BAIN de LUXE
New Trends Include Floating Fixtures, Smart Showers, and Towel Free Options
By Barbara Canetti
The key to any bathroom design is to carefully combine style with functionality. It is important to have a fashionable bathroom, but they can be expensive to redo, so make sure that decisions made for vanities, showers, commodes and even walls are the best choices for the style and use.
Trending this year are wall mounted toilets and vanities. These floating fixtures give lighter and brighter looks to traditional spaces. The wall mounted toilets are fixed into a steel frame hidden inside the wall. They boast a modern design and take up less room in the bathroom. In addition, those nooks and crannies where dirt and dust can accumulate are gone. Look beyond the white, as well; Kohler’s Shadows collection introduces indigo blue, black plum, and lavender hues to bring a modern flair to commodes.
The floating vanities, like those made by Porcelanosa, also give dated bathrooms a newer, more industrial aesthetic. These counters are bolted into the wall, giving the room a more streamlined look. Also, the floor below is easier to keep clean because there are no pipes or legs to work around.
In keeping with the more industrial look – designers are shying away from the glitzy chandeliers and opting instead for heavier fixtures with an almost masculine aesthetic. Pipes are exposed, darker colors are selected for at least one wall to convey depth, and easy-to-clean matte finishes on the faucets are giving bathrooms a more textured look; these warmer finishes mix well with marble and other stone vanities. Franz Viegener’s new Nerea and Lollipop handles are minimalistic and available in knurled, diamond, vertical line, or horizontal ring styles. Or, for a chic look, consider THG Paris’ blush-toned faucets and accessories; it’s a trendy finish that falls between rose gold and the more traditional copper.
The matte look is also being selected in tile: honed and duller surfaces are preferred, as well as skinny tile that gives a fresher look than subway tile. And designers are recommending staggering or stacking the tile, as well as installing them vertically instead of horizontally. The tile should make a statement! In addition, creating artwork with the tiles, marble or mosaics adds a nice (permanent) touch to the bathroom. Frequently it is possible to purchase “bookends” – matching marble or granite that mirror each other and create a natural art piece.
Another new trend is the wet room, where both the glass enclosed shower and the bathtub reside. One option is to put both behind a glass wall with no doors or walls, creating a clean, open spa-like bathing area. This can be built with no shower dam or curb, as long as the floor slightly slopes down to a drain; a nice plus for persons with mobility issues. And if the wall goes up to the ceiling, consider installing a steam shower as well. Newport Brass’s new Luxnetis showerhead controls the speed, movement and size of the water droplets, providing both greater coverage and the feeling of more water.
Smart technology has arrived in the bathroom, as seen in Kohler Konnect’s DTV+™ system that delivers a personalized showering experience, while ThermaSol’s smart shower system integrates with Amazon Alexa and controls water, steam and light.
Although many people love them, large, jetted tubs are becoming less popular, as designers are opting instead for old-fashioned looking clawfoot tubs or standalone tubs with sleek curves. The exteriors are sometimes painted in a variety of colors while maintaining the white porcelain interior, a treatment that adds another dimension to the bathroom and puts a modern spin on a classic fixture.
Another new trend in bathrooms points to the mirrors. Two styles are emerging: metal frames or frameless mirrors, which don’t collect dust and are easy to wipe down. And the shape and size of mirrors are changing: rounded edges seem to have a softer look than the traditional rectangular mirrors. For a personal touch, look to Kohler’s Verdera® Voice Lighted Mirror with Amazon Alexa; play music, get traffic updates, adjust the lighting for makeup, or dim it for nighttime navigation.
Dry off with ease using either THG Paris’s engineered towel warmers or eliminate towels altogether with the new Valiryo body dryer from Hastings Tile & Bath.
Although homeowners shouldn’t follow every trend and redo their home with every change in style, small modifications can easily update a traditional bathroom. Decide what’s most important before selecting from these new innovations.
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