THE bathroom is the focus of design this year, claims Christian Sieger of Sieger Design, the creative team behind the latest bathroom hardware from high-end brands Dornbracht and Duravit.
But it’s not just the “brights” that are changing. Wallpapers are reappearing on bathroom walls, surfaces are becoming tactile rather than hard and cold, while atmospheric lighting, demisting mirrors and quieter, more efficient ventilators are turning the bathroom into a sanctuary.
Designer Diego Grandi’s new Closer showerhead and tap and mixers fixture range, for Zucchetti, has a rubberised coating, so that “contact is warmer and more comfortable”. DH Liberty has created bathroom-rated lighting that is sleek, stylish and ideal over baths. West One Bathrooms, meanwhile, is offering a wallpaper range called Wet System that is ideal for steamrooms, thanks to a primer undersurface and a coated finish.
Ordinary wallpapers work, too. Lining the wall first and ensuring good ventilation is recommended by Farrow & Ball, which points out that, unlike tiles, wallpaper can be easily changed for a fresh new look.
Innovative, affordable products have surfaces that are easier to clean, and warmer composites. Antonio Lupi’s Flumood material, and Villeroy & Boch’s TitanCeram ceramic mix mean sinks and baths are slimmer and lighter. Shower filters prevent chlorine inhalation mid-cleanse and hard water deposits.
“Shower toilets” are designed to increase comfort — they are a combination of conventional loo and a warm-water bidet — while new digital shower thermostats can be set via remote control before you enter the cubicle.
For smaller rooms, the Tubby Tub bath from The Albion Bath Company is just 4ft long, and the Japanese-style deep Omnitub, from £509, is a metre wide, while Eoos’s shower design for Duravit features a folding screen that moves to the side when not in use, saving space.
Taps and shower fittings in rose gold and brass metals warm up spaces small and large, and for a pop of colour and comfort underfoot use easy-wash polyester or wool rugs — fine for bathrooms, says designer Esti Barnes. below left, rose gold bath fittings from Alternative Bathrooms, with showrooms in Ealing, Fulham and Queen’s Park (alternative bathrooms.com)
below, Farrow & Ball’s Block Print Stripe wallpaper in BP754, £86 a roll (farrow-ball. com)