The washroom furniture is getting sophisticated as the design and functionality of the space is evolving continuously. Mrinmoy Dey looks at the growing trends in washroom furniture.
The way one’s washroom is designed reflects a part of their personality as well. Designers use accessories and furniture to achieve the optimum design according to the user’s requirements and personality. Modern bathroom furniture with a unique style and design not only adds value to the bathroom space but also increases function.
The elegance of wood and the fine details with all functionality of the 21st century characterise a classic bathroom vanity. “Consumers are now shifting towards furniture with aesthetic and functional integration. They are opting for cutting-edge designs and great storage space with tech innovation attached to it. Consumers now have a wide array of options to make their furniture, a tech-based vanity unit with the features like internal sensor-based lighting, in-built Bluetooth speakers and auxiliary sockets amongst others to provide maximum convenience and luxury experience,” shares KE Ranganathan, Managing Director, Roca Bathroom Products Pvt Ltd.
Furniture, such as free-standing and wall-mounted units, mirrors, and cabinets, can enhance your bathroom. Bathroom furniture and storage is an essential components of any home. “We collaborate with award-winning designers from across the globe to bring you a superb and vast range of bathroom furniture. Vitra has it all, from vanity units to cabinets to fitted furniture. Collections like Valarte, Archiplan, Voyage, Plural and Sento offer a wide range of furniture options to add practicality and style to your bathroom,” shares Serhan Ates Yagiz, Country Manager, Vitra Bathrooms India.
Managing Director, Duravit India
“From the washbasin through the shower and toilet right up to the free-standing bathtub – Duravit’s portfolio includes compact product variants that deploy a range of materials, surfaces, and colours to create a personal feel-good factor. ”
The premium bathroom should not merely be tailored to personal preferences in terms of look, feel, and functionality, but should also meet the challenge of longevity and the sparing use of resources. Design ranges therefore also need to incorporate compelling sustainability aspects. “Another aspect of bathroom furnishing is creating feel-good moments in our hectic everyday lives. The Duravit product portfolio incorporates a wide range of worlds of style, where a versatile design language provides space for individual preferences and design freedom. The round, organic shapes of the ceramic of the Zencha collection, which are inspired by traditional rituals and Japanese craftsmanship, combine with minimalistic furniture to visually underline the use of natural materials. Surfaces made from wood and textured glass additionally convey a particularly warm tactile impression,” shares Asutosh Shah, Managing Director, Duravit India.
He further adds, “The philosophy behind the pared-down design of Duravit’s Soleil by Starck bathroom range places the focus on the human being: fine lines produce a natural and calm atmosphere. Timelessly modern with characteristic gentle contours, their design creates the carefree feeling of a short break by the ocean – ideal for a little downtime within your own four walls.”
Unlike other interior spaces, the bathroom is damp and the furniture has to deal with lots of moisture. The bathroom is a hot and humid place. This necessitates the use of durable furniture and fixtures that can tolerate high humidity, spills, and even harsh cleaning chemicals. Moreover, in the last couple of years, hygiene has become a crucial factor for the end-users.
Talking about the suitable materials for bathroom furniture Asutosh Shah, Managing Director, Duravit India shares, “Furniture in the bathroom can often find itself exposed to challenging conditions. The surfaces and edges of Duravit’s bathroom furniture meet the highest standards and are also resistant to splashes and high levels of moisture in the air. The surfaces are sealed with extreme care to make them water-repellent. Duravit offers a variety of finishes for all 16 Duravit bathroom furniture ranges.”
He further adds, “Using materials from regenerative raw materials in bathroom furniture not only creates visual highlights but also reflects a compassionate attitude to the natural world. This is a key aspect that adds additional positivity to the time we spend in our own bathroom. And this is why Duravit uses PEFC-certified wood materials and water-based lacquers.”
Serhan Ates Yagiz
Country Manager, Vitra Bathrooms India.
“An increasing number of bathroom designs are strategically incorporating bathroom furniture, as well as appliances, to maximise comfort and convenience in daily routines. For example, a vanity is an essential piece of furniture for any washroom.”
Bathroom vanities are manufactured with high-quality resistant materials. “Roca vanities are made up of MDF and solid wood which is usually the best material choice for bathroom furniture as they are the strongest and most durable of all materials. When it comes to bathroom space, the selection of furniture is mainly for the washroom area and the powder room. Material varies from MDF, Solid wood and plywood in these cases and the recommended zone would be to keep the furniture away from moisture and dampness,” opines Ranganathan.
According to Yagiz, Tiles are always the most preferred bathroom material. In addition to the walls and floors, tiles can be used on vanity and bathroom countertop sinks. The most used room in one’s home is the bathroom. As a result, it’s best if one designs a bathroom that can withstand moisture and dirt. Moisture-resistant plywood is also a durable material and it is extremely resistant to moisture and water, making it an ideal material for bathroom furniture. “Vitra’s Archiplan is designed with water and moisture-resistant plywood furniture finish, this collection is hardwearing and durable without compromising on aesthetics or functionality. The minimal gap between the washbasin and the bathroom furniture provides extra protection, preventing water damage to the furniture. All finishes and materials are tested meticulously by our product development teams,” adds Yagiz.
A Splash Of Colours
Like any other room, the bathroom gives an excellent opportunity to be creative. A splash of colour in the bathroom can help express the user’s unique personality. From being traditionally white, the washrooms are turning into colourful spaces. White has been the classic colour scheme for bathrooms but over time, it has changed and made way for many more shades such as soft grey, charcoal, light blue, light green, pistachio and black.
Lighter and cooler colours make the space appear larger whereas darker colours make them appear more closed and smaller. The arrangements of colours or textures have a direct impact when selecting furniture for that space. Depending on the colour of the room, it is important to select the type of furniture for it so that it matches proportion to its overall look and space.
Yagiz opines, “Today, almost everything for the bathroom has changed from materials to colours and patterns. Bathroom design has become increasingly focused on incorporating current colour components as bathrooms have become a place for relaxation. Bathroom colour furniture is available in a wide range of colours to fit one’s decor and sanitaryware.”
Managing Director, Roca Bathroom Products Pvt Ltd
“Consumers are now shifting towards furniture with aesthetic and functional integration. They are opting for cutting-edge designs and great storage space with tech innovation attached to it.”
Furniture defines the style of the bathroom and allows users to make the most of the space. Adding colour to one’s bathroom furniture can boost the bathroom experience as it can change the look and feel of the bathroom. “For furniture units, a soothing, neutral palette adds serene and calming qualities to the space. While the sky is the limit when it comes to choosing bathroom furniture colours, customers prefer warm hues and neutral tones. Colours inspired by the nature attracts customers’ eye the most. While the White and Beige will never go out of style as it keeps the bathroom looking clean and bright, people are also open to colours like Grey, Green, Light Oak, Dark Elm and textured City Oak that add elegance and can adapt to any atmosphere,” shares Ranganathan.
The varied colour scheme is an indispensable part of each Duravit bathroom design. The subtle interplay of contrasts in each combination of ceramic and furniture creates individual accents. Carefully matched tones introduce visual highlights, emphasize the individual appearance, and play a central role in creating a positive atmosphere in the room. “Duravit bathroom furniture is available with multiple surfaces and colour options for example various shades of real wood veneer and multiple colour choices for Lacquer finishes,” shares Shah.
He further adds that 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.”
Furnishing a compact bathroom
A small bathroom has much more capacity than one can imagine. One should opt for compact and narrow furniture units that come with high quality and comfort level and provides maximum storage capacity without compromising on functionality. While selecting, one should look for furniture with a reduced depth to gain more space.
Ranganathan shares, “While our compact unit furniture of the Debba collection features two drawers with ample storage capacity for the toiletries, the Mini collection features drawers with reversible doors that allow it to open smoothly from both left and right direction.”
He further adds, “Apart from the compact furniture, one can also choose the independent auxiliary units to increase storage capacity. With their reduced dimensions, the units can fit into any available space under the basin, beside a radiator, under a window etc. Some of the units also have optional legs with which we can modify their location whenever we want to.”
Another ideal solution for small bathrooms is cabinet mirrors. With a minimum depth, they provide space to store all the toiletries and free up the surface of the basin. This will give a practical storage space and a useful mirror in one comprehensive solution.
For a small bathroom, it is very important to invest in furniture wisely. Fitted furniture on the walls is a space-efficient way to mix utility with value. Custom-fit shelves are very neat and minimalist. “Specifically designed to save space in smaller bathrooms, the compact style of the Archiplan collection fills inefficient spaces perfectly by integrating the washbasin and WC in the same unit. The collection offers ultimate convenience with storage solutions in cabinets and drawers along with metal shelves. By not limiting the available space within the cabinets, the metal shelves add extra storage solutions that are flexible and customisable. Using these next to the washbasin or especially above the WC opens up the space, even in smaller areas. Born from an elegant blend of black metal and ceramic, this accessory unit with a ceramic shelf offers extra space for everyday items,” shares Yagiz.
Not everyone’s dream bathroom has to be a giant wellness temple. Using suitable products to optimize the use of the available space opens up all manner of opportunities for personal expression even in small bathrooms. “From the washbasin through the shower and toilet right up to the free-standing bathtub – Duravit’s portfolio includes compact product variants that deploy a range of materials, surfaces, and colours to create a personal feel-good factor. Popular designer ranges such as Cape Cod by Philippe Starck or Viu/Xviu from Sieger design offer perfect options for compact rooms. With its organically curved forms and unique velvety look and feel, the free-standing Cape Cod bathtub, measuring 1650 x 780 mm, is an absolute eye-catcher,” shares Shah.
Matching tall and semi-tall cabinets mean that no compromises are needed in terms of storage space in small bathrooms. “Vanity units, starting at a size of 420 mm, offer additional storage options, bringing the otherwise unused space under the washbasin into play. The feel-good atmosphere in the compact bathroom can be further enhanced with the strategic deployment of subtle bathroom decorations and attractive plants as well as the interplay of welcoming light sources,” suggests Shah.
Furnishing a large bathroom
For a bigger washroom while the space might not be a concern but overdoing furnishing will lead to clutter. Those looking into modern bathroom ideas will want to strike a balance between creating a sharp-looking space and making sure it doesn’t feel too sterile. The challenge is achieving that middle ground and to take advantage of space’s full potential.
“An increasing number of bathroom designs are strategically incorporating bathroom furniture, as well as appliances, to maximise comfort and convenience in daily routines. For example, a vanity is an essential piece of furniture for any washroom. This versatile fixture provides a place to install a sink and faucet and frequently features additional storage space to help eliminate clutter in the washroom,” quips Yagiz.
For Duravit, however, doing away with excess is the maxim of a new lifestyle. “With Duravit’s D-Neo, the bathroom can be transformed into an oasis of calm to counteract the overstimulation of modern life. The clear design and furniture with the new black oak surface are calming to the eye and open up space to revitalise yourself with new energy during everyday rituals. Circular mirrors from the Universal Light & mirror range offer pleasant wash area lighting through indirect light,” shares Shah.
The Prisma collection by Roca offers such storage capacity that goes far beyond the limit of the naked eye and one’s imagination. “With their elegant design and colour, the collection is designed for intelligent storage as it lets the user place even the smallest thing with an organised and systematic arrangement. Starting with the integrated shelf of its asymmetrical basin or the concealed drawer to store small objects, the epitome of its practicality is the mobile partitions that allow the organisation of the contents inside the drawers depending on the user’s preference,” shares Ranganathan.
He further adds that the Beyond collection by Roca offers a large cabinet solution, ideal for those who wish to take a step further in storage capacity and experiment with innovative shapes, textures and materials, featuring the modern push-to-open system.
Going the high-Tech way
While bathrooms have traditionally been functional, utilitarian spaces, the advent of new tech innovations has made bathing a luxurious experience. With technological advancement, individuals are exploring modern bathroom furniture to optimise space and functions.
To bring in the luxury experience with tech innovation, Roca’s Stratum collection offers integrated sockets and internal sensor-based LED lighting with in-built Bluetooth speakers to make life easier, comfortable and lively.
As the world becomes ever more digitalised, innovative products that enhance the user’s comfort are also finding their way into the bathroom. Duravit’s focus is on comfort and added value for the user. “Gone are the days of users being dazzled by harsh light in front of the mirror. The mirrors from the Happy D.2 Plus and Xviu series by Sieger design offer practical control via icons on the mirror surface. Contactless operation of the illuminated symbols by hovering a finger over the desired icon (infra-red sensor): thanks to the universal symbols, the operation is intuitive. Aesthetically, the icons harmonise perfectly with the overall design of the mirror,” shares Shah.
He further adds that mirrors from the White Tulip series by Philippe Starck are available in versions controlled by sensors or an app. “The light temperature featuring a memory effect can be synchronised with other lamps connected in the living area and controlled via ‘Casambi’, an app that has established itself as a reference in smart home control systems. This feature can be used to dim the mirrors and switch the mirror heating on and off.”
Be it traditional or contemporary, classic or modern, simple or high-tech, compact or larger wellness centric, for all types of bathroom designs there are now plenty of options to only add to the functionality of the space but also uplift its aesthetic value. This gamut of choices can be overwhelming and more so if the clients/owners insist on a certain type of furniture. It is up to the designer to make the apt selection! But this certainly is a nice problem to have!