A Personal Space
Bathrooms have become an important zone where aesthetics, form and functionality are coming together to create a space with a distinct character
Bathrooms are an integral part of any design these days. With spaces and families getting smaller, personalisation has become imperative. Apart from the functionality, people are welcoming experiments to make the space more comfortable for the individual user.
In recent years, the demand for indulgent bath and wellness spaces has risen. With that, wellness products such as spas, whirlpools, saunas, bathtubs and steam cabins have also become an essential element of bathrooms in premium urban households. With stress becoming a part and parcel of our fast-paced lifestyle, Jaquar Group’s range of wellness products helps you relax your body, calm your nerves and invigorate your senses. A caressing and stimulating power bathing experience is therefore a must, today, to unwind, replenish and recharge our stressed-out bodies. Sandeep Shukla, head, Marketing & Communication – Global Operations, Jaquar Group, explains, “Everything we create is geared towards meeting the needs of a sustainable, fast-paced, and contemporary end consumer lifestyle. It is an approach that has put us at the forefront of the bath and sanitaryware industry, with the delivery of 2.4 million bathrooms every year.”
The newly launched designs from Vita Moderna ‘Collection X’ include a winter garden where lush interior vegetation contrasts with a dreamlike landscape that peeks through the glass. The look is fluid, ranging from details of large, 3D-effect leaves, which transform into plaster, to playful contrasts of full and empty, to flowing images softened in cold hues. “Part of the product offerings is a waterproof wallpaper that needs no waterproofing treatment by the installer and is the result of a two-year extensive research and accurate tests. Light and flexible, but at the same time capable of resisting high chemical, physical and thermal stresses, it is the ideal solution not only for residential wet areas, but also for wellness and hospitality spaces,” say Pritesh Modi & Akshay Adhalrao, business owners & co-founders, Vita Moderna.
KEUCO has launched EDITION 90, a path-breaking design language that merges the round with the square in an opulent symphony of form, marked by a conscious use of materials. EDITION 90 has the full bathroom furniture/ furnishing concept with an incredibly unique cast mineral wash basin taking the center stage with fittings, light mirror and accessories having the same clear and precise design language.
The role of high-performance technology in the evolution of bathroom products has expanded as well. Therapeutic treatments such as hydro and chromotherapy have become a crucial feature in spas, and the primary motive behind such features is to accentuate and customise experiences, offering maximum benefit to customers. Dilip Kumar, MD, SCHELL India, opines, “We have been strong in sensor/ contact-based products and due to the virus outbreak, we realise how important it is to have products which promote hygiene. We will concentrate on our sensor-based products like washbasin draw-off taps, urinal flush valves and WC flush valves. To be even more cost competitive, we are also concentrating on setting up an assembly unit in India. Most of our sensor products have stagnation flush, which makes a major contribution towards hygiene in all objects that are not in use for longer periods.”
Sensor-based faucets, solar heating geysers, dual flushing system and low flow shower heads are a few innovations which have picked up in recent years. In larger buildings like malls and offices, treated recycled water is being used for flushing. The post-COVID-19 world is going to be radically altered in the way we interact with people, with surfaces and how our own homes and workspaces are conceptualised. Most aspects of our lives are being revisited with reference to health and hygiene. This has raised the scope of interest in fixtures and technology that minimises touch. From the type of bath fittings to the light fixtures, they not only lay emphasis on the design but also functionality and sustainability.
Vita Moderna, in partnership with Glamora, provides an array of materials specially developed for the different purposes of spaces. In one of the recently launched collections, there was a wallpaper composed of organic fibers, making it an eco-sustainable wallcovering with a small environmental footprint. Its technical qualities also make it ideal for use in residential and hospitality contexts, inspired by bio-architecture.
“Roca sensor faucets are also equipped with flow limiters that restrict the water flow to 5.7 lt/ min. The cold start faucets are an innovation designed for sustainability, with water and energy saving capability and zero CO2 emissions. It allows you to use cold water for daily bathroom rituals with the lever in the centre. In addition to saving water, you will be saving energy, as it prevents the boiler from firing up when not needed,” says KE Ranganathan, MD, Roca Bathroom Products.
“We must understand water and light in a deeper manner as both resources are consumed within the bathroom space. Ecology and quality go hand in hand. Mediocre quality can never support ecology or sustainability. So, we – as a company – are noticeably clear on the point of water saving, both in terms of usage per se and in terms of maintenance required for these fittings,” adds Rahul Kher, founder & director, Zalur Lifestyle, and country partner & national associate, KEUCO & Bette.
A changing landscape has already made the present and the future more concerned with touch-free appliances that are functional yet sustainable. For example, Jaquar‘s sensor faucets come with technology allowing water to flow only when you need it and shut off as soon as you move your hands away, resulting in zero wastage of water. The touchless technology of these sensor taps uses 59% less water than regular taps. For bathrooms that have high public footfall, like restaurants, clubs and hotels, Jaquar recommends the installation of Pressmatic faucets – these discharge a fixed quantity of water flow with every touch. “Lighting fixtures play a great role in the transformation of the design and feel of bathrooms. A light, for example, is not just a light, but also a piece of art. Almost every fixture has a role to play in influencing the result of the aesthetic layout with the added function of providing a sensory experience,” says Shukla.
Another evolving trend is the inclination toward ensuring that the source of the light remains invisible, offering up a naturally warm light to the space the fixture is being used for. Sensor lights are also a creative element that is being applied where the designer/ consumer wants to create a visual effect and/ or avoid harsh lighting. Elements like a solid colour, patterned tiles, and quirky vanities in terms of geometry, material, and colour have picked up. It is important to harmonise the bathroom aesthetic with the overall theme of the entire space, be it an office, residence or café.
Ritika Rakhiani, principal architect and founder, Urban Mistrii Studio, says, “Lights should be positioned to reveal thresholds, steps, and areas that might be wet or slippery. Lights above mirrors cast unflattering shadows on faces if they are the only light sources in the space. A fail-proof lighting plan comprises a combination of ambient, task, accent and decorative lighting. Entirely waterproof, hygienic, and extremely easy to clean, porcelain tiles are the ideal choice for bathroom floor and wall tiles. These characteristics, in fact, make it preferable over other materials in areas characterised by the presence of water and steam. I personally prefer Kota stone and sandstone as they are cheap, durable, and have good capacity of soaking water.”
Bathrooms have emerged from a purely functional space to becoming an aspirational and designer space. Bathing spaces, an essential part of every home, have significantly evolved, catering to the ever-changing needs and preferences of the Indian consumer. Consumers are focusing on bathrooms as a wellness space and are spending more time there, not merely for hygiene reasons, but to relax, recreate and get a sense of well-being. Home owners are increasingly investing in high quality accessories and fittings to adorn their personal spaces. Designs that are inspired from nature to infuse the space with a calming effect are also becoming popular.
“Trends that have been introduced to enhance sustainability include sensor-based fixtures, LED lights, and self-sustaining sites with the help of water harvesting and compost systems. In personal spaces, such as residences, people also prefer to be closer to nature and many have introduced plants or green spaces near their bathrooms,” opines Rakhiani.
Neha Arora, an interior designer, adds, “His and hers bathrooms, popularised even more by the American TV show ‘House of Cards’, is a big trend these days. Instead of tripping over each other in the mornings, having two vanities, two separate shower cubicles, and two separate bathroom cabinets, helps you be together and yet separate. Victorian vibes might look good in living rooms, but they are also catching up in bathrooms these days. Stylishly chic clawfoot tubs, stately furnishings, ornate mirrors, antique brass and nickel fittings, all add to the vintage charm of the bygone era.”