COMPILED BY Julia Freemantle PHOTOS Peter Bennetts (Archier), Donna Dotan (Workshop APD), Julie Soefer (Marie Flanigan), Evan Joseph and Donna Dotan (Workshop APD), Max Burkhalter (MKCA), Three Birds Renovations, The Ingalls (Kelly Wearstler), Adam Gibson (Archier), Sergey Ananiev (ARRCC), Elsa Young (La Grange Interiors), Joe Fletcher (Studio Schicketanz), Karl Rogers (One Design and Development), Graeme Wyllie (Tristan Plessis Studio), Supplied
From statement-making finishes to seasonal embellishments, these are the areas to focus on now to turn your bathroom into a sanctuary.
DON’T BE A SQUARE
Tiles needn’t be uniform, nor do they have to match. There are myriad ways to approach tiling in a bathroom to lend it character. Tactile turquoise tiles offset the monochrome marble in this curvy shower alcove by Three Birds Renovations (threebirdsrenovations.com, above), in turn lifted by warm brass accents.
In true Kelly Wearstler style, this space in the Austin Proper Hotel (properhotel.com, left) is all about dynamism, thanks to varying textures and asymmetrical accents. While Archier (archier.com.au, right) has opted for classic black subway tiles, it’s the slimmer profile and interesting contrast with a marble vanity that set this pairing apart.
Above, a striking choice of colour and shape in a space by ARRCC (arrcc.com) has injected high-glamour impact into what’s otherwise a sparse bathroom – and the reflective surfaces and dramatic lighting make it anything but boring.
SET IN STONE
Marble is as classic a material as you can find. It can look minimal or ultra-opulent, depending on the way you use it; as a result, rather than just being a trend, it’s timeless.
Two bathrooms by Workshop/APD (workshopapd.com) show the extreme effects achievable with different tones of marble. In a guest bathroom (above right), the black stands out, wedged neatly into an alcove; while in a spacious full bathroom (above left), the blanket use of white gives a soothing hammam-type effect.
Above, in an elegant New York apartment, Michael K Chen Architecture/MKCA (mkca.com) used warm earth-toned marble to create a striking pedestal-style vanity, lit from above by concealed and statement lighting.
IT’S ONLY NATURAL
If bathrooms are the sanctuary spaces of the home, it follows that the best materials to use are those that soothe and relax – and natural materials are tried and tested to create comfort.
This bathroom by Archier (archier.com.au, above) is a masterclass in layering so that, rather than rustic, the effect is elevated.
Conversely, a blanket use of the same pale-pink tone – timber in the en suite by Workshop APD (workshopapd.com, left), and patterned nude stone in Suite Josephine at the Royal Champagne Hotel & Spa in France (royalchampagne.com, right) – creates a feminine cocooning effect.
Similar tones in a Marie Flanigan Interiors-designed space (marieflanigan.com, above) are an updated take on traditional.
Above, Caldera House in Wyoming (calderahouse.com), a luxury alpine club and hotel, demonstrates that simplicity needn’t come at the expense of atmosphere – due in large part to the use of unfinished timber on the walls.
Vintage or period elements are hugely popular now, and they too remain timeless when executed simply.
An ingenious repurposing by La Grange Interiors (lagrangeinteriors.co.za, above left) of a pair of demi-lune tables into side-by-side vanities with butler’s sinks as basins is an imaginative take on the trend. Frameless mirrors to echo the curves of the tables and pull it all together are the perfect finishing touch. In a Lemon-designed space (lemoncollection.co.za, above right), the femininity of a claw-foot bathtub is enhanced by Ronelle Pienaar Jenkin “Isadore” wallpaper in classic cream and black.
Opposite, Marie Flanigan Interiors (marieflanigan.com) has pulled out all the stops with every imaginable old-world touch, from a round metallic tub and a checkerboard floor to gauzy drapes and an ornate mirror.
Storage and display elements in a bathroom don’t have to be built in. In fact, bathroom designers are increasingly opting for more versatile temporary furniture solutions to allow for easy updates. Stools (whether vintage, rustic or modern) are an ideal spot to rest a candle, cup of coffee or soap dish.
Marie Flanigan Interiors (marieflanigan.com, above) has counteracted the crisp, fresh tones of this blue-and-white bathroom with a dark wooden accent for balance, adding interest in the form of a period piece.
On the other end of the spectrum, Studio Schicketanz (studioschicketanz.com, above) has taken inspiration from the rounded forms already present, and extended the theme with a curvy stool.
MORE IS MORE
From double faucets to matching vanities, the idea behind individual grooming and washing stations is to offer enough room for more than one person to use the space at their leisure while retaining a strong sense of style.
ONE Design and Development (onedd.co.za, above) has maximised the space on this vanity by mounting the faucets on the walls and providing under-vanity drawer storage.
The freestanding Borghi basins by Antonio Lupi (antoniolupi.it, above) are the ultimate in statement sanitaryware.
With taps placed in the centre, and backed by striking mirrors, Tristan Plessis Studio (tristanplessis.com, above) has created a setup that’s both dramatic and spacious.
Similarly, Cocoon’s (bycocoon.com, above) marble vanity that extends to the floor, with taps facing each other, creates a striking sense of scale and symmetry without skimping on function.
WALLS AND ALL
Wallpaper is a no-brainer for creating instant and significant impact – and any style, pattern and texture you could possibly dream up is out there for the choosing. You can even go the custom route and design your own.
This combination of tiles and Lemon wallpaper (lemoncollection.co.za, above left) is bold but well chosen, adding to the appeal of each material rather than distracting from either. Bone Design Studio (bonestudio.co.za, above right) has doubled up too, pairing two different wallpaper designs, then upping the ante with a marble basin and vintage wall sconce to give this guest bathroom a memorable look.
Above, Marie Flanigan Interiors (marieflanigan.com) has kept the tones consistent, providing a sense of cohesion despite the busy wallpaper.