In a conversation with Linda Barker, the renowned interior designer and television personality from the iconic show “Changing Rooms,” Tom Reynolds, chief executive of the Bathroom Manufacturers Association (BMA), explores the trends reshaping bathroom design in the UK.

Linda, whose creative designs have long captivated audiences and transformed homes, shared her expert insights with delegates in the BMA’s Future of Water Theatre at InstallerSHOW 2024 on elevating the bathroom into a space of comfort, rejuvenation, and style regardless of size.

She highlighted the emerging trend of “humanising” bathroom spaces, which are becoming personalised sanctuaries to unwind and rejuvenate while incorporating sustainable materials and technology. This shift is evident in the growing popularity of features that promote relaxation, such as the positioning of the bath or shower to take advantage of a window view, plants and greenery (artificial can work just as well), curved designs, and innovative panelling. By incorporating these elements, homeowners can create a spa-like atmosphere in their own homes.

Linda also explained that with UK homes getting smaller, making the most of limited bathroom space is crucial. She emphasised the importance of clever design to make small bathrooms appear larger while appreciating the often-tricky task that bathroom installers take on.  One innovative solution is the use of Japanese-style freestanding bathtubs. These compact yet elegant tubs save space and conserve water, aligning with sustainable living practices. Additionally, Linda suggested utilising bold colours and tactile materials to inject personality and warmth into the bathroom. “Pushing the boundaries in the bathroom space is important”, she advised. “Even if consumers want a white bath and toilet, they can incorporate an unusual and bold basin to deliver on an individual’s personality.”

Free-flowing furniture is another trend that enhances the perception of space for small bathrooms. Homeowners can create an airy, uncluttered look by opting for wall-hanging toilets and basins. This approach maximises floor space and makes the room feel more expansive, creating a seamless flow and ensuring every piece of furniture adds to the sense of space.

Designers, installers, and bathroom fitters are crucial in bringing these designs to life. Linda urged these professionals to be brave in their discussions with customers and encouraged them to explore well-designed spaces and be inspired by the range of choices manufacturers offer. By guiding clients towards innovative and personalised design options, a functional yet beautiful bathroom is within everyone’s reach.

Linda’s insights provide a roadmap for transforming even the smallest of bathrooms into luxurious, personalised retreats. By embracing bold colours, tactile materials, and space-enhancing solutions, homeowners can create a bathroom that satisfies the necessities of daily routines and delivers a restful sanctuary. With the right approach, the humble bathroom can become the most rejuvenating space in any home.