Inevitably when looking back at standout bathroom designs and innovations over the year it is the products which initially grab the spotlight. With so many beautifully designed and considered products – from taps to toilets – there are always a few that stand out from the crowd.
Starting off by looking back to the era of Art Deco era of design that continues to inspire today, which was the point of inspiration for the Venit20 collection from Gessi. Designed by Spanish interior decorator Lázaro Rosa Violán for Gessi, the Venti20 Collection has a purity of form and finishes that draw inspiration from the1920’s with all its energy, optimism and joy. The details of the design are beautifully nuanced, resulting in an eclectic finish with a distinctly Art Deco vibe. Despite drawing on the past, the design translates seamlessly into a contemporary setting, making a strong and sophisticated statement.
Also inspired by history, but in this case America’s mid-century modern design movement, Crosswater launched Canvass, a new furniture collection that balances traditional design elements with modern craftsmanship to offer highly functional and stylish bathroom solutions. The Canvass collection features classic silhouettes, calming palettes, and hard-wearing materials that work together to provide a timeless and durable solution that compliments both traditional and contemporary bathroom designs. The collection comprises a wall hung countertop unit that can be paired with coordinating height adjustable legs for a floor standing option. The Double Drawer Unit is available in four sizes, and four flawless finishes, which include Sage Green, Deep Indigo Blue, Storm Grey Matt, and White Gloss. Crosswater has included a choice of three different handles, modern, knurled, and classic, available in a range of different finishes for a uniquely customisable offering.
Fast forward to the 21st century for inspiration and the MOD+ collection from GRAFF is all about choices as it puts the design controls firmly in the hand of the user. This modular bathroom collection allows a high degree of creative freedom with luxury custom finishes, materials and configurations. The collection unlocks up to 65,000 possible combinations, as it is made up of 55 bathroom products for the washbasin, bathtub and shower areas, in which each element can be completely customised.
Staying with product design but looking east for some zen inspiration, the Zencha range for Duravit by designer Sebastian Herkner picks up on the zeitgeist of the era with a focus on authentic materials and simple purity of form. The understated design, available in three colour palettes, focuses on details such as the delicate, curved washbasin edge. This was inspired in turn by delicate teacups that nestle in the hand, as the focus was about creating an ambience in the bathroom which allows us to recharge our batteries in the morning and enjoy some ‘me time’ in the evening.
“In our apartments or houses we have places of communication, such as the kitchen or bathroom, and this also extends to the bedroom, which nowadays is also sometimes used for working,” said Herkner. “I find that the bathroom is the last place that is limited to its original function: reflection, relaxation, and spending some occasional time alone”.
In many ways the design concept that has consistently woven a thread through the pages of Hotel Designs this year is that of collaboration, and bathroom brand Kohler has certainly played its part in providing a platform for creative collaboration across the disciplines. Ticking the sustainability box along with design innovation, Kohler recently unveiled its partnership with global artist and designer, Nada Debs, through the creation of a custom hammam to be displayed at Design Miami 2022. Carefully thought through on every level, the design of the WasteLAB tile mirrors the arch of traditional hammams and offers a visual parallel between the rebirth of waste material and the spiritual and emotional rejuvenation that hammam guests experience. Kohler’s presentation of Transcendence by Debs, along with various onsite and digital activations, pays homage to cultural inclusivity, environmental sustainability, and heritage through design and innovation.
In my opinion, lighting in the bathroom still remains a bit of an afterthought in a lot of homes and hotels, which is why the STAGELINE collection from KEUCO got my attention. This furniture collection from KEUCO is made up of a series of illuminated furniture pieces, so that the lighting in the bathroom comes from multiple sources, incorporating a vanity unit and several storage units all allowing for increased luminosity in the bathroom. The design incorporates practical elements including an integrated power socket along with a USB and USB-C charging point. The attention to detail is key, with elements such as the softly curved, gently protruding glass front at the top of the units, which is not only decorative but practical acting as a handle.
With the wellness trend showing no sign of slowing down, being able to create an individualised spa environment is becoming increasingly important. Answering that call directly, Kaldewei has added four new Whirl Systems to the mix offering bespoke solutions and a luxurious spa offering for every bathroom. From a vigorous sports style massage, through to a gentle caress, the bubbling, pre-warmed air bubbles in illuminated water can be altered in intensity and type of wellness treatment to suit the individual There are four different massage systems available; Body Soul, Soul, Full Body, and Body. The choice of settings means that relaxation is guaranteed, and the system can even be switched to silent mode, allowing the flat nozzles to work quietly to ensure the atmosphere of wellbeing is not disturbed.
Staying with the them of spa-like solutions Dornbracht continues to push the boundaries of the bathroom into the realm of the spa, and the innovative rain shower from Dornbracht gives designers and users a refreshing range of options for the bathroom, along with the secret of the Dornbracht raindrops. The focus of the rain shower is directly on the actual water experience, the sensation of natural rainfall that is created by drops of water falling onto the skin. The time when you simply took a shower is gone – we all expect a lot more from our bathrooms, and water experiences play an essential role in this. Dornbracht has spent time studying forms of water presentation and how they influence well-being, and has been instrumental in developing the technology around the natural rainfall experience.
And finally, another innovative shower solution from bathroom brand hansgrohe, addresses the key areas of both design and sustainability. Recognising that water is a valuable resource, extensive time and research has been put into establishing AirPower technology to help reduce water consumption. The innovative technology enriches each water droplet with air, to produce plump droplets creating a velvety touch on the skin. When using the shower, air is sucked in through the spray disc that stirs up the water. Enriched with fresh air, the droplets are noticeably lighter, creating more enjoyable showers whilst helping save both water and energy. The AirPower feature can be found in an extensive range of hansgrohe products including basin taps, overhead and hand showers and shower systems. When incorporated in the basin taps, the technology encourages them to work reliably by adding volume to every droplet of water whilst noticeably reducing splashing. The soft water droplets make for a pleasurable washing experience, whether that’s washing hands, washing hair or caring for children’s sensitive skin.
All of these products bring something unique to the bathroom experience, driving forward the narrative that increasingly places the bathroom as the differential in a design. No longer simply a practical space for personal hygiene, the bathroom is a place for reflection, regeneration, and that all important and increasingly rare ‘me-time’!
Main image credit: Gessi