Read our essential guide to bathroom trends before you splash out

Read our essential guide to bathroom trends before you splash out

Kya deLongchamps takes the plunge into the new year, with some advice on luxurious bathroom trends.

Wondering where style is flowing for the home bathroom in 2020? We took a look around the best of the market and asked popular suppliers to show us the wild, wet way to get the look.

Keep in mind that the bathroom is the smallest room in most cases. Get those ergonomic, perfectly executed installations to the split millimetre and tank and drain perfectly. Whatever you prefer in terms of aesthetics, commit to simple elegance delivered with high-quality fixtures as standard.

LIEDOWN SHOWERS AND SMALL SPAS

Spa style was everywhere last year, and a yearning for that restrained, Zen atmosphere of self-care and sanctuary are afloat for this year’s dream bathroom.

The design team at Versatile Bathrooms, one or Ireland’s leading suppliers of premium bathrooms tell me it’s all about the “Small Size Premium Spa” as detailed for them by Sieger Design and dubbed SSPS.

The stand up, sit or lie down shower of 2020 as suggested by Versalite Bathrooms + Tiles. This highly architectural solution not only delivers their SSPS (Small Size Premium Spa) but makes great use of even a standard family bathroom, versatilebathrooms.ie.
The stand up, sit or lie down shower of 2020 as suggested by Versalite Bathrooms + Tiles. This highly architectural solution not only delivers their SSPS (Small Size Premium Spa) but makes great use of even a standard family bathroom, versatilebathrooms.ie.

Ever considered not just sitting but stretching full out in the shower as an alternative to a bath? Combined with sumptuous dedicated lighting and a number of shower positions and water textures, this is actually a completely practical proposition, with features and configurations to suit the whole family.

“SSPS features both a vertical and a horizontal shower — since the innovative shower applications make it just as comfortable to shower lying down as to take a bath, there’s no need for a bathtub” in the words of Sieger Design for Versatile Bathrooms.

Luxurious lighting, wall-mounted and suspended should be seductively layered on. See what market leaders like Delightfull of Spain have to offer and take that inspiration to the high street, delightfull.eu. Vertical rads’ are ideal for a space-saving vertical thrust – we love the sleek aluminium City range from City Tiles and Bathrooms from €323, cut citytilesandbathrooms.ie (Cork).

BRASS AND SHINE

Matt black is out for taps, levers and traps. Frankly, I’m relieved.

Catherine Treacy, creative director for Versatile Bathroom and Tiles, continues the style story: “Brass finishes are suited to traditional and contemporary settings and will replace black as this year’s most requested finish.” She recommends investing a little more in this area to ensure that you’re not left with poorly plated taps that will tarnish over time and to allow colour to speak softly through discreet tiling choices.

Angela Neve is VADO’s Product and Marketing Director. The firm creates cutting edge brass-ware and recently launched in Ireland. She sees both bold, textured and decidedly brighter brass finishes to taps on the rise. “Throughout last year, we saw ‘raw’ materials, including brick, concrete, marble and a variety of metals, enter the bathroom,”

She adds:

We expect these warm metallic accents and weathered finishes to retain their presence. New intricate brass designs are now a possibility via 3D printing and modern manufacturing techniques, and we foresee textured brassware and geometric patterns rising to prominence in 2020.

VADO and Dornbracht (Axor Edge) is championing brushes, grazing and diamond-turning style engraved textures to searing, modern Bauhaus lines on taps and fittings for 2020. So what about traditionals?

Angela Neve adds: “In light of current fashions for reinstated vintage décor, we expect to see traditional brass-ware to develop into brighter (polished) finishes. Our most recently launched collection, Booth & Co, aims to revolutionise the modern-classical home experience.” If you still love all that reflective, expected chrome? You couldn’t do better, vado.com.

CALM AND NEUTRAL

Barry Hoyne of Merlyn Showering, a stunning Irish success story based in Kilkenny, backs up Treacy’s vision of neutral but strongly architectural bathrooms and shower-rooms that are cool but never visually cold. Their Crittal-framed shower-walls, naughty double showers and free-floating frameless designs promise visual splash. Combine with wood finishes in a good furniture maker like Sonas, Dansani or Duravit to bring home the ultimate enclosure set within organic comfort.

Read our essential guide to bathroom trends before you splash out

Barry says: “2020 is throwing up a myriad of style trends but the overarching theme is well-being and balance, with warm base tones and a neutral minimalism - comforting rather than stark. In the bathroom neutral coloured fittings, with imitations of copper and stone create an authentic and understated look. Squares, strong lines and design accents are the perfect poise for this natural and classically simple backdrop.”

See merlynshowering.ie.

With this idea of retreat and balancing the soul, silence is something we’re seeing more of around the kitchen, with the “hush” symbol of finger to the lips featuring on the new Silence range of Bosch appliance. The bathroom shower is also seeing a technological make-over for every budget.

The latest range of electric showers by Triton includes the Novel SR with Triton’s built-in silent running motor design. The company tells me it delivers “blissful peace and quiet with no noisy pump whirring inches from their ears”. Take a look at its crisp white SR model with variable flow control and temperature dials featuring contemporary chrome, and an improved temperature over-ride button.

The Thurso free-standing shower is an outrageously beautiful enclosure,€24,545, versatilebathrooms.ie.
The Thurso free-standing shower is an outrageously beautiful enclosure,€24,545, versatilebathrooms.ie.

BUILT-IN BEAUTIES

Despite the rule of the super shower, free-standing and highly architectural built-in baths are having their own re-launch. When renovating, consider structurally installing the bath rather than slotting it into position.

The team at Sieger Design explains how planning a bath set into framing and tiles can prove versatile and space-saving: “A bathtub can be very precisely integrated (in combination with a footbath, for example) and covered when necessary so that it can be used as a seat.” See Versatile Bathrooms + Tiles.

Join in the CAD experience and see what your designer or architect can tailor for even a squeak of space and let the tiling play out the colour and textural dramatics.

Together with the popularity of the P and J-shaped shower-bath (such a brilliant compromise) the line of the free-standing bath has taken a Nordic turn — with most designs taken right to the floor. Dornbracht illustrates a 2020 bathroom by Rafael de Cardenas with its Vaia tapware with just a rough brick screen wall shielding a bedroom. This urbane confidence would rock equally well in stone panels, terrazzo and veined marbles (difficult to realise outside of a perfectly ventilated loft in Manhattan).

HOMAGE AND HERITAGE

In footed baths, kick up the look with new pipe-mounted brassware. 1930s modernist angles are all the rage. Villeroy & Boch’s Hommage bath is the perfect linear vessel — showing a vintage art deco paw without beating a modern bathroom into a period corner. Warmer materials like their Quaryl deliver the look of cast iron without the shock to the skin and loss of water temperature.

Heritage baths, available at Original Bathrooms & Heating in Cork are hard to sink in classic, affordable tubs. While in OB, examine Carlyon Thurlestone Furniture – oddly modern but wrapped around period informed basins; imperialbathrooms.com.

Drummond Buttermere, a new china vanity for 2020 from this English foundry. The legs are cast in brass, using the lost wax process which achieves precision detailing, and the top is slip cast from fine china clay. From Ä2,740, versatilebatrhrooms.ie.
Drummond Buttermere, a new china vanity for 2020 from this English foundry. The legs are cast in brass, using the lost wax process which achieves precision detailing, and the top is slip cast from fine china clay. From Ä2,740, versatilebatrhrooms.ie.

Drummond (available at Verstatile) remains my favourite manufacturer for the unexpected, original cast-iron bath this year. Its new collection of period informed wash-stands (including marble tops) are exquisitely realised and handbuilt. Airy and classy on legged chrome supports they can jazz up any modern tiling choice.

The firm also delivers a sumptuous alternative to the heritage tub if you are sufficiently in love with your bathroom, you’ll throw down over €22,000 to €24,000 (ex VAT) to celebrate its charms. The free-standing Drummond shower comes on Queen Anne feet or a dandyish plinth in four styles — a fabulous confection in nickel, brass, bronze or chrome with 40mm glass. Stage it proudly in the centre of a bathroom or trained close to the wall, versatilebathrooms.ie

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