Bathroom Trends: Colour is Back
In the Press: July 2018
Now brace yourselves because this one is going to be controversial. Yes, it’s true. There is a gradual move towards bringing back the coloured bathroom suite. But hang on. DON’T PANIC at the back there – it’s not going to be about the 1970s which involved a peach corner bath and a shag pile carpet – we actually had a bathroom like that for a while – it’s going to be colour for the 21st century. Which means more considered – carefully done – and more modern. So while there might be some pale pink, there won’t be peach. There may be dark green but not (too much) avocado. And there won’t be red. And it’s all about how you style it.
The other key trend that makes the fresh and exciting is that it’s all about matt finishes. Gloss has gone. So even if you can’t face the colour think about the texture.
This post came about following my visit to West One Bathrooms a couple of weeks ago and we have decided to work together for the next few months to talk about bathroom design and new trends. While this is a paid partnership, they have no editorial influence and this was a story I wanted to write having visited their showroom and talked with their designers.
Some of you will remember the gorgeous green basins I posted on instagram recently. Now I appreciate this picture has a lot to do with the waterproof wallpaper behind it (and we will come to that in a later post) but imagine, say, green wainscotting to basin height and then white walls above. Or wallpaper all over – in a well ventilated bathroom this is completely fine. You might want to keep the walls light and add a few black accents and green towels for a more minimal look.
Louise Ashdown, head of design at West One, said to me: “We have spent years eradicating colours from our bathrooms – adios avocado. Then we entered the Henry Ford phase – any colour as long as it’s white – but people are increasingly seeing their bathroom not only as a sanctuary, but as a way to express their personality.
“We’ve seen colour coming through in tiles and terazzo but also in the taps – brass and rose gold and black – and now it’s coming through into the ceramics with fabulous ice cream shades for basins and wcs.”
The idea is that you don’t run away screaming because you think it’s going to be like your parents’ house in the 1970s but you start from a modern perspective which means clean lines, modern shapes and minimal accents.
I remember my mother coming home from work in the late 70s and announcing to my Grandmother, with whom we lived, that she was going to redecorate the downstairs loo. It was going to be a new colour. It was going to be, she paused for dramatic effect: “Avocado, it’s the new thing.” This was said with a triumphant flourish.
“Very nice dear, and what exactly is that?” came the response. My Grandmother, who professed a dislike for garlic and pasta till her dying day, had certainly never eaten an avocado much less thought about decorating with one.
Avocado became the butt of bathroom jokes for many years, and certainly I would never have considered a coloured suite…. until recently. They started popping up in Milan in April, which was the start. And consider, for example, the trend for free-standing baths. We’ve all become quite used to the idea of painting those in both jazzy and muted colours.
Adding colour to the fitted suite is simply an extension of that. And it follows on from what I was saying the other day – don’t leave the ceiling and woodwork white just because it’s the tradition. Make a decision about what would work best with the rest of the decor of the room.
It’s the same with the sanitaryware. Now in most cases that probably will be white. Using colour is never going to be a mainstream choice, but at least consider if a coloured basin might actually look quite cool? If you have decorated your downstairs loo all dark then mightn’t a black or dark loo look better than a beacon of white?
And if you are considering indulging in the current trend for blush pink then maybe, just maybe, a matching basin would bring it all together.
I’m not telling you what’s right and wrong, I’m just here to show you some ideas. And we’ve all seen the hideous red bath and the nasty turquoise suite but that’s not it this time round.
Finally, what about that matt that I mentioned earlier? Well West One say that not only are they selling fewer chrome taps, customers are buying polished nickel, brass and black, but that sales of the traditional glossy white bathroom suites are beginning to fall as the new matt textures grow in popularity. So if you’re still firmly against a bit of colour then think instead about a non-shiny finish instead.
West One Bathrooms is a one-stop shop. They sell everything from tiles to taps and all the bits in between as well as lighting. They also offer a design service for £500 which is redeemable against purchase so if you’re struggling with the design or sourcing of products, this might be one to bear in mind.
So what do you think? I’m definitely thinking about a black loo for downstairs- don’t you think it would look better?
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