Just as every decade is characterised by certain fashions, hairstyles and technology, so too do bathrooms tend to reflect certain eras. So says Kate van Niekerk marketing manager at Tile Africa. For instance, Van Niekerk points out that avocado green and muddy brown colours were the colours of choice for bathroom designs of the seventies and eighties. The ‘noughties’ saw the introduction of neutral influences such as whites, off-whites and browns.
“Neutral shades such as cream, beige and brown have been popular in the bathroom for a long time because they wear well and fit easily into any design scheme,” explains Van Niekerk. “This colour palette was also largely influenced by the desire to return to nature for inspiration and to bring a sense of tranquillity to the bathroom.” But neutral tones are fast giving way to bold colour. The use of bold patterns that create a more cheerful and fun environment is also beginning to manifest" says Van Niekerk.
Permanent bathroom colour statements are taking the form of mosaic feature walls located behind vanities, mirrors, baths and showers. For real impact, Van Niekerk says homeowners and designers should consider the bright, trendy glass mosaic walls that are now available on the market. For a more cost-effective solution, Van Niekerk says a mosaic border set against neutral wall tiles can heighten the look of just about any bathroom without breaking the bank.
Those looking for a bathroom that will set them apart should incorporate black, which Van Niekerk says is back in a big way. “Don’t be afraid to use black throughout your bathroom. Black can be incorporated through the use of scattered mosaics or, if you’re brave enough, through all-black feature walls. Black may seem daunting but it can create a very dramatic space and can be broken up and brightened with silver or white tiles in a matt or gloss finish or bold accessories.”
If, however, the thought of a predominantly black bathroom or a bold colour palette is too much for you, you can inject small colour doses in exciting seasonal colours such as yellow, red, green or blue says Van Niekerk. Décor accessories such as glass vases, scented candles, storage baskets and liquid hand soap are available in seasonal colours and are fairly inexpensive to replace.
In a similar vein, if you enjoy changing colours frequently or don’t want to commit to a particular colour just yet, Van Niekerk advocates rotating accessories. This can be easily achieved through swapping towels, rugs and framed mirrors. Another way to incorporate colour and pull the eye towards a design feature is through patterned wall tiles that imitate wallpaper or diamante inserts that add interesting detail and texture to a wall adds Van Niekerk.
“While bold can be beautiful, it’s not for everyone,” Van Niekerk concedes. “White and neutral shades will remain popular for the foreseeable future but it’s good to know that there are plenty of bold and bright options available for the more adventurous.”