Last Sunday on The Block, the contestants revealed their main bathrooms to the judges – Courtney and Hans won the top prize.
When it comes to renovating a bathroom, practicality can get in the way of style. But for 2019, efficiency meets old-school luxury and sees the bathroom transform into the ultimate stylish wellness zone.
From the right colour palette to wall treatments, here are the bathroom trends to take note of. They’re so chic, you will want to leave the door open.
Bathroom week saw natural materials in many guises take centre stage. Bianca and Carla’s stone feature wall wowed the judges and drew attention to the importance of natural materials in this room.
Natural and man-made stone trumps the current trend for wood, with designers set to revel in it. “2019 is all about coloured marbles,” says Sara Chamberlain, of The Real Estate Stylist. “It doesn’t need to be applied to permanent fittings. Get creative, introducing beautiful coloured marble in the form of bathroom accessories like trays and soap dishes. It makes it an affordable trend.”
Likewise, Italian terrazzo is making a big comeback, and featured in Courtney and Hans’ winning main bathroom. All three judges agreed that the use of terrazzo was a stylish choice and helped pay homage to the original style of the building.
Popular as a high-gloss decorative surface, especially in art deco design, terrazzo is super resilient and robust making it a smart and stylish choice for busy family bathrooms.
While the Nordic minimal look ruled in 2018, next year’s bathroom will feature more decorative touches. “Antiques are back,” says interior designer Tamsin Johnson. “It makes for a more obscure curated interior, which is harder to achieve but incredibly effective.”
Chamberlain agrees. “The influence of cafe culture is emerging in the form of statement tiles and fixtures in interesting shapes and patterns. Just remember a decorative bathroom should be consistent in style to the rest of your house.”
With the desire for a return to nature stronger than ever, green in all its nuances continues to dominate. “Forest greens alongside lovely soft greys are go-to’s,” says Johnson. “They look perfect teamed with dirtier sun kissed coloured bath linens.”
Because the bathroom is a smaller space, it is important to include some depth of colour. “The eye needs somewhere to settle, so add a dark colour to the mix,” says Chamberlain. “When it comes to fixtures and fittings, choose navy, black, or charcoal. They work effectively with a lighter palette.”
With the smart home progressing at a rapid rate, technology will trend strongly in 2019, be it a smart connected shower with adjustable water temperature or mood lighting on demand.
“Bathrooms today are an experience,” says Chamberlain. “It should feel like a day spa rather than a quick task to get done. Nothing feels more luxurious than controlling your experience without having to lift a finger.”
Greenery was another trend that came through strongly in bathroom week. Despite the judges’ reservations over Hayden and Sara’s vertical garden, greenery in the form of potted plants and palms are a beautiful choice combined with next year’s more decorative aesthetic and unique decor.
In 2019, we move away from matte white and neutral-coloured walls and adopt more luscious elaborate versions, be it full gloss enamel paint or elaborate tiling. “Wall paneling and floor-to-ceiling tiles in small square, rectangle or round shapes add dramatic impact,” says Chamberlain.
Practical tiles are a perennial practical go-to, but next year they become a feature. “I’ve never liked contrast grout with tiling,” says Johnson. “I love hand-painted tiles. Where art meets function.”
Form and function are equally important when it comes to illuminating the bathroom. “As a statement light, antique, mid-century, and Italian styles are perfect,” says Johnson.
For more practical lighting, consider discrete styles and let your feature light shine. “You will look your best and worst in this room, so make sure you can adjust accordingly,” says Chamberlain. “In a small space, back-lit mirrors, under-shelf lighting and wall-mounted pendants make for effective but inconspicuous task lighting.”
Bath and basin
Forget hotel-style his-and-hers basins; in 2019 we are set to share. “The sleek double-trough basin is practical and beautiful and a trend with real longevity,” says Chamberlain.
Inject a feeling of opulence adding elegant art deco-esque shapes courtesy of old-school style tapware, or mix old with new choosing more ergonomic designs finished in brass, chrome and nickel.
Bathroom week made it abundantly clear that the centrepiece of any covetable bathroom was the bathtub. In 2019, we will be soaking in a stand-alone tub, be it a high-design vessel or a classic claw-foot in marble, terrazzo or tiles. “Install a freestanding bath if there is space,” says Johnson. “Alternatively, under mount in a beautiful stone and team with more a traditional style of tapware.”
Head to Domain’s The Block Hub for all Block related content.