Bathrooms are experiencing a very special kind of update
We love spending time at home – and that includes the bathroom too. Its overall design is becoming increasingly cosy and welcoming – and revealing the growing influence of general interior design trends in the process. At the same time, new technical developments are a must-have in the bathroom too.
It all stems from users’ desire for a modern, lifestyle-friendly bathroom. Certainly in Germany, interest in a new bathroom is very strong. According to a current study by the German Sanitary Industry Association (Vereinigung Deutsche Sanitärwirtschaft e.V. [VDS]), 16.7 million Germans aged 18 or over are aiming to make bathroom-related changes or purchases by 2019. No fewer than 6.2 million are planning a complete or partial renovation, while the remaining 10.5 million want to replace individual items. The favourites for replacement include all products connected with the washbasin area, a level access shower (28%) and age-related alterations (20%).
There’s definitely no shortage of options for turning those plans into reality. Whether the goal is a family bathroom or a private spa, the level of equipment should be tailored to the users’ personal needs. There’s plenty of scope for the interior design too – the spectrum ranges from stylish minimalism all the way to snug and cosy furnishings with plenty of storage space and lots of surfaces for decorative items. “We’re seeing an ongoing shift in the bathroom’s significance within the hierarchy of rooms in the home,” says Jens J. Wischmann, managing director of the VDS. “The bathroom is a place of intimacy and familiarity, and its design should uphold those values,” continues Wischmann.
Trends towards some very different types of bathroom are apparent right now, although their characteristic features can of course be combined in various ways. Nevertheless, these on-trend bathrooms definitely provide useful orientation – and, from 11 – 15 March 2019, will be setting the course for modern bathroom design at the ISH 2019 in Frankfurt, the world’s leading trade fair and international gathering place for the sector, where the focus is on the responsible management of water and energy in buildings.
The Health Bathroom
Water is the “blue” thread in the new Health Bathroom: a Kneipp hose, showers with numerous jets or multifunctional hand showers get tired muscles moving again. (Photo: Markus Jans, Dornbracht)
The common thread running through this trend is blue: the water. Sebastian Kneipp’s insights into its healing effects are enjoying renewed interest and being transferred to the modern bathroom. The shower in this trend bathroom, for instance, features a modern Kneipp hose for cold leg affusions. Showers with numerous jets and individually adjustable programmes for tense shoulders or tired thigh muscles are also available, and nowadays you can even turn your bathroom into a little spa just with the hand shower thanks to various spray patterns that provide all the pleasure of pure water at the push of a button. But that’s not all: space-saving pieces of equipment for active health promotion like step machines, vibration plates, balance boards and exercise bands are finding their way into the Health Bathroom too.
The Comfort Bathroom
The furnishings in a modern bathroom don’t need a lot of fancy gimmicks to convey a sense of luxury and ease. A level access shower, a shower toilet, a bathtub with an ergonomically sloped back or fittings that work at the push of a button, LED-illuminated mirror cabinets with storage space, optimal lighting and circadian light that’s good for body and soul … bathroom products have never been as convenient as they are today. Finding a separate place for the toilet or adding a guest toilet to keep the bathroom free of unpleasant odours also helps the bathroom be perceived as a room in its own right. Today, 46% of homes in Germany have a separate or guest toilet – a steep increase as compared to 2011 (40%).
The Ecological Bathroom
When it comes to ecology, the bathroom has had an excellent track record for quite some time. Thanks to the optimisation of tap spouts and the jets on hand and overhead showers, the amount of water consumed by fittings has been reduced to a minimum. As for materials, premium sanitary ceramic permits mono-material recycling, while top-quality design extends the useful life of any bathroom sanitaryware. The growing trend towards natural materials for the bathroom walls and ceiling confirms the Ecological Bathroom’s credentials once and for all.
The Hygienic Bathroom
In Asia, shower toilets are more or less par for the course in any modern bathroom and are becoming increasingly widespread in Europe too. Hotels first acquainted us with the shower toilet, and word of the good feeling and convenient hygiene it provides is spreading rapidly. At the same time, sanitaryware manufacturers have developed rimless toilets that are considerably easier to clean than conventional models. And there are also innovative finishes for ceramic sanitaryware, shower trays and shower enclosures that are designed for easy maintenance and prevent the build-up of bacteria.
The Snug Bathroom
As bathroom architecture opens up to lifestyle spaces and enhanced functions turn it into a private spa, the bathroom is experiencing a very special kind of update. Its snug features, innovative products and larger size are increasing both the amount and the quality of the time we spend in the bathroom: a megatrend.
The Practical Bathroom
It’s often the little things that make day-to-day life in the bathroom easier. It might be a stool for the kids so that they can finally play with the water from the tap, a level access shower or even a special fitting with a hidden hose for washing long hair over the washbasin. The fittings work at the push of a button and the water temperature can be adjusted with spot-on precision. Ensuring a bathroom is suitable for users of any age (universal design) plays a crucial role in the development of these products.
The Small Bathroom
Lots of storage space in the Small Bathroom: it might be small, but it’s stunning too – thanks to an abundance of hi-tech and convenient solutions. (Photo: burgbad)
The dominant type of bathroom with a toilet currently has an average size of 9.1 sq m – a moderate increase as compared to 2006 (7.8 sq m). But especially in urban areas, smaller bathrooms are the norm. As a proportion, their number even looks set to grow because the density and price of sought-after inner-city living space will continue to increase. But the sanitary industry has plenty of product solutions to meet this challenge as well – such as innovative bathroom furniture with lots of storage space. In future, a high degree of sizing flexibility and the availability of compact combinations will become the hallmark of innovative brands. But an optimised layout designed by a professional bathroom planner also helps make full use of every square centimetre when space is in short supply. There’s nothing outdated about the small on-trend bathroom. On the contrary: it might be small, but it’s stunning too – thanks to an abundance of hi-tech and convenient solutions.