The American Institute of Architects’ 2012 Home Design Trends Survey, notes interest has grown in designing homes with more open space and flexibility. Homes are becoming less formal and more individual with a focus on lifestyle preferences of the homeowner.
One key area seeing these changes is the bath; consumers are looking at the bathroom as much more than a space for showering and shaving, but one where wellness, hygiene, technology, and relaxation seamlessly blend together. Look for the implementation of high tech features, more color and natural materials in bathrooms in the coming months. Here’s the bath trends short list:
The bathroom is no longer a merely functional place but has become an at home destination for respite and rejuvenation. As the bathroom becomes a hybrid space for cleaning and grooming as well as relaxation, the tendency to use softer and less clinical materials emerges. So it is no surprise that we will be seeing more wood as an alternative to the expected tile in the bath.
The SensoWash C shower-toilet designed by Philippe Starck, is a fusion of toilet and bidet with multiple wash and dry features. He shares, “What we invented [with Duravit] was a wet lounge where the toilet seat, the shower, and the bathtub become furniture like an armchair or table which you can discuss or share with your partner or with friends.”
Borrowing from other industries can create advantages. The MGM Grand Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas has ‘Stay Well’ rooms to help guests maximize their downtime in the city. The rooms were designed in partnership with wellness real-estate pioneer Delos, the Cleveland Clinic, and Dr. Deepak Chopra. They feature advanced room lighting that improves guests’ internal clock, wake-up light therapy that increases energy and reverses the effects of jetlag, dawn simulator alarm clocks, an air purification system, and photo-catalytic coatings that break down bacteria on surfaces.
The ‘Stay Well’ rooms also include a Vitamin C infused shower that neutralizes chlorine to promote healthy skin and hair.
The Hi-Tech Bath:
Bathrooms are no longer just about function. From in-shower sound systems to water saving features to personalized toilet and shower settings and remote control, there is a clear trend toward designing bathrooms with extra comfort and luxury experience in mind. The bathroom becomes the new living room, complete with lavish furnishings and high-tech accessories.
What is the Kohler VibrAcoustic Hydrotherapy bath? VibrAcoustic transducers broadcast sound waves through the water to relax and calm the body. Unlike jets, the transducers don’t interrupt the surface of the water, since they’re found below the bathtub’s shell. You can choose from pre-selected compositions or plug up your own device to play music of your own. Would you ever leave?!
The ioDigital shower system by Moen can enhance showering. Consumers can set a precise temperature and flow for the shower, lock it in and press a button to activate it daily.
Sync your device enabled with Bluetooth® technology with the wireless speaker from up to 32 feet away, and invite your playlist, podcast or live broadcast into the shower.
Plus, you can take your music with you anywhere. The Moxie speaker plays wirelessly in or out of the shower, so you can charge it up to use in the kitchen or take to the beach.
Daring Designers to Use Color:
When it comes to color in the bathroom designers have a definite comfort zone, but a commitment to color can make for a really eye catching space. Duravit realized this with their introduction of Darling New. Because “Color is crucial in creating different moods” according to color expert and longtime Pantone consultant Leatrice Eiseman.
The little black dress for the bath.
Somewhere between bathtub, jacuzzi, and pool are Duravit’s Blue Moon and Sundeck pools, which lead a recent popular trend in home design- designing products that work both inside and out.
Indoor/Outdoor furniture has been heralded by designers for its versatility for some time now. Here fixtures are champions versatility- elegant, statement worthy; but also functional and durable enough to not only survive, but to thrive indoors or out.
Designing for Small Spaces
A small bathroom doesn’t have to mean sacrificing style. The latest trend in home design is creating products that save space. According to the International Furnishings and Design Association (IFDA), “In the next ten years people will live in smaller spaces.” With smaller spaces comes the need for more smartly designed products. Susan G Doban of Brooklyn-based Doban Architecture, emphasizes “Carefully selected fixtures and accessories take center stage in a small bathroom where every decision not only counts but can be appreciated.”