Living in today’s fast paced world means there is no time for people to pause and relax. Therefore bath spaces have become an extension of a spa and wellness zone. It is an oasis where people get their personal me-time and comfort. Unlike previous homes, bathrooms today are no longer functional. With people in the 35-40 age bracket dealing with different markets and are aware of available technology, they look for tech-enabled features such as TVs and music in the bath space that connect them to different parts of the world. In my opinion, this is not only because it is an aspirational trend, but also because people are now well travelled and moving towards a nuclear family set-up. They wear their lifestyle on their sleeve and are open to spending on these amenities, unlike earlier, more traditional, generations.
We design a lot of second homes that are much larger and fall in the luxury segment. Here, we see how we can make bath spaces an extension of a walk-in facility (like closets). This ensures the space is seamless and doesn’t have a hard demarcation. In such homes, we also love creating bath spaces with the inside-outside connect. Clients enjoy a garden space and green pockets with an outdoor bathtub or shower.
As far as colours go, faucet companies are going beyond chrome and are working with colours like rose gold, French gold, titanium and black. Designs no longer adhere to a standardized format. Bath space styles are very specific these days, ranging from industrial, art deco, etc.
Going forward, colours will become more muted and luxury oriented.
Another big trend will be the use of tech. We have Apple watches that give you your heart rate in seconds and the time isn’t far when your bathroom gets you an instant stool report. You will no longer have to wait for a report from a lab but get instant reports at home. In the years to come, I see an interface between health, the institutional providers and the bath space merging together or at least reducing the gap. Alexa is another massive game changer in most AI functions in the bathroom, as are anti-fog mirrors and material such as Hylar (a key component of coatings used in cool metal roofing systems) for ceilings. We endorse natural materials like IPH and wood across projects as well. The idea of technology is to make your life easier and the only hurdle I see in convincing clients in India is the fact that we are heavily dependent on service staff, and thus, tech has to be made even simpler so they can maintain it with ease.
The trend of eco-spaces will continue and we need to ensure important questions are answered before we use natural materials. For instance, sensitive questions on where the material is sourced from and how transport adds to its carbon footprint, etc. are crucial. The limited variety of eco materials at present is another issue we look into before incorporating them in the design.