The team at Caroma recently went to Salone del Mobile in Milan which is the largest trade show of its kind.
They came back with a wealth of knowledge and have shared what they identify to be the emerging trends in bathroom and kitchen design.
Image via Boscolo Milano
1. Thinner edges and lines
Throughout the tradeshow, there was a dramatic increase in the number of manufacturers releasing thin edged basins compared to the last trade show in 2014. New casting techniques allowed for a more traditional vitreous china and fire clay materials to be utilised to product thin edge designs. This trend has been most visibly applied to tapware and accessories where the adoption of stainless steel as a mainstream material lead to many designs produced from plate and thin tube.
2. Textured surfaces and finishes
Textured surfaces and finishes were the second biggest trend noticed throughout the tradeshow. Timber laminates, both natural and synthetic, which use strong grains were very popular.
Metallic and concrete taps made an appearance, while engineered stones with strong textures were also being displayed.
Textured splashbacks (including pressed metal), were evident in kitchens with the inclusion of lighting to assist in achieving a dramatic effect.
Spaces were seen to be more simplistic with an absence of unnecessary detail, in some cases incorporating the use of exposed supports. While minimalistic, the cold and stark look was not evident and rather, was applied in unique applications such as the integration of basins and sinks to create a seamless, uninterrupted surface appearance.
Kitchen appliances such as scales, burners and induction elements were embedded into the underside of the stone countertops.
Diversity was celebrated with timber grains and stone veins being featured with minimal processing of the raw material which added individuality to furniture design.
Stone was not over polished and cracks in the material was not hidden, and was being used as a feature. Taps were seen to be made from pebbles, and shrouded toilets were showcased using a timber as a shroud material.
5. Storage & Accessories
This trend was the concept of steering away from concealing personal effects, and was replaced with open or modular storage solutions in both bathroom and kitchen designs. This allows the opportunity for colour and personal style to be introduced and displayed through objects and accessories.
Kitchens featured various degrees of open cabinetry or shelving which created a theatrical feel. Functional features such as dish drying racks, and wine bottle chillers were more visible and were being displayed behind transparent doors.
6. Stainless Steel
Stainless steel in tapware grew exponentially in popularity because of its lead free properties. As this material is harder to machine than brass and generally available in sheet, plate and pipe formats, it was driving both the design and finish of the products utilizing it.
The three main colours palettes being used were :
- Dusty Romantics (like pale pastel pink and green hues)
- Moody Royals (rich deep blue, burgundy, brown and green)
In the bathroom space, the vitreous china colour palette was more restrained, and was more limited to neutral, beige and matte white.
The tapware colour palette was more diverse. Many more metallic colours and surface finishes were being offered alongside the traditional brightly polished chrome, gold and copper.
An over-arching observation throughout the show is that the design has become more refined, considered and measured.
Subtly integration of functionality and detail without adding complexity through components or technology.
The quality of materials and finishes, as well as an increasing level of details execution in both design and production of kitchen and bathroom products has added a new level of sophistication to these spaces.
Thank you so much for Caroma for bringing along these fresh tips all the way from Salone del Mobile, Milan 2016
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