Colour Wash

Com­monly the small­est rooms in homes with space at a premium, bath­rooms are about to get an up­grade — as mul­tipur­pose, brightly-coloured and life-af­firm­ing spa­ces at the fore­front of lifest le trends.


A pre­view of ISH Frank­furt (11-15 March 2019) re­veals that colour will as­sert it­self next year – with tiles, bath­room fur­ni­ture, wash­basins and bath­tubs all em­brac­ing the trend. A spe­cial ‘Pop up my Bath­room', or­gan­ised by Messe Frank­furt, will show­case the pos­si­bil­i­ties of colour in tan­dem with state-of-theart de­sign fea­tures. Pre­vi­ously, strong colours only ap­peared on wa­ter­proof wall cov­er­ings while san­i­tary fit­tings re­mained white. Some might say this is a throw­back to the shiny bath­rooms of the 1980s or the av­o­cado shades of an ear­lier decade, yet the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the colour re­mains quite dif­fer­ent.

The pref­er­ence for blue or green pal­ettes brings Nordic fresh­ness and also res­onates with an in­creased en­vi­ron­men­tal aware­ness, as well as sym­bol­is­ing the health-giv­ing as­pects of the bath­room. An­to­nio Lupi's Re­flex tub is avail­able in ten colours, made more spec­tac­u­lar by the trans­parency of the tub and its curved lines. A de­lib­er­ate de­sign de­ci­sion was made to use Cristal­mood resin, which gives light­ness and so­lid­ity, yet al­lows the user to ob­serve the flow of wa­ter. Ar­lex Italia, mean­while, has cho­sen Tif­fany Blue as its pre­dom­i­nant shade – a sym­bolic choice em­pha­sis­ing the grow­ing lux­u­ri­ous­ness of bath­rooms – match­ing it with white, wood or grey floor­ing and wall tiles. The brand's Trenta5 col­lec­tion is de­fined by lin­ear shapes and paired with un­usual sizes for ac­ces­sories. An­other ethe­real it­er­a­tion, by Ceram­ica Cielo, is en­hanced by the oval shapes and in­no­va­tive ma­te­ri­als used in the Ky­ros wash­basins, spell­ing prac­ti­cal el­e­gance. "It's about a holis­tic ap­proach to colour con­cepts in the bath­room," says Jens J Wis­chmann, Gen­eral Man­ager of the As­so­ci­a­tion of Ger­man San­i­ta­tion In­dus­try, who pre­dicts that bath­room fur­ni­ture-mak­ers will be the de­sign pi­o­neers of the fu­ture.

"Clients are mov­ing away from the mono­chrome and bleached tim­ber look that has dom­i­nated the last few years. Colour is a way for peo­ple to ex­press them­selves," says Graeme Marti­now of Bound­ary Space in Lon­don. "There has been a move away from see­ing a bath­room as just a util­i­tar­ian 'liv­ing' ma­chine, to a place of lux­ury and peace. Bath­rooms are be­com­ing closer to boudoirs, with clients want­ing the space to be to the same pretty stan­dard as their beauty prod­ucts."

In­creas­ingly, that means vis­ual im­pact is cre­ated via zonal and am­bi­ent light sources, com­ple­mented by touch tech­nol­ogy – such as the lneo Scop flush plate by Sanit or epit­o­mised by Jaquar Group's smart ap­proach to wa­ter flow, vol­ume and us­age. While a com­plete ‘spa' ex­pe­ri­ence is still a muchde­sired fac­tor in bath­room de­sign, life­style el­e­ments are to the fore.

Open and closed stor­age is com­ple­mented with wall-hung and free-stand­ing units which are in­creas­ingly planned with the same ‘mix and match' ap­proach as liv­ing room ar­eas, com­plete with boho rugs and arm­chairs for added com­fort.

More mas­cu­line but no less in­spir­ing are Diesel's and Duka's fin­ish­ings for Libero, which show a pref­er­ence for iron, wood, ex­posed brick­work, pipes and in­dus­trial de­tails, cre­at­ing spa­ces with strong char­ac­ter, and well-suited to ev­ery room in the house.

Black is also as­sert­ing it­self and is be­ing used ei­ther on its own or com­bined with ma­te­ri­als such as mar­ble, brass and crys­tal. A dra­matic ex­am­ple is Stu­dio Arius’s Lu­miere gloss lac­quered wood cabi­net with glass top, which comes with a LED light­ing sys­tem. This il­lu­mi­nates a lead crys­tal basin (in Cristallo de Medici) which is mouth-blown and hand-bev­elled, and, thanks to the in­ter­play of lights, com­mands at­ten­tion and has a pro­found vis­ual beauty.

Bolder and brighter, and blur­ring the lines be­tween pri­vacy and pret­ti­ness, the new up­scale fit­tings and fea­tures will have visi­tors to bath­rooms loi­ter­ing with in­tent in the fu­ture…

Plisse col­lec­tion by Arte­linea

Ky­ros by An­drea Pari­sio and Giuseppe Pez­zano for Ceram­ica Cielo

Diesel Open Work­shop bath­room by Scavolini

Lu­miere by Glass De­sign

Linea tap by Ar­tize

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