Saturday, 30 March 2013

It's all about being Eco-Cool !

One of the most important trends in bath space design today is about going green, besides the contemporary romance with minimalist ideas.

A good bathroom helps in starting the day better. No wonder the number of distress calls from people who do not like hotel bathrooms or guest bathrooms must be in millions, though there is no study to prove it. This 'back room' of our lives can give us great joy and cause great sorrow. And that is why designers and architects think of a bathroom seriously, spawning a whole list of trends and what a bathroom would like (or should be like) in the coming years, much like fashion. 

For instance, despite the great power of whatever is considered 'retro' in interior design, most modern bathrooms across the wall retain a minimal contemporary feel. This design element is almost undeniable and in the most classic-looking places, the subtext always seems to be modern, easy and minimal. That seems to be most enduring aesthetic presently, across modern homes and hotels in urban settings. 

With dual-income families, bathrooms are seeing some top-of-the-line additions. Bath spaces are increasingly being fitted with the latest technologies - from touch controlled shower systems, mist-flow technologies to color therapy showers. According to designer Suzanne Maviano people are really enjoying their homes these days even though they spend a lot of time at work. "It is all about walking home into an amazing place," she said. 

Today the spa experience is what many are seeking to bring back home with them, as the concept of 'alone time' is becoming even more crucial. The bathroom is becoming the perfect sanctuary for many professionals who are looking for that quick getaway from the pressures of life for a little while daily. Designers now have to think outside the box to give spalike touches, right from that exquisite tub to the highly ergonomic telephone showers. Comforts like warming drawers for towels, which were not popular just a decade back, are catching on around the globe, as Janet Blutter Shiff of Blutter/Shiff Design has observed. 

Many connoisseurs are opting for shower jet panels and even air baths, which give out tiny, effervescent bubbles, as new additions to the bathroom to complete the spa experience. It is about having custom showers that combine different shower-heads and body sprays mounted on the walls and ceiling of the bath space for a rain-forest like water experience. Those that are looking to really up the ante are even fixing mini-refrigerators into walls or cabinets of bathrooms! Chromotherapy shower systems like the Domotech from the house of Isenberg is another luxury addition that many gadget lovers are going in for. You can actually program the perfect bath with this technology even as you get bathed in light to suit a particular mood. 

The surface now goes deep as well. Homeowners are also choosing surfaces that enhance the overall look of the space. Natural stone and handcrafted tiles are being combined to create statement-making visuals. Glass is being used extensively in bath spaces to enhance the play of ambient light for counters and toilet enclosures, with the emphasis also being on designing a space that allows enough natural light in. 

Designers are using unusual combinations of stone and tile to get that unique textural quality in a bath space, so that it is as rich as other parts of a home and reflects the need of the individual. Designer Maviano even installed a flat screen TV on a bathroom wall, which looks like a regular mirror when off. 

As far as sanitary ware is concerned, sleek is the new black. The cleanest lines and exquisite craftsmanship are now replacing chunky moldings and sanitary ware. Faucets that echo the modern design sensibility of subtle, precise silhouettes are almost the norm now. The challenge is to find that one brilliant design that speaks to the world about an individual's taste quietly. Across the globe, faucets with nothing less than a flawless mirror finish will do. Besides that, a variety of other finishes (like bronze) along with simple engravings are also finding favor  especially in cases where the idea is to balance the quiet authority of the minimal and contemporary with a touch of opulence associated with the past. 

The trend is also veering towards our digitally-inspired era of science meeting design and luxury meeting convenience. For instance, joystick controlled faucets are a rage with those looking for that seamless experience of using a faucet. One look at a bathroom designed by professionals will tell you how heavily aesthetics of the virtual world are affecting real bath spaces, with what is not seen becoming as important as what is. The trend is all about doing a lot by appearing to do less, giving a very space-age look to bath spaces. 

Metallic colors are making a comeback with chrome turning out to be one of the most popular choices. Monochrome schemes like black and white for instance, that has penetrated the fashion scene, is also quite the trend in bathrooms today. 

The most important thing, however, even in the most luxurious bath space today is about being green considering that only three per cent of the Earth's water is fit for consumption. It is one trend that is unlikely to go out of favor  simply because it is life positive. High flow faucets are seen as irresponsible and bad for the planet. 

Huzy Hundekari, Executive VP of Isenberg South Asia, believes that it is crucial to have faucet systems that actually save water without compromising on performance and feel. "A good faucet is one that gives you the feel of a natural stream even as it saves water by fixing air bubbles in every drop. Our faucets rely on cutting-edge technology to bring that special experience one seeks from a bath system, even as 35 to 40 per cent water is saved in every drop. That to me is true responsible luxury”. 

Bathroom trends in India are now mirroring the world, though the bulk buyer is still the king. Hundekari concludes, "I am of the opinion that it is better to go in for better technology and design because at the end of the day it is about you and your relationship with the world. After all, water is as precious and as your experience of it.” 


Bath spaces are increasingly being fitted with the latest technologies - from touch controlled shower systems, mist flow technologies to Chromotherapy  showers many connoisseurs are opting for shower jet panels and even air baths, which give out tiny, effervescent bubbles, as new additions to the bathroom to complete the spa experience


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