Features by Diane Larner founder and editor of Bathroom Review & Kitchens Review.
Diane Larner launched both titles over 12 years ago and has been writing about the bathroom and kitchen interior design industry ever since, publishing regular features across the two sectors.
The UK hordes more clutter than the rest of Europe, using 37.6 million sq ft of storage space (the equivalent of 268,500 removal vans).* Whilst we may struggle to keep our homes clutter-free, the bathroom remains a high priority when creating a relaxing space; despite this, toiletries and cosmetics make up 53 per cent of bathroom clutter.
Architects and designers are grappling with the need to create space for much-loved possessions against a backdrop of shrinking bathroom dimensions. This means there is often very little wiggle room for additional design elements that may cause the visual disorder. Bathroom furniture delivers a one-stop, compact design solution.
Yiota Toumba, senior designer at Ideal Standard, agrees, “In the ever-evolving world of interior design, space-saving solutions have become increasingly vital, and the bathroom is no different. With the progressive reduction in bathroom sizes we’ve seen in new builds and refurbishments, additional storage is key in helping keep surfaces clutter-free.”
Creating space with wall-mounted vanity units and integral basins frees up floor space and delivers storage options. Pictured top, Ideal Standard’s i.life Collection includes various furniture options in seven stylish finishes, such as sand beige matt, carbon grey matt and natural oak, as well as chrome and silk black handles to match your brassware. The i.life S is specifically designed to fit into smaller spaces to take up as little floor space as possible but still provide reasonable levels of functionality.
Yiota Toumba explains, “With these spaces getting smaller and smaller, we’ve seen more and more consumers opt for these options as they look to get the most out of their bathroom both aesthetically and functionally.”
Also perfect for smaller bathrooms is the new Oak Venosa range from Bathrooms to Love by distributor PJH (pictured above). This month, the space-saving range has been extended with a new colourway in an Oak-effect finish. It is ideal for compact bathrooms with a small footprint of just 1100mm in width.
Live a colourful life
The colour and texture revival is in full swing, and we are experiencing some well-needed drama emerging from a blatant contrast of styles. Bold and bright colour schemes are reminiscent of the 1980s and are popular with boomers and Gen X, as are the mid-century styles of the 1950s and 60s. The contrast created by deep textures set against high gloss, vibrant hues married to gentle light shades, and elegant fixtures and fittings keeps this eye-catching trend at the forefront.
Helen Clark, head of marketing at Utopia, comments, “2024’s colour palette will be the most expansive yet dramatic blues, immersive greens, vibrant terracottas and luxurious neutrals, and everything in-between. But it’s not just the variety but the application, colour groupings, glosses mixed with matts, layering and contrast groupings.
“Furniture will start to show its softer, more elegant side, incorporating rounder edges and sophisticated proportions. Fixture and fittings will also play a key part in making the whole concept work, with delicately proportioned handles, legs, and complementary brassware.”
Utopia’s Qube Modular is now available in a choice of Qube Glide, the original handleless door style, and the new Qube Edge, a stunning alternative style with the option for a top-mounted handle. The full collection offers seven on-trend finishes, including deep Indigo Blue, verdant Wild Green, and two sophisticated matt finishes – Matt White and Matt Grey, joining White Gloss and two textured finishes, Anthracite Strata and Sorrento Walnut. The range is soon to be enhanced with a Fitted and Freestanding Fitted Collection.
A family affair
Reducing conflict in the morning, keeping the bathroom clutter-free and ensuring bathroom spaces stay clean for as long as possible are all high priorities for the hard-working family bathroom.
Catering to all needs, HiB’s new Veles range addresses the challenges of both smaller spaces and multi-generational bathrooms. For example, the Veles Compact range boasts remarkable quality and finish in a reduced depth. On the other hand, the Veles Standard range caters to larger dimensions, making it ideal for family bathrooms where ample storage is essential. The range also incorporates the latest styling in matte finishes, which not only lend a sophisticated touch but also mitigate fingerprint marks.
Lighting no longer simply plays a practical role; it is now a significant consideration in bathroom design. Coupling customisable mood lighting with storage marries aesthetics and function in a way that transforms bathroom spaces.
Last year, Duravit launched Vitrium, by Christian Werner. The space-saving range includes washbasins and furniture manufactured with the newly developed DuroCast UltraResist material. As well as delivering ample storage, the reduced furniture depth with the projecting above-counter basin makes the design ideal for compact bathrooms.
Compassionate lighting is incorporated into the design via the console vanity unit. It has a fine metal frame and a choice of fronts made from backlit glass, wood, or various décor finishes.
Christian comments, “The starting point for this design concept was a rigorous interrogation of the habits we take for granted. With Vitrium, I sought to redefine the design of the bathroom and the associated routines. As well as the kitchen and living room, for me, the bathroom, too, is a place of comfort and refuge,” said Christian Werner.
“The basic design idea for the framed fronts and transparency of the furniture has been realised exactly as I imagined. Timelessly modern and unadorned – that’s the look I wanted for my Vitrium concept,” said Christian Werner.
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