Embracing Vibrancy Going the Colourful Way

Embracing Vibrancy: Going the Colourful Way

| Mrinmoy Dey


Embracing Vibrancy: Going the Colourful Way

Coloured sanitaryware and fixtures have opened up a realm of possibilities for designers to experiment with various hues and tones. Leaders from the sanitaryware and bath fixtures industry share insights on what’s driving this trend, challenges, popular colour schemes and finishes, and where it works best, with Mrinmoy Dey

Bathrooms are no longer a mere functional space. To provide the users with the best experience, designers are embracing individualism to make the space reflect the user’s true self. And, this has led to introducing another interesting trend – the infusion of vibrant colours into bathroom spaces.

Traditionally considered sanctuaries of serenity and simplicity, bathrooms are now undergoing a colourful transformation, with designers and users alike opting for bold and lively palettes. Interestingly, this shift is not limited to just wall colours or accessories but extends to fundamental elements like sanitaryware, faucets and vanities.

Infusion of Colours: What’s Driving the Trend?

Over recent years, there has been a notable shift in consumer preferences, with the bathroom emerging as a sanctuary for self-expression and individuality. In this evolving landscape, the bathroom is increasingly viewed as a personal space that reflects one’s unique personality.

Parveen Kumar Khurana, Director (Sales, Marketing & BD), Roca Bathroom Products Pvt. Ltd. opines, “We have observed a growing trend where customers desire personalised bathrooms, and, intriguingly, we’ve received requests for faucets matching the colour of their phones. This underscores the significance of customisation and personalisation in the contemporary bathroom design choices made by our discerning customers.”

Sudhanshu Pokhriyal, Chief Executive Officer, Bath & Tiles, Hindware Limited agrees, “Bathrooms are no longer just functional spaces; they have become experiential zones. The evolving trend of incorporating vibrant colours into sanitaryware reflects the changing dynamics of bathroom design.”

Thorsten Bies, Area Manager for Africa, India, NME + South East Europe, Villeroy & Boch asserts that colour is becoming increasingly important in the bathroom.  “Customers want a more individualised bathroom design in which they feel comfortable and at ease. Rich and expressive colours help to express the individuality of each person and set accents to transform the bathroom into a very personal oasis of well-being.”

coloured sanitaryware from Villeroy & Boch
Be it the washrooms in hotels or bathrooms in luxurious apartments and villas, colour is increasingly being used to create accents. Photo Courtesy: Villeroy & Boch

Ramesh Baliga, Executive Director and CEO, Watertec India adds, “The colours in washrooms today have re-emerged and is a style statement among all age groups. Coloured fixtures can help create a cohesive look, allowing homeowners or designers to play with colour schemes and create harmonious or contrasting combinations. This versatility provides endless possibilities for customisation.”

Deepshikha Khaitan, Joint Managing Director, Cera opines, “The trend of incorporating a diverse range of colours into bathroom portfolio such as WCs, basins, bathtubs, and faucets showcases the consumer mindset change from traditional bathroom design to the modern bathroom appeal which adds vibrancy and personality to the space.”

She further adds that this shift is noticed as a bold and creative approach in interior design. Consumers are travelling across the world and having access to the online portals, allowing them to get inspired and take inspiration to personalise their spaces and break away from the monotony of standard white fixtures. “Colours in bathrooms can create a visually appealing and aesthetically pleasing environment. This trend might appeal to those who want to make a statement with their bathroom décor and want to stand out.”

Duravit Vitrium Colour
The new Vitrium Series from Duravit bring a splash of colour into the bathroom. Photo Courtesy: Duravit

Challenges with Coloured Sanitaryware and Bath Fixtures

The subtle interplay of contrasts in each combination of ceramic and furniture creates individual accents. Carefully matched tones introduce visual highlights, emphasise the individual appearance, and play a central role in creating a positive atmosphere in the bathroom.

However, the downside of coloured sanitaryware and bath fixtures should also be considered before deciding to use them. “Integrating colourful fixtures into an existing washroom can be challenging, especially if the space already has a specific colour scheme. The introduction of vibrant colours may clash with the existing design elements, making it difficult to create a cohesive and visually pleasing environment,” opines Baliga.

Additionally, while there may be an expanding range of coloured fixtures available, the selection is often more limited compared to standard white fixtures. This can make it challenging to find the desired colour and style to match the overall aesthetic of the washroom.

Asutosh Shah, Managing Director, Duravit India opines, “Introducing colour to a bathroom can bring in new changes and challenges with the ways users must consider cleanliness and maintenance of the coloured products, particularly in India, as we have different water quality and weather conditions. And, in future as well, retail requirements are expected to drive in this trend, though I feel that chrome and white will remain the go-to colour choice of most of the consumers.”

Moreover, coloured fixtures can be more prone to showing stains, hard water deposits, and soap scum, requiring regular and thorough cleaning to maintain their attractive appearance. “Some coloured finishes may also require special cleaning products or techniques to prevent damage or discolouration. Hence, the maintenance of the washroom can be a big bill to manage,” opines Baliga.

Within the realm of sanitaryware, there has been a notable surge in demand for sleek black products, especially when paired with sophisticated black faucets Photo Courtesy: Roca Bathroom Products Pvt. Ltd

Is there a Correlation between Colour and Hygiene?

White fixtures are widely accepted as a standard due to their classic/traditional and universally appealing nature. Also, white fixtures are perceived as easier to maintain and clean.

Baliga agrees, “The association between the colour white and hygiene/cleanliness is deeply ingrained in many cultures and has been reinforced over time through marketing and cultural factors. This association is so strong that white is often seen as the default choice for sanitaryware and bath fixtures in washrooms.”

However, Gaurav Malhotra, Managing Director, Hansgrohe India asserts that hygiene goes well beyond colour. He shares, “Many companies including Hansgrohe have developed initially special surface coatings and now special ceramic glaze that blocks the growth of bacteria in the toilets. General awareness about technical aspects of products is increasing, thereby, ensuring that companies continue to develop new products aimed at improving hygiene in general and also work on educating the customers on the same.”

He further adds, “We believe that colour does not really help in ensuring better hygiene beyond a basic visibility advantage.  Colours will always be more integrated towards design themes than really aimed for hygienic benefit.”

Coloured bathroom fixtures from bathsense by Asian Paints
Metallics such as brushed copper, gold, and graphite, along with the sleek allure of contemporary matte colours, particularly black, have captured the market’s attention. Photo Courtesy: Asian Paints

Stefan Gesing, CEO, Dornbracht feels that in the future, the combination of white and hygienic will only apply in public areas. “The private bathroom is more about an intimate atmosphere that is less associated with the colour white. That’s why alternative finishes are of greater importance here. Dark colours and warm gold tones in particular contribute to a cosy, intimate atmosphere and help transform the bathroom into a private sanctuary.”

Jitender Yadav, General Manager – NPD, Marketing, Asia & Gulf Region Sales, Delta Faucet quips, “White or simple chrome being cleaner is a dated thought beyond which most evolved designers have moved on already. This is because they have understood the role of PVD technology in providing surfaces that are actually cleaner and more hygienic than before.”

Yadav further informs, “We, at Delta Faucet, have actually gone beyond PVD to offer consumers a technological breakthrough in ‘Lumicoat Finishes’ which are super smooth, easy to clean, water repellent finishes which keep the faucets and showers uber clean and more hygienic than ever before.”

Bies opines, “I believe that both ways of thinking, white and coloured, have their raison d’être. It always depends on the bathroom and what there is to design. In projects with a focus on hygiene, like hospitals or retirement homes, I think the trend will always be towards white; but in hotels or individual bathrooms, colour is increasingly being used to create accents.”

Wave faucets by Duravit
The growing popularity of black and grey sanitary ware, complemented by metallic finishes in faucets, reflects a shift towards individualised expression in bathroom aesthetics. Photo Courtesy: Duravit

Where Coloured Sanitaryware and Bath Fixtures Excel?

But do these challenges come in the way of adopting coloured ranges? “While the user mindset connecting white with hygiene might initially present challenges for coloured sanitaryware and bath fixtures, it doesn’t mean that these challenges cannot be overcome. In fact, there are several use cases and types of bathrooms where colourful sanitaryware and bath fixtures can work better, for example, in high-end villas, and the hospitality sector where maintenance is timed on a regular basis,” states Baliga.

Talking about where the colourful ranges can be an apt inclusion, Shah adds, “The new colour trend is preferred currently in retail properties with more than two bathrooms and stand-alone properties like villas, bungalows, weekend homes and farmhouses. Most of the use cases that we observe are for powder rooms and master bedrooms.”

According to Khaitan, colourful sanitaryware and bath fixtures can find acceptance in spaces where a vibrant and personalised design is desired. “Such fixtures may work exceptionally well in residential bathrooms, luxury hotels/resorts, or spaces where a bold and distinctive style is preferred, offering a unique and visually appealing design choice without compromising on cleanliness standards.”

Duravit Millio Coloured WC
The Millio toilet series with matching toilet seat, introduced recently by Duravit, not only reflects the colours but can also be selected with two surface textures – a grooved and a patterned relief. Photo Courtesy: Duravit

Designing with Coloured Sanitaryware and Bath Fixtures

The trend in recent years has clearly been towards dark and matt surfaces. “This applies to bathroom accessories, but also to fittings. Metallic finishes in gold, brass, dark chrome or platinum are also particularly popular at the moment and create a sophisticated look that is very much in demand, especially when combined with marble and natural stone, but also wood,” shares Gesing.

According to Khurana, within the realm of sanitaryware, there has been a notable surge in demand for sleek black products, especially when paired with sophisticated black faucets. “In the faucets category, we’ve experienced remarkable popularity for gold-coloured faucets. After black, gold is the most selling colour reflecting a strong market preference for opulence and style.”

Even the bathroom furniture is getting colourful to complement the fixtures and match the overall theme of the space. “We also offer bathroom furniture with multiple surfaces and colour options, for example, various shades of real wood veneer and multiple colour choices for lacquer finishes. The new ‘self-regenerating’ matt lacquer surface comes as standard on the corresponding Duravit furniture ranges. Ten colour variants are available in satin-matt: white, nordic white, taupe, flannel grey, stone grey, graphite, aubergine, almond, light blue, and night blue,” shares Shah.

Coloured sanitaryware by asian paints
Trendsetting colours have become the focal point in modern bathroom design. Photo Courtesy: Asian Paints

Availability of a variety of textures and colours in bathroom ceramics, fittings and other accessories makes it possible for consumers to mix and match, and give their bathroom a makeover where they can embrace escapism. In addition to colour, texture and pattern play crucial roles in achieving a well-rounded design. Tactile elements like textured tiles, patterned wallpapers, or decorative accents can enhance the overall visual interest of the bathroom, creating a cohesive and inviting atmosphere.

While the idea of introducing vibrant colours into the bathroom might seem daunting to some, the key lies in creating a harmonious and balanced space. Designers often recommend selecting a primary colour and incorporating it into the sanitaryware or faucets, then using complementary or neutral tones for the surrounding elements. This approach ensures that the overall aesthetic remains visually appealing without overwhelming the senses.

Experts' Take on the Colorful Revolution in Bathroom Design

Amit Syngle

Amit Syngle

MD & CEO, Asian Paints

“The evolution of bathroom fixtures has transformed the once monochromatic landscape of chrome faucets and white ceramics into a vibrant array of colours and finishes. Bathsense Canvas is a testament to this shift, featuring rose gold fixtures paired with matte grey sanitaryware and French gold accents harmonising with matte black basins.

Trendsetting colours have become the focal point in modern bathroom design. Metallics such as brushed copper, gold, and graphite, along with the sleek allure of contemporary matte colours, particularly black, have captured the market’s attention. The growing popularity of black and grey sanitary ware, complemented by metallic finishes in faucets, reflects a shift towards individualised expression in bathroom aesthetics.

Asian Paints has its legacy in both colours and surface protection. Beyond protecting walls and adding colour to them, we have extended this to the bath spaces. Bathsense Canvas collection features our innovative Lotus25 Hydrophobic Technology which protects the faucets from hard water scaling and stains, ensuring the longevity of fixtures.”

Asutosh Shah

Asutosh Shah

Managing Director, Duravit India

Overall, this trend caters to those seeking a more vibrant and expressive aesthetic for their washrooms. However, personal preferences may vary, and some individuals might prefer classic or neutral colours for their fixtures, depending on their taste and the overall interior design of their home. It’s up to the designers to make a prudent choice based on the client’s requirements and the overall theme of the space!

Duravit has expanded its product mix with various colour choices in both the sanitaryware and fittings segment. The three new faucet lines – Wave, Circle, and Manhattan come with attractive designs and sophisticated metallic surfaces – brushed stainless steel, brushed bronze and polished gold – bringing in greater individual self-expression. We also have matt black colour options in our other faucet range like Tulum, C1, and D1.

To add to matt black, and grey finish toilets, we have the new Vitrium Series – a unique series that brings a splash of colour into the bathroom. It includes furniture such as vanity units and a tall cabinet, washbasins as well as combinations of toilets and bathtubs from other series. The six colours in total create a presence without dominating the space and form a matt, warm contrast as a response to wood, stone surfaces, concrete, or matching tiles.

Additionally, the Millio toilet series with matching toilet seat, designed by the Italian designer Antonio Bullo, not only reflects the colours but can also be selected with two surface textures – a grooved and a patterned relief – in addition to the standard smooth version, offering even more individualisation options.

Deepsikha Khaitan

Deepshikha Khaitan

Joint Managing Director, Cera

Trends in bathroom colour schemes involve a shift towards more diverse and bold choices. While traditional white fixtures remain popular, there is a growing interest in incorporating coloured sanitaryware and bath fixtures to add style to bathrooms.

In terms of popular colours, rose gold, french gold, and warm neutrals are gaining traction. Additionally, matte black and metallic finishes continue to be in demand for a modern and sophisticated look.

Gaurav Malhotra

Gaurav Malhotra

Managing Director, Hansgrohe India

Colour or finishes are the extension of one’s personality. They add a touch of individualism to the bathroom. It is because of this need that Hansgrohe has developed a vast array of possibilities in finishes and we call it our Finish Plus portfolio. Whether it is the chrome finish with feminine elegance and classic shine or the matt black signifying going back to basics or the matt white which is all about bold freshness with unconventional charm or even the brushed and polished surface finishes which are either bold and striking or subtle and harmonious – Hansgrohe has an option for every client. We believe in ensuring that a customer discovers their own bathroom with all the elements they wish to include as per their style and design needs. We believe this trend will only strengthen in the future as people are willing to explore unconventional paths ahead.

Jitender Yadav

Jitender Yadav

General Manager - NPD, Marketing, Asia & Gulf Region Sales, Delta Faucet

We have observed that consumers are loving differentiated finishes like black stainless PVD, glamour finishes like polished gold and also want the option of various handle types for faucets (like lever type, cross handles, handles with a twist, mixed colour knobs) and which also offer the use of mixed material like onyx, concrete, porcelain and wood.

Mr. Parveen Kumar Khurana

Parveen Kumar Khurana

Director (Sales, Marketing & BD), Roca Bathroom Products Pvt. Ltd.

White products have been the primary volume driver for our brand. However, for our discerning niche audience, we do offer our vibrant coloured range. In 2019, Parryware established itself as a pioneer in the sanitaryware industry by being among the first companies to introduce a coloured range with the debut of the Nightlife collection.

Further, we are excited to introduce a new and upcoming coloured range which will encompass both our sanitaryware and faucet products, featuring three distinct colours: rose gold, gold, and matte black. The sanitaryware will include wall-hung water closets and countertop basins to provide a diverse range of options.

Ramesh Baliga

Ramesh Baliga

Executive Director and CEO, Watertec India

In recent years, there has been a shift away from traditional white fixtures in bathrooms. People are becoming more adventurous and experimenting with bolder and more unique colours. Some popular colour schemes include:

Earthy and natural tones: Shades of beige, cream, and brown are often used to create a calm and soothing atmosphere.
Cool blues and greens: Light blues and soft greens can create a refreshing and calming ambience in the bathroom.
Bold and dramatic: Some people opt for darker hues like black, charcoal grey, or navy blue to create a striking and contemporary look.

We offer a range of colours beyond the traditional white, including greys, pastels, blues, blacks, and even vibrant hues. Coloured basins and toilets can help add personality and create a focal point in the bathroom. In bath fixtures, we have gold, rose gold, black (matt and glossy) and flashy blue, to name a few. We are offering all these colours in bath fixtures as well as sanitaryware.

Stefan Gesing

Stefan Gesing CEO, Dornbracht

CEO, Dornbracht

Taps are a focal point in any bathroom and the desire for bespoke design touches is increasing making taps the jewellery of the bathroom. The ever-increasing trend for varied brassware colours and colourful finishes is being enhanced by the desire for more individual elements. Embellished handles with hammered metal, hand-crafted glass or inlays made from seashells are creating a more tactile and sensory experience.

Sudhanshu Pokhriyal

Sudhanshu Pokhriyal

CEO, Bath & Tiles, Hindware Limited

At Hindware, we believe in the transformative power of colour and design in creating a rejuvenating and personalised bathroom experience for our customers. Selecting the perfect colour for bathrooms, which is now considered as customers’ retreats, holds significant importance. We believe that elevating bathroom design revolves around the strategic use of colour. Our latest Queo bathtub range, featuring eye-catching coloured free-standing tubs, is a testament to our commitment to embracing this trend.

The Glamour range of sanitaryware by Hindware Italian collection is available in stunning finishes, including pine matte, black matte and white matte. Matte finish in sanitaryware is something that is in trend. Also, our Glamour collection of faucets known as the Hues, is available with a long-lasting finish in rose-gold, gold, and chrome black colours.

Thorsten Bies

Thorsten Bies

Area Manager for Africa, India, NME + South East Europe, Villeroy & Boch

We are particularly enthusiastic about trends that flatter the senses and are good for the soul: Harmonious colour schemes, soft shapes and everything that creates a connection to nature. This is also evident in the bathroom: the furniture plays with natural materials such as wood and stone, the colours are warm and powerful and the ceramics are discovering organic shapes for themselves. With ceramic colours such as morning green, forest and deep ocean, we address these trends. And, of course, we offer matching fittings in finishes like brushed gold and brushed nickel as well as matt black, which is currently very much in vogue.

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