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Fri Jun 16 2017

Homes and Gardens Designer Insight: Kitchens and Bathrooms

We were thrilled to attend one of Homes and Garden’s Designer Insight sessions earlier this week, which explored the future of bathroom and kitchen design within the confines of London’s Soho Hotel.

Chaired by Tom Dyckhoff, the panel – formed of Mark Bickerstaff from Kohler as well as interior designers Rosalind Wilson and Hayley Tarrington - engaged with current and emerging trends from within the kitchen and bathroom sector, exploring everything from product development to room layout.

Hayley Tarrington felt that whilst people were still hankering after large-scale open plan living spaces, people also wanted a level of multifunctionality to these spaces. So, the kitchen is no longer a place simply to cook and eat, it’s doubling as a workspace and living room too. However, as it’s used every day still, we need to bring in personal touches and make these multifunctional spaces more intimate.

Roselind Wilson agreed that gargantuan kitchen – made for the ‘personal chef’ were now a thing of the past, and clients now were more interested in making the most of small spaces. Having built-in units to house bulky electrical items like blenders and toasters help declutter a space, and making sure that every corner of your worktops are utilised makes sure that a kitchen can reach its full potential. Smart technology, like countertop extractor fans and hot-water taps are also the ‘must-have’ items for the kitchen now.

Whilst we’re seeing more homogeneity in the kitchen, bathrooms are becoming far more personalised. The buzzword in bathrooms is now ‘experiential’.

The panel agreed that the bathroom was now the ‘rising star’ of the home and that more of us are going to be seeking solace and comfort in our bathroom spaces from now on. The rise of accessible spa and steam facilities in the home was to grow in the coming years, alongside ‘hidden intelligence’ in the realms of bathroom technology. Japanese ‘washlet’ toilets will become more accessible and mass-market, and even small things like intelligent lighting sensors will balance light flow depending on your health and time of day.

The panel also discussed ecological issues in the bathroom – and many agreed that whilst the younger generation and national governments care about water regulation (and the industry is happy to work alongside them), the day-to-day consumer doesn’t care in the slightest. For Rosalind and Hayley’s clients, it’s never even mentioned when specifying.

The next big trends for K&B design? Mark told the audience that voice control will come into all our homes – already seen with Amazon’s Alexa and Google Home. Hayley asserted that we’ll see more bespoke creations and Rosalind believed that colour will come back to the bathroom in a big way – something we know that C.P. Hart is already experiencing, for example.

Lorcan O'Donoghue