The lit­tle room splashes out

The bath­room con­tin­ues to be the home’s ultimate co­coon­ing spot, where we find quiet refuge from the out­side world. finds out more about the lat­est bath­room trends to be show­cased at Decorex Cape Town

Business Day - Home Front - - HOMEFRONT -

VIS­I­TORS to Decorex Cape Town, which runs un­til May 2 at the CTICC, will find that func­tion­al­ity com­bined with lux­u­ri­ous com­fort and eco-aware­ness is still key to mod­ern bath­room de­sign, yet one of the most re­fresh­ing trends also mak­ing waves in bath­rooms is the way that this func­tional space is be­ing per­son­alised. This is ac­cord­ing to Decorex Cape Town show man­ager, Cairey Slater.

“Now’s the time to seek out state­ment pieces for the lit­tle room, such as a stun­ning an­tique cup­board, be­spoke or in­ter­est­ing re­stored items. Grandma’s old ‘wastafeltjie’ may well find its way into the mod­ern bath­room.”

Slater points out that the con­trast of old and new is par­tic­u­larly strong in a func­tional space such as the bath­room, en­sur­ing a mod­ern look, as long as you don’t start adding bric-a-brac.

Wood also makes its pres­ence felt in a big way. Li Edelkoort has al­ready pre­dicted that wood is the num­ber one ma­te­rial in the world of de­sign — and the chalet-look will be pop­u­lar. While we won’t turn our bath­rooms into saunas any­time soon, ex­pect to see more use of wood — from wa­ter-and mould re­sis­tant floor­ing to wooden or wood-clad bath­tubs and ac­ces­sories, with the pro­viso that the prod­ucts are eco-cred­i­ble.

Launch­ing their new For­est Au­tumn Col­lec­tion at Decorex Cape Town is For­est Floor­ing. In­cluded in this col­lec­tion is a solid hard­wood floor­ing on a clip-lock sys­tem that is com­pletely wa­ter­proofed and able to take un­der­floor heat­ing up to 28°C, mak­ing it ideal to bring the beauty of wood to the bath­room, Ac­cord­ing to Wil­liam Com­brinck, owner of For­est Floor­ing, wood ticks all the right boxes for ap­pli­ca­tion in the bath­room. “Wood feels so much warmer and softer un­der­foot than tiles. Aes­thet­i­cally wood is also very pleas­ing, mak­ing it a time­less class that — with the right main­te­nance — will last for years.”

The green revo­lu­tion con­tin­ues in the bath­room with mod­ern, sus­tain­able tech­nol­ogy fo­cus­ing on efficient use of en­ergy and wa­ter. Wa­ter-sav­ing shower heads, low-con­sump­tion plumb­ing fix­tures and well-placed, ad­justable en­ergy-friendly LED light­ing lead the way.

There is a grow­ing in­ter­est in grey wa­ter re­cov­ery, and for cis­terns to be fed by re­cov­ered rain­wa­ter. The sus­tain­able ap­proach also sup­ports the use of re­cy­clable ma­te­rial such as cop­per, steel, wood and ce­ram­ics. Coun­ter­tops made from re­cy­cled glass also make their ap­pear­ance.

The eco-car­ing bath­room wel­comes in­no­va­tions such as hy­dronic heated towel rails that do away with elec­tri­cal heat­ing el­e­ments. An ex­am­ple at the ON TAP stand is the Jeeves hy­dronic heated towel rails which use a sim­ple cir­cu­la­tion pump from the geyser or so­lar stor­age unit.

An­other green tip comes from Dar­ius Rhoda of Bou­tique Tiles who points out that acrylic baths re­tain wa­ter heat bet­ter than porce­lain baths.

“Not only will less hot wa­ter be needed, sav­ing wa­ter and elec­tric­ity, but there will be less of a need to top up the wa­ter.”

The ex­perts fore­see that bath­rooms will con­tinue to be mostly neu­tral whites and stone. Muted grey tones are also pop­u­lar. The re­ces­sion has made us pull in the reins and peo­ple tend to be more con­ser­va­tive in colour choices — opt­ing for a safer, time­less look.

Sur­pris­ingly the colour green, which has been long ma­ligned due to the av­o­cado green bath­rooms of the 1960s and 1970s, is fast be­com­ing a more de­sir­able colour op­tion for bath­rooms. There’s also a move back to bring­ing lush pot­ted plants into the space, revving up the green.

Colour and per­son­al­ity are added with smalls, ac­ces­sories, win­dow treat­ments, art and a punch of colour with fur­ni­ture, such as a pur­ple up­hol­stered ot­toman. Other ways to add colour and play­ful­ness in the bath­room in­clude bright-coloured shower heads and even coloured LED lights that add at­mos­phere and drama to the shower.

Tiles are still ex­tremely pop­u­lar due to their prac­ti­cal­ity and dura­bil­ity. While highly pat­terned tiles are not hot right now, Rhoda of Bou­tique Tiles point out that mo­saic in­lays can add artis­tic flair to the neu­tral palate of the mod­ern bath­room en­vi­ron­ment.

Tiling does not have to be from floor to ceil­ing — leave cer­tain ar­eas un­tiled and give more space to paint. Paints such as Plas­con Kitchens and Bath­rooms wa­ter­based enamel with a matt fin­ish are spe­cially for­mu­lated to in­hibit mi­cro­bial growth. Look out for the lat­est on painted bath­rooms in the lat­est edi­tion of Plas­con Spaces, avail­able at the Plas­con stand.

“Whether you want more mas­cu­line hues, the more del­i­cate Rose Shadow or sooth­ing blues for a spa-like feel, bath­room-friendly paints can transform a tired bath­room in a flash,” says Anne Roselt, Plas­con colour man­ager.

An­other way to bring a per­sonal touch to the bath­room is wall art with in­spi­ra­tional phrases, words or im­ages em­pha­sis­ing the con­tem­pla­tive, serene mood of the bath­room, says Es­ther Schumacher of my­wall­tat­, who will be launch­ing their new Quotes range at the show.

Mois­ture-re­sis­tant wall­pa­per is also on the up and up, and so are an­tique-style mir­rors used as an ac­cent. Other trends point­ing to­wards self-in­dul­gence is the lux­ury of su­per-sized show­ers, dual basins and free­stand­ing baths. Bronze, chrome and pol­ished nickel faucets are on the in­crease, while the look of stain­less steel is los­ing its shine.

Catch the lat­est bath­room de­sign and tech­nol­ogy trends at Decorex Cape Town’s bath­room and fine fin­ishes pavil­ions, with ex­hibitors such as Bou­tique Tiles, Clas­sic Trad­ing, Bou­tique Baths and Ce­ramic Lifes Tile. Visit for de­tails or on­line book­ings.

Pink bath­rooms, once very pop­u­lar in the 1950s and 1960s, are mak­ing a come­back. For a mod­ern feel this bath­room, painted with Plas­con Kitchens and Bath­rooms mould-re­sis­tant paint in Rose Shadow, com­bines an­tiques, state­ment pieces and hand­made ob­jects with mod­ern san­i­tary­ware.

Walls painted a sooth­ing blue in bac­te­ria-re­sis­tant matte enamel, wooden floors and one-of-a-kind wooden ac­ces­sories as well as an up­cy­cled ot­toman tub by Recre­ate and LIM mir­ror al­low for a soul­ful home spa with per­son­al­ity.

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