For 2016, bathrooms get down to business
Wednesday, November 04, 2015
Gray walls, shiny black tile floors and quartz countertops, paired with gleaming, sleek chrome and nickel fixtures. It's a look frequently found in high-end corporate and hospitality design, exuding a sense of order, sophistication and elegance.
Recently, this look has started showing up in kitchens, and next year, say industry trend watchers, it will make its way to the bathroom as part of a growing preference for cleaner, more minimalist spaces.
Encouraged by improvements in the economy, employment and home prices, homeowners have once again begun undertaking large remodeling projects. Topping the list this year were full kitchen remodels, according to surveys conducted by Houzz, the National Kitchen and Bath Association and others.
"In 2016, all indications suggest that the next room in the house to be completely updated is the bathroom," say the trend watchers at Caesarstone in announcing the 10 biggest bathroom trends for the coming year. "Most will elect to upgrade the entire bathroom, not just a sink, or tub, or paint color."
When they do, they will take their cue from the latest kitchen trends, opting for "clean, simple and uncluttered lines" and cool colors, like gray and white.
"The vanities of 2016 will be much darker," they noted, such as deeper, bolder grays and black, and "vanity handles will be very contemporary European style handles." Rounding out this minimalist look is the use of "sleek, modern and sophisticated black mosaic tile" for floors and walls around tubs and showers.
During the wave of uncertainty that swept through the country post-2008, cocooning homeowners favored cozy, decorative bathrooms that offered a homey, comforting refuge from the demands of work and family. Today's overscheduled, constantly connected consumers crave simplicity and quiet.
"Clean lines and uncluttered vanity tops will dictate design in the modern 2016 bathroom," the Caesarstone release states. The look combines elements of European styling and Japanese-inspired touches, like large, free-standing soaking tubs, open showers and garden areas, to create a relaxing space with well-defined focal points, access to nature and minimal sensory input.
Homeowners also are simplifying their lives by replacing decorative with more practical features, such as the sleeker, less obtrusive European-style fixtures and handles.
"We are offering master bath options with just a large shower and turning their tub area into additional linen closet space. People just love it!" Debbie Powers, marketing manager for HHHunt Homes in North Carolina, states in an article for New Homes & Ideas.
Other popular features include hands-free faucets, water-conserving smart showerheads, dual-flush toilets and under-mounted sinks. High-tech gadgets, like lighted mirrors and medicine cabinets, under-counter LED lighting and audio-visual systems add convenience and a touch of drama to enhance the modernist, spa-like atmosphere.
Concurrently, while master bathrooms are becoming more minimalist, homeowners are going for brighter colors, floral patterns and more decoration in second bathrooms and powder rooms. For those leaning toward the new "feminine" design, the website About Home declares, "Whether it's bright, flashy hot pink or a more subtle pinky beige, an earthy taupe or cotton candy, it's all about shades of pink this season."
Designers of all stripes will have plenty of opportunity to flex their creative muscles in the year ahead.
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