As with other areas of the contemporary home – and particularly the kitchen – bathroom interiors are sensitive to fashion and design trends. The accoutrements may likely be slower to introduce, but the investment can be equally as substantial.

So here too there is equal possibility for variety in minimalist bathroom design trends for smaller urban dwellings. The luxurious, large house solution with bathtub or spa bath and generous walk-in shower is no longer commonplace in a rapidly changing world and SA is no exception. But showers, in particular, continue to receive deserved attention.

Ronelle Badenhorst of Kohler: ‘With shower wet rooms remaining a key trend for contemporary bathrooms, our Real Rain is a recent key introduction. Combining cutting-edge technology with exemplary design, Real Rain replicates rain falling on the skin. Informed consumers expect such customisation to personalise their bathing experiences and this option is offered in a choice of finishes; as well as manual or automotive controls to create a unique shower experience. Considering SA’s water issues, it consumes moderate amounts of water so it’s perfect for the vigilant water user.’

What are other leading trends in respect of 2019 bathroom design and are there other specifics?

‘Minimalism seems to be the way forward, and it includes wall-hung design such as toilets, vanities and basins. Yet, in generous spaces walk-in showers, free-standing baths and spa baths can still be part of the picture and, as in 2018, technology in water usage plays a definitive role. It’s a factor that’s essential to the South African market,’ so says Mariette Boucher of Lixil Africa / GROHE.

Related products include Cobra’s Focus, which is water saving and projects an appealing diamond spray.

It’s a tricky topic, but let’s forget everything we knew about toilets. Washing is the new wiping and shower-toilets clean with pure, warm water – as does a bidet – eliminating unpleasant odours. The units feature special hygienic coatings, powerful flushing and can be controlled easily and conveniently via a smartphone or remote control, while elegant design blends seamlessly into any bathroom décor. Enter the new age of toilets with the GROHE Sensia Arena.

Is this an interior subject to decorative trends, finishes, textures and tones? Most definitely so according to Rory Talbot of Geberit SA. He adds: ‘From interaction with various designers, interior architects and bathroom specialists, the current fashion trend is most definitely matt black. The contrast between sanware, ceramics and black tones is obviously visually striking.

‘Flat, polished surfaces and wall mounted systems continue to spark interest; the latter being due to an understanding of the benefits of concealed cisterns. The space saved and the advantages of having a more hygienic bathing environment is becoming clearer to both designers and end users alike.

‘Minimalism is most certainly a current, overall trend with most bathrooms being designed to be small – yet still retaining a luxurious feel – as well as being user friendly. Space saving solutions are key and more attention to detail is being applied to design. Colour in bathroom furniture is gaining momentum as a foil for the softer, light tile undertones often favoured; and may include earth-toned wall tiles in contrast.’

The 2019 Palette

Steve Joubert of Stiles comments: ‘Small format patterns are alive and well and so are shapes: rectangular, nonagon, octagon, hexagon, various triangles, parallelogram and rhombus. A number of manufacturers are offering retro-style mosaics and larger near-random groupings of geometric patterns, exploring an earthy, autumnal palette. Plus, there’s a fresh take on classic marble-look tiles this year, with gold or floral inserts – best described as ‘majestic’. And quite breathtaking, large-format slabs reaching 160 x 320cm.

‘Collections are available in multiple textures and, with unassuming uniform sizes, are meant to be mixed and matched with 3D textured tiles, even used on top of solid colours and slabs for a ‘60s / ‘70s look. Others are basic, solid colour tiles with an array of complementing 3D patterns (florals and textures) that can be mixed for features and focal points, so that the end user is able to self-design for an individual end result.’

Leshni Munsamy of Afrikano adds her personal overview: ‘Recent trends seem to be towards bigger tiles of up to 60 x 1 200cm with no grout lines. There are graphic patterns evident plus rustic / stone textures; and gloss has given way to matt finishes with neutrals, especially whites, still at the fore.

‘The subway tiles that are still up there show more pizazz as do 3D renditions. Marble is seen in softer tones and large-scale patterning; and wood visuals remain in large plank formats.’

Lastly, what of the comfort factor in this most special interior – via a heated towel rail?

‘Consider the Tangent L Ladder Rail, synonymous with innovative simplicity. This model provides a unique storage offering with a singular style. Serving as a focal point, it provides ample space to show off a continuous supply of fresh smelling, dry toasty towels,’ says Mark Bennett of Jeeves.

The Tangent M is another attractive storage option. Adding a boutique, spa-like look to the bathroom space, it’s in synch with simple, easy access to bathroom accessories. With its shelf design for folded towels, the Tangent M maximises bathroom space to provide a neat, chic effect.

Exclusive to Jeeves, AHT (Automatic Heating Technology) is unique in featuring a thermostat that activates internal switches controlling the warmth of the heated towel rail. The benefit is two-fold: optimum operating temperatures for a constant supply of dry towels, complemented by the lowest electricity consumption.

For the full article see Habitat #270 March / April 2019


Newsletter Sign Up