Accepting that kitchens and bathrooms are the most costly interior spaces to update, they can quite possibly make or break a home’s value. Bathroom design for 2018 is eclectic and broad, but it’s unlikely to leave end users indifferent; even the most familiar palettes and solutions will be receiving a measure of fresh creative input. The modern bathroom is a piece of living art that engenders tranquility and calm while remaining more functional than ever. Technology could align more with nature insofar as material choices, where such diversity should make bathroom design an ever more fascinating process. In the USA organic materials – such as bamboo and specially treated bleached timbers – are appearing, to effectively coexist with high-tech gloss surfaces and a clear colour palette, think: ice white, soft grey, pale lemon – with accents of muted green.

What are the trends in surface treatments for 2018?

‘The concrete-look is taking a close lead over contemporary marble designs and is available in various slabs, sizes and designs,’ says Shazeen Jooma of Classic Trading. And it’s notable that the Italians – who are established trendsetters in this industry – have indicated that the 2018 trend will feature not necessarily new prints or styles, but rather larger tile sizes, such as 800 X 1 800mm and a reduction in thickness, in either a concrete design or the well established marble-look. Lastly, wood-look tile will continue to be on-trend throughout 2018 owing to its versatility of application.’

Meanwhile, floor tiles are available now in geometric shapes and show influences from earlier decorative periods. Their colour varies from dark groups to those inspired by Art Nouveau in violet, white, beige, celery and jewel-like ocean shades.

The rapidly-expanding selection of porcelain, glass, and ceramic tiles in this sector globally means that it’s not difficult to lay slip-resistant, low-maintenance floors that don’t skimp on style. As is the case with kitchens, in 2018 expect to see faux wood, linen, and uniquely-textured looks for tiled bathroom floors and walls. Texture serves a dual purpose in adding both visual impact and better traction for wet feet.

What are the 2018 indications for sanware?

‘Black and white are among this season’s leading design trends for bathroom basins. When executed with subtlety and sophistication, these colours – at either end of the spectrum – add an edgy, chic touch to any modern bathroom design,’ so says Lulama Maswanganyi from Kohler. ‘Bathroom sanware meets art with the Herringbone collection, available in black or white. It’s a take on the old-world charm of this classic design with a contemporary spin; the result being basins that are timeless, tactile and dimensional.’

Water Wise

In various provinces of South Africa water reserves are becoming critical and in response, regional governments are implementing conservation measures, the Western Cape being most affected. As a result, there are likely to be new regulations imposed that will affect consumption, and therefore construction options and / or remodelling plans. So water-saving toilets are more in demand, the flush that was 25 litres a decade ago is now just 4,5 litres. Also to be considered are dual-flush versions, or any low-flow toilet that meets particular preferences.

Dorianne Isaacman of Geberit comments: ‘Geberit’s ceramic sanitary appliances further protect the environment and resources in several respects. The toilet can be effectively flushed with low flush volumes and therefore save water, while KeraTect special glaze, standard on the Citterio and Xeno² ranges, makes the sanware particularly easy to clean. This flush technology saves water through low flush volumes of 3 and 6 litres and offers high reliability with a 10 year warranty and a guarantee of spare part availability for 25 years. Furthermore, these ceramic sanitary appliances are 100 percent recyclable, consisting largely of natural minerals: quartz, feldspar, clay and kaolin, while the glaze is 100 percent lead-free.’

Nicole Russell of Italtile: ‘We’ve recently introduced an exclusive range of shower heads – the  EcoAir Almar range – that offers options on the flow rate through a flow restrictor included with each unit. This provides the option of a 12L/minute flow rate shower, which – if the flow rate restrictor is used – reduces to 6L/minute; on an international scale this is one of the lowest flow rates achievable. And the Tivoli Tap collection also provides a confirmed 6L/minute to ensure eco viability through water saving.’

The last word on eco-issues expanded on by Andrew Taylor, CEO of Bathroom Butler: ‘One simple way to save water and electricity is by installing a heated towel rail in the bathroom. It was recently proven in a scientific study that using heated towel rails to dry towels keeps them more hygienic and therefore less washing is required. This saves water and is extra energy efficient since heated rails only use one light bulb of power on average.’

So 2018 homeowners are demanding style options from traditional to slick contemporary, but still require overall elegance and wider choices in accessories, fixtures and lighting. Personal style reigns in the bathroom and many of the old rules are out; so it’s accepted to hang a chandelier over the tub. And artwork is making an appearance.

Lynne Mausenbaum of Linea Brigio says: ‘The trend for this year is defined by simple and understated elegance. Organic shapes are combined with authentic materials such as wood and natural / engineered stone, to create a unique and personal space for the individual. The bathroom, more than ever, is a place to rejuvenate and restore one’s body and mind. Ceramics are thin and sleek, but maintain the functionality demanded in the bathroom. Design is minimalist yet not austere.’

Mark Bennett of bathroom accessory specialists Jeeves agrees: ‘Black accents are on-trend and definitely here to stay during 2018, both as a dramatic presence and by harmonising with other bathroom elements, creating a striking interplay of contrasts. More contemporary than traditional chrome finishes, black accessories are sleek, sophisticated and striking – they also serve as a background that complements a wide variety of other tones, further opening the possibility of artistic expression in this very personal space.’

For the full article see Habitat #264 March / April 2018

cover image: Sterlings


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