Bathrooms, these private sanctuaries of quiet and hygiene, the place where we cleanse and embellish our appearance are quite a recently phenomenon if you consider the history of civilisation. It was only the 20th century when the concept of the bathroom, the way we know it, firmed up. To have a designated room inside the house was a symbol of status and worldly accomplishment. After all, plumbing, fittings, and structural changes to the house to accommodate this wet room came at a pretty penny.
Since then, we’ve seen a gamut of trends come and go. White gave way to pinks and green, even browns only to emerge victorious again in the mid-1990s. The Japanese made the humble WC a thing to behold with sensor flushes and heated seats, while some savvy designers took the spa out of the hotel and into our homes. But you needn’t go to those extreme lengths to revamp your en suite. Follow these commandments for a new bathroom for less.
THE ROUND MIRROR
Almost everything looks and feels better in the round. After centuries of rectangles and squares to peer into, the round mirror is your go-to for an instant face lift. Frame in in brass, wood, black metal or just fit it via a back mount for a floating feel. For a rustic feel, invest in a saddle-stitched, leather belt frame that hangs off a single hook. Given how most properties in the Middle East have mirrors fixed onto the wall, removing them might entail removing the finish around it as well. Don’t fret. Just paint its balance area a striking hue.
The lust for gold refuses to ebb. And rightly so. In one feel sweep it can make any space feel lush. From gloss to matte, applied to the curves of old fashioned Victorian taps or the minimal aesthetic of modern design, gold delivers without fault. Simply replace your existing taps with those in gold. Hone in the trend with gold rimmed mirrors, replace the handles of your vanity counter with golden ones and if logistics and budgets allow, accommodate some golden wall tiles or hand-painted, water resistant wallpaper for final flourish.
This is your go-to colour for the year. This dewy, washed out, greyish pastel shade of Pantone’s Colour of 2017 is not only on trend, given our current fascination with pale tones, it lends a sense of nature and well-being without being too obvious. Express it in your choice of wall paint or soft furnishings and accessories. Or if you are particularly adventurous, deploy it via another hot trend — the Metro tile. Long gone is its ghastly association with public spaces. Apply it in the beloved (or bemoaned) layered brick effect or slide them up vertically for a classy 70s herringbone pattern.
Black metal is the stuff of all designers’ dreams. The bold aren’t flinching from painting entire walls or investing in black lacquered cabinetry. For the more conservative, black power-coated fittings is a safe way of staying with on-trend minus the self-doubt. Black wash basins — in ceramic or lava stone are all the rage. Mount them atop your vanity counter or suspend them from the wall. Heighten the drama with matte black faucets or own the trend with the ultimate in industrial luxe, the masculine black metal French doors. They do what no shower curtain ever could — be functional while looking utterly stylish.
High on both graphic and colour quotient, tiles have made an impactful comeback. The first half of the 2010s belonged to artisanal Moroccan tiles and their contemporary reincarnations. The latter part of this decade tells the story of colour, shape and texture. The hexagon is the hottest tile geometry, easily applicable to traditional and contemporary colour palettes. Be it a colour block (use contrasting grout), monochrome (play with multiple shades of the same colour) or contrast — when used in a trickle down, irregular design against hardwood or stone — with this tile shape, visual impact is a given.