Trend: veined marble
Ever since the bathroom has been opened onto the master suite, its decoration no longer suffers from its lack of visibility. Moreover, where there is decoration, there are noble materials. For example, the discretion of white marble has always gone hand in hand with the elegance of this wet room. Nowadays, people have developed a taste for more showy marble, natural stones that can be recognised by their veined colours. Due to the mineral content and the formation of crystals, stone can produce equally beautiful shades, such as dark green marbles with white veins (Rainforest Green), blues, greys, reds, browns (Emperator Dark) and black marbles with ochre and beige veins (Nero Marquina).
A laboratory of creativity
Shedding its reputation as nothing more than a functional room, the bathroom is getting a makeover and becoming a space designed for rejuvenation and self-care in the same way as a bedroom. This aesthetic quest draws on a combination of increasingly sophisticated details to create a space conducive to well-being: more sophisticated furniture, free-standing basins, uplifted showers, organic shades, “kitkat” tiles (a long, very graphic earthenware tile in the shape of the famous chocolate bar), etc.
Is the bathroom set to enjoy the same fantastic destiny as the kitchen? Is it experiencing this change of identity, having become in only a few years a veritable living room revolving around comfort, aesthetics and technology. Countless renowned designers are today turning their sights towards the bathroom, treating it to a new stylistic language, adopting a different vision, in line with its new change of uses. Philippe Starck, Antonio Citterio, Patricia Urquiola, Vincent Van Duysen, Marcel Wanders, Ludovica+Roberto Palomba or, more recently, Neri & Hu, Studio Sieger Design, Sebastian Herkner, etc. All are keen to adopt classic, organic, but very contemporary forms for the products they design. A balance between modernity and classicism, between past and future.
The beauty of smooth concrete walls
Nothing quite beats smooth concrete in a bathroom. It is a composite undergoing constant evolution that creates a pure and raw but never brutal atmosphere. This material, which had its heyday in the 1970s as a vehicle for a certain idea of modern prosperity, is also widely used for interior layouts, especially now that it is starting to improve its ecological credentials! Indeed, research is being carried out to produce a more ecological alternative to traditional cement, with the development of earth concretes or “natural concretes” made from flax, clay, hemp fibres, straw or rice husks. When it comes to its decorative uses, concrete has become essential, particularly in the finishing sector. Coloured, smoothed, openworked or printed, everything is possible! And with the arrival of new products, such as UHPFRC (ultra-high performance fibre-reinforced concrete) and ranges of decorative mortars, it has become a reflex to use concrete to cover walls and floors, without joints for a visually very uniform look, and even to create baths and basins.
In this conscious search for a return to the roots, natural shades and mineral touches are very much in vogue. Organic shapes, Scandinavian influences, light woodwork and stone sinks make up the new vocabulary of the contemporary bathroom. Unique fittings, lightweight furniture, home automation and intelligent new materials are also brought in to achieve that sense of modernity. Some bathrooms, with their uncluttered layout and very specific use of materials, also boast features you would otherwise see in a hammam or a spa. Bathtubs tucked into alcoves, different levels to fit a resting bench, limewashed walls come together to create a much-sought-after neo-oriental atmosphere. The advantage of this type of decoration, presented in its simplest form, is its timelessness. After all, a bathroom must be made to last.
Built-in washbasins are no longer a must. The latest trend is for free-standing washbasins. This type of basin, whether round or square, reinforces the contemporary vibe of the room with its visible lines. As for storage, keep everything down to the bare essentials and choose column units that allow you to store a maximum number of objects within view without taking up space. As for shower cubicles, they are much more spacious than before and are turning into “jewels” of architecture and technology in their own right. Opt for a shower tray with a fixed panel without too much profiling. This type of furniture is as modern as it gets and will be perfectly set off by the curves of a designer wall lamp, a curved mirror or a welcoming free-standing bathtub.
Mix and match
To create a bathroom oozing character, there is no need to replace the furniture and start from scratch. Simply opt for an upgrade. Or create material effects. While white, beige and grey are the safest choices when you don’t want to be accused of bad taste, colour has the gift of energising and setting a mood. The current trend? Forest green. Floors are also getting in on the fun with terrazzo and coloured tiles, and why not Moroccan zelliges or graphic blue earthenware on the wall? Combinations that show that chromatic power can be highly desirable.
A lavish choice of bathroom fittings
Professionals are always looking into the future to anticipate how the bathroom will develop – over and beyond its functional significance. That is why brands such as Axor, Grohe, RVB, Duravit, Kartell-Laufen, Zucchetti… always come up with just the right solutions. The research, development and quality of these labels are rooted in expertise, technology and creativity. By joining forces with today’s leading designers and architects, the bathroom fittings sector has become a reference in its own right thanks to expressive, original and essential products that open up a whole new realm of possibilities when it comes to putting the final touches to your ideal bathroom design.