The bathroom trends that inspired a state-of-the-art design studio

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07 May 2023

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4 min read

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As a specialist supplier of premium bathroom fixtures, Elite Bathroomware is well-placed to analyse the changing tastes in high-end bathroomware.

Alongside kitchens, bathrooms are arguably the spaces throughout the home most susceptible to shifts in trends and tastes.

Bathrooms are strong functional spaces: almost everything you see has a heavy utility value, subject to a relatively high proportion of wear and tear. Because of this, fixtures often need frequent updates and renovations to maintain their functionality and appearance.

Then there are the rapid technological advances – improvements to fixtures and fittings that make it easier and more cost-effective to update them with new features. Subsequent demand for new products, in turn, leads to new trends – and then the cycle begins anew.

Often they’re the smallest rooms in the home too, so any small changes in design result in an oversize impact on the space – making them ideal for experimenting with new trends and styles without committing to a significant overhaul of the entire house.

In New Zealand, one of the foremost trends in interior design in the last few years has been the reintroduction of colourful, impactful decor and fixtures. While minimalism is still a popular design philosophy, lately more and more designers and homeowners are willing to be more adventurous.

Fixtures with coloured finishes are more popular than ever, Brown says.
Fixtures with coloured finishes are more popular than ever, Brown says.

Elite Bathroomware - keeping a finger on the pulse of bathroom trends

When it comes to bathrooms, Hannah Brown, a bathroom and kitchen designer from Elite Bathroomware, agrees. “Within the last few years, we’ve seen a big movement towards coloured tapware,” she says. “We’re moving away from standard chrome and black fixtures and more into gunmetals, brushed brass, brushed nickel.”

As a specialist supplier of premium bathroom fixtures, Elite Bathroomware is well placed to analyse the changing tastes in high-end bathroomware.

“I’d say about 70% of our tapware sales are coloured as opposed to standard chrome, which is huge compared to a couple of years ago.”

Brown says the advancement of these trends coincided with the easing of lockdown restrictions in 2020 and 2021 when homeowners were confronted with how much time they were spending at home and began to envision a more vibrant interior. Elite Bathroomware needed to be proactive in response.

“We knew we needed to be fast to meet this new demand – the period after the lockdowns was probably the busiest we’ve ever been,” she says. “We have collaborated with Code Bathroomware to create and refine cutting-edge products for the market. These products were developed in direct response to the trends we observed in the past, which remain popular in 2023.”

This includes sinks and basins, accessories like soap dispensers, vanities, mirrors, towel rails – and of course, tapware. To fully embrace the move towards colour, each item within the Code ranges can come in several striking finishes – with gunmetal, brushed nickel and brushed brass being the most popular.

Hannah Brown and her new design studio. Designers and homeowners can reintroduce colour with fixtures, tiles, decor and more.
Hannah Brown and her new design studio. Designers and homeowners can reintroduce colour with fixtures, tiles, decor and more.

A new design studio

Brown says this tranche of new products in the Code range wasn’t the only thing born from the recent change in bathroomware tastes. It also made the design team at Elite Bathroomware realise they needed to grow their showroom.

“It allowed us to look at what the space needed, what it was lacking,” she says. “In the end, we decided we needed to level up the showroom and create a ‘design studio’.

“We have clients who need help visualising their dream bathroom, or they might want a detailed layout – these are the kinds of requests we got a lot in the showroom. Our new design studio provides these solutions.”

Elite Bathroomware's showroom with the new design studio in the background.
Elite Bathroomware's showroom with the new design studio in the background.

Opened at the beginning of this year, the studio is led by Brown herself, the chief in-house designer of Elite Bathroomware. She meets with each client and determines what kind of design service they need – whether it’s an entire renovation or just a few fixtures. If it’s the former, she will collaborate with them to visualise the bathroom floor plans and the overall design with a 3D render of the plan.

“This seems to be a really valuable service for a lot of clients,” says Brown. “Being able to see your entire bathroom with all of your chosen products and finishes, all in a realistic-looking 3D render, is great for clients who want to know exactly what they’re getting and what the final product will look like.”

The end goal of the design studio is to offer clients a one-stop shop for the entirety of the bathroom design journey. “We want to provide the value of being able to walk into the studio with an idea and walk out with a fully realised concept and plan.

“And with our knowledge of trends and our range of products to back that up, I think it definitely delivers.”

Learn more about Elite Bathroomware.