"Stealth Wealth" could be the key buzzword as shared in Building Construction and Design's annual survey, which details the latest trends in Bath design.
Baths are becoming more about the individual: their need for experience, rather than opulent flash or over the top luxury. A place where consumers can “indulge privately, with an emphasis on comfort, personal statements, and style,” as Kathleen Donohue, CMKBD, CAPS, shared in an interview with BD+C.
The survey identified the following trends which were evident in bath remodels in the $10-30,000 range -- the average for more than half of the remodelers participating. However, you can still see evidence of these trends in remodels in higher -- as well as lower -- price points.
Aging in Place. As our population grows older, Aging in Place is going to be a term we'll all become more and more familiar with.
Transitional Style. While less popular in the Southwest, Transitional Style is becoming the more and more popular. As seen in the photo at the beginning of this article, the style features a mix of traditional and contemporary furnishings. Transitional style is popular because it's often seen as being simultaneously simple and sophisticated.
Neutrals: Whites, Off-Whites, Greys and Beiges. When the world looks back on the design time capsules of today, no doubt they'll see photos of the modern bath in a color palette of neutrals. The survey shows that "79% of NKBA members specified doing gray bathrooms in 2015, 77% specified white or off-white, and 65% specified beige" with no signs of slowing down in the near future.
Open Shelving and Floating Vanities.
Floating vanities and open shelving were specific areas the survey respondents expected to do more of in the upcoming year. "While floating vanities and open shelving were not specified as much for storage options such as wood vanities, linen storage, and medicine cabinets, they do have the highest percentages of NKBA members who expect to do more of them in 2016 with 43% and 38% respectively."
Adding to the Transitional design trend is the feature of built-in storage: the notion of "building in" storage into the design of the bath. The hidden storage allows "consumers don’t have to worry about a cluttered mess of hair and face products or shower caddies, blow dryers, and razors ruining the all-important clean lines of the transitional style they desire."
Trough Sinks: The Up and Coming Trend
While under mount sinks are still the perennial favorite, trough-style sinks are becoming more and more popular: not a surprise given how well they work with contemporary and transitional styles.
Free Standing Tubs
Free standing tubs, particularly in master baths, is a natural favorite, as evidenced in the NKBA membership survey. Sixty-seven percent of members shared that they are designing master baths to include free standing baths, and almost 40% expect this trend to only grow stronger.
And this certainly makes sense: if the focus is on the occupant's experience, personal comfort, and private indulgence, then a good old fashioned spa-like soaking tub certainly fits.
Where the real pizazz is happening now in baths isn't in gold gilt or over the top bling, but rather in the technological details and simple functional enhancements that can really impact the quality of life of the occupant. or built-in seats and benches to go along with lights and a hand shower that
As discussed above in the Aging in Place trend, designers are seeing more requests for features that will make life a little easier - and yes, more enjoyable. For example, designers are including more built-in shower benches and hand shower heads that work in tandem with the wall-mounted showerhead. More than one-third of all respondents said they anticipate these types of features to increase in their upcoming designs. 59% of members specified a hand shower in addition to a mounted showerhead and 36% of respondents expect to do more in 2016.
They also alluded to other decadent amenities: radiant floor heating systems, mirror monitors, and towel warmers. Features like these (and even "smart" products, like smart toilet seats) are becoming more and more popular.
Bronze and oil rubbed bronze finishing touches seem to be on the way out according to the study. Polished chrome is in. While satin and brushed nickel still are popular choices, more than one-third of the designers anticipate doing even more polished chrome in the coming year.
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