laior says: “WIth the popularity of monochrome colour schemes, and of course the industrial trend, taps, mixers and showers finished in matt black are appearing everywhere.
“Matched with black-framed shower enclosures, anthracite radiators and slate grey shower trays, matt black brassware is set to see good growth too.”
Introducing texture finishes
And moving forwards, industry experts believe the wider choice in coloured finishes will see a blur or definitions between classical and contemporary styles.
They suggest modern styles will carry warmer, heritage finishes, while traditional brassware will become more available in contemporary highly polished metals.
Angela Neve of Vado adds: “We expect to see a range of special finishes with warm metallic accents retail their position at the forefront of contemporary design.
“Equally, we know that traditional brassware in brighter finishes like chrome and nickel should also gain in popularity with many home renovations seeking a timeless bathroom finish.”
But a big story will also be the introduction of texture through knurled finishes, already seen at the premium end of the market with the likes of Edge brassware, designed by Jean Marie Massuad for Axor.
Angela Neve adds: “We also foresee textured brassware to make a statement in 2020 with knurled and geometric finishes already in demand for designers and consumers alike.”
Certainly the design focus on taps and complementary accessories is only going to grow in significance, as the interior landscape is evolving.
Home architecture is altering with the ‘living area’ having already encompassed the functional kitchen and now turning its attention to the bathroom.
Paul Bailey concludes: “The bathroom is opening up and becoming a living space, meaning bathroom products must now become stylish statement furnishings.
“Therefore what was once the humble and functional tap is now often required to be a style statement in its own right.”