We’ve said it before: for some of us, the bathroom is the most crucial room in the house. Sure, it’s for basic hygiene first and foremost, but precisely because of that the loo, the john, the head or the washroom (among other more colourful nicknames) may need a little class to go with the tooth-brushing.
We’ve already investigated the trends and colours standing out for interiors this year, and some of those apply to the bathroom too. In addition to spa-ing it up, adding a touch of glamour and incorporating metals (copper and bronze), natural woods and a few other design elements are gaining traction. One in particular that works for Hong Kong bathrooms is the curbless or open walk-in shower. Simply put, a curbless shower is flat, with no steps or ledges to get in the way — making it ideal for older residents or wheelchairs. Drainage can be a problem (that’s a job for your contractor) but it can also be a space-saver. A walk-in shower (think galley kitchen) demands more room but both are sleek, modern options that also afford the opportunity to personalise an otherwise bland room just a bit.
Another tried and true bathroom style, one common in many parts of Asia and picking up steam in North America and Europe, is the wet room. Perfect for small spaces, wet room-style bathrooms dispense with shower doors, curtains and partitions altogether, opting for full tiling (walls and floor) and hand-held showerheads. The shape of the bathroom is crucial (no one enjoys wet toilet paper) but it can also be a more frugal way to go.
With a decided lack of doors and other bathroom furniture, another trend taking hold is building ledges into the walls; little cubby holes that hold your bathing essentials. Ledges can go anywhere — on a tub side, behind the toilet, above a basin — and design can be as creative or subtle as your heart desires. It comes down to using all your wall space for maximum storage and can potentially eliminate the need for a bulky medicine cabinet. Assuming you don’t have anything to hide.
As we pointed out when we discussed spa-ing up your bathroom, standalone bathtubs and floating sinks and vanities are taking off too. Another space-saver (less so with the tubs), floating a basin without legs or central column leave usable space beneath them or simply give the strong illusion of the bathroom being roomier than it is. Floating the main sink can take a bit more thought and work, but the breadth of vanities on the market is cause for consideration if you’re renovating the space.
On the colour front, metals and grey are all the rage for the living room and that’s carrying over the bath. Black and grey tiling, particularly in matte finishes, are increasingly becoming the go-to accent colour for otherwise dull white and/or beige dominated bathrooms. Admittedly it’s a slightly industrial look and may be too dark for some rooms and tastes, and if that’s the case the monochrome might be an alternative to consider. Pick a colour you really (really) like, and use different shades and degrees of blue, red, purple, green… whatever for the overall design. This demands a lot more thought in order to avoid a strange 1950s suburban vibe.
Finally, we often forget to adorn the walls in the bathroom (usually because we’re desperate to find a place for towels). A chic design option for the bathroom is the green wall — environmental, fragrant and eye-catching without being too much. Again, spare space is key as is sufficient light, but done right with the right plants and watering mechanisms a green wall adds a lot of pop to the most maligned room in the house. Good-bye air freshener?