Every year it’s exciting to see which bathroom trends have come and which ones didn’t make the ‘cut’ and are heading out of style. Over the past year there has been a conscious effort by bathroom designers to incorporate functions that are timely for homeowners' needs.
Home-owners are busier and more stressed than ever and the bathroom is the one place where they can relax, unwind and relieve the stress of the day. Whilst looking for bathroom inspiration, we came across an article on the American website Building Design + Construction, where hundreds of designers were asked to give their views on what trends they were seeing. So we called up one of the Interior Designers interviewed, Ronique Gibson from Stagetecture, to discuss the top 5 bathroom trends that can work beautifully in the UK as well.
VictoriaPlum.com: Hi Ronique. Thanks for getting up so early in the morning to speak to us (6am Eastern US Time!). In the BD+C article, it states that beige, bone and grey are the hottest colour schemes this year. Why do you think this is?
Ronique Gibson: No problems - I like an early start! There used to be a time when beige, bone and grey were considered safe and boring colours but in today’s bathroom they are just the opposite! According to the designers – 58% say beige, bone, and grey will be the most popular scheme this year. I think with an emphasis on homeowners enjoying sleek, sophisticated and natural tones, there is no surprise with this trend. Colour is one of the top reasons why homeowners enjoy their bathrooms, so it’s exciting to see a return back to the basics.
Neutrals don’t have to just stop at beige and bone – there are a host of other colours such as chocolate browns, rich camel tan and deep charcoal grey that are gorgeous as well. Neutral colours open up your bathroom and enable more light to illuminate the space and give it a visually larger feel and appearance. Natural wood finishes in bathroom cabinetry are already neutral in tones and create a gorgeous appeal to the hot colour scheme appeal for neutrals.
Neutrals and greys are currently trending in bathroom design
VictoriaPlum.com: A rise in the popularity of grey bathrooms is certainly something we're seeing this side of the pond too. Onto a different topic, why do you think people are looking towards a freestanding bath for their new design? This generally affects having a shower over the bath, and mainly benefits those who have space for a separate shower. What are your thoughts?
RG: Bathtubs have gone through their share of transitions over the years and the trend of larger, freestanding tubs are what designers are seeing homeowners want in 2014. In fact, 64% of NKBA designers specified a soaking tub in their projects and 42% of designers agree that the master bath focus for soaking tubs will increase even higher.
Homeowners love a place to be able to relax and literally let their worries and stress be soaked away, and with all of the design options in freestanding tubs, this trend is no surprise. Its glamorous appeal, along with the ability to soak, makes every homeowner feel pampered. Most homeowners who have space for a roll top bath usually have a separate shower. So space constraints should be considered as well when considering a freestanding tub.
The Harrison freestanding bath has been made with British bathrooms in mind
VictoriaPlum.com: In our experience, it does all come down to space considerations and personal preference, so we're glad we can provide options to suit almost anyone. What are the key elements for freestanding tubs and separate showers becoming a trend?
RG: For one most bathrooms are larger than in generations of the past. The bathroom was considered a functional space strictly for bathing and not relaxing and unwinding from the world in each day and night. The emphasis for homeowners to recreate a spa trip they enjoyed on vacation in their home, or the ability to sit and relax with a good book has led to homeowner lifestyles that concentrate on a bathroom experience and enable a shower and full freestanding tub to be part of this.
VictoriaPlum.com: I don't know if bathrooms here in the UK are quite as large as those you are used to! However, we do supply smaller sized and back-to-wall roll top baths, which means you don't necessarily have to live in a 5 star hotel to own one! We read that "accessible bathrooms" seem to be popular in the US. In your opinion, what are the key elements of these and what are the benefits for those who maybe don’t need an accessible bathroom?
RG: Here in the States, accessibility and universal design have been hot topics for years and it’s nice to see that 57% of NKBA designers specified bathrooms that had universal/accessible features last year and 60% anticipate more this year.
The key elements of an accessible bathroom are the ability for those with disabilities or limited mobility to access all bathroom fixtures and parts of the bathroom easily. Bathroom sinks, toilets and showers should allow for easy reaching and moving around the bathroom should require little effort. Whether using a wheelchair, walker or other walking aids, an accessible bathroom will allow users to not feel isolated from any part of the room.
Even for homeowners who do not have limited mobility a universal designed bathroom often will look sleeker with more floor area and can offer an added benefit of ‘no threshold’ showers that allow for a walking smooth transition from the bathroom floor into the shower. This gives a sleek and contemporary feel to the modern bathroom.
A walk in shower enclosure is perhaps the best way to make your bathroom more accessible
VictoriaPlum.com: Whilst we don't specifically design for those with restricted mobility, we do make every effort to create elements that can be used in more accessible bathrooms - such as wetroom panels and walk in showers. Just one final question, how are homeowners in the US customising their homes with basin vanity units?
RG: The basin in any bathroom is the focal point and remains one of the key elements in making the entire bathroom feel functional yet beautiful.
This year, the trend towards homeowners seeking more versatility in vanity styles is essential. Basin vanity units come in a range of shapes, sizes, materials and fit beautifully in any bathroom, from the most economical to the most luxurious. It’s nice to see that whether you are doing a simple DIY bathroom remodelling project or planning your dream home, basin vanity units are a beautiful addition to their bathrooms.
A vanity unit not only looks great, but gives you superb additional storage space
VictoriaPlum.com: We are seeing the same trend here in the UK, but I think storage potential is the key reason why UK homeowners are increasingly investing in basin vanity units - both wall hung and floor mounted. As I said earlier, I think the average UK bathroom is a tad smaller than the average US bathroom!
Ronique, thanks so much for your time and giving us a great insight into US bathroom trends.
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