With families spending more together at home than ever before, never has there been such a requirement on the bathroom to be a personal sanctuary.
Designers will consider how to carefully curate highly functional spaces that are also havens for relaxation.
Interestingly the “me space” is becoming more closely aligned to the “we space” of the kitchen, encapsulating a trend for whole house design.
The bathroom has become a living space, for personal use, with simplistic but uncompromising design details, and gentle tones influenced by the natural world.
Of course technology will play a greater role not only in terms of protecting health but also in reducing our impact on the planet. But this will be a seamless part of the overall function or aesthetic of the bathroom.
Here are our top five trends to consider for bathrooms in 2021, in no particular order.
Following the global outbreak of COVID, it’s unsurprising the practicalities of hygiene will continue to grow in significant in bathroom design.
In fact, it has now given an impetus for consumers to actively seek out ‘easy clean’ options to safeguard their home.
This focus on demand will see a growth in popularity of bathroom panels, reports sales director of Mermaid Panel Neil Horton.
However, sales and marketing director at RAK Ceramics Ben Bryden takes a wider view stating: “Hygiene and ease of cleaning will be very important, as a result of the pandemic.
Features such as anti-bacterial surfaces and sensor-controlled touchless controlled technology are likely to have much more selling power and we expect to see increased demand for these in 2021 and beyond.”
2. Statement styles
With national and local lockdowns enforcing people spend more time together at home, the need for the bathroom to be an escape has become ever more important.
It has given rise to fashionable as well as functional demands, with larger showering areas and freestanding baths, to provide style statements and a sense of luxury.
Creative director of Imperial Bathrooms James Stevenson comments: “We’re seeing more attention being paid to planning an environment that works on a practical level for all generations in the home, as well as offering a soothing space where all members of a household can seek sanctuary.”
And Emma Joyce, brand manager of Fortune Brands EMEA, agrees, adding: “People want more than a basic, functional space and a freestanding bath is as important for what it represents as for its frequency of use.
“Its presence promotes the idea of relaxation and indulgence, and its sculptural shape gives a bathroom a natural centrepiece.
3. Natural colours
In challenging times, it’s perhaps unsurprising people look for solace in their surroundings, and this has continued to influence accents of natural, neutral colours in the home.
Dulux has chosen Brave Ground, a beige hue, as its colour of the year while Pantone has opted for a pairing of Ultimate Grey and Illuminating, a yellow tone.
In bathrooms, it sees a continued growth of sanitaryware and baths offered in soft shades that provide an alternative to crisp, clinical white.
Director of Waters Baths of Ashbourne Anthony Smith continues: “The trend for nature-inspired palettes hone in on warm earth tones and forest colours punctuated by neutrals, greys and whites continuing to gain popularity.”
And Neil Horton of Mermaid Panels agrees, adding: “Timeless, minimalistic, natural colours and marbles that have become a staple of bathroom design in the last couple of years will continue to dominate the market. In fact, they’re likely to become an even bigger design consideration.”
4. Colour matching
Over recent years, warmer interior tones have been recognised in the wider choice of brassware finishes.
Industrial-esque black and warmer metallic tones of nickel, copper or brass are established alternatives to shiny chrome and can now be colour matched across the bathroom space, from shower enclosures through to hoses, flushes and wastes.
Emma Joyce of Fortune Brands EMEA reports: “The expansion of available finishes in recent years has made brassware a more central design choice in the bathroom. At Perrin & Rowe, fewer people now specify chrome than our other finishes.”
She advises: “To create an impact – specify a bold finish, such as Gold or Satin Brass, and ensure that every piece of brassware matches.”
Sales and marketing director of JT John Schofield agrees: “Colour matching and finish is becoming ever-more important for designers, with statement brassware, framed shower enclosures and accessories trend gaining traction to elevate the bathroom’s overall look and feel.”
While there is a growing consumer consciousness about the impact of lifestyles on the planet, and companies seeking to reduce carbon production in manufacturing, sustainability as a reason for purchase is slow but growing.
In a recent survey, the Chartered Institute of Plumbing & Heating Engineers (CIPHE) found more than half of respondents said customers rarely (40.74%) or never ask (13.11%) for environmental-based recommendations.
However, managing director of the Unified Water Label Association Yvonne Orgill says: “Whilst this figure of 53.85% is high, it also reflects that almost one in two consumers are asking about environmental considerations.”
In fact, sales director of Vogue UK Steve Birch believes sustainability will grow, particularly in heating: “Sustainable interior design and home products are leading to new kinds of innovations in heating and are enhancing different types of property in an eco-friendly way: a huge trend for 2021.
“We have seen an extremely positive response to aluminium heating designs and we predict that this will only grow as we head into 2021 and beyond.”