How to furnish a designer bathroom in 2021?How to optimize space in a small bathroom? Bath or shower? Which style? We answer these and other questions by proposing 10 trends. Common denominator: well-being

“The bathroom is the house within the house, the private in the private” writes Emanuele Coccia in his (much quoted) book Philosophy of the house. Domestic space and happiness published by Einaudi. The bathroom is the most intimate domestic space, a fluid environment at the center of which is water - pure and primordial, amniotic and ancestral element - dedicated to cleansing the body and to self-care that goes from physical to mental.

Refuge in search of privacy, a place devoted to a hedonistic relationship with one's body, for the youngest (and not only) from space reassuringly, the bathroom has been transformed into a stage, a super popular background for selfies and therefore a narcissistic exhibition (of self-representation).

Read also: Cersaie 2021: in line for the bathroom

To meet the different needs, united by the search for well-being first of all with themselves, design companies propose new solutions, more and more customizable and attentive to a environment. From extra large showers, but with anti-waste shower heads, to bathtubs in the center of the room, technological but with a vintage aesthetic that refers to old tubs, and then sanitary fixtures, taps, radiators, even mirrors and accessories, all ad very high performance, to rediscover ancient practices aimed at enhancing one's body.

A care, that of the body, made up of simple and fundamental gestures, constantly reiterated. A daily liturgy condensed into cleansing products, and these days it goes without saying, sanitizing, which combine scientific formulas with practical configurations and sustainable packaging. 

Also due to the long period spent face to face with the house, the bathroom has evolved. If until some time ago the most popular bathrooms were an ode to minimalism and total white, today at the top of the ratings we find rooms with a more marked personality, warmed by finishes, decorations and objects borrowed from the living area.

If the needs are many, the trends are changing, we have selected 10.

1. The sustainable bathroom

The green bathroom is an evergreen that is taking on an increasingly important role for the bathroom sector. But the way to a sustainable bathroom does not only pass through cutting-edge technological systems, products made with natural and / or recyclable materials that can be used for many years to come also play a fundamental role. The green bathroom is therefore a broad concept that aims at the combination of water and energy saving products, environmentally friendly industrial production, sustainable materials and long-lasting design. And, last but not least, to convey a regenerating sense of contact with nature.

Like the jungle effect of the Incense texture of the WP/H2O System of WallPepper/Group . Made only with natural, environmentally friendly, pvc-free and certified materials, the new generation wallpapers are also suitable for bathrooms or wellness environments, places in constant contact with water and subject to humidity.

Rationalization of resources, feeling of contact with nature, and more current than ever, sanitization cannot be missing. Like the one proposed by Lineabeta by Samo which on the occasion of Milan Design Week 2021 installed special points of sanitation hands for public use. These are the first five prototypes of the new Fóra washbasins, designed by JoeVelluto and made of post-consumer material deriving from urban waste.

2. The high-tech bathroom

The smart bathroom is equipped with contemporary technologies more advanced than all ' intuitiveness and all ' efficiency combine anti-waste functions. intelligent tap controls for dispensing of  water, the mirror that also acts as a center information, toilets with app-controlled showers, management of ' lighting via Alexa, touchless technologies, accessories equipped with induction charging systems for smartphones and tablets and others: all features that are increasingly in demand and that will become more and more common.

Read also: Laufen virtual space, a digital experience (with vintage effects)

But the technology is integrated, and is not seen. The aesthetic is minimal and sophisticated and at the same time soft and warm. Like the new I Ching towel warmer module designed by Elisa Ossino for Tubes , the result of a radical formal simplification obtained thanks to a very complex research from a technical point of view. Or it has vintage references, such as the Hi-Fi multifunctional thermostatic mixers by Gessi that combine water and music, hi-tech and hi-touch, but whose shapes recall the systems high fidelity 80s and 90s.

3. The vintage bathroom

The retro bathroom is an established trend, a demand that never goes out of style. From mirrors to lamps, from grandmother's console tables to decorative details, it can also be just an element to transport a room back in time. Objects found in the antiques or modern markets, but also of family heirlooms found in the attic that can continue to inhabit the interiors with a renewed function.

But to set up a vintage bathroom there is also a entire contemporary collection, made up of bathtubs, furniture and mirrors, with a delightful retro flavor. Designed by Marcante-Testa studio for ex.t, Nostalgia is a project for the bathroom, designed for country houses but also for cities, which referring to forms of memory transmits reassuring sensations.

Then there are some (truly) iconic historic bathrooms - incessant source of inspiration - like those of Villa Necchi Campiglio, designed in the '30 years by the rationalist architect Piero Portaluppi.

On the occasion of FuoriSalone 2021, G.T.Design set up the unmistakable Milanese residence with the Kama 20 | 21 capsule collection that celebrates 20 years of the carpet collection.

4. The XS bathroom

Whether it's the first or second bathroom, the problem is often the limited space available. The solution? Combine and optimize. With a few tricks and the right products, even smaller bathrooms can become functional and comfortable. In fact, even when square meters are scarce, modular solutions with marked compositional freedom allow the creation of customized compositions made to measure - to the centimeter, literally - without giving up anything.

The bathroom furniture , if well studied, therefore knows no size limits: if the space is contained with the right combination of furniture available in numerous sizes, accessories and matching shelves and equipped, it is possible to combine style, practicality and aesthetics in the best possible way.

Read also: a bespoke design house in Franciacorta

The Oblon washbasins by Novello optimize spaces and create unprecedented joints... To design them Stefano Cavazzana was inspired by the traditional Japanese jars with double lids for optimal tea storage. The program includes the washbasin tray that becomes a practical beauty case, shelves, consoles, containers, mirrors equipped with tablet/smartphone holders, stools that can also be used as towel holders, rods equipped with clothes hangers and many other functional elements that give life to compositions complete even in small spaces.

5. The bathroom with a bathtub or a shower?

The bathroom has its roots in the ancient tradition of Greek, Turkish and Roman culture, when it was conceived as a public space. Over time it has become part of the domestic environment, to the point of becoming its protagonist. In today's living contexts, in fact, the bathroom is the place to purify oneself in contact with water, a natural, ancestral and evocative element, which recalls the absolute 'first form of living', that in the mother's womb.

But in order to come into contact with water, the eternal question inevitably arises "better a bathtub or a shower?". A question that will never find a single answer: both solutions have various pros and cons. If a hot bath in a tub, possibly in the center of the room, is considered by most to be the ultimate in relaxation, the supporters of the shower assert that this represents a more practical, quick and hygienic way to wash and that it consumes less water.

If you are unable to solve the enigma satisfactorily, there is no shortage of hybrid solutions: tubs with columns fixed shower for example, which to the question bath or shower? can answer: both. In short, the choice remains (very) personal.

6. The living bathroom

Once considered service room, a cramped place to wash and carry out basic necessities, today the bathroom is the place devoted to well-being and comfort, therefore to be enhanced, even exhibited. If once it was a luxury for the few, today it is a need for many.

Thanks to the restrictions imposed by the pandemic, the contemporary bathroom has become a multifunctional hub where you can also carry out other activities: work, study, read, chat... The elements and materials that furnish it now take on a central role: the bathroom has been then 'invaded' by fine finishes and decorations, photographic prints and books, even works of art and precious objects.

Read also: an eclectic house on the island of Ortigia in Syracuse

The living room in the bathroom is therefore an answer to the growing demand for an individual, comfortable and welcoming wellness retreat, even luxurious and coordinated, where you can find your own privacy within the of the home, in pandemic times that are too crowded. Like the one that can be set up with White Tulip, the first complete collection designed by Philippe Starck for Duravit. From bathtubs to washbasins, from furniture to vases and bidets, from mirrors to taps, all the elements have a distinctive, scutorian but delicate shape, inspired by the silhouette of a tulip in bloom.

Read also: Bertrand Lejoly's D-Neo line for Duravit

7. The fully equipped, multitasking and multifunctional bathroom

If today the bathroom hosts various activities, the elements that compose it must necessarily be smart, dynamic and multifunctional . Such as the new Elementa line by Ritmonio which allows maximum compositional freedom. The new series of modular accessories makes it possible to personalize spaces devoted to well-being but also to practicality. The collection is made up of elements designed to give everyone - designers, designers but also end users - the opportunity to shape and embellish 'tailor-made' environments in the first person.

Read also: Ritmonio relaunches the sartorial bathroom

And from the bathroom, the furnishing accessories can migrate to the other rooms. Like the Franky collection by Azzurra: consisting of a mirror, shelf and seat, it was designed by Diego Grandi to invade, thanks to its changeable transversality, the other places in the house.

8. The double bathroom

In renovations, the bathroom is the second room where improvements are made. In the post Covid era, intercepting and meeting new needs has therefore become crucial. In contained living contexts or where large families live with daily commitments distributed at the same times, you can opt for a bathroom with double sink.

The watchwords are then functionality and, why not, symmetry: essential but welcoming bathroom environments, elegant but at the same time accessible. Like those achievable with the Laguna collection designed by Matteo Thun & amp; Antonio Rodriguez for Jaquar. A complete line of sanitary fittings, taps, shower enclosures, furniture and accessories with light lines. Flexible and modular according to different needs, stylistic and functional , Laguna combines simple shapes, warm colors and high-quality materials quality to offer a wide range of combinations that last over time. Single or double.

Read also: Jaquar, the Indian way of well-being

9. The bathroom and the body

The body is the border, the membrane between us and the world. It is the receptor of all sensory stimuli that come from outside. The relationship with the body is therefore at the center of the bathroom design, from the hygienic and ergonomic point of view but not only.

To make the most of this relationship, Kaldewei entrusted Bryan Adams the artistic story of the floor-level shower tray Superplan Zero by Werner Aisslinger which emphasizes the mixture of the resistance of recyclable enamelled steel and the malleable gracefulness of the volumes, those of the product and those of the bodies that dance on it. The famous musician and photographer has in fact transformed the shower tray into a - perfect - stage for Canadian choreographer Eric Gauthier, dancers Arielle Martin, Tatiana Martinez and soloist Federico Spallitta.

Read also: Kaldewei, dance in the rain

10. The regenerating bath

It is in the research of Art de Vivre that in the most ancient traditions of the whole world - from Japan to Morocco passing through the great thermal culture of ancient Rome - you can find rituals capable of creating harmony, well-being and psychophysical regeneration .

And it is from the Finnish tradition that the sauna was born that Megius drew inspiration to design the luminous Exen Sauna which is distinguished by three totally glass walls, including the access one with sliding door, and one in fir wood, like the various equipment. The stove (the kiuas), from which the steam is emitted and on which the hot stones (kivet) are placed, is located in the front part of the sauna and can be adjusted from internal by means of a control knob. The technology, therefore, in support of ancient rituals.

Read also: Megius, a spa in every home

But the bathroom can also move outside the home: on a terrace, in the garden, near the swimming pool and, why not, on the jetty of a mountain lake, lashing and invigorating regeneration symbol. The bathroom elements, if made with materials resistant to any weather condition such as the external shower in Stainless Steel 316L equipped with a practical hand shower by Guglielmi, in fact, they can be placed in outdoor spaces for en plein air well-being.


Photo cover: Mattonelle Margherita, design Nathalie Du Pasquier for Mutina.