Changing home demographics, a greater demand for personalisation in the home, as well as the need to create luxury spaces will drive the bathroom trends in 2020
Housing arrangements have changed immeasurably over the past couple of years and will continue to influence bathroom trends in 2020.
It has seen groups of friends living together, as well as multiple generations, and so the bathroom must continue to evolve to meet a wide variety of needs.
Particularly for rooms which need to also cater for older members of the population, designers need to focus on improved ease of access and use, while ensuring the space meets the most demanding of interior fashion tastes.
Flush-to-floor shower trays fit neatly into this category, enabling step-free access into the bathing area and blending seamlessly into the room.
Head of marketing at Bette Sven Resinghoff comments: “With high property prices and the need for older family members to be cared for, there is a trend for different generations to live together and create a multi-generational household.
“This is leading to an increase in the selection of products that work well for all members of the family, with a good example being our BetteFlush shower area.”
And managing director of Duravit Martin Carroll agrees large showering spaces will be key: “The trend for contemporary walk-in, wet-room style shower areas will continue, especially for high quality shower trays with a very low profile; they create a feeling of space in the bathroom as the floor area is opened out and they also offer a feeling of space in the bathroom.”
Hotels have long influenced the design of residential bathrooms, but there is an increasing requirement for the space to echo a five-star spa.
Design director at BC Designs Barrie Cutchie explains: “We first saw this trend emerge last 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.”
And communications manager at Victoria+Albert Emma Joyce echoes the notion, stating: “Each year, we see more homeowners looking to invest in the bathroom and make it a space to relax in, not just a ‘practical’ room you’d be ashamed to show visitors.”
As part of this trend, she points to the growing interest in painted bathtubs. Whereas to really nail it down, Barry Cutchie says designers should also consider the placement of a freestanding bath.
He offers the advice: “To really set it apart, consider placing the bath in the centre of the room or away from other sanitaryware.”
Trade exhibition ISH saw an explosion of colour in the bathroom across brassware and even sanitaryware – from bolds through to pastels and even mono tones to create an industrial look.
Emma Joyce of Victoria + Albert comments: “We have seen a large increase in homeowners looking to bring colour into their bathroom spaces.
“This is due to consumers and retailers being largely influenced by hotel designs where pops of colour are more commonly seen, alongside interiors influencers becoming braver with colour and posting content on Instagram and Pinterest.”
And head of sales at Kaldewei UK Adam Teal agrees: “Colour has been a key trend in 2019 and we believe this will only continue to grow in demand in 2020.”
Industry experts believe neutrals which reflect nature will win through in popularity.
Sven Resinghoff of Bette continues: “Many different colour palettes will become popular, but we think some of the most popular will be those that add a relaxing warmth to the bathroom, such as darker shades and also those that have been inspired by nature, such as greens and blues.”
And director of Waters Baths of Ashbourne Lee Frost agrees: “Across the home we’re seeing a rise in the use of organic materials and earthy, nature-inspired colour schemes alongside a strong focus on wellness and relaxation.”
With an influx of colours and wider choice of products to meet a variety of spaces and styles, choice and personalisation will become more important to consumers as bathroom trends in 2020.
Marketing manager of VitrA Margaret Talbot continues: “Choice has become a leading factor when redesigning bathrooms, with consumers wanting to tailor the product to their specific lifestyle requirements.”
She adds: “It is also a key element in taps and shower fittings with finishes that include brushed nickel, copper and matt black.”
And product manager for Showerwall Steph Harris says choice has impacted on the company’s portfolio of wall coverings, adding: “The trend for customisation in the home is still prevalent among consumers who want to create a unique and personalised design look.
“With our Custom Collection of acrylic bathroom wall panels, we offer a digital print option which enable consumers to bring to life something they have in their mind’s eye, but is not available off the shelf.”
In line with the movement for five star spa appeal has been the development of prestigious heating and lighting sources steering bathroom trends in 2020.
Sales director of Aestus Steve Birch calls this concept “practical luxury” and says it defines the premium heating market.
It has seen the company branch out into offering luxe finishes and dramatic shapes inspired by the rise in eclectic interiors.
He adds “Consumers are becoming more interested in planning bathroom heating and towel warmers from the start of their projects so we are now in a healthy transition towards making practical luxury an aspirational essential in the middle market, as well as serving the needs of premium customers.”
Vogue UK has created ‘custom made’ modifications of its standard range to achieve a “luxury look for less”.
Arguably, the greatest demonstration of “practical luxury” has been the move towards interactive and intuitive bathrooms with lighting, as well as climate control.
Gira UK offers connected lighting, which managing director Mark Booth explains means “setting morning and bedtimes routines which link the bedroom and bathroom are now possible. The beauty of smart home technology lies in how the bathroom can respond to patterns of daily use from opening and closing blinds to softer or brighter lighting.”
However practical luxury is not restricted to the premium-end of the market, as product manager of Sensio Lighting Neil Oldfield points out: “Smart technology will continue to grow during 2020 and truly practical innovations will be more readily adopted in the bathroom environment.
“Bathroom mirrors and cabinets with integral lighting will continue to be the main lighting focus in new bathrooms, both of which are becoming ever more slimline in their design and packed with useful features such as demisters, touch and motion controls and Bluetooth connectivity.”
Led by a youthquake of opinion, consumers are becoming more aware of how their lifestyle impacts on the environment, and it is reflected in bathroom design and specification.
Reduction in the use of resources, whether water or materials such as plastic, are going to play a key role driving bathroom trends in 2020.
Paul Bailey of Grohe comments: “As a nation, we are becoming increasingly more aware of the impact we are having on the planet ignited by the introduction of smart water meters, homeowners are more aware of their water consumption than ever.”
He believes digitalisation of taps, as well as showers, will promote a more conservative use of water.
And Adam Teal of Kaldewei looks at material use commenting: “We are more aware of the environmental impact being placed on the planet, especially the effects of plastics on our oceans.
“Whether for a housing project, new hotel or for the home, the demand for sustainable products is on the rise.”
It could see a greater interest in materials which are recyclable or are sustainable as they have long-term durability.