Bathrooms were once afterthoughts – a place to do unspeakable business as quickly as possible. These days, though, they’re more like stay-at-home spas, a ready-made retreat where you can relax and unwind in the comfort of home. Here are some of the trends to look forward to in 2018:
In many countries, bathroom sizes have been increasing in recent years, but this can be a tricky proposition in space-deprived Hong Kong. Don’t worry, though – there are still ways to get around this most perennial of constraints.
In one recent case, local firm Pure AW’s Designers combined two small bathrooms in a three-bedroom Tseung Kwan O flat into a single large room, which allowed for his-and-her washbasins and a single stand-up shower instead of two small bathtubs. In the Mid-Levels, PDM International carved some space out of the master bedroom for a hotel-like en suite bathroom that includes a huge standalone bathtub next to a window.
While old-school Hong Kong bathrooms were once clad in perfunctory tiles, many new developments go to the opposite extreme with a riot of marble, shiny fixtures and other contrasting elements.
At this year’s Salon del Mobile Milano, however, a variety of subdued colors were presented by design brands at the international furniture showcase. Beige, brown, charcoal, dark green and plum were popular. So were monochromatic palettes that made things interesting with textured tiles and other materials.
Shake up the materials
That brings us to another trend: offbeat textures and patterns. Reclaimed wood is set to become a trendy material overseas, but may not fare well with Hong Kong’s high humidity and restrictive building codes. A good local alternative is faux-wood ceramic tiles, which have recently improved in appearance and quality. For a real cutting-edge look, go for geometric tiles, which style forecaster Pantone says will be all the rage in 2018.
Brass is back
Cool chrome fixtures have long been the standard, but the punchiness of brass seems to be making its way back. Local designers like Lim & Lu have made effective use of brass to create a stylish Art Deco bathroom in a Happy Valley flat.
Many studies have shown that greenery has a positive impact on mental health, and houseplants are good at improving air quality, too. With a new focus on spaces that promote wellness and healthy living, plants are certain to be all the rage next year. Hong Kong’s building codes require every room in the house to have natural light, so no doubt there’s a window in your bathroom that can support a hanging plant or two.
There’s no need to keep your art collection in the living room. Hanging something on the wall of your bathroom gives the space more character – just make sure you have taken adequate steps to protect your artwork from humidity.
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