12 March 2020
When water meets design, the bathroom becomes a magnificent refuge. The products being showcased at the International Bathroom Exhibition are increasingly trendy, beautifully designed, high performance and technological, reflecting the continual evolution of this particular space, which is becoming increasingly digital, efficient and green oriented, without forgoing its inherent hedonistic and emotional quality.
A now consolidated trend, technological innovation will, increasingly, boost comfort and efficiency, in the service of wellbeing and health, fulfilling all the demands of those seeking relaxation and a moment of perfect, intimate peace.
Home automation and digital devices can now transform rooms at a simple touch, whatever the need. Facial recognition systems that automatically regulate water temperature, lighting levels and even the type of music according to who is entering the room are already a reality, as are bathtubs that fill themselves at a set time or via smartphone input, bringing the water to the ideal level and temperature, and mirrors that can connect directly to mobile phones and on which we will, in the future, be able to read the news, check the weather forecast or watch TV. Some manufacturers have gone a step further, with designs for smart mirrors capable of monitoring the health of the person looking into them and passing on the relevant information to their doctor.
There’s more. Thanks to technological advances, next generation taps can regulate the percentage of hot and cold water perfectly and, if fitted with dynamic flow adjusters, can help cut consumption by up to 50%. We already have digital recirculation showers that purify, heat and use recycled water through a closed circuit system, which promise a saving of up to 90% of water and 80% of energy. Voice-activated digitised showers that can be remotely controlled and even incorporate waterproof TVs are already in the pipeline.
As far as design goes, there will be few tone-on-tone finishes, essential open structures and great use of geometry, making for a sleek and spare look that sets off shapes, colours, materials and textures. Washbasins, furnishing accessories and furniture confirm the general trend towards personalisation. Sanitaryware and bathroom fittings will become increasingly minimal, essential, almost mathematical-looking and much thinner. Mirrors will be the co-stars, with mix and match taking the place of the large round mirrors that have been in fashion for some time; we will see walls made up of mirrors in shapes reminiscent of origami, mirrors with shelves, towel rails and lighting sensors, and mirrors with mood-enhancing integral lighting. The vogue for delicate shades will continue, but there will also be full, solid colours, enlivened with bold, contrasting lines.
While technological possibilities seem and are endless, the bathrooms of the future will be extremely good-looking and, above all, will lose nothing of their emotional quality; they will still be devoted to personal wellness, places where the balance between mind, body and spirit can be redressed.