Being bombarded with all the gorgeous on-trend bathrooms that feature heavily in glossy design magazines and TV renovation shows, you might find washing, grooming and unwinding in a dysfunctional, daggy bathroom a little deflating.
If your bathroom boasts a leaky shower, unflattering lighting and styling that hails from the ‘90s, you’re not alone. But when taking that first reno step, there’s no need to worry whether the new finishes and fittings you choose will quickly date.
Interior designer Alan Nasrallah, from multi-award-winning design firm GIA Bathrooms & Kitchens, said every product and material had its expiry date.
“Trends come and go. We tell our clients to just go for it — be in the now and indulge yourself in your favourite colours, materials and finishes,” Mr Nasrallah said.
“By the time those materials you have selected are not on trend, it’ll be time for you to renovate your bathroom again.”
Here are Mr Nasrallah’s tips on the latest bathroom trends.
There’s something extra soothing about feeling as though you’re surrounded by nature, and a bathroom incorporating natural materials will tap into a relaxing day-spa aesthetic.
“People are exploring their inner designer and taking the leap into sampling new textures and finishes,” Mr Nasrallah said. “Natural materials that are nice to feel and touch are becoming more and more popular, such as textured tiles and wood grains.”
He noted timbers were now a major component of a lot of bathrooms, as were marbles, natural stone and terrazzo.
Metals in bathrooms are also being found in greater variation nowadays.
“Metal in patinas and all shades and finishes has pushed away the old chrome tapware and has made a huge impact on our new bathrooms,” Mr Nasrallah said.
Well-thought-out lighting is an important aspect of any bathroom.
Ideally, you need to choose the right brightness and warmth of light for the right locations, and include the ability to tone it all down when you want a relaxing soak at the end of a long week.
“We are seeing a move towards mood lighting, with the addition of wall sconces, dimmer switches and LED strip lighting moving us away from the standard LED downlights we have become accustomed to,” Mr Nasrallah said.
Besides the advances in lighting, a host of other new technologies is increasing comfort and convenience in the bathroom.
“Bluetooth mirrors with LED lighting have made a major splash into the bathroom-design world, not to mention LED strip lighting, smart toilets, under-tile heating and built-in speakers, just to mention a few,” Mr Nasrallah said.
Five-star hotel bathrooms are the stuff of dreams. So, why not recreate the ambience for your own ensuite?
GIA Bathrooms & Kitchens has knocked down walls between ensuites and bedrooms to create one open space, placed freestanding baths in the middle of bedrooms, and mounted TVs on ceilings so clients don’t miss their favourite program while relaxing in their newly located bath.
Of course, for a relatively simple, on-trend, luxury touch, Mr Nasrallah had this tip: “Don’t forget that dual vanity, which is a must-have in every 21st-century ensuite.”
In the know
Following the latest trends in a bathroom is all well and good, but Mr Nasrallah cautioned renovators about jumping in and renovating without professional advice.
A lack of proper waterproofing, for instance, can have devastating effects on plaster and sometimes on a home’s timber framework.
“With the explosion of home-renovation programs on TV, we are finding that a lot of people believe they can do it themselves without the help of a designer or builder,” Mr Nasrallah said.
“What they don’t know is that behind the scenes, these programs have qualified professionals helping the contestants make design and building choices. Seek the help of a professional, even if it is just for advice.”
Beneath its sleek minimalist design, Remer’s Otto Premium 1500 mirror sports some snazzy hi-tech features, including a Bluetooth speaker and demister. The LED lighting emits from behind the glass to create an aura of light and depth. It’s priced at $1139.
This terrazzo stone bath would look mighty fine in any bathroom … and any bedroom, too, for those inclined to demolish the wall between their ensuite and bedroom. Crafted by Pietra Bianca, the Whitney bath is available in seven different shades (pictured is charcoal) and will set you back $3500.