For the last twenty years or so, the trend in bathroom designs was to make them practical and simple. They were mostly tiled walls and floors, with lines for the fixtures and accessories that were non-fanciful and fuss-free.
I’ve noticed that this trend is starting to show the rust spots of age. The thing with trends is that they are all born of equal parts economy and taste. While the economy side of it stays constant, the taste side of the equation is subject to change.
And tastes change slowly. As the changes pick up momentum and come to be appreciated by more and more designers and homeowners, the focus and boldness of the changes starts to intensify.
With the gathering momentum, some fresh and innovative looks emerged during this period, and this is what we’re starting to see today in popular bathroom design trends among interior designers in Singapore.
I think that the emerging trends are just as much a backlash and complete rejection by designers, of what had become ‘traditional’ bathroom styles of the past.
The clean lines and modern-styled furnishings and fixtures, the tile walls and floors, the predominance of whites and light colors – all of these facets came to be seen as rather antiseptic in the cold light.
However, there is not just one, but several trends that have emerged to challenge the traditions of bathroom design. The one thing that all of these trends have in common is a spirit of thumbing their nose at the old conventions and for that reason alone we can all be thankful.
Local interior designers, in rebelling against the uniform boring qualities of tile surfaces everywhere in bathrooms, started looking to nature and they realized that a lot of materials could be utilized within the bathroom’s décor.
Wood and timber, when properly sealed, were every bit as waterproof and sanitary as tiled walls and flooring. As designers started experimenting with the use of natural materials they revisited stone as a material to add to the textural palette.
Photo Credit: Dots ‘n’ Tots Interior Pte Ltd
Of course, stone had been in use as a suitable material for bathrooms since before the invention of the flush toilet, but it has mostly taken the form of highly-polished marble or granite. Lately however, resourceful interior designers have started to look at and appreciate rougher finished stone surfaces for bathroom renovations.
Not only did these surfaces present a textural quality that had rarely been seen before, but when used as flooring, they presented a natural non-slip surface that was practical as well.
Special sealants have been developed that help reduce the porosity of these different stone surfaces, and they’ve become real favorites of local interior designers. As they continue to explore the use of natural materials, it was just a matter of time before they started to incorporate plants into the décor designs.
Plants are a perfect accessory for the wet and steamy environment of a bathroom, and they make a soothing addition to the décor. They are added as accents and even act as wall coverings in some bathrooms by serving as a vertical garden that becomes a focus point in the bathroom’s décor.
The Retro Look
Photo Credit: Ritchie Creative Design
Another facet of the ‘bathroom rebellion’ is the embracing of the retro look by interior designers in Singapore and homeowners alike. The coral, lime, aqua and lemon colors of bathrooms from the 60’s have made a roaring comeback.
Vintage bathrooms have also become the rage lately, with designers having a field day mixing and matching the pastel and primary hues of tiles, and fixtures to put a splash of color in the previously staid bathroom.
Retro elements are being combined with contemporary ones to create a pleasingly whimsical hodgepodge of assorted designs and styles.
The retro look can be understated, stately and elegant or it can be playful and joyous. It all depends on the boldness and willingness of the homeowner and designer to experiment.
Well-designed vintage fixtures are seeing their value soar as their availability becomes ever rarer, and designers snap up the most pristine specimens of true antique vintage.
Manufacturers are seeing a resurgent demand for fixture designs that they might have discontinued years ago, but are now selling just as well as their more contemporary models.
Photo Credit: decoist.com
The emergence of the day spa as a phenomenon of the past 10 or 15 years has also influenced the design of bathrooms. The bathroom can be seen by some as a refuge within the home where a soothing bath can serve as a release from the day’s stresses.
As much as aromatherapy, massage and soothing music have come to represent this spa-type of atmosphere, it would not be complete without the addition of a bubbling water feature.
The water features being incorporated into bathroom designs these days run from the simple to the sophisticated and from the merely decorative to those usefully incorporated into the fixtures themselves.
Shower heads and associated fixtures are taking new and clever shapes to deliver a soothing new shower experience. Sinks are being re-designed to offer an experience like washing in your hands in a mountain pool.
Bathtubs, long the main-stay in many larger bathrooms, are being designed along the same concept of an infinity pool and being filled right to the rim, with beds of stones surrounding the tub and acting as the drains for the run-off from the inevitable overflow.
The water features are a popular accent in bathrooms that embrace the natural materials look and together with the retro look they provide – a much appreciated departure from the humdrum look of past bathroom designs.
What we’ve seen is only the beginning of a revolution in upcoming bathroom design trends. If you’re considering a light face lift or renovation for your bathroom in the upcoming year, you should read more and learn how you could create your five-star bathroom in 7 steps.