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Bathrooms trends showcase modern, contemporary spaces
Posted on 01 Feb 2016

A competitive property market and a desire to add personalised features to a standard house plan is seeing more owners investing in customised variations. Bathrooms are a popular consideration - read this expert guide highlighting the latest interior trends for this key part of any new home.  

Custom variations including open shelving, luxurious freestanding baths, double vanities, walk-in showers with geometric showerheads, metallic tapware and floor-to-wall tiling are bathroom features on the rise as Kiwis look to impress friends and family with stylish and innovative interior design.  

Generation Homes chief executive Kevin Atkinson says the bathroom is attracting just as much attention as the kitchen in new home builds.  

People are gravitating toward relaxed, neutral combinations partnered with bold accessories, statement fixtures and fittings, storage and customised lighting to create the perfect bathing oasis that is reflective of their own personal style and taste, he says.

Popular renovation shows like TV3’s The Block NZ: Villa Wars highlighted 2015 interior design trends epitomised by the Scandinavian look of light wood and white tones teamed with primitive materials such as timber and stone, living walls of plants and 3-D effect textured tiles for the ultimate “wow” factor.

National Category Manager Bathrooms for Mico and PlaceMakers, Louise Cook, says this year bathrooms are all about modern, contemporary spaces that transition easily between comfort, luxury and functionality.   

“The natural trend reflects timeless and classic design which aligns beautifully with the green, eco look-and-feel of our country. We’re seeing many people adopt and really run with it,” says Louise.

“Timber-look tiles are being used on the floors and walls, in the shower as well as vanities, and can often be teamed with a living wall. Rather than just a single feature, the natural trend is taking over the whole bathroom experience.”   

Showcased in Mico’s The Bathroom Book 2016, is the fresh and elegant look of textured, pale timbers and timber veneer surfaces, now used more widely in bathrooms than in 2015, to create warm yet breathable spaces.

In 2016, we will see refined, crafted and engineered options that will incorporate modern needs of technology and functionality. Even the vanity is embracing textured timber joinery. Think seamless finishes in dark walnuts and chestnuts with quiet soft closing features.

Stone is another key trend heavily inspired by nature. “Natural, coloured, raw finished and engineered stone are just some of what’s available now. Incorporating slabs and tiles of rust, black, washed concrete and coloured marbles like ink purples and limed yellows, and the most favoured – the luxe look of Carrera marble [a white or blue grey marble], is ideal for creating a contemporary moody tone.”

Innovative joinery and clever design has made glass more affordable and homeowners are using it to frame walk-in shower areas, make better use of space and promote the “outdoor experience”, says Louise.  

“We will see more open areas with showers featuring one large glass panel, ensuring the whole space is utilised, and striking tiles and colours behind, can be celebrated rather than hidden. Into and beyond 2016 we will see more technology integrated into interior glass surfaces like a laser printed pattern on the glass of showers, splash backs and mirrors.”

Metals like rose gold, copper, pewter, brass and rust emerged in 2014/2015 but have only just started to gain widespread appeal in bathrooms, says Louise.

“In New Zealand we still see our main vanity colours being shades of white so there is definitely still a trend for the white minimalistic look,” she says.

“But integrating a bit of colour – whether it’s black, rust, copper or brass in an item such as tapware or accessories – adds a level of sophistication and glamour.”  

Similarly, the 3D effect textured tile trend will continue to rise in popularity throughout 2016. Like the natural theme, this too is moving away from a single feature or backsplash to encompass a larger space in bathrooms. Geometric patterns, waves, handcrafted designs and high-low mosaic patterns will also be the key drivers offsetting neutral colour palettes. 

Kevin sums up the 2016 bathroom as “texture is trendy, bigger is better and the natural, timber-look is everywhere”. Meanwhile, Louise predicts the clean structured look of black and white bathrooms will become a staple trend in New Zealand this year, allowing pops of colour and individual personality to highlight the room.

Mico Bathrooms and PlaceMakers are national suppliers of Generation Homes.

Images supplied by Mico:
1 – Cambridge Vanity and Tapware, Brighton Slide Shower, Broadway Bath Spout, Atlanta Accessories by Raymor and Edge Wall Facing Toilet by Adesso
2 – Bianco Bath by Adesso
3 – Edge Shower Mixer and Mila Slide Shower by Adesso