What’s new in the bathroom | by Antonia Solari

The latest bathroom trends combine technological innovation with design creativity and include research into materials, collections with a high degree of diversity and versatility, and a choice of neutral and visually striking colours.

Today’s trend towards ever smaller city apartments means that less space is available for bathroom surfaces. This makes it vital to find compositional solutions capable of creating efficient and functional interior design projects. One practical proposal stemming from innovation in the field of materials is that of reducing the thicknesses of toilets, bidets and washbasins to ensure comfort of use while trimming overall dimensions and no less importantly cutting down the quantities of material consumed. Low-thickness ceramic bodies, as in the case of Globothin by Ceramica Globo and Nuda by Flaminia,  and state-of-the-art surfaces treated with antibacterial finishes to inhibit the growth of germs represent the latest advances in the sector.

From an interior design perspective, these new bathrooms reflect growing awareness on the part of consumers and the need to create spaces that are both highly functional and comfortable. This has paved the way for multifunctional elements capable of meeting storage needs without sacrificing aesthetics – as in the case of the Sharp e Frame collections from Simas – and for flexible and modular furnishing collections that adapt not only to the layout of the bathroom but also to specific needs. One example is the Laundry Space series from Scavolini Bathroom designed to give a new identity to the laundry room, which in the past tended to be tucked away in an unused corner of the house. The furnishing proposals are also designed to facilitate cleaning, such as chests of drawers raised above the floor or vanity tops with antibacterial finishes or surfaces resistant to scratching and aggressive cleaning agents.

New products have also emerged in the tap segment, not only in terms of forms and geometries and systems for reducing water consumption, but also new and original finishings. Brass, copper, nickel and bronze alternate with visually striking solutions such as the Black&White series from Ritmonio. The solutions for showers are no less significant and include not only large hi-tech taps, waterfall and blade type shower heads and adjustable height columns – as in the case of the Club series from Aquaelite – but also advances in the cubicle mechanisms. Here too, sculptural forms and technological solutions enjoy pride of place, including innovative sliding door systems such as the new offerings from Provex, and standard or customised enclosures.

So while the available solutions span many different styles and market segments, from the most basic series through to those with highly sophisticated aesthetics, they are increasingly sharing a low-impact production process with the aim of reaching out to the largest possible number of users. Systems for reducing energy consumption, the use of recycled and fully recyclable materials, product life cycle studies and compliance with environmental, product and process certifications are all increasingly important aspects.

September 2017