When it comes to planning the perfect bathroom, there are plenty of rules to abide by for a successful scheme. Usually, plumbing and pipework will dictate the layout, storage is low key and hidden away while lighting is formed of layers offering dedicated task and ambient illumination. Yet bathroom design is changing and adapting all the time, with new ideas that bend the traditional rules we’re all used to.


Lead image the Kronos Gris 30x90cm rectified ceramic wall tiles, £58 per sq. m. Feature wall: Kronos Tempo Iris 30x90cm tiles, £60 per sq. m, all by Saloni.


Below The Roca Inspira range of sanitaryware and furniture is available in round and geometric designs and starts from £300 for the Round Over countertop Fineceramic® basin.



Today’s designs can incorporate everything from waterresistant wallpaper to bespoke fabric wallcoverings and fabric-clad bathtubs, feature pendant lighting and state-of-the-art sensor mirrors complete with demister pads and shaving sockets. Even furniture has taken on a new role, blurring the boundaries between bedroom, dressing room and bathroom. ‘Not so long ago, the bathroom was a strictly functional space,’ says Charlie Borthwick, founder of Cue & Co of London. ‘Given its new role as more of a centre stage space, it makes sense that the bathroom takes its aesthetic cues from living spaces found elsewhere in the home.’


Look for washable wallpaper from the likes of Graham & Brown and choose a vibrant pattern or print to jazz up simple white sanitaryware. Even paint and flooring has evolved thanks to advances in technology, with specially formulated paint finishes offering anti-mould properties and porcelain tiles with a wood or concrete effect. How much of a rule-breaker you want to be is entirely up to you. To really shake things up, consider the natural position of fixtures and fittings then do it differently (be prepared for the extra hassle and cost of moving pipework though). If you only want to dip your toe and bend the rules slightly, look to the extras that make up a bathroom scheme – for instance, swapping shutters and blinds for curtains can look so effective, especially if you’re going for the dressing room look. ‘During Milan Design Week, which took place earlier this year,’ adds Charlie Borthwick, ‘we saw plenty of furniture-style vanity units that can serve as a seamless link between bathroom and bedroom.’


Below The Autoritratti Collection by Teuco includes this Accademia bathtub in solid Carrara marble, £37,500, with Skidoo freestanding taps in gold, £4,004. Basin, vanity unit and mirror set, £8,035. 



Materials are also making waves. Bette has recently launched a concept design that demonstrates how even a basic bathtub can be transformed into something really special. The steel bath is covered in a specially developed fabric by JAB Anstoetz to create instant impact and wow factor. Waterworks meanwhile has just introduced a new tile collection called Magma. This new material is made from glazed lava, which provides great depth and texture. ‘We have also developed Lithic for bathtubs and basins in our Formwork collection,’ explains Barbara Sallick, Waterworks co-founder and senior vice president of design. ‘This is made from 75 per cent crushed marble, which is mixed with other composites and poured to create fabulous sculptural forms.’ Waterworks has also introduced an unlacquered brass finish, which looks even better as the years go by as it takes on a patina and begins to tarnish over time.


Below Sinea 2.0 mineral cast washbasin with tapered sides and pull-out drawers, £1,748; Tall units in sand matt and green lacquer, £642 each; Mirror cabinet, £587, all available at Ripples.



For Roca, the change is more subtle, as Georgina Spencer, head of marketing, explains: ‘Whereas once trends leaned very much towards clean shapes, now rounded edges are increasingly being seen. Curves are now prevalent in every area of a design in a bathroom, from sanitaryware through to baths, showers and accessories.’


Article by: Hayley Gilbert