With our summer set to be one of the hottest on record, we’ve turned to one of the hottest areas in the world for our interior design inspiration.
One of the biggest bathroom trends this year takes its influences from across North Africa and the Middle East, a region known for its exotic flavours and stunning décor. It’s a look we’re calling “Arabian Nights.”
What’s it all about?
To understand this trend, we need to first appreciate the concept of the “hammam”. An integral part of Arabian culture, the hammam is somewhere people go to cleanse, wash and generally relax, to get away from the hustle-bustle of everyday life. You may know it better as a “Turkish bath”, which became popular in the UK in Victorian times. Whereas the Turkish bath as we know it uses dry, hot air, the traditional hammam tends to use steam. However, the general concept remains the same.
With greater access to global designs, patterns and materials, it’s hardly surprising that Arabian interiors have started to form a greater influence on bathroom design. With the bathroom increasingly transitioning from a purely functional space, to one in which we like to spend time, the idea of one’s own personal “hammam” suddenly becomes very appealing indeed.
Whilst, you could push the boat out and create the full steam experience using a steam shower cabin, there are some clever ways you can create this look and feel in your bathroom without spending a fortune.
Arabian Nights mood board
One of the best ways to immediately visualise the type of room you want to create, is by putting together a mood board. This should contain all the influences you wish to combine in your room, including colours, patterns, textures, materials and products.
To help get you underway, our stylist Nicky has created an “Arabian Nights” mood board below:
Colours & patterns
For a bathroom that’s full of Eastern promise, you’ll want to choose the right colours. Whilst the traditional “hammam” is usually clean and white with natural surfaces, this particular design trend gives you the chance to spice up your bathroom by selecting bright, bold colours and patterns.
Vibrant blue, gorgeous teal, deep purple, honey yellow and rich terracotta are all colours you can use on your walls and accessories to give your room design an Arabian look and feel.
Tiles are key to creating this type of design, with both single coloured tiles and patterns drawing the eye in. Use blocks of colour to highlight certain areas, such as your shower or splashback, whilst a secondary accent can be added through accessories. Patterned tiles can be used on both walls and floors to provide detail.
Bold shapes are also an integral part of this style and can be achieved in any room, big or small, although certain layouts and designs may suit this trend better. For example, large archways and tall ceilings are architectural features that can really bring this trend to life. You could even make a feature of an alcove by using a decorative wooden border, as in our room set below.
Choosing the right products
The type of bathroom suite and furniture you purchase are key to making this design work. A countertop basin, rather than a pedestal basin, is a must-have for this type of style, as it brings focus to the act of cleansing and washing. The countertop will help to add a more natural appearance, so look for vanity units or work surfaces with oak or walnut effect wood, or you could even opt for a marble-topped washstand.
The concept of relaxation needs to extend to your choice of bath tub. Don’t go for anything too ostentatious, rather a more pared back, minimalist look. The Chelsea bath, for example, with its clean lines and simple shape is perfect for this trend. You can easily make a feature of any straight bath, by tiling round the sides, and complement with a set of wall mounted bath taps for a more discreet look and feel.
Much like your bath, your toilet shouldn’t be too elaborate, but should blend seamlessly into the room design. Something like the Arte close coupled toilet would be perfect, as it couples contemporary convenience with a neat and compact design.
One thing that immediately strikes you about interiors across the Arab world is the ornate lighting fixtures you’ll find hanging from the ceiling. When choosing your bathroom lighting, it’s a good idea to bear this mind, although you may want to opt for something more discreet, like an uplight or downlight.
Accessorise your room with authentic Arabian ornaments. These may have been picked up on your travels, or purchased in antiques shops or even at a car boot sale.
Soft furnishings are a great way to accentuate the style. Look out for bold, patterned prints and utilise shelves or hanging space to show off large, matching towels in Egyptian cotton.
Finally, add some greenery into your overall scheme. Find out which plants are best for bathrooms and choose your favourites.
Shop the look
There’s no better time to create the Arabian Nights look in your bathroom, with many of the products featured in this post now at sale prices. Simply head to our bathroom suites page and start your journey to a bold and beautiful Eastern-influenced bathroom.