In focus: International Bathrooms
Leanne Amodeo takes a look at beautiful bathrooms from around the world as she brings us the latest in design thinking for this very important space.
When things aren’t quite right in the world around us, being able to come home and unwind in the bathroom is something to be relished. With an emphasis on self-nurturing and wellbeing, architects and designers are looking increasingly to nature for inspiration, making biophilia the predominant theme in new bathroom design.
Bathrooms such as SJB’s Clarion Apartment and Kennedy Nolan’s Oak Tree House best exemplify this biophilic trend by bringing nature’s patterns indoors, while Sandbjerg Residence’s bathroom by NORM Architects features an organic material palette that evokes the outdoors. Elsewhere, the colours of nature prevail, and this is definitely the case in the deep blue powder room of Killcare House by Decus Interiors.
Singular material applications, bold colours and tactile elements have become popular, as have styling nods to the past. Expect subtle pops of old-world charm in the form of vintage mirrors, tiles or light fittings and, for the minimalists, there’s still clean lines aplenty. All of this reinforces the concept of the bathroom as a personal sanctuary.
Biophilic: SJB’s Clarion Apartment bathroom in Sydney incorporates marble that mimics nature in its heavily patterned grey, green and white finish. It resembles a rocky surface or aerial landscape and makes this elegant space nothing short of striking. Image: Supplied
Biophilic design is a key trend across all sectors and nowhere is it more evident than in the residential bathroom. This trend doesn’t just involve interaction with nature or the inclusion of natural elements, it also features the incorporation of nature’s patterns, all with a view to facilitating a greater sense of wellbeing for the end-user.
Colour-rich: A bold pop of orange contrasts nicely against bright blue in this small Madrid bathroom in Casa A12 by Lucas Y Hernández-Gil. The architect detracts from the space’s tight constraints via a confident use of colour, making it appear larger than what it actually is. Image: José Hevia
Whether green, blue or orange, colour in the bathroom is making quite the comeback. This time around, a singular palette is used to saturate walls, floors and other surfaces and the outcome is plenty of wow factor.
Dramatic: This singular use of terrazzo on the walls and floor of Kennedy Nolan’s Oak Tree House bathroom in Melbourne makes for a stunning resolve, dramatic thanks to its reflection in the generously sized vanity mirror. The sandy, speckled finish lends the small room an immersive quality evocative of a breezy seashore. Image: Derek Swalwell
Darker colour palettes have become foremost in the latest bathroom design, as have bold applications of heavily patterned materials like marble and terrazzo. Key to this trend is creating an impactful environment that’s never ostentatious or overbearing.
Sanctuary: NORM Architects’ Sandbjerg Residence houses the quintessential bathroom sanctuary in a secluded location north of Copenhagen. The generous spatiality and minimalist material and colour palettes exude the ultimate sense of retreat. Image: Jonas Bjerre-Poulsen
Will this bathroom trend ever go out of fashion? Hopefully not, because it gives rise to spaces that are sophisticated in their typically singular material application and thoughtful approach to planning. Creating an immersive experience where one feels instantly calm and relaxed should never grow old.
Opulent: The rich blue colour scheme of this small powder room in Killcare House by Decus Interiors on the central coast of New South Wales gives it a tasteful sense of opulence. A heavily veined marble vanity, patterned floor tiles and a vintage-style mirror simply add to its seductive appeal. Image: Anson Smart
Opulence is making a determined comeback in the bathroom. Old world charm and vintage stylings characterise this trend, with inspiration taken from Art Deco and Art Nouveau sensibilities for an otherworldly, refined end.