It was over a decade ago when trend watchers started noticing the first stirrings of the inclusion of furniture in the bathroom. Today, this is standard practice, with a wide variety of beautiful and durable furniture on the market, made specifically for bathroom applications.
Says Jasmin Kraneveldt from Bathroom Bizarre: “In the past, many homeowners took great care to convert valuable pieces of furniture into bathroom vanities – and they did so at no small risk – a steamy, moisture-drenched bathroom is not an idyllic location for any untreated wooden furniture, not to mention the structural damage caused by actually installing the basin, faucets and necessary pipes.
“However, there is absolutely no need to go to such lengths these days, as there are a wide variety of vanities on the market today that look like pieces of furniture themselves. What is especially appropriate is that the materials used to make these pieces have been chosen and treated to withstand the typical hot and steamy conditions prevalent in any bathroom area – ensuring their longevity,” she explains.
Drivers of the trend
Kraneveldt notes that in the perpetual quest for luxury, most homeowners are opting to transform their bathrooms into mini private retreats: “What was yesterday’s ho-hum utilitarian bathroom space can now resemble an elegant living room, complete with all the mod cons and luxurious trappings. As a result, top-end modern bathrooms are getting larger, measuring on average between 60m2 to 90m2, and increasingly more of the bathroom is being designed to include some kind of living area.
“In fact, more and more en-suite bathrooms are even being incorporated into the bedroom itself – this open-plan bathroom-bedroom trend usually incorporates the bathtub, shower and basins, while the WC is enclosed in its own separate room,” she explains.
Since today’s bathrooms are bigger, homeowners need to fill the extra space with items other than sanitaryware, which usually comprises some kind of furniture. Due to the seamless flow between the bedroom and bathroom, not just any kind of furniture will do – pieces need to be chosen to complement the rest of the bedroom’s décor. “Aside from armoires, rugs and chairs, it is common to see vanities that are true pieces of furniture, rather than merely built-in cabinetry,” explains Kraneveldt.
Styles that are bang on trend
Today’s bathroom cabinets are available in various kinds of designs she says: “Well-made bathroom furniture is fashionable amongst homeowners of all ages and style preferences – from solid traditionalists, to those who prefer a sleek, unfussy contemporary look. However, the most popular style includes the more cubist and contemporary designs – homeowners are approaching bathroom furnishing from a increasingly minimalist approach.”
Straight lines, cube and geometric shapes are all the rage – designs that epitomise simplicity and functionality, but at the same time, are timeless in their aesthetic appeal. “The contemporary design philosophy of less is more is at the core of the latest bathroom design trends – and this not only appeals from an aesthetic point of view, but from a practical one as well. The less cluttered your bathroom, the more space you will have to include a large bathtub, comfortable seating, a well proportioned rug and perhaps even a fireplace, making the space more of a living area.
“A definite must-have for any modern bathroom is a space designed for two,” explains Kraneveldt: “A bathroom designed for two would include features such as a double vanity, a large bath in which two people can soak comfortably, and a double shower if you have the space. The straighter and simpler the lines, the more space-saving the design will be. Floating cabinets and shelves also create the illusion of more space, leaving the floor underneath open and easy to clean.”
Wooden it be nice
With regards to materials – the focus here is on mixing organic-inspired materials together with gleaming man-made ones. Tiles made from real or faux natural stone or merely in highly polished porcelain in neutral earthy tones, are ideal for bathroom applications. In many modern bathroom designs, the neutral floor and wall tiles are complemented with bright white sanitraryware, polished chrome faucets and accessories, and of course, beautifully crafted wooden cabinets.
Kraneveldt loves the juxtaposition of modern and natural materials: “This part of the contemporary trend allows the more traditional leanings to come into play – combining old and new design elements. Rich, dark wooden timbers, coupled with sleek chrome faucets and gleaming bright white sanitaryware keeps the contemporary and traditional factions happy, and creates timelessly elegant designs that won’t easily date.”
In celebration of the bathroom furniture trend, Bathroom Bizarre is proud to announce the launch of a brand new Casso bathroom cabinetry range. Says Kraneveldt: “We are exceptionally excited about these new bathroom cabinets – they are unbelievably elegant and trendy, beautifully crafted and well priced in the market. Their designs are a great exercise in sleek surfaces and clear-cut contours, yet they remain imminently practical. They are the perfect blend of grace and practicality, with lines that are both luxurious and simple, and at a price that most people could afford!”
The new Casso range comprises:
- Carmen range: This is range is available in a two-tone color with the carcass consisting of a Black Wood Grain wrapped carcass, with doors that are wrapped in a high gloss white foil. The set itself consist of a single 580mm wall-hung vanity unit and a mirror.
- Morosa Range: This range comprises a small single 420mm wall-hung unit. It is available in the new American Walnut finish.
- La Paz range: This small 595mm wall-hung unit is available in the American Walnut finish, with no range-specific mirror. It has two small flip-open doors with the standard 200mm stay brakes.
- Santa Cruz range: This compact, but exciting range consists of a two-tone 700mm wall-hung unit with an 810mm mirror in a black wood grain with prominent open shelves. The door opening process is made easier with the use of a gas stay break, which is a new addition to most of the new ranges.
- Santa Rosa range: This range is finished in American Walnut and is available in a 1 215mm wall-hung vanity with a large double drawer and matching 1 200mm mirror cabinet with a door that opens upwards assisted with two gas stay brakes.
- Vera Cruz range: The Vera Cruz 705mm wall-hung unit is unique in the sense that is fitted with two flip-open doors assisted with the new gas stay brakes. For added space, it has an open bottom shelf.
- Trend range: This range is ideal for adding on to any of the existing Walnut ranges. It consists of a Trend tall-wall unit (300mm x 200mm x 1 600mm) and a mirror wall unit (485mm x 136mm x 900mm).
Visit: Bathroom Bizarre: www.bathroom.co.za