Embrace Nature: The Design Trend for Bathrooms in 2018

Over the past ten years, bathroom design has been following the theme of escapism. Yes the idea of designing a private sanctuary may seem archaic and overdone, but this is the trend that is still taking the industry by storm. 


The demand to have a space that is peaceful and almost Zen-like remains extremely high, but other trends are starting to emerge.  


Winner of this year's NKBA Supreme Bathroom Award, designer Davinia Sutton, says next year natural materials will be a dominant feature in bathrooms, along with bespoke fixtures, such as Corian and stone basins.


“I am a fan the mineral-based vanity basins and top. They are hardwearing, sustainable and functional. This type of material is easy to clean and won’t suffer any wear and tear. Nowadays, it’s more common to see softer lines and lighter looking vanities,” said Sutton. 


Auckland NKBA Bathroom Award winner Natalie Du Bois says stone is proving to be a popular material for bathrooms, along with metal, timber and concrete finishes. This “back-to-nature” bathroom style is encapsulated by more than just these materials:


"Greenery, including vertical gardens, are being introduced into bathrooms. The line between inside and out is diminishing," said Du Bois. 


Matte finishes are the most popular finish for micro bathrooms and this trend will continue to dominate in 2018. In terms of colour palette, nudes and neutral tones are used to accentuate bursts of rich colours such as moody blues and botanical greens. 


Mico Bathrooms are also focusing on metallic finishes for tapware. "Brass might feel like a 1970s fad, but in 2018 it taps into the trend for natural materials. There are many different finishes to choose from; with a patina for an industrial appearance, or polished for a more luxurious finish. If brass is a bit too much for you, look into using brushed rose gold, or the more playful hue of pink gold," said Sutton. 


Du Bois still thinks black tapware will be seen in bathrooms next year, she said: “Black tapware can be very striking and look incredibly stylish when contrasted with lighter tiles. This colour palette would work really well in guest bathrooms or powder rooms. Brushed nickel finishes are perfect for ensuite and high-use family bathrooms.” 


When discussing how people can add a touch of style to their bathrooms, Sutton said:  "People obsess over what will and what won’t go out of date, the fact is, everything will date eventually even when you play it safe. If you decide to play it safe you can end up with a very 'vanilla' and boring interior. For clients who are a little sceptical, add interest into items that are not permanent fixtures, such as towels, accessories, a statement light shade or even artwork."