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kbb Birmingham visited Sleep, Europe’s hotel design event, last week at London’s Business Design Centre and caught up with some of our exhibitors to find which bathroom trends the design community are talking about.
The appearance of metal finishes and details was clear to see, with exhibitors commenting that they are “seeing the proliferation of more specialised aluminium and metal finishes in the higher end design led market” (David Osborne, Roman Showers). This stood out in the collections of numerous bathroom brands showcasing brushed or satin brass, bright silver chrome, matt black and brushed nickel. It was also clear that “black matte is the new chrome” (Bagno Design, Sanipex Group) and that gold is becoming increasingly popular.
Furthermore, mixing finishes to create contrasted design was emphasised as a key trend. “Solid surface bathroom integration with different finishes such as granite with integrated lighting or digitally printed glass will be a go to in bathroom design in 2018 allowing you to achieve any desired outcome” (David Osborne, Roman Showers).
The dominance of ‘smart’ technologies was acknowledged by all brands at Sleep, especially in the bathroom sector. “Connectivity is definitely an important factor in interiors technology right now, being able to monitor and time appliances remotely” (Merlyn Showering). Whilst the KBB community perceives this as both an opportunity and a challenge, depending on brand identity, technology was strongly recognised as a positive factor by Sleep’s bathroom brands.
Society and disruption
Social changes, from four-generation-kitchens to ever dwindling living spaces, were widely recognised as design considerations at Sleep. The importance of small-space design shone through in the collections, such as the compact toilet seat by Crosswater, planned to fit into limited spaces whilst not compromising comfort. Additionally, “there is a growing interest in anything that allows project teams to reduce down time” (Bushboard), which has pushed brands to create products that enable faster fittings.
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