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2018 design trends revealed: finishes, colours and textures

In our previous article, we covered some of the design trends Vanessa Cook, our smarterBATHROOMS+ expert, discovered at Milan Design Week 2018. Vanessa discussed the dynamic new trends on display in Milan and explored the transformation of bathrooms into luxury spaces. Now, Vanessa will highlight the exciting ways in which colours, materials, textures, and finishes are shaping the design world.

“Milan’s international bathroom exhibition showcased a variety of colours across all surface types — from wallpaper to baths and basins. Soft blues, teal greens, greys and terracotta pinks were the emerging leaders on display. If white was ever featured, it would only appear in basins. This is a huge shift away from the white or muted palettes we have become accustomed to in Australian bathroom design.” Our design team will be exploring the ways in which we can use these soft colours in our future bathroom designs.

Vanessa confirmed we will see the colourful trend filter through to Australia soon. “Coloured basins and bathtubs will be hitting Australian shores in September. The colours we saw in Milan were experimental prototypes. The bolder colours won’t be marketable, but we are excited to be receiving pastels.”

“Feature bathtubs and basins made out of dark and light marble were one of the highlights,” Vanessa says. The natural finishes turned these items into statement pieces while effectively avoiding white hues. To complement these, “Vanities were stripped back, and if timber was included, it was a chocolate-walnut colour — a contrast to the light Scandi style timbers we have seen in the past.”

“I saw black steel everywhere — it is hugely popular right now,” Vanessa says of the textures and finishes on display. “Black steel is a striking inclusion that complements black tapware — a finish we have been loving, and using, in Australian bathrooms for a few years now. This design style has been a source of inspiration for the smarterBATHROOMS+ newest showroom display which we will be unveiling in the coming months.”

Bathroom lighting has moved on from single, overhead fixtures. Now, thanks to LED technology, lights can be layered throughout the space to create ambiance, define various task zones and to highlight exciting details. “Pendant lights featured in many of the displays and created soft and flattering lighting around mirrors,” Vanessa says.

Some trends we have seen and some, like coloured bathtubs, are revolutionary. We asked Vanessa to pick a favourite feature from the exhibition. “I can’t wait to see coloured freestanding baths and basins arrive in Australia. We can use all the elements seen on display in Milan, from coloured surfaces to detachable furniture, and different materials and textures, to create the overall feeling of a space. Bathrooms are shifting away from being purely functional spaces and are instead becoming shared luxury spaces for morning routines. It’s exhilarating and I can’t wait to design Australian bathrooms using these features!”

Catch up with us next time as we explore the exciting trends featured in the Eurocucina international kitchen exhibition.

Talk to smarterBATHROOMS+ experts to find out how you can incorporate these design trends into your bathroom renovation.



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