How to update your bathroom
From changing up the lighting to installing geometric flooring or adding on-trend accessories, there are so many ways to refresh your bathroom, writes Ciara Elliott.
Now that the bathroom has become a space for lingering rather than for a quick splash-and-go, all sorts of new trends are making an appearance. Think chairs, side-tables, chaise longues - pieces of furniture that were once more at home in the living room or bedroom are now popping up bathside.
Another big trend is for the botanical look - and not pretty little prints, but big, bold floral or jungle scheme wallpapers, alongside a forest of plants and foliage - again, not a look that you would usually associate with the bathroom, but surprisingly hard-wearing if you choose the right paper (and ventilate the steam away post-dip).
Dark colours are popular again and can give a space a glamorous, rock-chic appeal. The right light fittings are key here, or you risk turning your space into a gloomy cave rather than a plush spa. Go big with a signature piece of lighting.
"In tiles, we see our customers moving towards either a slate effect or high gloss marble effect," says Patrick Doyle, MD of Halo Tiles, "either of which, when combined with show-stopping gold or rose-gold accessories and lighting, can create the dream combination."
Pattern is back and this time around it is geometric, so bathroom tiles in chevron designs, or in highly decorated encaustic tiles. Floors are becoming the focus in some bathrooms with loud and proud checks, hexagons and mosaics. Break out the panelling and paint it in strong shades.
What else? Wet rooms and low-profile double showers are still favourites but now they are joined by that 1970s staple, the coloured suite in softest pastels. Who would have thunk it.
Bring on the colour
Who would have thought coloured bathroom suites would ever return to our homes? This time around, however, they are a classier - and pricier - option. Make a splash with a luxurious cast iron bespoke bath in an ice-cream shade of pastel green, blue or tangerine. Team with another hot trend - big print wallpapers - for a 2018 vibe. The wallpaper pictured here is 'Japanese Garden' by de Gournay. Tweed cast-iron bath, made to order by Drummonds, from €3,999, available in four finishes and painted in Farrow & Ball or Little Greene, exclusively stocked at versatile.ie.
Don't have time for a wallow? Then you'll like the trend towards replacing the bath with a double walk-in shower. Make it modern with pared-back furnishings. All very zen. ON shower/bath mixer in chrome, €450 + vat; ON hand shower set in chrome, €150 + vat; ON shower head with wall-mounted shower arm, €350 + vat; KOS Faraway 2 shower system with glass panel, €5,000 + vat; all by Zucchetti Kos, available at Bathhouse.ie
The country bathroom look has never gone out of fashion and is a look achieved with freestanding furniture such as cabinetry and washstands, and a statement tub to top it off. "More and more people are treating their bathrooms as a living space and so designs that were once kept in living rooms, bedrooms and hallways are now finding their way into our washrooms," says John Sims Hilditch, MD and co-founder of Neptune. "Think side tables next to baths to rest a magazine on while you soak, or an armchair to rest clothes on or to perch comfortably while little ones splash about." Neptune's Brunswick wall light, €83; Chichester double door washstand, from €2,370; neptune.com for Irish stockists.
Make it monochrome
"Monochrome is a trend that never goes away," says Patrick Doyle, MD of Halo Tiles, especially in your wetzone. But this year, it is updated with rose-gold accessories and lighting. Wall tiles, Miniworx Metro white, €28.60 per sqm; floor tiles, Miniworx hex, €10.86 per 30 x 30cm sheet; halotiles.ie
An instant way to add interest and liven up any bathroom suite is to play around with pattern on the walls or floors. Hexagons are big news now and will bring a modern geometric style to the bathroom. If you keep the look underfoot mainly monochrome you can then go as punchy and bright as you like with sanitary ware and accessories. Mardi Gras 599 from the Sagres Vinyl range, €15 per sqm; carpetright.ie.
Bathroom lighting doesn't need to be hospital bright. Tap into the trend for dark panelling and chevron tiles and add statement lights for a space that's fancy and functional. "Combining the textured panelling and patterned tiles, this look is very much about making a statement and indulging in your bathroom space," says designer Roisin Lafferty. "These Mullan Lighting chandeliers are made in bathroom-rated materials so that they still comply with building regulations. So you're not limited by standard bathroom fittings." Patrick Doyle of Halo Tiles says, "Going dark is now a big look and dark bathrooms are classy and glamorous." The large custom-made brass KLD mirror pulls the space together. The chandelier is by mullanlighting.ie; Chevron tiles are from halotiles.ie