The new bathroom rules

There’s a new wave of styles washing over bathrooms. The tide’s turning against the predictable, and embracing a more go-with-the-flow approach means you can mix-and-match furniture and fittings to conjure a space that perfectly suits your taste, as well as your practical needs, whether it’s a spa-like haven, a functional family room, or a contemporary wet room.

As designers become more adventurous, sophistication, glamour and individuality rule. And it’s easy to achieve a ‘wow’ factor, thanks to state-of-the-art technology – think TVs, sound systems and light and water shows in the shower – sculptural sanitary ware, and even stunning waterproof wallpaper now vying with tiles for attention.

“The traditional bathroom suite has become outdated and there’s a desire for the space to become customised, with people seeing it as a room where they can display individual pieces, as they would art,” says Leanne Martin, head of product at Sottini.

“A strong industrial trend is coming through, with steel-effect wall-hung cabinets complemented by sleek brassware and fresh white walls for an efficient, sleek look. Bathroom units raised off the floor, increasing visible floor space, to create an illusion of a larger room, are starring, and a particularly striking ‘floating’ effect can be achieved, with wall-hung, chunky, unsupported slabs in gloss or wood grain, and slim, curved vessel basins on top.”

“If you don’t want to reach out and touch the walls, you’re not doing it right for 2017. Bathrooms no longer mean matching tiles as far as the eye can see – as a nation, we’ve become experimental with wall finishes and shrugged off the constraints of the white bathroom tile,” says Martin.

“Industrial concrete walls are being paired with textured wallpapers, while tile effects are being created using countless different sizes, shapes, prints and texture options. Even a retro wood finish has made a comeback for a Scandi-chic style statement, and for the really bold, vertical green, living walls, to give a lush 3D impact you can’t beat!”

Water, she points out, is a feature in itself. “It’s not enough that it drains down a plughole any more. It’s all about the spectacle of how it falls in a waterfall-like sheet from a height and disappears out of sight into concealed drainage.”

Why not start your property search and find the perfect home with a wow factor bathroom or soak up inspiration from some of the other inspiring bathroom ideas noticed by McCarthy Holden include the following.

[Photo of Madeira Cast Iron Double Ended Bath, from £3,750; Hemsby Floor Standing Bath Shower Mixer, from £1,272; Abingdon Basin and Washstand in Rose Gold, from £495; Chesham Mirror in Stone Black, from 425, all available from Heritage Bathrooms (prices at time of going to press may vary) Picture PA Photo.]

[Photo of Bonamico 70cm vessel basin, £341.55; Paglia wall mounted basin mixer, £218.21, all available from Sottini (prices at time of going to press may vary). PA Photo.]

[The Gold Kartell by Laufen All Saints mirror, £504.62, Gold Kartell by Laufen ‘Rifly’ pendant lamp, £335.27 and the Boutique Dark Oak Vanity Unit, £1,522.50, all available from (prices at time of going to press may vary) Picture PA Photo.]

[Ombrone Totem basin, £1,190.25; Ciane wall mounted basin mixer, £250.13, both available from Sottini (prices at time of going to press may vary). Picture PA Photo.]
[Bubbles bath, £29,310; Polished carved cast brass free standing wash basin, £13,470; Crescent Mirror, £4,890, available from Touched Interiors (prices at time of going to press may vary). Picture PA Photo.]
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