Radiators posing as works of art, colorful furniture and waterproof TV’s operated from the bath by floatable remote control are bringing living room luxury to the bathing ritual.
The bathroom has been banished from backstage with design and technological innovations placing it in the limelight as the home’s headline act. Nowhere has the design revolution gathered such pace, with baths that cradle you within their sinuous shapes and showers that simulate a warm tropical downpour. The notion of a quick dip in the bath has disappeared as householders dedicate more space in their homes to multi-tasking bathrooms where they can cocoon themselves in warmth while catching up with a favorite TV program or listen to music with the lighting turned down low.
With the plethora of bathroom products on the market, the choice can be bewildering but a tour of the remodeled Guildford showroom of the long-established supplier Wilky Bathroom Centre reveals a tightly edited collection of displays reflecting the new trends.
One of the innovations is Color boards, a new range of glass storage furniture injecting a welcome shot of color into the bathroom and creating a style virtue out of necessity. The Color boards designs come in shades ranging from invigorating purple to calming olive in bold geometric shapes. Made of 10mm thick safety glass, the wall-mounted furniture is painted on the back so that the brilliance of the color won’t fade. Towel holders, soap dispensers and matching lights and mirrors can be integrated.
Highlighting the bathroom-as-living-room trend is a display featuring Villeroy & Boch’s new La Belle range. It shows a sculptural free-standing bath and furniture inspired by the age of Romanticism alongside a walk-in Squaro shower which falls from an overhead arch above a tray set flush with the floor. Blurring the boundaries between boudoir, bathroom and living room even further is a waterproof TV recessed into the wall while a dramatic Aestus wall radiator in the form of a feather unites form and function to make a design statement.
Europe’s iconic designers are driving the bathroom revolution with French maestro Philippe Starck’s Starck X range for Axor attracting fans with novel designs that ‘maximize minimalism’ while Hansgrohe’s new bathroom collection from Spanish designer Patricia Urquiola demonstrates her belief that our private living spaces should reflect our personalities with their eclecticism.
“Bathrooms have become multi-functional rooms where people are spending more time taking respite from their busy lives,” says Wilky Bathroom Centre director Sandra Young. “The amazing range of new products on the market reflects this, allowing you to turn a bathroom into a health spa with whirlpools and steam or a room to lie back in and relax with music and mood lighting. To simplify the process of choosing a bathroom, we have highlighted what we consider to be the best designs available, with working displays to show clients exactly how the technology operates.”