New minimalism, new levels of comfort
| by Elena Cattaneo
Although the desire to transform the bathroom into a kind of mini spa was already present, the two years of the pandemic have further accelerated the process. Today the bathroom is the part of the home where people seek not just privacy but the chance to take time out to relax and regenerate. Well-being does not require a large number of stimuli, just those targeted directly at the senses – particularly sight, which is stimulated by light and colour, and touch, through contact with surfaces. In response to these needs, companies are increasingly focusing their research efforts on colour and materials so as to expand their range of colourful offerings and inviting surface textures.
A key element of interior design in recent years, colour has now established itself in the world of ceramic sanitaryware with a palette that changes from one year to the next. After pastel tones, this year we are seeing a focus on “non-colours” inspired by the reassuring hues of natural elements such as rocks, sand, vegetation and stones. From the traditional glossy and matt white, ceramic is now embracing matt black, beige, brown and various shades of grey, allowing for the maximum customisation of the bathroom while avoiding excessive and often aesthetically overpowering decorations. And because the bathroom must convey a sense of positivity, it is important not to overload the space with excess stimuli or superfluous accessories. However, the trend in recent months has been towards a form of minimalism that avoids the cold, austere sensations typically associated with this style by using combinations of new colours and soft-touch surface finishes.
Research in the field of ceramic sanitaryware has enabled companies to achieve ever higher levels of technology. The solutions now on the market feature superior ceramic surfaces with exceptional scratch and UV resistance, durability, antibacterial properties and ease of cleaning and maintenance. The new ultra-compact coloured ceramic surfaces are often made of hypoallergenic, pore-free vitrified material that is resistant to scratching, capable of withstanding any degree of thermal shock and with colours that remain unchanged for years. These new quality standards take ceramic sanitaryware to an entirely new level.
The bathroom is evolving constantly with two objectives: to meet contemporary consumers’ needs for ever higher levels of comfort and to pursue an environmentally sustainable production process. Innovation must go hand in hand with care for the environment. The materials used must be recyclable, environmentally friendly or obtained from circular sources in order to create products with a long lifetime and a consequently slower disposal rate.
One final observation on the 2022-2023 trends concerns the growing awareness of the bathroom’s new role as a natural extension of the comfort sought and recreated elsewhere in the home. The fact that this functional fluidity has finally reached the bathroom is evident both in the modular furnishings that adapt to any area in the home and in the colours, which maintain a sense of harmony between one room and another.
The new Shape ceramic washbasin from Kerasan appears to have been modelled by flowing water, with a continuous line embracing both the countertop and the basin itself. As well as matt black, Shape is also available in a glossy white version in 102 cm and 122 cm sizes.
The minimalist design of the Foriù collection from Simas consists of a very thin ceramic countertop (just 0.8 cm thick) combined with the essential geometric shape of the two coordinated washbasins. The countertop is available in three sizes and the washbasin in four shapes: round, oval, square and rectangular.
With its strong personality and statuesque appearance, the Kubo collection from Alice Ceramica offers a modern interpretation of the classic washbasin that brings together functionality and elegance. The supporting structure is made of laser-cut and powder-coated stainless steel, while the storage boxes are made of eco-friendly leather sewn by hand by Tuscan craftsmen.
While this comprehensive product range was designed specifically for the bathroom, it can also be used in other rooms. Pilotì from Colavene is a black stainless steel structure that supports ceramic washbasins and storage elements. The generous circular washbasin moulded from thin ceramic displays the highest levels of workmanship.
The wall-hung and countertop washbasins in Ceramica Globo’s T-Edge collection stand out for the ceramic waste flush with the basin and the thin edges of the bowls (6 mm) achieved thanks to the new Globothin® patented ceramic body. The photo shows the 46 cm diameter countertop version in brick-coloured ceramic.
Jolie, a freestanding ceramic washbasin with a distinctive “new vintage” look, is one of the five new collections launched by Artceram. Its distinctive personality derives from the fact that it consists of two separate elements, the basin and the supporting column, joined by a contrasting coloured ring that enhances the physical presence of the unit as a whole.
The Scottie vanity unit with Twenties washbasin was designed in collaboration with Gensler for Devon&Devon. The opulent materials and attention to detail make explicit reference to American Art Deco while reinterpreting it with an innovative yet familiar aesthetic.
The countertop washbasin brings a sense of distinction and lightness to the bathroom, especially when positioned asymmetrically on the countertop to leave ample free space for the daily routine. The Cuir matt ceramic model designed by Meneghello Paolelli Associati for Arbi Arredobagno is shown here in the Absolute composition with Antico Inchiostro oak finish vanity top.
The new Open series of countertop washbasins from Olympia is available with or without tap holes. In keeping with the latest trends, the collection stands out for its essential shapes, thin edges and range of matt colours: black, white, brown, grey and turquoise.
One of Ceramica Flaminia’s new products for 2022 is the Astra back-to-wall sanitaryware collection by Giulio Cappellini. The modernity of the line is enhanced by the choice of ultra-trendy Carbone and Cenere finishes and the gosilent quiet flush system, the latest version of the goclean project.
The new Nero Seta (Silk Black) finish unveiled by Ideal Standard (seen here on Tesi wall-hung sanitary fixtures) is bold and elegant and available on a wide range of mixer taps, sanitaryware and bathroom furniture. The surface effect is similar to that of a fabric, helping to create bathrooms with a strong personality simply through the choice of sanitary fittings.
Combining almost 150 years of sanitaryware expertise with a high level of design, the Geberit Group offers a comprehensive range of products for everyday use and comfort in the bathroom. One of the new additions is the versatile AquaClean Tuma bidet toilet, which can be used as a stand-alone unit or integrated with the existing ceramic fixtures.